The Empty Room

When I first entered the big room it was entirely empty, and so I began filling it with all sorts of interesting stuff. However, after a time I felt that stuff was not enough, and so next I began populating it with various fascinating people, creating many webs of intertwining relationships, experiences, events and memories, drama, excitement, and adventure — more than enough to fill the empty room to overflowing — but eventually, it seems, I began to weary of all the activity, all the busy hustling and bustling that filled the room with so much sound and motion, and thus it was that I began to yearn for the simplicity, the serenity, peace, and quiet of that original empty room.

What I discovered was that I had to disentangle myself from whatever I had placed in the now crowded room — all the memories, events, experiences, intertwining relationships, all the interesting people, and even all the delightful stuff — all were left to go their way, migrating on to other rooms or just disappearing from lack of further attention.

Of course, this was not easy, since I had a certain fondness for the many inhabitants who now populated the room and made it so attractive, but finally I came to see that if I really wanted to return the room to its original state, there really was no option but to let it all go, surrender it.

And so it came to be that the room gradually emptied out, the party goers grew bored and moved on to more exciting venues stuff was sold off or given away, and at last the room was empty again, all except for myself, here in the middle of an enormous empty room, wondering where the peace and happiness was that I had so long sought.

I stood in the middle of the empty room, and as I gazed around I saw nothing but empty space everywhere, extending infinitely in all directions. Impressed by such pristine emptiness, I forgot something very crucial. Even though I had managed to let go of everything and the room appeared completely empty, the one who admired the emptiness, who had longed for such emptiness, was still standing in the room. As long as someone remains in the room, it is not truly empty — the room is only truly empty when that one goes.

Indeed, it has been that one all along who represented the only impediment to tranquility, and when this simple fact was finally recognized, that separate one also vanished. Only a spacious peace remained, the pure and transparent impersonal awareness of vast and all-pervading emptiness.

After a long while, I become curious about that big empty room. Because it is so vast and empty, I begin filling it with all sorts of interesting stuff, but that is not enough, and so next I began populating it with various fascinating people, creating many webs of intertwining relationships, experiences, events and memories, drama, excitement, and adventure . . .


empty room


About Bob OHearn

My name is Bob O'Hearn, and I live with my Beloved Mate, Mazie, in the foothills of the Northern California Sierra Nevada Mountains. I have a number of blog sites you may enjoy: Photo Gallery: Essays on the Conscious Process: Compiled Poetry and Prosetry: Verses and ramblings on life as it is: Verses and Variations on the Investigation of Mind Nature: Verses on the Play of Consciousness: Poetic Fiction, Fable, Fantabulation: Poems of the Mountain Hermit: Love Poems from The Book of Yes: Autobiographical Fragments, Memories, Stories, and Tall Tales: Ancient and modern spiritual texts, creatively refreshed: Writings from selected Western Mystics, Classic and Modern: Wisdom of a Spirit Guide: Thank You!
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18 Responses to The Empty Room

  1. Bozo in Spring says:

    Thank you –

    How does the last one disappear?
    And are you saying that even if, after, all Creation does is to re-create that whole saga again? That sounds terrible!


    • Bob OHearn says:

      How does the last one disappear? When you finally realize that the room can never be truly empty until you depart, that is the moment when that fundamental delusion about your true nature disintegrates, and the pure, delusion-free mind arises. True emptiness occurs only when every single trace of one’s conditioned reality disappears. As soon as you turn around and know it for what it is, that false awareness simply disintegrates.

      What to the deluded, clinging human intellect may sound threatening and disturbing, to the awakened soul is delightful beyond words!


      • Bozo in Spring says:

        Thank you for a beautiful and clear response, Bob 🙂

        I meant terrible as related to my second question: “And are you saying that even if, after, all Creation does is to re-create that whole saga again? That sounds terrible!”

        In relation to the first part, it sounds perplexing how that can happen (how? how would I function/work etc.) but it just shows my non familiarity haha



      • Bob OHearn says:

        There are a number of explanations, such as the sleep of Brahma in Hinduism, or the Brahmajala Sutta in Buddhism, but as mentioned the human intellect cannot really appreciate it. A poor metaphor might be that after enjoying a dance, one might rest and then go back for another one. 😉

      • Bozo in Spring says:

        What happens if you let go — what happens to your dreams, hopes, aspirations? I feel so much pain and sorrow in being stuck like a mouse on a wheel in this game called work/paying a mortgage. I feel so so trapped and hate that. Without preferences, what does one become? How does one respond? I know you say it is limited for ego, but

      • Bob OHearn says:

        In this life, the only way to find out is to do it — practice letting go, or non-dwelling, and if you persevere, direct knowledge will arise in you. Otherwise, you are just at the mercy of day dreams and borrowed opinions, so better to plunge in directly.


      • Bozo in Spring says:

        Thank you for your answer.
        I let go once before, now it’s like I never practiced. Direct knowledge didn’t help me then really…I am now where I said I wouldn’t mind being – with less money, less status, 10 years behind my peers where I had talent…it feels awful, Bob. To have given all that up in the quest for direct knowledge, which I often (in the past) had sensed, and yet now…I do not know what else there is to do. Despodency comes to mind. But your words are wise, and I am grateful to for them.

      • Bob OHearn says:

        Letting go is not a one-time thing. That is like saying I ate dinner once, and it was filling, but for some reason now I am hungry. 😉

        In any case, I wish you happiness as you make your way along on the path.


    • Bozo in Spring says:

      haha Good one – OK Very fair _/\_

      May your wishes come true 😉 😀

      Thank you for the kind thought…may you and yours be well and happy too.

  2. Bob OHearn says:

    “It is the instinct of exploration, the love of the unknown, that brings me into existence. It is in the nature of being to see adventure in becoming, as it is in the very nature of becoming to seek peace in being. This alternation of being and becoming is inevitable: but my home is beyond.”

    ~Nisargadatta Maharaj

  3. Bob OHearn says:

    “The spirit world is actually empty, void, until you place some-thing inside it, such as consciousness that crosses over from the physical world. What happens? That consciousness is added to emptiness and that emptiness becomes something. The consciousness manifests itself onto emptiness, and so it becomes filled with consciousness. Thoughts are living things. The spirit world is full of thought. So, in a sense, when you enter this paradise called heaven, you will experience only that which you are capable of comprehending within that consciousness you have. This is why you will only gain access to realms that your vibration allows you to, simply because you would not be able to comprehend or process it otherwise.”


    • Bozo in Spring says:

      I once heard that it is emptiness that manifests itself through, and as, consciousness. In my own (previous) examinations of this matter, I believe it is actualization of God. (without the trap of believing oneself is God or other such fundamental delusions)
      In Buddha’s teaching of dependent origination, Buddha talks about the causation, both of consciousness and of this world. I used to intentionally sense the .unity of the seeing with the seen, hearing with the heard. In one of my sittings, I toyed with how hearing happens. In a way those memories are painful to me now, as those senses are now dulled,

      In what Sparrow says, how interesting/odd yet I remember when I once experienced something that was really different – well I wouldn’t have known of such tender innocence but in retrospect I can describe it. If I didn’t experience that, the feelings and thought process myself, I would not have believed it. Therefore, why would it be that Spirit only allows you to experience what you can comprehend? There are many ways of introduction, I cannot comprehend that people cannot be shown more than what they currently know.


      • Bob OHearn says:

        Just as toddlers are not ready for quantum physics until they have grown up and developed the capacity for complex and rigorous scientific exploration, so too for us on the life level. As we develop the capacity to process increasingly higher frequencies of vibration, we automatically gain more access to the higher curriculums. The key is always the extent of our ability to receive and transmit unconditional love.


    • Bozo in Spring says:

      Do you have a theory, hrtbeat7, as to why one might be shown these lessons/insights and after resistance from the receiver 😀 there are no more?

      PS Did you see the moon eclipse tonight?

    • Bozo in Spring says:



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