So a couple of days back, I sat down for meditation. Not for religious reasons, just to make my mind a bit quiet. And here is a realization I had that I would like to share.
I was laying in chair, relaxed, focusing on my breath. My brain was busy creating pictures and images in front of my eyes. Time to time I was realizing that I am not focusing on my breath any more and I would again try to focus. But soon again the train of thoughts began rushing in my head.
Have you noticed how the thoughts are always related? Like one thought has something to do with the next one? And for some reason every attempt of me taking my attention back to my breath was creating a new chain of thoughts that somehow had to do with me dragging my attention and trying to focus on my breath.
Then suddenly I realized one thing. It was my mind that was making something out of a meaningless, consequence-less, monotonous, repetitive, simple activity like breathing. It was my mind that was cooking up thoughts and emotions from where there were none. The thoughts seemingly came out of nowhere, but somehow my mind tricked me in believing that they have something to do with breathing.
I opened my eyes and looked around. Then , for a short moment, I realized what all the Zen fuss of emptiness is all about. All the shapes and forms around me, the chair, the table, the computer on table, the window panes and the trees outside, existed in a world devoid of any significance. It was in my mind they had relations with each other and had consequences and had purpose and attributes and good/bad characteristics. By themselves, they were just that, shapes and forms. silent ,peaceful and in harmony.
It was like two parallel universes. One in which all these things existed. And one in which my mind made up a story using these objects.
By themselves they were empty. Mind filled them up with meaning.