of five rings

The Book of Emptiness

Thirty spokes will converge
In the hub of a wheel;
But the use of the cart
Will depend on the part
Of the hub that is void.

With a wall all around
A clay bowl is moulded;
But the use of the bowl
Will depend on the part
Of the bowl that is void.

Cut out windows and doors
In the house as you build;
But the use of the house
Will depend on the space
In the walls that is void.

So advantage is had
From whatever is there;
But usefulness arises
From whatever is not.

- Tao Te Ching

  • Zen Buddhist views: Everything is real only in relation to other things. Everything is devoid of reality, that is, nothing has its own independent existence. Consciousness and external reality only become real in relation to each other.
  • Zen Buddhist view the world as becoming. Nothing ever is. No absolutes. Nature of reality is a process, continous flow. This process, flow, is kü.
  • It is the relationship that "is," not the things that relate. This relationship is kü.
  • "That which cannot be known is kü" - Emptiness is meant to describe something which is "devoid" of an independent reality. This something is the nature of relationship, a process, a flow, kü. Experiencing kü is being one with the moment.
  • kü is not a mathematical void. Nor something unknowable or inexperiencable.
  • "With a proper spirit, an honest heart, a dedication to what is just, a benevolence that is boundless and an iron will to succeed, you can be free to be with the flow of kü, to be in rhythm with the timing of change."
  • By knowing form, one knows emptiness.
  • Make kü your path, and your path as kü. In kü there is good, and there is no evil. When there is wisdom, reason, and the Way, there is kü.
  • From the "Shingyö Sutra," chanted by the Zen monk each morning:

    Form is here emptiness,
    emptiness is form;
    form is no other than emptiness,
    emptiness if no other than form;
    that which is form is emptiness,
    that which is emptiness if form.

- written on the twelfth day of the fifth month
of the second year of Shöhö,

To Terao Magonojö Shinmen Musashi







5 rings