Nothing Is Created

July 23, 2009

nothing-is-created2In my previous post, Everyday Creation, I looked at  how we are constantly creating, whether it is in our thoughts, words or actions.  In this post, I will be exploring the aspect of creation,  where nothing is really ever created or destroyed. This is the core teaching of the Buddhist Heart Sutra.

Here is an excerpt from this sutra: …form is emptiness, emptiness is form, form does not differ from emptiness, emptiness does not differ from form.  The same is true with feelings, perceptions, mental formations, and consciousness…all dharmas (things) are marked with emptiness; they are neither produced nor destroyed, neither defiled nor immaculate, neither increasing nor decreasing…

The teachings in this sutra are very subtle and difficult to grasp. How can things be empty of form and how can emptiness be filled with form? In The Heart Of Understanding, Thich Nhat Hanh approaches the profound wisdom of this sutra with a  simplicity and beauty that brings clarity to the meaning of this esoteric teaching. In one story he relates, we can begin to understand this obscure phrase, form is emptiness, emptiness is form.

Thich Nhat Hanh recalls an experience he had in a park one autumn day. He was absorbed in contemplation of a small, beautiful heart-shaped leaf.  It was barely hanging on the branch, nearly ready to fall down. He spent a long time asking questions of the leaf. He found out that the leaf was a mother to the tree; the leaf was responsible for transforming sap with the help of the sun, to nourish the tree. The leaf was connected to the tree, and they both depended on the clouds and the sun for nourishment. He asked the leaf if it was afraid because it was Autumn and the other leaves were falling. The leaf told him, “…I worked hard and helped nourish the tree, and much of me is in the tree. Please do not say that I am just this form, because the form of leaf is only a tiny part of me. I am the whole tree. I know that I am already inside the tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue to nourish the tree. That’s why I do not worry. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, I will see you again very soon.”

Thich Nhat Hanh continues, ” Suddenly I saw a kind of wisdom very much like the wisdom contained in the Heart sutra. You have to see life. You should not say, life of the leaf, you should only speak of life in the leaf and life in the tree. My life is just Life, and you can see it in me and in the tree…I bowed my head, and I knew that we have a lot to learn from the leaf because it was not afraid—it knew that nothing can be born and nothing can die.”

This story clearly defines our interdependence of each other and everything in existence. Nothing and no one can stand alone, we need each other and the elements in order to exist. The elements have become a part of the tree, and the tree will return to the elements. It is easy to understand then, that form is empty of independent existence and emptiness contains the possibility of  all form. Nothing comes from nothing, all matter has had its existence in the elements. So nothing is ever created, in that all matter can be traced to a pre-existing form, just as we each carry the genes of our ancestors. We existed in another form before we were born.  So also, nothing is ever destroyed but transmuted back to the elements. Then we can say that there is no birth and  no death. There is nothing to be scared of, if we see all this creation as the dance of Consciousness, sometimes taking form, sometimes formless.

We can enjoy this dance of Consciousness as we enter and exit the stage of existence. Just wave, say to all others, “I will see you again very soon.”


1 Marion 07.24.09 at 8:15 am

This is exactly how I feel about my daughter’s death. Thank you.

2 Liara Covert 07.24.09 at 2:04 pm

Every energy being is eternally shifting. The gift of energy expansion enables you to travel wherever you like in different forms. Each energy state is a flow of change that renews you and bring new levels of clarity. Authentic expression enables you to sense energy patterns. To be in a dense form in the physical prevents you from seeing or being aware of what is manifest in front of you. Something happened to convince many people that everyday miracles are not enough. People refer to historic miracles rather than validate their on awareness. When you pay attention, you sense revelations in energy right now. You are the observer and the observed by what you do not choose to sense or accept. As you embrace the unseen, you sense it.

3 Alexys Fairfield 07.24.09 at 5:09 pm

Hi Miruh,

It’s comforting to know that we are all connected – land to land – ocean to ocean – heart to heart – love to love. We really are one and the same, scattered throughout nature and the stars. There are no exits, just different stages. 😀

4 Miruh 07.25.09 at 1:36 pm

Hello Marion,

The wisdom of the ancient sages have long been a comfort to humanity to understand the meaning of this life and to cope with the death of loved ones.

We are indeed fortunate to have contact with the wisdom teachings which are now being made available to the masses.

Deep peace to you!

5 Miruh 07.25.09 at 1:38 pm

Hello Liara,

Yes, I agree we negate the greatness of our own divinity and look elsewhere for the light that shines within our own hearts.

Much love to you!

6 Miruh 07.25.09 at 1:44 pm

Hello Alexys,

When all of humanity embraces this knowingness of our deep connection, then we will have peace. First we need to find our own connection to source and the experience of the connection to all that is, “scattered throughout nature and the stars.”

May you dance joyfully amongst the stages. 😀

7 Mergingpoint 07.25.09 at 10:20 pm

In Upanishads, the “Fullness Mantra” so profoundly speaks of that completeness. Division exists in human mind and it is the same division that enables us to understand the completeness that exists in that division too.
wonderful post, Miruh!

8 Nicole 07.26.09 at 9:46 pm

Miruh, I am truly enjoying the deep and thought provoking posts as of late.

Some days, when I’m having trouble finding the peace and love in others, I remind myself that all people are a reflection of the Universe. All of us are made up of the same stuff! This really helps me to remember and recognize the peace and love within my own self as well.

Take Care, Nicole

9 Miruh 07.27.09 at 11:01 am

Hello Merging Point,

The great wisdom of the ancients appear again and again in different regions and cultures. This is the nature of truth, it is one.

This is the same truth in the Upanishads’ “Fullness Mantra”: If the perfect is taken from the perfect, the perfect remains.

I agree, it is when we have the opposite or division of truth, that we know its counterpart. It is all part of the whole.

Thanks for sharing your deep wisdom my friend!

10 Miruh 07.27.09 at 11:07 am

Hello Nicole,

I am happy that these posts are awakening deeper contemplations for you. They are for me too.

This teaching is so simple and the answer to all our human problems. With this perspective, there will be no wars, no conflict but a deep love and respect for Life that manifests as each one of us sentient and insentient beings.

Deep peace to you my friend!

11 Maithri 07.28.09 at 10:27 pm

What divine wisdom you share with us sister Miruh,

Life is life,
Love is love

As is the microcosm
So is the macrocosm

Heres to you my friend and all the love that streams through you like sweet water,

Sending peace across the waters,


12 Liara Covert 07.29.09 at 7:48 am

Miruh, thanks for reinforcing the love that is transforming everything

13 Miruh 07.30.09 at 9:48 pm

Hello Maithri,

You put it so beautifully: Life is life, Love is love.
We so often overlook the life we are living and think that Life and Love is some unattainable pie in the sky.

Thanks for your kind words my friend!

Sending you peace across the waters a thousand fold. 😀

14 Miruh 07.30.09 at 9:49 pm

Hello Liara,

Same to you my friend!

Love and Blessings to you!

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