by Swami Beyondananda

"Where Swami Answers Your Questions - and You Will Question His Answers"


Dear Swami:

I'm a bit confused. For millennia, the Buddhists have been telling us that the key to enlightenment is achieving emptiness. But physicists now say that empty space isn't empty at all, but instead filled with enormous amounts of energy. So Swami, what is it -- fullness or emptiness? And -- whatever it is -- how does one go about achieving it?

Lou Minocitti, Grass Valley, CA

Dear Lou:

Let me first say you came to the right Swami with this question. Not to brag, but many times I have been told, "Swami, you are so full of emptiness!" You can only imagine how tempting it is to take on an emptier-than-thou attitude -- you know, like those vacuums putting on airs about how empty they are. Talk about having nothing to talk about. No wonder nature abhors a vacuum. This also might explain those "Vacuums suck!" bumper stickers I've been seeing lately.

But I digress. As you have suspected, true emptiness is nothing more or less than infinite fullness. The void is so full of everythingness you cannot distinguish anythingness so it might as well be nothingness. The scientist, looking for something, sees fullness. The Buddha, looking for nothing, sees emptiness. Same difference.

But whether you call it the All-That-Is or the All-That-Isn't, this is a very peaceful state because once you are one with everything, there's nowhere to go and nothing to do. Now, that's relaxing. So, how does one achieve this state of full emptiness? By ceasing to identify with the separate identity, or ego.

In this regard too, you've come to the right Swami. As one who takes great pride in my humility -- twice a finalist on America's Most Humble -- I will share my secret, a mantra guaranteed to banish the ego in three easy steps: Ego ... egoing ... egone.

© Copyright 2006 by Steve Bhaerman. All rights reserved. Give the gift of laughter with Swami's Fool Enchilada Special. To find out more about that and Swami's schedule, call (800) SWAMI-BE or visit the Swami online at