Gil Fronsdal – BHNN Guest Podcast – Ep. 51 – Emptiness and Letting Go

Gil Fronsdal explores the different ways we can approach the Buddhist concept of emptiness, and how letting go of attachment to the self can feel scary but is actually very safe.

Abide in Emptiness

Gil introduces the Buddhist concept of emptiness and its different meanings. He talks about the emptiness of not feeling a self and shares his personal experiences with touching emptiness. Being empty doesn’t mean not being present and aware.

“It’s kind of like I’m transparent, or there’s no boundaries, or there’s no sharpness, division. It’s kind of like I’m empty, there’s nothing here. And it’s really exquisite when it happens.” – Gil Fronsdal

Ram Dass reflects on how to inhabit roles with emptiness on Here and Now Ep. 136
Letting Go Is Safe (16:04)

How often do we use the word ‘I’ when speaking? Gil explores how self-referential we are and our attachment to a sense of self. And while the thought of letting go of that sense of self is frightening, there is freedom and safety in stepping into the emptiness.

“Much of our thinking, one way or another, tends to be self-referential. We’re so important, it’s all about us.” – Gil Fronsdal

Emptying the Mind (31:33)

Gil discusses the natural thinning of our thoughts and feelings that occurs during meditation practice. He talks about emptying the mind of extraneous activities and clinging, and how we can let the emptiness inform us intuitively. 

“The force and engagement with those thoughts and ideas settles down, and goes from a very agitated, forceful kind of thinking or feeling around things, to more of a quiet thinking.” – Gil Fronsdal