The Living Nature of Emptiness

…whatever else might be true of emptiness, Shobogenzo attributes it with at least these positive characteristics:

Emptiness is present in/as existence-time

Emptiness is differentiated

Emptiness is active

Emptiness is sentient

Emptiness is intelligible

Emptiness is communicable

Even after this short foray into Dogen’s treatment of emptiness, it is clear that his vision cannot be understood or described in negative or apophatic terms. This point merits emphasis; the meticulous attention to, and detailed refutations of negativistic views of emptiness in Shobogenzo testifies to the pervasiveness of such distortions in Dogen’s own era. The distorting power of negativistic views of emptiness can, has, and does obstruct practitioners from clearly seeing any aspect of Zen/Buddhism, not to mention practicing it and actualizing its wisdom.

Excerpt from,  Zen Cosmology: Dogen’s Contribution to the Search for a New Worldview p.70