Lead the heart to see that everything is empty.The Buddha said, “Mogharāja, look on the world as empty and death’s king will not be able to find you.” Death’s king here is dukkha, and if we view the world in this way it won’t reach us. Please contemplate this and practice so as to see the conventions and supposition in all material things.These things are impermanent, unsatisfactory and without self, constantly deteriorating and breaking apart.
Like this meditation hall which we’ve just expanded. It’s all finished and ready for use—and it is already breaking down. Since we can’t see this yet with our eyes, we need to use our internal eye, the heart. Through contemplating this we can see that these particles of matter have come together temporarily and are deteriorating all the time. Our experiences of feeling, perception, thinking and consciousness arise, remain for a while, and then cease. They’re not who we are. For the eye to see objects there must be light. If the eye is functioning, it will receive the reflection of the object. If there is no object, or if there is no light—or if there is an object and light but the vision faculty is impaired—then this won’t take place. One will not experience what we call “seeing.”
Whether it’s seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or touching, we can observe that these rely on processes that need multiple conditions to take place in order for us to experience them. For one who is blind there is no seeing, for one who is deaf there is no hearing. In other words, the consciousness which would normally arise is obstructed from arising.
This reflection by Ajahn Anan is from the book, The World and the Heart, pp. 64-65.