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  • Daniel Rodman

Out of Nothing

A helpful exercise to enhance your ability to appreciate things in their entirety and with a sense of awe is the practice of seeing things as if they arise out of nothing. From thin air, like a miracle, something is there, without explanation. Out of nothing. What a surprise! No expectations, no assumptions, no judgements, and suddenly out of nothing, you are here, the world is here, other people are here, a car is here, a tree is there, a sunset is here. Take each one at a time, or all at once. This helps us to dramatically improve our ability to appreciate things in our life, to see the vastness of the ordinary. Out of nothing, suddenly there is a something. It brings us the opportunity to have fresh new eyes, to see things as if for the first time. Here is a way to meditate on it:

Step 1: Choose a subject in the room in front of you, whether yourself, or others, or an object, or all of existence.

Step 2: Close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath.

Step 3: Say to yourself the words “out of nothing”, then open your eyes and reveal the subject in front of you to yourself.

Step 4: Reflect on the vastness of the ordinary, the wonder of its mere existence.

This is not to say that things came from nothing, but rather it is an exercise, a thought experiment that makes way to a deeper direct experience. When we do it right we feel a sense of wonder and meaningfulness of the mere existence of things. This meaningfulness is itself the basis of realizing the nature of their ultimate source. Out of nothing, and suddenly there is a something. What a wonder! What a surprise! Let this practice ornament the way you appreciate things, ultimately not to think that things come from nothing, but to see what the exercise reveals: pure being. May you use the “out of nothing” practice to enhance your ability to see the vastness of the ordinary.

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