The Apple of Emptiness

As I continue to explore the concept of emptiness, I was struck by the Heart Sutra and the five skandhas and the line “No Form, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch or Mind Object”. And the below story struck me.

What does an apple taste like? Your answer is incomplete.
Does a red apple taste like a green apple? Does a small apple taste the same as a large apple?
What do some apples taste like? Your answer is incomplete.
Does an apple taste the same to you that it does to someone else? Do all people like spicy food? Do all people use pepper?
What does an apple taste like to you? Your answer is incomplete.
Do you remember what the last apple tasted like? Was your answer free from what you thought it might taste like, free from how you feel about apples, free from whatever emotional state you were in – hungry or disinterested or happy?

The only way to answer what an apple taste like is to put it in your mouth and taste it.

Don’t talk with your mind full and your mouth empty.

Skandhas (Sanskrit) or khandhas (Pāḷi) means “heaps, aggregates, collections, groupings”. … The five aggregates or heaps are: form (or matter or body) (rupa), sensations (or feelings, received from form) (vedana), perceptions (samjna), mental activity or formations (sankhara), and consciousness (vijnana) –


Recently I have adopted a mantra of ‘all of my unhappiness comes from judgment’. This isn’t exactly true, but it is right, in a way. But better said would be ‘that which moves me out of equanimity is judgment’. I am not sure if I am more judgmental than other people, or I am just aware of how often I judge, but I do it constantly. I don’t see one thing – ‘car cuts me off’ – without adding a judgment to it – ‘license plate if from (fill in a state)/probably some (state-based judgment)  yokel’. ‘Car cut me off’ is a simple fact. ‘Car cut ME off’ is a thought that throws off my balance.

This is all evolving, changing, growing. Today’s words are not going to be right tomorrow. But for today….

  1. What is, is
  2. When my wanting is different from what is, my ego reacts
  3. When I judge anything, my equanimity is lost