April 8 – Centre of the Eye – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening

In keeping the centre of the I empty, the miracle of life can enter and heal.

It’s not by chance that the dark centre of the human eye, the pupil, is actually an empty hole through which the world becomes known to us. Likewise, in a spiritual sense, the I is the empty centre through which we see everything.

It’s revealing that such a threshold is called the pupil, for it is only when we are emptied of all noise and dreams of ego that we become truly teachable.

Like the centre of the eye, both of Buddhist and Zen traditions speak of an unbreakable emptiness at the heart of all seeing from which all living things emerge. The Hindu Upanishads tell us that in the centre of the seed of the great nyagrodha tree there is nothing, and out of nothing that great tree grows. We are then reminded that in our time on Earth, we grow like this tree – out of nothing. As the essence of the tree is the empty centre of its seed, so the essence of our life is the intangible presence at the centre of our soul.

Therefore, our chief work as human beings rests in the sincere effort to allow that central presence to in-form us. Thus, all forms of prayer and meditation are aimed at keeping the centre of the I empty, so the miracle of life in its grace and immensity can enter and heal us.

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