Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I stumbled on a really cool book last week, Practically Nothing: Transforming Your Practice of Centering Prayer Through the Wisdom of Mystical Nothingness by LJ Milone, a pastoral minister in a Catholic parish. Interestingly, the book was published in May 2014, just three weeks before I published my similarly themed book, God is Nothingness.
Our books are virtually identical, except where I draw upon Eastern traditions like Zen, Taoism, and Advaita Vedanta, Milone borrows from Christian mysticism. This makes perfect sense, since the Absolute should transcend culture and tradition.
Both of our books are based on apophatic practices, the refusal to speak of the Absolute in any positive terms, instead relying upon negative terminology such as the Heart Sutra's "no eyes, no ears, no tongue..." in order to convey a glimpse of the Absolute. Milone references Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross, pseudo-Dionysius the Aeropagite, all of whom speak of God in the ultimate apophatic term, Nothingness. (St. John calls it "Nada" and Eckhart "Nichts.")
The similarity between our books is very encouraging; it reaffirms my personal experience of the Void and makes me wonder even more why there is so little literature about the Absolute as Nothingness. For this reason, I have developed a new blog called Absolute Nothingness, dedicated exclusively to exploring the Void.
The blog address is www.absolutenothingness.wordpress.com. Check it out if you get a chance and are interested. I will continue to post Buddhist articles here on Original Mind. And by all means, pick up a copy of Milone's Practically Nothing.