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The Law of Emptiness: A Bioregulatory Interpretation of The Heart Sutra

By Ian Kennedy, The True Wellness Center

Bioregulatory medicine always seeks the underlying cause of why a person may be in a state of dysfunction, illness, or dis-ease. Symptoms reveal how the body is attempting to heal itself and we know that simple symptom suppression does is only a temporary measure aimed at relief.

The Bioregulatory approach addresses stressors of various kinds that build up over time and overwhelm the body's ability to process and remove the blockades which impede healing. Treatment approaches such as supporting drainage and detoxification, lymphatic fluid therapy, emotional release techniques, and others, help lower the body’s toxic load. Many of these therapies ultimately work to create space within the internal terrain our cells live in. Creating space or emptiness allows the body to dump and remove the burdens regardless of if they are physical, mental, emotional, or energetic.

It is often space that is required

Ultimately, we can see that this process helps balance the physical with the non-physical. Another way of looking at this work is to have too much substance without enough space or too much space, with not enough substance. When there is a balance between substance and space, we create an optimal opportunity for appropriate response and compensation by the body. The connection to this process and one of the world's oldest expressions of substance and space is the “Heart Sutra” or the “Prajnaparamita” which means the “perfection of wisdom.” Here we will refer to it as simply the “Heart Sutra.”

The Heart Sutra is perhaps the best-known and most widely referenced sutra within Buddhist teachings. The Heart Sutra is found in the Mahayana Buddhism tradition, or what is known as “The Great Vehicle.” Mahayana emphasizes living the Buddhist path naturally without regard to ideas of what one is “supposed” to do and claims to be the most authentic school of Buddhist thought.

The historical Buddha, however, requested upon his death that no teachers or schools be established. He understood that when we become immersed in doctrine and dogma, one’s intellect becomes overly engaged and that often leads us down the path of academia. This is how teachings become limited to the intellect, instead of leading to an experiential way of awakening the teaching to be alive within the seeker.

The concept of the Heart Sutra was first produced around 640 CE and in its truest sense, is the fundamental explanation of the interplay between energy, frequency and vibration, emptiness, time, and space. This interruption is not through the eyes of a scientist but rather those of an enlightened being.

Here are the first stanzas of the Heart sutra (translated.)

Substance does not differ from emptiness; emptiness does not differ from substance.

The substance itself is emptiness, and emptiness itself is substance.

The same is true of feeling, perception, impulse, and consciousness.

These three lines are profound in their explanation of how energy moves between substance and non-substance, or what is termed as “emptiness.” It proclaims that both form and formlessness or substance and emptiness are the same and do not differ from each other. At first, this sounds ridiculous, like a riddle without an answer. However, if we contemplate this and explore its meaning, we find that it is a fundamental law. The law of emptiness.

If we see that when referencing substance, they are speaking to all material manifestations, including energy. When speaking of emptiness, they are referencing that which is not substance. That which is not a substance is the purest expression of what is referenced as being spiritual. The word “spiritual” originally meant air or more exactly breath. This was understood as that which was not of any substance yet connected one to life. Therefore, in some traditions, emptiness as well as breath is seen as being holy. This is because emptiness is eternal, and all substance is finite. Thus, the source of all that comes and goes, a substance with only emptiness remains eternal.

The next sentence in the Heart Sutra is astounding.

The same is true of feeling, perception, impulse, and consciousness

Here, one is motivated to investigate the idea that what seems to make up one’s mind- the ability to feel, perceive, experience impulses, and ultimately have a sense of thought and consciousness- is also fundamentally empty.

In the Sutra, we see that perceptions do not differ from emptiness. Feelings, impulses, and consciousness are fundamentally manifested out of emptiness. Substance comes into being through perception. Feelings and Impulses come through the five senses and this we call consciousness or the rising of the mind. What the Heart Sutra is saying is that without space or emptiness, even thought and perception, impulse, and consciousness would be impossible to manifest.

To illustrate the notion of emptiness, we might say that a person is able to stand in a space because nobody else can occupy that space. Therefore, this understanding maintains that the whole universe is empty, and it is because of this Law of Emptiness that substances are able to come into being. Therefore, it is said that “True emptiness bears all wondrous existences.

The same is true of feelings, perceptions, impulses, and consciousness. All of these are fleeting. You may be sad about something and on the verge of tears, to instantly change your emotional state when someone tells you that you have just won the lottery. This changes your feelings completely because your mind has changed. The mind always changes with time and space because one’s perceptions, feelings, impulses, and consciousness change with the external and internal environments we set up and experience.

In using dark field light microscopy, Bioregulatory practitioners like to see sufficient spaces between the cells. We want to see cells that are free of any internal loads that may appear to be taking up space inside the cell, what is commonly referred to as “target cells.” We also want the background to be generally free from higher forms of organisms. If the background is full of yeast, fragments, or higher bacterial forms, or appears to be crowded or full, the health of the internal environment and the person comes into question. When there is space in the extracellular environment, we know there is a certain level of health and that we can help the body dump some of the load into this available space and facilitate it out. Appropriate space or emptiness is required and healthy.

Doors and windows make a house useful because they are spaces cut from the walls. Music is only beautiful because of the silence or space between the notes. Without space, music becomes noise. We may even see that in our brain waves: Alpha the alert, Beta the calm, and Theta which is said to be the wave pattern of intuition and a kind of meditative state that is linked with creativity, joyfulness, problem-solving, and genius. Perhaps this is possible because Theta represents emptiness and the possibility from which all is manifested.

This is also true in the world we build around ourselves: work, family, friends, diet, exercise, and other external experiences also need to be balanced with space (emptiness) to maintain a healthy environment. This provides space for growth and change.

The Heart Sutra can be interrupted and studied in many ways, and I am not claiming to be in any way an expert on the Heart Sutra. From my personal Bioregulatory view, I can simply say that often creating or allowing emptiness and substance to find their natural balance within a person gives the body, mind, and emotions room for expansion. When there is room for expansion, internal or external stresses of many different kinds are alleviated.

Ian Kennedy


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