Why does life seem empty? Questions and answers with Daehaeng Kun Sunim

 Here is another question from Find the Treasure Within:
My life has been very ordinary, but I’ve been fortunate in many respects. My wife and I get along well, and my children are happy and well-adjusted. Also, my work has been going smoothly. Nevertheless, I sometimes feel empty, like something is missing. Why do I feel like this, even though everything in my life seems to be going well?

Daehaeng Kun Sunim:  A wife, a lover, children, money, fame – none of those things have the power to make you feel complete. Only by returning inward to your true self, your foundation, can you become complete. 
However, many people are afraid of truly facing themselves. So they look for something outside, wandering around rather than looking within themselves. This is how they deceive themselves. As long as you deceive yourself like this, you can never know true peace, nor will the empty feeling go away — because both are caused by not knowing your true self. When you carefully observe your mind and live your life in touch with this inner mind, you’ll realize that peace is within you. However, if you don’t sincerely face yourself, you can never be truly free of this empty feeling, even if you achieve all of your goals such as having power, money, honor, and love. This applies to everyone. 
The more praise, the more pleasure you receive from outside of yourself, the deeper the emptiness will become. Then, as many people do, you may look around outside of yourself even more, searching for the cause or for something that will get rid of the emptiness, without realizing that both the cause and the cure are inside of you. Long ago, a poet left home looking for signs of spring. He searched everywhere, but was unsuccessful. However, upon returning home, he saw blossoms on the apricot tree in his courtyard. 
If you see the genuine, true self that’s within you, you will know true peace of mind and the feeling of emptiness will disappear. Yet, because this inner nature is truth itself, don’t think for a moment that things such as force, tricks, or lies can work there. So stop trying to use such deceit to find your true self. People often try to endure the hardships they face with the hope that somehow things will be better tomorrow or at some other place. However, these kinds of thoughts are like delusions if you don’t know about your inner self. They can’t help you for long.

Therefore, please, face yourself honestly. Discover the great, unimaginable “me” that’s already within you. Everything in the world – joy, sorrow, happiness, misery, and emptiness – comes from you; it is all within you. Because everything arises from you, you are the only one who can truly solve all of those issues. This is how it is. So entrust everything to your inner self. Let go of everything to your true self with firm faith, and observe how things work together inseparably. This is the inner path, which teaches you to see all things as not different from yourself, and which shows you that inherently there is no division between “you” and “me.” 


4 thoughts on “Why does life seem empty? Questions and answers with Daehaeng Kun Sunim”

  1. {Therefore, please, face yourself honestly}

    To straighten the crooked
    You must first do a harder thing –
    Straighten yourself.
    – Dhammapada

  2. “When you carefully observe your mind and live your life in touch with this inner mind, you’ll realize that peace is within you.”

    Indeed, funny how some days are good and some bad, and yet what is the difference between them really except for the difference I’ve put upon them?

    Thank you. _/\_

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