“This very cryptic mantra, form is emptiness, emptiness is form. You are the form. Everything that you think of and conceive of as yourself – it’s a form; and it is empty.
The basic idea of emptiness is that there is no such-ness to any phenomenal quality, that the concept of the reality of any given phenomenal object – anything – is a kind of trick of the light. It seems to exist, but upon closer examination, it is understood to be an assembly of qualities, none of which have anything to do with each other.
If the physical body is a vase, the life force is like the water being poured into a vase. The idea of the vase is a form which occupies the space; the same space occupies the inside of the vase as the outside of the vase.
People do not want to accept this idea, especially when it comes to the conceptualization of the relationship of their identity to the vase of their body. They believe their identity is their body, generate a very deep attachment to it, and grasp to it. The idea of emptiness is that you’ve made a fundamental error in assumption, that there’s no particular difference between the space inside your body and the space outside your body. What you call your life force flows in the atmosphere. It arises in the prana. The prana is connected to the air, the breath.
A lot of what spiritual training is about, is just expanding on that idea. Understanding the space within the human form and without the human form, understanding that the mind and the life force are moving out of the vase of the body relative to the breath; that the in-breath creates the form, that the out-breath dissolves it, means that the space in between is actually your first experience of emptiness, void. The breath is not moving, the prana is not moving; nothing is happening, and so it is empty.”