What is the Void?
In philosophy, the void is the manifestation of nothingness. What is the void in meditation? It is something meditators may experience spontaneously, especially when practicing to let go of the chatter in their minds. After a few months of a daily practice of meditation, I had my own ‘void experience.’; my meditation practice was to focus on my breath. Before I entered the void, though, I had no idea what it was nor that it was even possible.
Here is a brief description of my first experience in the void:
“Surrounded by infinite darkness, my consciousness awakens in the void. It is not the same as thick-veil of darkness one experiences in the absence of light—in this experience, I can see infinitely, yet nothing is there to see.
My mind soon starts to panic as I try to grasp where I am and what I am ‘seeing.’ There was no sense of being anywhere nor even a sense of my body. It came to me to think back to my last memories, and as my panic continued to accelerate, I remembered that my last memory was that of going to bed. This was somewhat comforting to me to have a starting point of figuring out what was happening. I quickly realized that if I was sleeping, then this must be a dream. “I’m dreaming!” I exclaimed. The thought was so exhilarating, but “how could this be possible? How could I be fully conscious within a dream?”.
As my excitement built up, the experience soon started to fade, and I found myself lying in bed again—staring at the back of my eyelids in utter amazement.
” Entering the Void for the First Time — Joel Durant.
There are quite a few void meditation practices; they may require you to breathe a certain way, to visualize life force entering you, or to focus your attention on your third eye. They are perhaps effective ways, but to me, it seems to rely on a ‘belief’ or a placebo effect to induce the experience—that’s not to say it won’t work, though. Whenever I experienced being in the void, it was when using standard meditation practices. To me, it’s a more logical process if you work at quieting your mind, not only in meditation but throughout the whole day. Soon enough, you will be creating a mini void-like experience as the outside world fades away.
If you’ve ever experienced a deep meditative state, your thoughts and even the discomforts of your body can fade away. As the meditation gets deeper, the sensation of your limbs or the entire body can disappear.
When your mind is quiet, you may begin to experience being ‘the observer’ while awake; this is when you start to feel dissociated from your body and merely observe life through your eyes. It doesn’t mean you don’t have any thoughts or desires to do things, but it is as though you are watching your life from afar.
Naturally, this may start to play out in meditation sessions; or out-of-body experiences while sleeping, such as lucid dreams and astral projection. Also, the technique of setting an intention may be useful; as you focus on your breath, set a clear intention on nothingness.
For a guide on meditation, you can read my article here: Learn to Meditate the Hard Way.
Entering the void through meditation may require significant effort and patience. Or it might just happen spontaneously! Although when meditating, it’s usually better to have no desires or expectations for a particular outcome. Work by quieting the mind and body, and over time you may experience the void.
What is the void to you? Have you tried a void meditation before? You can share your experience in the comment section below!