I Have Seen Beyond

William B. Turner
2 min readJun 15, 2022
The Buddha

It would be better to say that I have perceived beyond, since it wasn’t really visual. I do not have a great visual imagination. I’m a writer, not a painter, because I think in words, not images.

Thinking in words is not great because awakening defies description. It beggars language.

The Heart Sutra ends with “gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi svaha.” In English, this means, “gone, gone, gone beyond….”

One useful way to get at the concept is awareness aware of itself. Awareness is not a thing. It is like gravity in being a quality of the universe that impinges on human life and makes it possible. Without awareness, we could know nothing, think nothing, we would have no concept of ourselves as existing. Usually, one is aware of something.

A quality of the beyond the Buddha reached is emptiness, as the Heart Sutra makes very clear. Awareness by itself is emptiness. Awareness aware of itself suggests awareness of emptiness.

Except that there is no there there, it’s out there. Keep up your consistent meditation practice and your mind will get quiet enough to perceive the beyond that is full of emptiness, or empty of emptiness.

If you stop and think about it, the claim that everything we perceive must have some space to exist in. That goes for the furthest star our telescopes have found as well as the device you are reading this on and your own nose.

As an empirical question, we do not yet know if the universe has any boundaries. As a conceptual question, the entire universe must have some void to exist in.

That conceptual void is a place of infinite peace and beauty. It is where we want to abide. I can. I have perceived it. You can, too. The Buddha said so.

Keep up your meditation practice. Consistency is key.

I hope to start a Buddhist Vihara as a site where people can visit for meditation courses and long retreats. You may help by donating here. My thanks to everyone who has already donated.

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