Q: How do I go about exploring the sense of lack? Here’s my attempt: From the perspective of feeling, the sense of lack is a tension and sense of anxiety. The tension can be felt to different degrees everywhere in the body. The anxiety seems to be in the lower belly, the stomach, and the chest. The thoughts that go along with it are: “People know something I don’t. I have to get more information, more knowledge. Something is missing. Maybe I can get what I need from a teacher or book. I’m not enough. I need something more. I have to prove myself. I have to work hard and earn enlightenment. Something in the future could bring me what I want. The future could also bring disaster. I’m so vulnerable. I’m incomplete, insecure, and lacking in confidence.” That seems to be its voice at the moment. I still feel like I’m missing something in my exploration of missing something! How do you suggest I meet this sense of something missing? What can I do?
A: That’s a wonderful start to your exploration. You can also become curious about the actual “hole” or emptiness in the center of the feeling of lack. Directing your attention to this sensation of lack will bring to awareness all the voices, memories, and conditioning associated with the experience of lack, which need to be seen and allowed to be there. Just allow any associations to arise and be seen and continue to direct your awareness to the emptiness or sense of lack.
If you stay with this process long enough, often a deeper layer of conditioning will come to the surface, which may appear as feelings, such as sadness, anger, or fear. Or you might experience a deeper layer of your true nature, which may appear as a quality of essence, or Being, such as love, peace, or joy. Surprisingly, what often arises in the lack is the very thing you felt you were lacking. For instance, love can be found in the place where you experience a lack of love, and worth can be found in a place where you experience a lack of self-worth. There’s no formula for this exploration, as whenever you look within, the experience unfolds differently. But all you really need to do is trust and explore whatever shows up.
Even the deeper experiences of essence are empty at their core. When you touch this emptiness, the invitation is to go even deeper into the emptiness. Infinite layers of essential aspects of your Being are then discovered to be hiding another deeper layer of emptiness. Surprisingly, the doorway to the deeper reality is often the place where it seems emptiest.
There are more articles on my website that explore emptiness in greater depth as listed here.
Hope this helps.