Form is that which is before we project our concepts onto it. It is the original state of “what is here,” the colorful, vivid, impressive, dramatic, aesthetic qualities that exist in every situation. Form could be a maple leaf falling from a tree and landing on a mountain river; it could be full moonlight, a gutter in the street or a garbage pile. These things are “what is,” and they are all in one sense the same: they are all forms, they are all objects, they are just what is. Evaluations regarding them are only created later in our minds. If we really look at these things as they are, they are just forms.
So form is empty. But empty of what? Form is empty of our preconceptions, empty of our judgments.
-Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, “The Heart Sutra: Translations and Commentary”
Excerpted from Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism
Sign up for Tricycle’s newsletters
Thank you for subscribing to Tricycle! As a nonprofit, we depend on readers like you to keep Buddhist teachings and practices widely available.