Those who are on the periphery exist in agony. For them, no ecstasy. For those who have come to their center no agony exists. For them, only ecstasy. When I say break the cup it is breaking the periphery. And when I say be totally empty it is coming back to the original source, because through emptiness we are born, and into emptiness we return. Emptiness is the word, really, which is better to use than God, because with God we start feeling there is some person. So Buddha never used `God` he always used sunyata -- emptiness, nothingness. In the center you are a nonbeing, nothingness, just a vast space, eternally cool, silent, blissful.
Buddha took a tremendous step in the world of consciousness when he said, "The self is only a stepping stone. Step beyond it! And going beyond it, you are just empty."
But this "empty" is not nothingness. The word that Buddha used has been translated either as "emptiness" or as "nothingness," but in English both words have a negative connotation. Buddha's word was shunyata. It is not a negative phenomenon.
Buddha says: You go into this state of nothingness, then nirvana is a natural outcome. In the end it comes on its own accord. You need not worry about it; you cannot do anything about it in the first place. You just go into this nothingness, and then nothingness starts growing, growing, becomes vaster and vaster, and one day becomes your whole existence. Then there is nirvana - you have ceased to be. You have disappeared into the universe.
Emptiness can only be full if it is there. If it is not full, that means something other than the emptiness is also there, and that something else will hamper, obstruct, and that something else will create a duality, and that something else will create a friction, and that something else will create tension, and that something else will create anxiety - you cannot be at ease with 'something else'.
Emptiness is there only when it is full, when all obstructions have been dropped, when you don't have anything inside, when nobody is there to be an observer to it.
Buddha says: This emptiness is not even an experience, because if you experience it that means you were there to experience it. It is you, so you cannot experience it. You can experience only something that is not you. Experience means duality - the observer and the observed, the knower and the known, the subject and the object, the seer and the seen. But there is only emptiness, nobody to see it, nobody to be seen, nothing as an object, nothing as a subject. This nondual emptiness is full. It is utterly full. Its fullness cannot be refined, its fullness cannot be added to. Nothing can be taken out of it because there is nothing, and nothing can be added to it; it is utterly full.
'Full emptiness' is not an experience, because there is no experiencer in it.
Nothingness brings freedom. Freedom from the self is the ultimate freedom. There is no freedom higher than that. Nothingness is freedom.
The only refuge is the perfection of wisdom, the perfection of meditation. In the past it has been so, in the present it is so, in the future it will be so. Anybody who becomes a Buddha becomes one through meditation. Take refuge in meditation. Take refuge in nothingness.
Meditation prepares you for that, because as you enter into meditation you find less and less of yourself every day. And the less you find yourself, in the same proportion grow your blessings, your benediction, your blissfulness. Slowly, slowly, you learn the mathematics of the inner world - that the more you are, the more in hell; the less you are, the more in heaven.
The day you are not, it is nirvana; the ultimate home has arrived. You have come full circle, you have become a child again. There is no self any more.
Remember, freedom does not mean the freedom of the self. Freedom means: freedom from the self.