Jo Adell wrote:
I do not do "new age". I practice Buddhist Meditation in the theravada tradition which has been passed on in an unbroken lineage for over 2,000 years. I have been to many intensive meditation retreats in the past 16 years, taught by teachers who can trace their lineage back for hundreds of years. Nowhere in ANy meditation tradition i have been exposed to have i been instructed to Empty the mind. I have only been instructed to be aware that i Have a mind and that i cannot control what goes on in the mind but i Can control my reaction to it.
to add to what Jo is saying...
and of course that is a different and older tradition than Zen buddhism where at least some talk in the Japanese form of this tradition discusses "emptying the mind". What I understand about it is the translation into English has lost some meaning and it's not the image of an empty vessel.
Also O-sensei was not a fan of Zen buddhism.
and then there is very similar traditions of meditation in the desert Fathers and other eastern Christian mystics that many modern western Christians seem to be fairly ignorant of. That's not about meditating on Bible verse as a protestant might talk about, but an old tradition involving chanting or sitting in silence (focusing on the Jesus prayer or Jesus name) to reach a transcendant state of being.
"There are three kinds of silence. Silence from words is good, because inordinate speaking tends to evil. Silence, or rest from desires and passions is still better, because it promotes quietness of spirit. But the best of all is silence from unnecessary and wandering thoughts, because that is essential to internal recollection, and because it lays a foundation for a proper reputation and for silence in other respects."
-- Madam Guyon, [1648-1717], French Christian Mystic