Emptiness, or detachment, is the practice of fasting or abstaining from various things in our life to make more time for spiritual things. Food, TV, phones, hobbies, computers…whatever… As we detach, we are making intentional effort to re-focus our mind and soul on interior development by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our efforts of emptiness must be guarded to stay righteous and not become religious and goofy. Anthony de Mello (1931-1987) wrote about a Master Abbot and disciple: “To a disciple who strained after Enlightenment till he became physically weak the Master said, “A ray of light can be grasped…but not with your hands. Enlightenment can be attained… but not by your efforts.
The puzzled disciple said, “But did you not tell me to strive to become empty? That is what I am attempting to do.”
“So now you are full of effort to be empty!” said the Master through his laughter.”
“And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Jesus