Some have asked me what it was like to totally awaken to emptiness.
Rather than describe it, I'd rather share a metaphor.
Imagine being on a mountain in the middle of a desert on a cool spring night with no moon. You look upwards into the black, empty space, seeing countless stars, nebulae, and the Milky Way. Your breath is taken away by the vastness of space!
Then imagine the ground falls out from under you, yet you stay in one place, not falling. You look down, but no matter how hard you look, you can see nothing, just unending emptiness.
Your breath is taken again for now you are suspended alone in absolute infinite space in all directions, and momentarily you are gripped by fear, for there is no one but you, all alone.
Then you are aware that no thinking is taking place. The shock of being suspended in infinite space continues to leave you breathless, as if there were no atmosphere to support your life, and you do not need to breath. If you look within, instead of thoughts, images, self-talk, there is nothing--just empty space, absolute quiet, and no one to observe all this, yet observation is happening. There is no I within, no person, no self.
You are the vast, empty space that permeates all things, unbounded, no subject, no object, just the world, your body, and your mind permeated by emptiness. In it, all forms are empty, and emptiness is and contains all forms.
This is what the first awakening is like, awakening to emptiness, and it is what the neo-Advaitins try to describe as the totality of awakening, but which they themselves hardly ever experience. For most it is just an understanding.