The first question:
Is this really all there is? My life seems so meaningless and empty. I keep thinking there must be something more. I want there to be something more.
There is infinitely more, but your wanting it is a barrier in reaching to it. Desiring is like a wall that surrounds you; non-desiring becomes a door. This is one of the most paradoxical but very fundamental laws of life: desire and you will miss, don’t desire and it is yours.
Jesus says: Seek and ye shall find. Buddha says: Seek ye not; otherwise you will miss. Jesus says: Ask and it shall be given to you. Buddha says: Ask not; otherwise it will never be given to you. Jesus says: Knock and the doors shall be opened. Buddha says: Wait…look…the doors are not closed at all. If you knock, your very knocking shows that you are knocking somewhere else – on the wall – because the doors are always open.
Jesus is as much enlightened as Buddha – because there is no question of being more enlightened or less enlightened. But then why this difference?
The difference comes from the people to whom Jesus is speaking. He is speaking to people who are uninitiated, uninitiated into the mysteries of life. Buddha is speaking to a totally different kind of group, the initiates, the adepts, those who can understand the paradoxical. The paradoxical means the mysterious.
Barkha, you say, “My life seems so meaningless and empty….”
It seems so meaningless and empty because you are constantly hankering for more. Drop that hankering, and then you will go through a radical transformation. The emptiness disappears immediately as you stop asking for the more. The emptiness is a by-product of asking for more. It is a shadow that follows the desire for more. Let the desire disappear and look back: there is no shadow anymore.
Asking for more is what our mind is – constantly asking for more. It makes no difference how much you have, it will go on asking for more. And because it goes on asking for more you go on feeling you are empty, you are missing so much. See the point: the emptiness is created by asking for more. The emptiness is not there, it is a fallacy, but it will look very real when you are caught in the net of desiring.