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Empty the Boat

This thought came from the book Dhammapada – teachings of Buddha. As a part of my new year’s resolution I have promised to work on my patience by building more compassion. My brother recommended I review Dhammapada as who else can teach us compassion and patience like Buddha! The book has various chapters on verses and each chapter has introduction by Eknath Easwaran (an author introduced to me by my coach Marian Baker – another blessing).

The thought “Empty the boat” implies getting rid of possessions. Possessions can be both material and mental. It’s easier to get rid of material possessions – buying less and giving away more. Though that too may be hard for some people. I like to keep the Japanese philosophy in mind – Just in time (JIT) to get things when you actually need them. Its counter philosophy is “Just in case”. I hold on to something just in case I may need it. Funnily most times this does not work as we forget where we have kept all the things! Let’s empty your boat of material possessions.

It’s harder to get rid of mental possessions – anger, irritation, greed, lust, fear, impatience and even restlessness. Interestingly, once we give up either of the possessions, there is a sense of calm. I have to be careful though as I give up material possessions, it does not end up as ‘mental’ possession – example I am so nice that I donated $x to this cause and it ends up being the ego possession. Suddenly my boat is fuller than before!

Empty the boat is more of an inner state. An inner craving to live with just what we really need materially and spiritually. Letting go and emptying possessions is relieving.

What’s on your boat that you would like to empty out?

Empty the boat

And let it float


Enjoying the waves

And the rhythms

Empty the boat

Of material things


The calmness of


Empty the boat

And let go

Of fear

Of anger

Of greed

Empty the boat

And make space




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