In Are You Afraid of Stillness and Space? Part 1, Sandra Pawula suggests nourishing yourself with space. She explains how space is a vital element that brings balance into our lives, helping to keep stress, distress, and illness at bay.
In Are You Afraid of Stillness and Space? Part 2 Sandra’s advice is to slowly break free of our driving need to do and to accomplish and begin nurturing ourselves with small, less threatening doses of space.
I awoke to heavy rain this morning and I began my day as always in stillness. As I sat on my deck and simply listened to the rain pelting down I settled into calmness. I contemplated the balance required to appreciate both stillness and activity in my life.
I view managing activity and stillness as a delicate balancing act essential to my well-being. Without activity I cannot appreciate stillness. Without stillness I cannot appreciate activity. Without entering spaciousness through meditation I cannot experience serenity and peace.
As I sat in stillness exploring spaciousness and what an important role it plays in all aspects of my life, three favorite readings on spaciousness came to mind.
Reflecting on spaciousness
“To experience your own spaciousness is to recognize the true nature of your soul, a felt sense that has nothing to do with personal history, ideas, behavior, or accomplishments. It is always there but easily ignored. It is tangible and powerful yet difficult to focus on and even harder to describe… With time and awareness it becomes possible to accept and appreciate the experience of spaciousness in your head, your body, or your sense of who you are. This opens the way for the sense of barren or frightening emptiness to become the experience of open space. When you stop looking for something to fill the space, you can begin to…feel and embrace your own spacious nature.” — Byron Brown in Soul Without Shame
Thought cannot conceive or formulate to itself the nature of space. Whatever it formulates has within it the limitation of its own boundaries. This is not the space which meditation comes upon. Thought has always a horizon. The meditative mind has no horizon. The mind cannot go from the limited to the immense, nor can it transform the limited into the limitless. The one has to cease for the other to be.
Meditation is opening the door into spaciousness which cannot be imagined or speculated upon. Thought is the center round which there is the space of idea, and this space can be expanded by further ideas. But such expansion through stimulation in any form is not the spaciousness in which there is no center. Meditation is the understanding of this center and so going beyond it.
Silence and spaciousness go together. The immensity of silence is the immensity of the mind in which a center does not exist. The perception of this space and silence is not of thought. Thought can perceive only its own projection, and the recognition of it is its own frontier. — J. Krishnamurti in The Only Revolution
This inner ‘Stillness ~ Silence ~ Spaciousness’ of mind enabled by a mindful-awareness, is the natural state of our mind uncluttered from the flow of mental chatter, images, ideas, and constant commentary. When we become too removed from the inner true nature of the minds ‘Stillness ~ Silence ~ Spaciousness’, we can begin to lose balance, harmony, peace and well-being in our life; we are susceptible to more stress, distress, angst, and illness. A mindful-awareness practiced and cultivated as meditation enables us to sustain greater ‘Stillness ~ Silence ~ Spaciousness’ as a resource for greater personal health, professional performance, and actualisation of our full human potential. — Mindfulness and Meditation by John Barter
I begin and end each day in silence as it’s medicine for the soul. This is my long-standing practice. For decades I have sought silence several times every day to experience the spaciousness and peace in meditation. What Sandra’s articles alerted me to is that at some point in January I gradually stopped taking my meditation break during the working day. I’m so grateful that I read her articles and identified what has been missing from my life lately.
Spaciousness provides me with the feeling of sufficient time and space to be in before speaking or acting. I no longer feel we the urgency to fill the silent spaces in a conversation. I notice that when I don’t speak to fill the silent space, I am more deeply aware of the moment, my environment and my companions. Spaciousness provides the time I need to consider the value and timeliness of anything I may feel prompted to say. When I do speak, my words are much more likely to be compassionate and connected.
Serenity – Meditation Music
Meditation is a powerful tool to train the mind. Meditation practice is time to rest and experience the natural calm spaciousness and peace in the mind.
Are you relentlessly busy from morning until night?
Do you acknowledge your need for time to be still and silent and honor it?
Do you make time each day to experience spaciousness and peace?
If so, then how does letting go of the effects of activity and finding some peace affect the rest of your life?
If not, then have you considered creating a space for meditation in your life and bringing activity and stillness into balance?
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Being yourself: The stillness of pure consciousness