Learning to create a space between us and our thoughts, feelings and physical sensations during sitting meditation is an incredibly liberating experience. Not only does it help prevent us from falling into unwanted habits, but it also enables us to communicate from a deeper, warmer place or ‘heart centre’. This is a place where faith and mindfulness can merge.
Imagine, for instance, sitting with Jesus and cooking fish on a charcoal fire by the lake shore. You hear his words: “Come to me, you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest”. You share your pain with him without judging it, you experience his gentle and humble heart, and you find rest for your soul. Your body feels lighter, your mind becomes spacious and you view your experience more compassionately.
In her poem ‘Spacious’, Kaveri Patel also speaks of experiencing pain and anguish: “Your mind spinning like fan blades at high speed, each moment always a blur because you’re never still”. She talks about our fear of missing out on ‘important’ things if we close our eyes. But she suggests that if we do pay attention to what’s going on inside, our minds will become free. We can befriend our experience like a “flock of thoughts flying across the sunrise”.
I ponder that a mindful spaciousness is in fact a touch of the divine. For it gets us in touch with our compassionate observer that is understanding and wise and always wants the best for us. We then believe in our inner strength and ability to flourish. We reach out to people and want to embrace the world.
Listen to Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield’s ‘A mind like sky meditation’ to experience a sense of spaciousness using the sound of bells.