In association with hhdlstudycirclemontreal.org

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from ServiceSpace.org
Pay Attention To A Sense Of Space
by Rob Burbea

[Listen to Audio!]

2469.jpgWhenever there is any grasping or aversion towards something, indeed whenever any hindrances are present, the mind is, to some degree or other, in a contracted state. It has, so to speak, been sucked in to some perception, some object of consciousness, has shrunk and tightened around it. Generally we experience this contraction in the mind as an unpleasant state of suffering. We can notice this contraction, this constriction of the mental space, in relation to both internal and external phenomena. It will be evident, for instance, with regard to some unpleasant sensation in the body, like tiredness, or a difficult emotion, such as fear. And we may also detect it sometimes in social situations, if a certain relationship is charged.

The clinging mind contracts around some experience, and then, because the mind space is shrunken, the object of that grasping or aversion takes up proportionately more of the space in the mind. It thus seems somehow larger, and also more solid – its size and seeming solidity both corresponding to the degree of contraction in the mind. With the object appearing then bigger and more solid, and the experience of contraction being painful to some degree, the mind without insight in that moment will usually react unskilfully. It will unconsciously try to escape the situation by increasing the grasping or aversion, in a way that only keeps it stuck or even makes things worse. For unfortunately this further grasping keeps the mind space contracted, or contracts it even more. This makes the issue, the perception, still larger and more solid, setting up a vicious circle in which the mind is trapped.

5veLOCrYepbaGFUHLtgDer-XY8WwZIT30zQQ2UcgSySS43ogVt3SY_tveFV9gJEIx9pFful9suiJ8NSNmFGFCZrFvQ8PN-st4rIfvT-LGwnpia90Hc0s98rVxNyBjDl2IIxpdhXs It can be very helpful, when the awareness is unwisely sucked in in this way, to pay attention deliberately to a sense of space. This can be done in a number of ways: by opening the awareness to the totality of sounds that are coming and going; by opening up the field of vision; by intentionally noticing the space around and between objects, and the space in any room or situation. Noticing space opens up the perception, and can begin to dissolve the vicious circle. Even attention to external physical space can help to open and ease the constriction of the mind, and can create a sense of space around an internal experience such as bodily discomfort or a difficult emotion.

Space is not emptiness, and emptiness is not a space of any kind. Rather, our investigation here is simply into how the mind gives solidity to experience and fabricates sufferings through the very ways we relate to, see, and conceive of things. We gradually learn to untangle the tangle of suffering. And again, like all deliberate shifts in the way of looking, the more we do it, the more accessible it becomes. The more we practice inclining the mind to notice space, the easier it becomes to actually open up some space in the perception and experience some relief.

About the Author: Rob Burbea (1965-2020) was a medication teacher and author. Excerpt above from the book ‘Seeing That Frees‘.

Share the Wisdom:
Email Twitter FaceBook
Latest Community Insights New!
Pay Attention To A Sense Of Space
How do you relate to the notion that the object of grasping takes up space proportional to the level of grasping? Can you share a personal story of a time your noticing space opened up perception and helped you dissolve the vicious cycle of false solidity? What helps you incline the mind to notice space?
+Jagdish+P+Dave wrote: Freedom from grasping or averting our desire is a challenge for all of us. We all have desires. There is nothing wrong in having desires.How do we relate to our desires determines our well-being. Un…
David Doane wrote: I agree that the object of grasping takes up space in the mind proportional to the level of intensity of the grasping. I learned that the object of grasping is never as important or solid as I think …
Share/Read Your Reflections
Awakin Circles:
Many years ago, a couple friends got together to sit in silence for an hour, and share personal aha-moments. That birthed this newsletter, and rippled out as Awakin Circles in 80+ living rooms around the globe. To join in Santa Clara this week, RSVP online.

RSVP For Wednesday

Some Good News

• What Fear Can Teach Us
• The Age of Stolen Salt
• Seeing Truth in van Gogh

Video of the Week

• Down By the Riverside – Playing for Change

Kindness Stories

Global call with Chloe Zelkha!
620.jpgJoin us for a conference call this Saturday, with a global group of ServiceSpace friends and our insightful guest speaker. Join the Forest Call >>

About
Back in 1997, one person started sending this simple “meditation reminder” to a few friends. Soon after, “Wednesdays” started, ServiceSpace blossomed, and the humble experiments of service took a life of its own. If you’d like to start an Awakin gathering in your area, we’d be happy to help you get started.

Forward to a Friend

Awakin Weekly delivers weekly inspiration to its 62,395 subscribers. We never spam or host any advertising. And you can unsubscribe anytime, within seconds.

On our website, you can view 17+ year archive of these readings. For broader context, visit our umbrella organization: ServiceSpace.org.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: