Building on my previous post I feel like it’s useful to describe the part of experience that I call spaciousness, which I think sometimes gets confused with emptiness.
It’s possible to tune in to only this part of experience in meditation, in the same way that it is possible to tune in to only energetic sensations or only love, for example.
Spaciousness on a micro level feels like the space that makes up the majority of an atom. Or the split second either side of a moment that is just before and just after a moment.
It’s like the nothing that has to be there in order for the something to exist in and grow into it.
Different to emptiness, which is an adjective and a way of describing all of how we perceive reality, spaciousness is a noun. It’s one of the building blocks of experience or life. You cannot have space without solid or solid without space.
Spaciousness interacts with all the other building blocks or parts of our experience to co-create life.
You can use each part of experience to tune in to different ways of perceiving and experiencing spaciousness:
Body – imagine you can feel all the atoms that build our physical reality and then feel into the sense of just the space that is in those atoms.
Soul – notice how everything is continually falling into the unknown each moment. It has a felt sense of opportunity – noticing the space that the next part of the story is going to unfold into.
Heart – imagine opening your heart so widely that it reaches the edge of the Universe and that it has enough space in it to hold everything that is happening.
Mind – tune into awareness and play with how we perceive spaciousness – look at it through different lenses to see that it is not a fixed idea that we can comprehend.
Environment – tune in to the environment or space you are in and notice how life is creating itself inside of itself in every moment.
Doing these practices is a lot easier if we are in a pleasant space, both physically, mentally and emotionally. This can come from consciously creating an environment that feels pleasant and also from doing some gratitude practice to ensure we feel open and connected with the space we are in.
As well as using these aspects of experience as a foundation for tuning in to space, we can also use spaciousness as a foundation to tune in to the other aspects of experience. To do it this way around we use allowing as a concentration object.
So for example with the body, we are accessing our direct sensate experience and concentrating on allowing the body to do and be whatever it wants. With the soul we are accessing our emotions and stories, perhaps through imaginal practice, and allowing things to show themselves to us. With the heart we are creating space for us to feel how we feel, and with the mind we are allowing ourselves to think whatever we think. The purpose is to concentrate on allowing and making space for anything that comes up.
Spaciousness is really the key to a lot of awakening. The more space we can access for things to naturally express themselves, the less contraction we have.
We can create this space on our own in our practice, but we can also hold it for each other. Being in a safe, loving, held space is the fast-track to opening to new parts of our experience and awakening.
If you want to know more about the different elements of experience and how they interact – you can read this blog post.