Mindful Gaps

Can you find it? A space between your thoughts? I sometimes bump up against this space. Often it will skitter away like a fallen leaf caught in a gentle breeze on an autumn afternoon.

 

Unknowing, I first looked for a space between my thoughts at the urging of a friend. “You should meditate,” they said. “It’s a good way to calm yourself and get centered.” At the time I thought, “Centered?”  

I could use calm. I wasn’t so sure about being centered.

 

My formal introduction to meditation came in the form of chanting “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” as part of my exploration of Buddhism. I moved on and have taken bits and pieces of different religious teachings and infused them to find the elusive “good way to calm yourself and get centered.”

I’ve stayed with meditation longer than any other method to get and stay centered.

So I thought I would share this with you. Why?

Because we are here to share our gifts and this may be of benefit…to someone.

 

I find meditating rewarding.

Over the years, I’ve continually come back to meditating because I know I am better because of it.

Both calm and groundedness have taken residence in my life.

And I like the effects.

I don’t fret about the little stuff. People don’t aggravate me, work my nerves, or make me want to ask am I the only sane person here – as much anymore. The benefits have loosened my jaw and furrowed brow.

 

Yet meditating is not easy.

It is not a natural practice for many of us.

It is a learned practice that has good days and better days. I had a turning point a while back listening to a Deepak mediation.

The suggestion was gentle – as he tends to be - and invited me to go to the space between thoughts. I immediately dropped in.

It felt like I landed on the softest cloud in the universe.

Actually, I felt like I was suspended in space.

A gentle smile broadened across my face and I began looking for more spaces between thoughts. These spaces felt like a deep well of peace, calm and never-ending…until another thought came.

 

The meditation struggle is common and I had the same reasons for not meditating as most of us have–

  • How do I stop my brain from thinking long enough to get centered?
  • I’ve got too much on my mind to focus on meditating.
  • I get frustrated when I meditate so I just stop.
  • There’s nothing calming about trying to stop thinking when all I can think about is stopping my brain from thinking!

So you want to stop the brain from thinking?

Good luck!

That’s like saying I’m going to stop my heart from beating or my lungs from breathing.

If we are conscious we will think.

That’s what the brain does.
It thinks.
About the past.
About the future.
What you forgot to do and what you might forget to do.
The thinking goes on and on…

Listen to your thinking.

It will be thoughts about the past -
What you did, said or wished you had said, saw or didn’t get a chance to do.
And about the future –
What I will do, want to do, wish I could do when I see her or him after I stop at the store which I should have done yesterday.

Yet what the brain cannot do is think in the present moment.

Try it.

What about now? In this moment?

What happens in the moment without thoughts are feelings, intuition, gut responses, reflexes.

 

In that space between thoughts is the place of meditation.

The awareness of breath. The peace of being centered. Resting in existence.

 

So let your brain think – it will anyway.

 

As you notice it thinking notice the space between your thoughts. Spend time in the space. Linger there. Let it expand. Breathe into it.

 

I guarantee, when you experience the space between your thoughts you will want to go back for another visit, and then another, and another…

 

Tell me...
Do you meditate?
What works for you?