Recently in my yoga practice, I have become fascinated with the breathless space between the inhale and the exhale and between the exhale and the inhale. It is nothing. It is empty. I find this state to be amazing because it seems so incredibly peaceful to me that there is nothing to do but be present to what is. I feel so much possibility when things are empty- there are no expectations, no concerns, etc…I have also become aware of the space in my yoga practice. You know when you find that place of total stillness even for a brief second in a standing, balancing pose. It is like nothing- no thought, no movement! When the body is still, the mind is still. During those times, I feel that I am in touch with everyone and everything around me- there is no me but a universal feeling of being. It is in that emptiness that everything seems possible.
Victor Frankel said that it is in the space between the stimulus and the response where freedom lies. Because it is in that space that we have the freedom to choose to react or not. Anything and everything is possible in the space, in the void.
The funny thing is that most of us dislike being in the space/silence because then we have to deal with our thoughts and those can be pretty crazy and even scary. I admit that I sometimes avoid the silence too. It is much easier to keep going, working and doing to feel productive, effective and good enough. But just being, well that is a different story. We avoid being with our thoughts by drowning out our lives in tv, radio, ipods, computers, etc… If we can just start to be with ourselves in the silence of our breath for just five minutes a day, what could be possible? I did this for over a year and I have to say that it change my life. I know that sounds dramatic but it did. By practicing just being and witnessing my thoughts, I learned to be okay with what was; there was nothing to do but breathe. It was amazing because I just started witnessing my thoughts more and more and then I had the awareness that it was just a thought. I completely accepted that it was a thought AND I did not have to do anything about it. Because reacting became a choice for me, I had found the “freedom” that Victor Frankel was speaking about.
If you want to explore this for yourself, I invite you to do this for one month straight, every day. Set an alarm and just be present to your breath for 5-10 minutes a day in silence. When the thoughts come in, just notice them and come back to your breath. Osho describes the thoughts as clouds and you as the sky. The sky remains constant as the clouds (thoughts) drift in and out.
What is life like when we can discipline ourselves to be in silence, in nothingness for 5-10 minutes a day…and find the SPACE!