Monday, 18 November 2013

Creating empty spaces

On Saturday the York Sangha had a Day of Mindfulness led by order member Lesley, who works as a potter and spoke about her work being creating empty spaces. This had a lot of resonance for me, in terms of the Sangha I understood it to mean that we provide an empty space for people to enter and share the silence. In this space it is easier to see and understand what the mind and, more importantly, the heart are saying.
What is it about this phrase that made my heart sing? If we are not offering an empty space what are we giving people? Our opinions, judgments and ideas, whether they ask for them or not.

In terms of my own practice we offer Sunday mornings at our house as a space for being in silence with others. Beginning at 8am with an hour's silence then meditation at 9am (for those that can't get there for 8), after a refreshment break we have 1 3/4 hours of silent space in which people 'do their own thing', yet in the feedback at the end the reflections confirm our interbeing, despite pursuing seemingly different activities (such as walking, reading, sewing, meditating etc.). The session finishes at 12.30 with an optional lunch available. The next session is next Sunday, 24th November, then December 8th and we hope to offer more frequent dates next year including a mid-week session. Do get in touch if you are interested. You can also view the website

Here are my reflections on creating empty spaces -

Creating empty spaces
begins in the mind and heart,
laying down thoughts,
concerns and anxieties
and opening up to the
spacious present moment.
Here is the empty space
that has room for possibilities
instead of certainties.
Empty of dogma, ideologies
and 'my' perspective.
Open to freshness
and another way of seeing.
Here is the empty space
that has room for acceptance.
Here is the empty space
that has room for allowing,
allowing mistakes to be made,
growth to happen.
Here is the empty space
that has room for meeting,
without anything in between.
We can leave our baggage,
our burdens and our suffering
at the door and freely enter,
opening up to the
spacious present moment.

© 18 Nov 2013

No comments:

Post a Comment