Sensing here and now
When we open our eyes, awake to the world, what do we see, what do we sense?
We see the things around us: their edges, their stillness. Even plants, which are alive, we see as still points of color, shape. What we sense is different from what we see: we sense the energy of a space, whether the energy is fluid and in movement, or whether it is stagnant, stale. We sense the beauty of a space not just by the things we see but by the energy that animates the stillness.
Shifting our attention away from things and towards the visible emptiness of space is a sensory awakening. Our sense of feeling is heightened.
Emptiness often inspires longing, the desire to fill that a emptiness, especially when we are attuned to seeing things. When we are sensitive to energy, to the way that emptiness can be brimming with energy, then space inspires us to act.
How we act determines our quality of life. How we perceive the world determines the quality of our actions.
When we focus on what we see, the things that fill space, then our minds are naturally drawn outwards, towards the objects of our perception. Our screens, our housework, our reflections in the mirror. We become busy with “doings”, the actions that require work. This is normal, this is what everyone does.
Some of us are more sensitive to space, to energy, the potential that is as-yet unexpressed. We perceive space as a differential between what is not here now and what could be in the future. These imaginings are the stuff of creative work, of dreams. When we add the fire of effort, then we have ambition, the drive to make what could be, working for what is not-yet based on what is not-here. But when we are dreamers and also unrooted, unfired, then we are stuck in the realm of visionaries, and of the insanity of wanting what isn’t here.
There is another way of doing, that does not relegate us to normal busy-ness, or the less normal dreamer. When we are sensitive to space and energy, and we are centered in our body-mind and purpose, then we have a state of ease, a moving repose. Receptive to the energy current, we can marvel at what is, act effortlessly in the flow state, and dissolve into the feeling of unity. This is the best of artists.
How do we do that? How do we find our center while staying sensitive to the space around us? That is the ability that allows us to go from being imaginative to receptive, from working to receiving, empowering latent energy to become kinetic.
This requires presence; the opposite of being impatient/dreading the future, of running from/ hanging onto the past. When we are patient and unattached to the past and future, we feel the inevitability of time, that the past naturally creates the present naturally creates the future. We can structure our days and hours without being hooked on the scheduling, the structure, the habits of our daily lives.
With this perceptual flexibility of time, and the sensitivity to the space around us, we can feel both here and now. It is both a particular moment and an infinite stretch: the present moment is timeless, unbounded. And that is the starting point of not just sanity but also freedom from normal busy-ness: to sense just what is here, and now.