• megna paula

Space, time, and Scheduling presence

Space and time often affect us in the same way— vast expanses of either can inspire, within us, a feeling of smallness, emptiness, insignificance or insecurity. Closing in space, with four walls, and closing in time, with schedules, gives us a sense of safety, of command, and with those certainties we are able to do what we do: work, consume, create.

Once in a while we step away from our places of comfort and realize, anew, the vastness of space and time. We realize how our thinking, and our doings, fill the void that is always there.

That is the game of meditation, of yoga: to realize that our body-mind actions fill space, then to become skillful in the way we act to fill that space, and eventually to become at ease with being quiet/still and comfortable in the vastness that is always here.

Learning to be comfortable with empty space/time, rather than rushing to fill the day/mind with events/thoughts, allows awareness of the perceptions that arise from within us: the cravings, the longings, the desires. We notice that our expanse of space time can give a sense of “lack”, of “need”, and that our minds are highly creative in coming up with ways and things to fill the emptiness.

Some longings, cravings are simple, surface desires. Others well up from a place deep within, hidden from our normal awareness, and these are the desires that surface again and again, in different ways and from different angles, yet from the same source.

There are other longings that we have become so accustomed to that we recognize them only when they are filled. This is the most wonderful sensation, to receive what we didn’t realize was missing in life.

How is it possible for us to not know what is deep within us? Because the surfaces of our lives are so rich. This is the world we create for ourselves within the stillnesses of our homes, our cities, where nature is reduced to weather and we can focus on the intricacies of human life: our health, careers, families, the economy. Our sense of scale becomes small and visual: we see how much stuff we have, how many things need to be done. Our sense of center reaches outwards and takes much time to draw back inwards, where we can see/sense ourselves with clarity.

It is because that process, the drawing our awareness back to center, takes time, that we do not do it. We feel a press of not enough, of lack, of space/time to do the deeper work, because we create measurements for our convenience. Mediation takes ten minutes; yoga takes sixty minutes; all these illusions that hold us back from exploring.

When we measure space or time, we can never have enough of it, we always want more. We get caught up in the importance of our tasks, of space/time as something to possess/consume, and we place it on a scale. This is normal, we all do it.

What if we didn’t? What if we let go of the importance of our tasks, sometimes, and allow time to travel us? We can learn to rest in the reality of the immeasurable. We can sense the freedom of not owning time, of not controlling space, and be entirely present with the sensations of simply being alive, and breathing.

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