A Mindful Awareness Practice
Bringing Clarity of Choice and Purpose to Your Life
~~Zacciah Blackburn, PhD
Clear space is meditative mindful practice that can clear our awareness of stressful chaos, bring us to a state of clarity that allows for clear discernment, clearer choices in our daily lives, and connect us to a more complete sense of Self, of purpose, of the spaciousness of the Cosmos, and the Rhythm of Life from which all life emerges.
It is a place to take refuge from the shadow of self-absorption, worldly chaos, or the confusion that we may find our-selves residing in, or our lives too often revolving around. Deep beneath those seeming principles, lays an inherent goodness that we can realize, simply by resting in clear space. By doing so, all else drops away.
Clear space is a heart-felt awareness based in the spaciousness that resides as the fundamental essence of all life. Modern science tells us that from the micro-cosmic sub-atomic worlds, to the macro-cosmic universe, all life is composed of approximately 99.9999999999999999999958% empty space (amount of matter in space, ref: http://science.howstuffworks.com.) Paradoxically, there is more energy in that space than in all of matter.
The ancient wisdom schools tell us that spaciousness, emptiness, or clarity all hold the potential for greater realization and growth. It is the place from which life is born. This, also, may seem paradoxical, but there is that energy in space, from which life arises. The Hindus might call it Akash, the sub-stratum of all life. The Tibetans, Prajnaparamitra, that which is beyond all thought, concept or construct, from which life emerges.
By placing our awareness in clear space, in the heart, we can let go the illusions and binds that suffer us, the stress, chaos and confusion that distort our perception, and abide in a place of clear wisdom and intent. From this place, clear view of life choices and life purpose may arise. And, this provides the benefit of witnessing our inherent nature of goodness, which resides in each of us, and in all things.
We gain benefit, spacious clarity, and a sense of uniform belonging, as we connect to the greater Heart, through the clarity of our own heart, and this inherent goodness in all.
It is a simple process and practice.
Find time to come to a restful state. Simply allow your awareness to settle into the breath. Notice what is outside of you, what is around you, but slowly let your awareness settle into the rhythmical rising and falling of the breath, and your states of awareness within. You do not need to try to slow the breath down. Just settle into an intent of watching the breath rise and fall, from a restful state. There is no expectation, just simple awareness. Rest here awhile, watching your temperament, and thoughts, rise and fall from within, as well. Without judgment, just watch your thoughts and feelings arise and fall away, simply witnessing them. Without attachment to outcome of those thoughts or feelings, as they rise and pass through your awareness, let them go, simply drawing the awareness back to the breath, in a restful state. In a little while, we can use this time to review and reflect on life situations and better choices and outcomes.
At some point, let the awareness drop into the heart center (chakra,) deep in the center of the chest, still letting the breath rise and fall from a restful state. If it is difficult to draw awareness into the heart, simply imagine that the breath is rising and falling directly from the heart.
From this state, imagine you are breathing out into a vast and empty space around you (as if resting by the ocean, beneath a great field of stars at night, or similar spacious environ,) and breathing back in from this place of spaciousness, or empty space.
Continue this practice for some time. If the mind wanders, simply bring it back to the practice.
Breathe into empty space from a place of restful awareness in the heart, and breathe back in from that empty space. Any thoughts or feelings which arise, still, simply witness them, then, let them fall away into the empty spaciousness. Always bring your awareness back to these felt senses of spaciousness.
From that place of empty spaciousness, centered in the heart, allow your awareness to notice if there is now clarity within it. If the clarity does not exist, continue the practice for a while longer. And, occasionally, simply check in, to see if a sense of clarity exists within the heart space. Once you sense it, rest in that clarity, noticing how it feels emanating from within, and around, the heart space.
Slowly, draw to you, no more than one at a time, a life situation that could use your clear awareness, or clear choices. Simply draw it into your clear heart awareness, and witness it. You do not need to do anything about it. Just witness.
But, if there is a burning question, (what should I do about this life situation, this choice, this relationship, this work opportunity, my children, etc?), allow the question to arise from within the space of clear awareness in the heart, then, let it go. Rest here, and allow the answer to arise from within your own place of clear wisdom in the heart. Trust that this space shall arise.
It can take some time to create a sense of trust in clear discernment to such life questions. But, with simple and ongoing practice, that discernment and trust shall arise. And it can be a focal point for your own inner truth and choices to arise from.
You can review more than one life situation during the practice, but it is suggested to take it slow, and not over tax the system, until you can easily rest in this practice, and trust the discernment and response which does arise.
If you need more time to develop awareness in any stage of this practice, simply return to that stage, and allow your awareness to build before continuing to the next stage.
We wish you great joy and satisfaction in your life pursuits.
And, we pray this commentary and practice may assist you in such abiding.
Zacciah and those who accompany him.