“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” -Rumi
Today I had the gracious good fortune to learn about the mysteries of the inner world from Sally Kempton, a master teacher of meditation who has been practicing for over forty years and is a former swami. In our interview when I was asking her to describe what happens when you point your Awareness on the spaces between thoughts and even the space between our breath, she said simply: “Love is spaciousness.”
Meditation is how we come to know ourselves. It is the vehicle for our primary relationship in life – to ourselves. Just as all relationships require patience, commitment and willingness to deal with uncertainty and change, embarking on the journey to our own heart is both the recognition of and surrender to the deepest love story that exists. Cultivating spaciousness in the heart brings us into full presence.
Developing Awareness, is as simple as refocusing our sensory abilities inside. Turning our gaze inward and refocusing our listening to the quiet inside of us gives new meaning to the human capacity to sense. It is this inward paying attention that both gives access and creates the meditative state. We don’t have to search for this state, which is sometimes called the awakened heart, because it is who we are underneath all of our identity. Sally’s new book Meditation for the Love of It speaks to me directly as I have been falling in love with both the practice and the process of living my life from the inside out.
One of the biggest challenges and greatest freedoms meditation has offered me is a new understanding of surrender. Part of our human dilemma is trying to bend life to our will, whether it be in the outcome of our goals or relationships. In fact it is precisely in developing this discernment of knowing where we can act, where we should wait, and when to let go of the outcome that meditation so deeply informs. This is a doorway to living peacefully: knowing what is not ours to hold, giving up our false sense of control is a powerful path that brings spaciousness to our heart. It is a gentle place that is always waiting for us. It feels like love.
Most of my meditation practice I have learned through the gentle voice of a variety of teachers and guides. We are living in a time when the quality and quantity of spiritual teachers makes this path accessible to everyone. Even though I know the words to most of my meditations by heart, in the listening I am much more able to remain present with their companionship. This makes sense to me now as Sally explained how our teachers offer us a transmission of love when they guide us towards our aspirations. Regardless of the skill we are developing, we all improve best under the embrace of loving attention.
Living from your center offers a spaciousness that is a home for love.