We all know that feeling when the bubble bursts. That sinking sensation in our stomachs when we realize it hasn’t worked out how we’d planned. That moment when we realize a relationship is over. That instant when it becomes clear we’ve missed the boat on a dream that will never happen, or the moment we recognize that death is near and our time together is short.
We live in a world where we often pretend not to know that everything is impermanent, that all things are guaranteed to end and that every bubble will eventually burst. And so we’re shocked when the golden couple announce their separation, when the economy crumbles or when our lives fall apart.
When we experience loss or suffering, we’re often viewing it through a belief system that sees such events as unfortunate or regrettable. As a result we miss the other side of loss and the beauty of what remains when the bubble bursts. When we’re so busy paying attention to objects – people, places, things, thoughts and feelings – we don’t notice the empty space in which they show up in. When we’re so conditioned to focus on the words and the music, we don’t hear the silence in which they happen.
This empty space and silence matters because it is here where peace can be found. Living in a very rural setting during a year long meditation retreat in South America helped me notice the no-thing that I had previously ignored in favour of a some-thing. And certainly the agony of being trapped in the noise of my thoughts all day long, made learning how to shift attention away from the thinking mind and into this open spaciousness an absolute necessity.
The more we realize that the painful thoughts we’re believing aren’t actually true, the less we get pulled into the drama in our heads. Gradually we begin to get a felt sense of the precious silence that exists all around us. Life loses its heaviness and seriousness. We realize it’s all a divine play. Here now. Gone tomorrow. Why not enjoy the roles we’re given, no matter what they look like right in this moment.
Photo by Richard Stephens