This week’s blog is an excerpt from The Space Within.
When I first began learning about the Three Principles, I threw myself into the field with my usual ‘kitchen sink’ abandon, reading every book multiple times, listening to every audio I could get my hands on, going on every course, and peppering practitioners with questions at every opportunity.
Less than a year after recognizing the fact that we live in the feeling of our thinking, not the feeling of our circumstances, I was quieter in my mind than I’d ever been. For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel broken. I recognized that the only thing between me and my wellbeing was a thought, and that I didn’t even have to control my thinking – I could simply let it settle and my mind would return to a relatively quiet and peaceful place all by itself.
So when one of my teachers suggested that there were deeper levels to this understanding, I was genuinely puzzled. It was such a relief to finally be ‘fixed’ that I couldn’t imagine what could be gained by continuing to look in this direction.
But after taking some time off from all that studying, I became intrigued by the idea that there might be something beyond the levels of wellbeing that I felt I’d already discovered, and I returned to the conversation.
This time, I didn’t really know what I was looking for, so I read and watched and listened with less vigor and intention than before. Because I was more relaxed and had less on my mind, I was able to see and hear things that had eluded me the first time around.
To my own surprise, I began to spend more and more of my time in the world of deeper feeling that I’ve been describing throughout our time together. This meditative place inside me seemed to fit the description of what some Eastern religions call ‘the unconditioned mind,’ and I began to experience a level of connection and insight that led me to begin describing it as ‘the space where miracles happen.’
Better still, the more time I spent in that space, the more my family, friends, and people around me seemed to spend in it too. It was as if the space itself had a resonance that drew people into it like a gravitational field. But when people asked me to explain this ‘second order’ change, I struggled.
I couldn’t identify what was different between ‘just’ getting quieter and this deeper sense of peace, clarity, and wellbeing.
As I’ve continued to look in this direction over the past number of years, I’ve become clearer and clearer that the difference that makes the difference in the quality of our life and the level of our effectiveness in the world is less to do with having a quiet mind than with what shows up in that space of quiet.
Or to put it another way:
There is a world of difference between experiencing an absence of thought and the presence of Mind.
When I allow myself to go beyond the relief of a quiet mind and rest in the mystery and presence of a larger divine Mind, it feels like coming home. The world begins to make sense again, my love for and faith in humanity grow, and I get to experience a level of peace in the midst of the chaos that allows me to embrace the richness of life in a way that the younger me who ‘just wanted to be happy’ could never have imagined.
This peace is, as best as I can tell, our birthright as human beings. And the kindness of the design is that all we ever need to do to claim it is to look in this direction and to see it for ourselves.
With all my love,