The Spacious Sky
"Develop a mind that is vast like space,
where experiences both pleasant and unpleasant
can appear and disappear without conflict, struggle or harm.
Rest in a mind like vast sky."
It has been said by many spiritual teachers (including this one), that our true nature is like a vast open sky; spacious, infinite and free. Take a moment right now and verify this for yourself: close your eyes and get a sense of yourself as sitting in an open sky. Feel the space around your body, and as you relax, listen intently to the silence arising in that space, feeling deeply into the bliss and freedom of your own spacious being within...
Pretty good, right? Unfortunately, the thoughts that arise (and the suffering and pain that go with them), are like clouds that fill this vast open sky, blocking the clear sun-light of our own Awareness. We become fixated on these clouds rather than remaining as the spacious sky. Our thoughts, emotions and desires (whether judged as good or bad by the mind) fill the sky-like awareness that we are, and 'hook' us again and again into believing that we are those clouds; that they are definitely important, in fact way more important than resting as the openness of the sky. In this way, the mind keeps us chasing after one shiny object after another, one relationship after another,
convincing us that the joy and freedom we long for can only be found 'out there' in someone or something outside us (more clouds).
Through meditation (like the one above), we can learn to dwell more and more in the ease and freedom of our own sky-like nature, without getting caught in the drama's and illusions of the clouds that are constantly passing by. Just as the sky does not reject or try to keep any cloud from passing through its vastness, we can learn to allow all of the thoughts and emotions moving through the mind and body to flow through without chasing after any of them. And if we do become 'lost' in one of the clouds passing through our awareness, we can simply close our eyes, take a spacious breath, and feel again into the open sky of our own awareness; free, joyful and ever-present; here and now.