Awareness Before Seeing
Douglas Harding, a British philosopher invented simple, direct access experiments using the senses. These hacks have become known as ‘the headless way’.
Public Face / Private Space
We regularly talk about our public face, but when and how do we talk about what we really experience, from the inside out – our spacious view out.
In the moment of noticing the spacious view, you have found the real you.
Can you see your own face?
- Can you see your own face? (without a mirror)
- Have a look and sense the space where we imagine our face to be.
- You may see a shadow of a nose in a big wide open space.
- Relax back and notice the big wide open space, where your head should be.
- Notice the outer expanses of the space in all directions. Where is the visual edge of experience?
- Visually, from our inside view it’s difficult to notice where the sense that ‘I exist’ ends and the world begins.
- This ‘private space’ is neutral. Have a look.
- It’s like a parallel space that’s always here. Even with thoughts and emotions this neutral private space is there.
- And we are there! It’s not like a dead space, because we are there, noticing it. We seem to be the space and noticing it at the same time. Have a look.
- Put your arms out forward, where you can see them
- Slowly, slowly bring your hands back, behind the head
- Notice how this brings focus to the private aware space – as your hands start to disappear into the great void (the wondrous space where your head is).
Richard Lang at the Portland Insight Meditation Center, Feb 2018
On YouTube: https://youtu.be/A2HIKSy6118w
“So What!”, you say
Ha ha. Yes, so what!
With practice and growing familiarity, this spacious place is accessible, at will. Imagine what it would be like to be able to access spaciousness whenever you want. Like when you’re aware of feeling low, anxious, or frustrated… blink… Spaciousness. Or you’re aware of boredom… blink… Spaciousness. Or you’re aware of being over-excited… blink… Spaciousness. Or you’re about to go into a meeting or give a public speech… blink… Spaciousness. Or you’re feeling existential angst1… blink… Spaciousness
Thoughts and feeling don’t disappear, but now they have space to move, room to give. Calm equanimity becomes partnered with feeling. Maybe only for a moment. And once we know its possible, moments can be strung together.
“I still don’t get it!”
- This could be the pressure of human existence as one catch-all feeling, or it might be a rejection of life as it is (due to mental, emotional or physical pain)... With the desire to change our lives there comes a subtle self-loathing - we are not good enough the way we are. We know that our approach to life could be different. This sets up the subtle self-loathing / self-shaming that I’m referring to as existential angst. When I can see this and realise that it is not who I am, I can again step back into the Spaciousness.