‘Are we not wasps who spend all day in a fruitless attempt to traverse a window-pane while the other half of the window is wide open?’ ~ Wei Wu Wei
We experience thoughts coming and going, but after one thought disappears and another one arises there is a gap. Where are we in this gap between thoughts?
Do we, the one who is aware of thoughts coming and going, disappear when a thought disappears and the gap appears? No. We are still here, in the gap. So we could now say, ‘I am the gap.’
But there is no gap.
To say that we are the gap between thoughts would be like saying that the sky is a gap in the clouds.
Just as there is only the unbroken continuity of the sky, sometimes obscured by the clouds, but never not there, there is only the unbroken continuity of the presence of awareness, sometimes obscured by our thoughts, sensations, or perceptions, but never not there.
Now ask yourself, who or what is it that notices the thoughts, gap, clouds, sky, and awareness?
But before you answer, here’s a hint: there is no ‘who’ or ‘what’.
We all have feelings. We feel happy, content, peaceful, angry, sad, depressed, bored, lonely, anxious, etc.
What is a feeling, really? Most of us accept feelings as part of our essential nature, but is this our actual experience?
All feelings are temporary, coming and going in the empty, open field of awareness, the source of our being. Rather than name these feelings as good, bad, or neutral, and reacting to them in some way, don’t name them at all.
Go through a day without naming or labeling any of your so-called ‘feelings’ and see what happens.
If you do this, go through a day just experiencing feelings, observing them as they come and go without naming them, you will find that what you considered a previously uncomfortable feeling is nothing more than a temporary appearance in awareness that does not affect the unchanging, knowing presence of awareness itself.
And you are this awareness. You are that. All feelings come and go in you, awareness, but you do not come and go with them. Things happen in you, not to you.
Pay more attention to the space in which objects arise rather than to the objects themselves.
Anything that can be experienced – a thought, memory, mental image, mood, a perception of the world through the five senses – is a fleeting appearance in the limitless, silent space within which they appear. They are like characters in a movie whose existence depends solely on the screen.
Pay more attention to the screen, this limitless space within you, this unchanging, ever-present knowing that is the background of all experience. This is the source and substance of your original being. Of our original being, as there can be only one. ‘Limitless’ leaves no room for two.
Then ask yourself, who or what is paying attention to this limitless space?