If you have never thought about this before, it can be a bit mind-bending. In everything that exists in this third dimensional plane, there is more space than substance. I am sitting in my rocking chair having a cup of espresso. My chair is a rattan Bentwood Rocker that I have had for years. If one of the molecules in the wood shifted out of place, this rocker would disintegrate. In order for a solid object to have form, countless numbers of atoms must align and hold their alignment. Wood, stone, bone, you name it and its substance is composed of atoms. We all know this, right? Atoms are not solid. They are energy in motion and, when aligned in certain ways, they form substances that may be fluid like water or more stationary like stone. Within all substance is the motion of the atoms, the energy, that makes up that substance. And within each atom, there is more space than substance.
My physical body is more space than substance. Does space imply emptiness? If there were nothing in the spaces, wouldn’t my body collapse into itself? Is your mind bending yet?
When I first expanded beyond the organized, dogmatic approach to spirituality, I read every book and listened to every tape I could get my hands on. As a result, I am not able to credit the quote I am about to share with you. It came from a meditation teacher and I find it beautiful, comforting, compelling, and profound: The Divine dwells in the spaces between the cells of your body. And so we are brought back to the importance of turning within to the Silence in order to experience the Divine that is found in the spaces between the cells of our bodies. I meet the Divine within rather than “out there” somewhere.
Where does my Soul reside? My Soul is the expression of that Divine Essence that is giving my body, mind and emotions life in form. It permeates every cell and all of the space that is my body and it is real. Getting caught up in the material world, relying on substance for sustenance is the illusion. This is our spiritual practice: to rely on that which cannot be seen or touched for our sustenance and to play within the illusion as a way to express the Divine Essence within. And this is why we call it a “practice.” To practice is to do something over and over, with commitment and consistency, until it becomes a part of us, until it is as natural as breathing. Getting this, knowing this, living this makes it possible to know peace, joy, love in the midst of the challenges this human life can bring our way.
And you don’t have to do it perfectly! Powerful spiritual communities teach us in the most beautiful ways that it is not about perfection or the material world staying the same. I’ll repeat that: It is not about perfection or the consistency of the material world. Tibetan monks create the most amazing and wonder-filled sand paintings or mandalas. It takes them days. When completed, prayers are chanted and the sand is swept up and taken away. All that exists in the material world will cease to exist at some point. Native American weavers create blankets that are in demand all over the world. When visiting a shop in Taos, New Mexico, I was invited into the back to meet one of the weavers. She sat at her loom and showed me how it worked. She told me that her designs come to her in visions and dreams. Then she pointed to the 6th row in the cloth where a flaw was purposely woven into her design. Smiling softly in response to my reaction, she said “It is a reminder that nothing is perfect in this life and that, even that which is imperfect, is part of the beauty being expressed by the Creator.”
I am not perfect. I will not exist in this body forever. I am, however, beautifully Divine! And so are you, dear heart, so are you.
Aum shanti shanti shanti.