The Space Between
We sat facing each other, a few paces between us, on simple wooden chairs. Her white dress billowed onto the floor. This was the first and last time we would meet. We raised our heads simultaneously until our gazes met. There were no words exchanged, no gestures, no cordial smiles. And we sat there, immersed in the simple yet profound act of looking into another’s eyes, and simply being.
In that moment, both time and space softened their hard edges. There was no delineation where my physical body ended and hers began… only vibrating energy. The experience was cathartic, and in many ways altered the course of my adult life. I struggled to comprehend how the simple act of looking someone in the eyes, of just connecting with another human being, could so easily rattle my understanding of time, space, and human interaction.
Was her energy so penetrating that she was able to shift my perception of the world as I know it? Or was it perhaps just the act itself that opened a door within me that was previously locked? (with a deadbolt, nonetheless) The only thing I was certain of, were the changes that began happening as a result. Seeking to understand and recreate the experience, I started experimenting with some unconventional forms of meditation. My relationships began to shift, as I started actively seeking out those who understood deeper levels of communication, or who were open enough to try. My partner and I, on an Icelandic road-trip, began experimenting with our own comfort levels regarding space and silence (if you’re going to get weird, Iceland’s the place to do it). Even my yoga practice changed, as I began discovering a calm rhythm within me, guiding my movements.
The space between two people is a fascinating concept. We have all experienced the feeling of an awkward silence (I am no exception). Why is it awkward? Could the silence perhaps be more intimate than the chatter? What exactly are we uncomfortable with?
In some schools of yogic thought, it is said that when one meditates; it is the space between thoughts where one begins to find a glimpse of inner peace. As yogis, we cultivate that space until the thoughts become less and less obtrusive, and the space between them becomes vast.
If the space between two thoughts is where we find our bliss, could the space between two people, when thoughtfully considered, lead us down the same path?
What is the Meaning of Om?
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” It is a particularly human trait to be curious about our origins, and the origins of our universe. How could so much – the diversity of our planet, the vastness of our solar system, the unknown reaches of space – come from nothing? Spiritual traditions from all over the world have grappled with this question, and have recognized the profound role of the Divine Word as the origins, the beginning, of the universe. If at first there was nothing, the very first thing was a sound vibration, and from there, everything sprang into existence, and the material world was born. And Western science is now coming on board as well: quantum physicists have been studying the role of vibration at the root of matter itself.
Nikola Tesla said, “If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” The very foundations of our Universe, of matter and thought, appear to lie in sound vibration.
And from a yogic perspective, there is a profound connection between speech (the expression of our thoughts) and prana (the life energy carried on the breath). When we speak, we are naming our reality while using the power of the breath to form and express our words. Speech is prana in action. Prana naturally creates sound.