Neuroscience has taken huge strides over the last couple of decades, especially in its studies on altered states of consciousness invoked by spiritual practices such as meditation and prayer. One thing scientists have discovered is that by focusing your awareness on the space around your body, you change your brainwaves by slowing them down. Doing this brings the brain and body into back coherence─into balance.
Ever been stargazing? The stars often make me feel at peace, at ease, no matter what kind of day I’ve had, and recently, I’ve realised why…
When you enter your living room, what’s the first thing you notice? Probably the couch, the coffee table, the television or maybe even the pictures on the wall. It’s natural for us to focus on the objects we perceive with our senses. But, what allows those objects to be? What gives them the platform to exist?
Space! The Final Frontier! These are the voyages─joking, let’s carry on.
Space isn’t empty; it’s brimming with energy and information that is around us at all times. Nikola Tesla, who’s highly regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the last century, said that space is filled with a primary substance, the essence of all things, which he labelled as prana or life-force energy. Atoms themselves are 99.9% space. This space is ultimately consciousness─the fabric of existence.
Convergent focus vs Divergent focus
There are two ways to focus our awareness. A convergent focus is when we narrow our attention on objects in the outer world or on a thought or emotion within ourselves. As a result of such a narrow focus, we live in separation from our timeless self as the smokescreen of linear time eclipses our awareness. A divergent focus, however, is an opening up of one’s awareness on the space around themselves, such as the room they’re occupying, for example.
Neuroscientists have discovered that when we’re living through stress response that we focus on the cause of what triggered us into survival (a convergent focus). Our brainwaves speed up into high-beta, and we get trapped in negative, fear-based thinking and feeling loops because we believe we’re in danger. When one sits down amidst the turbulent emotions they feel and focus their attention on the space around their body and in the room around them (a divergent focus), they slow their brainwaves down. As a result, they change their state of being and move back into alignment.
In laymen’s terms; you can change your state of being and switch off the stress response by focusing on the space around you.
Let’s go stargazing again. As you gaze at those radiant crystals shimmering in the sky, you hone in on the space between you and the stars which slows your brainwaves down. As you calm the electrical storm between your ears, you feel at peace, at ease within yourself. Stargazing changes your state of being and calms the stress response if you’re truly present as you do it.
“The Unmanifested is not only present in this world as silence; it also pervades the entire physical universe as space─from within and without. This is just as easy to miss as silence. Everyone pays attention to the things in space, but who pays attention to space itself?”
─Eckhart Tolle: The Power of Now
If during meditation one experiences, even if just for a few seconds, stillness, they’re tapping into space within their bodies. When they focus on the space without, they align with the space within. This is because the inner and outer worlds are fundamentally the same─stillness is space in the inner universe.
Learning how to broaden your focus, and making the practice routine enables you to maintain the state of being you prefer throughout your day. Stillness is your essence, your core-self. Living in this essence is the key to discovering joy, peace and happiness independent of outer circumstances.
A consistent practice of meditation is essential in this day and age. Not only does it align us with the space within and around us, but it gives us a place to rest amidst the turbulence of everything happening around us in today’s world. Meditation wraps us in a protective bubble, so situations don’t disturb us. In my book, The Labyrinth: Rewiring the Nodes in the maze of your Mind, I touch on this:
“The purpose of meditation is to transcend the old self, which enables one to become a conduit for wisdom. Emptiness is meditation; it’s a state of consciousness where one is free of thought and emotion while they’re anchored in stillness. In this state, one transcends the illusion of linear time, and the fear-based grip the old self has on their consciousness. All the lies, tricks and illusions of the mind are seen through instantly when the sun of pure consciousness rises within oneself. Meditation invokes clarity and the reinforcement of who you truly are.“
As we awaken more of our true selves, we become aware of the fear-based programs hijacking our consciousness. We realise that our state of consciousness mirrors our perception of the world, and attune to the vast, cosmic intelligence all around us, effortlessly synchronising everything in the manifested universe.
In conclusion, space aligns us with our very own portable paradise. Gaze into the horizon at the beach, watch the sunset or the stars from your balcony at night─learn to consciously switch from a convergent focus to a divergent focus. Most do this without realising, but by making it a conscious practice by focusing on the space around you, you’ll be able to manage your state of being, which can only lead to a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
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