Space, the final frontier...
Despite the gloomy sentiments of the paragraph above, please don't despair, because space itself will now be shown to be the cure to this existential angst that contemplating it created in the first place! This more pleasing apprehension of space is not to be seen 'out there', however, but is to be experienced right here, where the feeling of 'I' occurs. And, thankfully, it doesn't require an extremely large and expensive telescope to be witnessed, either. All that is required to see the space at the heart of one's being is attention - even eyes aren't essential, in fact, for 'it' can be known just as well with eyes shut as open. To see what I mean, dear reader, I invite you to give a few minutes to investigate what lies at your very center:
Look at whatever is in front you - probably a computer screen at present - and notice its shape, size, colors, and its solidity. Now, turn your attention around to gaze back at what is doing the looking. Do you see 'you', dear reader, or do you see the space to which this little exercise is aimed at uncovering? What I mean to suggest, is that everything that you perceive right now is appearing in a spacious awareness located right where you are: do you see what I'm getting at? And, to show that this isn't a trick of the eyes, close them and pay attention to all the sounds that you can hear and that in which they arise. Do sounds not occur in a silent (spacious) awareness, too, along with all other physical and mental phenomena? Play with this exercise a short while, and see if you can find the space that lies behind the sense of 'I'.
Now, this space that we can experience in this present moment is also infinite, just as the 'outer' space described above. If you don't believe this, take a few more moments to explore it, and see if you can define it anymore than scientists can define that which contains the universe or multiverse. How big is it? Where does it begin and where does it end? Can it be timed or measured in any other way? I find not. This space is as infinite as the cosmic one that astronomers spend their days (and nights) staring at so intently. Moreover, this spaciousness is (thanks to the human mind) aware of itself; it can know that it is. And, because it has this capacity to know, it can be dubbed 'Buddha Space', for the term 'Buddha' comes from the root word 'budh', which means to be awake or to know.
In this context, the 'I' that can feel so minuscule and irrelevant when pondering the enormity of existence can be seen to be a valid vehicle for spacious awareness to know the universe and itself. 'I' do not have to feel so impotent in the face of the cosmos because at heart I am not 'I' but the spacious knowing that contains all that is experienced. Whilst over-identification with being this person can cause all kinds of problems for all concerned, seeing 'me' in its grander context as that which the monk Ajahn Sumehdo likes to call 'the knowing' is the beginning of awakening to our true nature, which is a vast and peaceful awareness. It is the 'Buddha Space' after which this blog is named, and if you are encouraged to take a peek back at what you truly are at heart by these words, then the blog has done its job, and 'I' can feel some pleasure from writing these small black squiggles, knowing that even they have some relevance in the vastness of this 'Buddhaverse.'