I am the product of East meets West. I have a Sri Lankan father and an English mother. When it comes to spirituality, I like the best of both worlds. In the East emptiness is sought after and revered. In the West, it is feared and seen as nihilistic. The West seems to prefer the fullness of love. For me, both are true.
In the fleeting moments when I experience emptiness, the space where there is nothing. It is in this nothingness that I experience everything. It is in that space that I touch the most exquisite feelings I have ever known.
One of the times I felt this way was after the birth of my second daughter. I felt extreme bliss. It was admittedly after some angst. The birth itself was quick — perhaps too quick. I was ready to hang out with friends, but my husband, Angus, convinced me it was time to go the hospital. His choice of birth venue because he would not agree to a home birth, and I relented. Within five minutes of arriving at the hospital, after putting on the hospital gown, I felt an incredible urge to bear down. The impulse was so powerful that Angus rushed toward me and put his hands underneath me like he was going to catch a football (or probably a rugby ball for him). I gave birth forty-five minutes later to a healthy baby girl, but that was when things started to go wrong. The pain was worse after the birth than during. I knew it wasn’t normal, but was told it was. A few hours later, when I hemorrhaged, the recovery room turned into a scene out of ER with baby and Angus being whisked away.
Since I am writing this, it is obvious that I made it. Angus knew I would be fine when, after telling him I was scared of dying, and him saying I wasn’t going to die, I had the energy to get angry at him for not allowing me to have my feelings. After all of the commotion, Angus went home to rest and be with our oldest daughter. The doctor ordered the baby to be kept in the nursery for a few hours, against my wishes, so I could get some rest. It was during that time, when I was alone in the hospital room, in the early hours of the morning, that I fell into the gap. I dropped out of thought into nothing and was immersed in an ocean of love and gratitude. I found myself sending gratitude and love to everyone I could think of including the whole planet. I was infused with the blissful feelings. There was the form and the formless dancing with each other inside of me in a profound way.
The instinct to label the experience is automatic. In the blink of an eye, I found myself back in my personal thinking and defining what the experience was — expansive, infinite, blissful, and then it is gone. It turned from nothing into something, and in the something it was no longer what it was. However, simply knowing that experience of nothing exists and is a part of the formless energy behind life creating ordinary human experience is reassuring for me. It resonates and reverberates inside of me even when I am not immersed in it. It becomes the background context for all of my experiences whether or not I label them as good or bad.
This gives me a sense of inner peace and serenity that continues to deepen inside of me so I experience it more often. I know that emptiness is available to me. I don’t have to seek it out. I know it is there, and I will certainly experience it and connect once again to the feeling of the entire universe being inside me.
However, this is not about me. It is about us. It is about all of us no matter what our skin color, religion or lack there of, gender, race, class etc … No matter what label we use to define ourselves. No matter what labels others place on us. That is not who we are. We are the space between the labels — nothing and everything. We are pure source and pure potential in the human form.
What use is this in our day to day lives? As useful as you make it. For me, it shrinks my perceived human problems down to size. It gives me perspective and allows me not to take my foibles or others peoples’ too seriously. It helps me to recognize that everyone is doing the best they can with what they know, no matter how they express themselves in their behavior. And if I judge them or myself, I know I am not in the gap. I am in my human compulsion to label, and the labels are never truth.
It also helps me to get better at falling into the gap between meaning. This makes my life lighter. It is not a magic bullet that turns me into anything different than anyone else. Rather, it is the ultimate equalizer that knocks me off my high horse and helps me to see the profanity in my righteousness and lets me know my sacredness. Even when I keep creating meaning over and over again. Meaningless meaning that is, required for navigating our daily lives, but nonetheless not truth.
This state of consciousness is the gift that holds what is magnificent and beyond my comprehension. Instead of trying to understand it, I am simply grateful for the experience when it occurs and thankful for all experience in general no matter whether or not I label it as good or bad. I see the miraculousness in it all more often.
I hope in sharing this, it will support you with falling into the gap and experiencing the blissful equalizer that is not only who you really are, but also what holds the solution to working through all of the conflict that exists from the personal level to the global level. If you are interested in this, go to One Solution. They are hosting a conference in Cape Town March 19th and 20th, 2017 that will speak to the one solution to personal, organizational, and global change. If it is too far to attend, Livestream tickets are available. That is how I will be attending as I open my personal mind to the solution that lies within.
Rohini Ross is a psychotherapist, a leadership consultant, and an executive coach. Rohini facilitates personalized three-day retreats to help individuals, couples, and professionals connect more fully with their true nature and experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. You can find out more about Rohini’s work on her website, rohiniross.com.