If you've ever taken any metro/tram/train service in any European country then it's quite likely that as you read the words - 'mind the gap' - that you too have that same mechanical voice-over playing in your head as I do.
In a practical sense its asking us to pay attention to the gap should we fall.
However if we abstract the phrase from its context - mind the gap is saying: pay attention to that liminal space, that pause, that ocean of timeless space before the beginning of one event and the ending of the other, before the next inhale gives way to the exhale.
This is why all the traditions emphasize meditating on this space, from Buddhist traditions of Zen and Dzogchen to Tantra whereby it's referred to as 'Madhya' - the center, the place where it's all emanating from.
So in a world that's vying for our attention, where-by our senses our over-whelmed and our primitive instincts are hijacked by advertisers, influencers and noise, now is the time to mind the gap.
Look deeply into anything and you fill find awe. I promise.
The most mundane occurrences that happen every-day are in-fact wonderous.
Take something we label 'sad': a person crying.
We have a 100,000 microbes per square centimeter living on our skin. Now look at the tear rolling down the person's face. Now envisage that that same tear and see that it is akin to what a tsunami is like for us humans in relation to scale and how our little co-inhabitants would feel it in their tiny world.
As that tear that moves softly, slowly and gracefully down a cheek, it is a raging storm elsewhere.
Try it out. Just look deeply into something. Instead of the screen where we are tricked into thinking something new will appear, we must go beyond our normal perceptions with 'what we know' and find that something entirely new will be waiting there.
Open Up the Conversation
There's a wonderful kind of 'parable' that comes up in lectures or spiritual talks of such sort. I believe it's Buddhist in origin but Alan Watts stands out in my mind of utilizing this message.
Imagine trying to explain the taste of honey to someone who never had honey or any relationship to something remotely close to honey in their lives.
Sure, you could talk about where it hits your tongue, throat or pallet. The texture. The acidity or lack of. But to really grasp it one has to have that experience themselves.
Most importantly, once the experience has been had, then one can decide if that's for them or not.
When we can go deeper into anything we're doing then we can see clearly the that parts the constitute the whole. Eating a cake we enjoy becomes an explosion of textures, tastes and sensations. Ingredients that come from here, there and everywhere on our planet. Bio-chemicals and compounds that interact within the alchemy of the body starts to resemble that glorified chaos of a story that belongs to a Dr. Seuss book.
Everything has more depth. Everything becomes illuminated.
There may be moments of magic happening everyday in our lives but we simply just haven't opened up the conversation to know that experience as it unfolds.
This is why the happiness, joy and peace that we all ultimately desire are not to be found 'out there', but here and now, by simply changing our perceptions of how we interact with things.
Lift the Veil
See what you find this Christmas.
Take the time to pause - figuratively and literally.
Mind the gap. Don't skim over those little moments. Go into them.
Enjoy time off. Go deeper with others, with yourself. Reconnect.
See what hidden gems glisten.....
......Let me know what you find. I'd love to know!