There is a middle ground, a basic Reality embracing self
and Self. It may be called my true nature. To discover what
prevents me from the experience of it, I have only to look
at myself, just as I am.
It is so simple.
At this moment, what is my state?
I let my attention embrace the whole of myself, from the
top of the head through the torso, solar plexus, the entire
I am very still in the body. I follow the breath. I watch
the movements of thoughts and associations. The feelings
become quiet, and the activity in the head diminishes. I
am more. I perceive the whole of my world, just as it is.
I remain very still, refusing the mind’s inclinations to reach
Thoughts and feelings come and go like floating clouds.
They are not me.
The experience is at one and the same time, both active
and passive. Through sensation of the body, I perceive that
I am. Yet, I do not know who or what I am. I am witness to
I am aware of a feeling which suffuses the interior of myself.
It is a choiceless, an accepting awareness. With it comes a
sensation that extends to and envelopes all the parts of the
body. I am very still, relating to the silence that is both
inside and outside.
Nothing is lacking at this moment.
I can ask you to not forget, to take good care, to honor the sacred…..but only you can dive deep…..
inquiry for today~ remember when you “held space” for someone…then allow that space into your own life……
Liminal originates from the Latin word “limen” which means “a threshold”. In anthropology, liminality is “the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual’s liminal stage, participants ‘stand at the threshold’ between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.” (from Wikipedia)
A liminal space, then, is a period in which something (social hierarchy, culture, belief, tradition, identity, etc.) has been dissolved and a new thing has not yet emerged to take its place. It’s that period of uncertainty, ambiguity, restlessness, fear, discomfort, and anguish. It’s the space between, when a trapeze artist let’s go of one swing and doesn’t yet know whether she’ll be able to reach the other swing. There is nothing shallow about liminal space.
In the article ‘Grieving as Sacred Space,’ Richard Rohr describes liminal space as “…a unique spiritual position where human beings hate to be but where the biblical God is always leading them. It is when you have left the “tried and true” but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are finally out of the way. It is when you are in between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer. It is no fun.”
It was that liminal space that I talked about when I first described the kind of holding space that happened at my mom’s deathbed. It was messy and raw and it lead us into the depths of our darkest grief when Mom finally breathed her last breath. It was also a time when we were “finally out of the way” and had to surrender to the God of our understanding.
That is what I mean when I talk about holding space. There is no spiritual bypassing in that place and no shallowness. It can rip you apart and leave you breathless. It can require much more of you than you knew you had to give. It takes strength and courage and resilience and a fierce commitment to love.
Holding that kind of space is one of the most sacred acts we can do for each other. When we do it, we are standing on holy ground.
It’s humbling, beautiful, and exhausting work.