The following blog is an excerpt from An Ordinary Dude's Guide to Meditation
Okay, you may be a bit perplexed by what “space between thoughts” means. But it really is exactly what it sounds like: a space or gap between two thoughts. Many people live their lives thinking non-stop, so an actual space between thoughts may rarely, if ever, happen. Because of this, the idea can be a bit hard to grasp. So to give you a clearer idea of this concept and how it can impact you, let’s look at the following metaphor.
Imagine you’re having a TV series marathon: you’re spending your afternoon plopped down on the couch watching episode after episode of your favorite show. As you watch, the story on the screen sends you on an emotional rollercoaster. You laugh with the characters, grow anxious when they do, and even experience the sadness they feel. Now, after a couple hours into the marathon, you’ve come to the emotional climax of the story. Your heart sinks, your face begins to flush, and your eyes well up with tears. You can’t help but feel the heartache the character is experiencing, and tears begin to stream down your face...
Then, all of a sudden, the power cuts out and the TV turns off. Suddenly you become aware that you’re now sitting in a dark room with a blank television screen in front of you. And to your surprise, you realize you’d been so wrapped up in the TV series that you were crying. As you wipe the tears off your cheek in disbelief, you laugh to yourself, amused that you were so moved by the images you were watching.
Then, before you know it, the power returns and the TV series continues to play. You return your attention to the story and characters.
This metaphor demonstrates the impact that space between thoughts can have. Essentially, all your thoughts are like the story that plays on the TV screen. The power outage is the space between them. As you saw in the metaphor, this space can create a temporary detachment from the stream of thoughts. Not only does it put them in perspective, but it also brings calmness, emotional stability, and common sense to your situation. Over months of consistent meditation practice, these gaps of space will become more and more common for you.
Have you ever experienced a gap in your thinking like this? Let me know your experience in the comments below.