blank adj : complete or absoluteblank n : a complete absence of awareness or memory Sometimes when I sit down to write, I endeavored to write something eloquent and poignant. I will make several attempts, all of which feel forced. Nothing takes form except a fair amount of blankness. Initially my lack of inspiration is irritating. I feel uninspired and voiceless. These feelings spawn doubt, which creeps in (just for a second) and I think, "What kind of teacher/writer/artist/human am I? Creativity can be daunting. As a painter, I remember numerous hours spent blankly staring at pristine white canvases fighting off an overwhelming sense of urgency to find my voice. All in all a rather disconcerting experience...or is it?
To overcome my deer in the headlights neurosis, I reflect on the blankness I sometimes feel. You see, blankness is much like space. Space has a liberating quality to it that can create emphasis. Life tends to get all jumbled together and confused without space. Look at these words for example, without space they becomesvirtuallyunintelligible. So instead of trying to fill the blankness and force it to become something, I try to relax into it.
Space and its lack of shape remind me of the tiny little opening, between the inhalation and the exhalation. There is no action in that space, I mean you are neither inhaling nor exhaling - it's a neutral space or a blank space. The emptiness between the cycles of the breath couldn't be more important. That little pause or space sets in motion the meter of our life...moment after moment, day after day and year after year. Suddenly blankness feels significant, even precious and definitely not disconcerting. Of course the thrilling aspect of emptiness is the potential it holds for what lies ahead...in that next breath. There is also such freedom in letting go enough to find the spaces between the end of one action and the beginning of another.
Blank spaces also make the beginnings and the endings in life really stand out. Which means that if we stop and notice when and where we can rest in the openness between the end of one action and the start of something new...we have the ability to pay homage to the most important parts of life...beginnings and endings. When we learn to start things with awareness and end things with clarity, we learn to live with a transparency and deep respect for what we know. Allowing ourselves to feel empty or blank is also what allows us to resonate with what is going to ignite our fire.
O yeah, yoga is about finding the "blank" spaces as well. The asanas act as resting spaces within the rhythmic dance of vinyasa. The static nature of the postures, give the mind/body space to open into. Perhaps being blank isn't such a terrible thing. In fact maybe blankness is even a desirable quality. In closing, as Rumi so often entreats, become a lover and allow duty to be transformed into inspiration...in those spaces practice is transformed into vivid wind song gently propelling you onward.