Whenever I begin thinking of the topic for these writings, I am always simply living my life, and at some point, even the most mundane acts can bring such clarity. Chopping and stacking wood has become a deep meditation while working outside provides me with the clarity of mind to find deep truths. While holding space is something typically done while with a group, it is much more than that. Holding space is something we cultivate deep within us, and in that….we share the the compassion we find for ourselves with all others.
While one holds space, their energy must emit love in every way, shape, and form. People carry the weight of life with them. They carry their trauma, their insecurity, and even their anger. We cannot control how people bring these in, but we can understand the truth that we know they are present for some sort of healing. They may not know why they arrived at this point in time and space, but at some point they will.
For a long time I have thought of “the feeling.” The feeling that allows one to love unconditionally. How can one cultivate a deep love for strangers? The answer falls in ones understanding of love and the shapeshifting aspect of what it is to love, be loved, and give love.
My daughter is about three and half right now. She never liked to sleep under covers or use pillows….so we simply bought a heated mattress pad to make sure she stays warm. Now she prefers to sleep covered up with a pillow. The concept of warmth and helping someone stay warm is a powerful feeling. We like to check in with her before we go to sleep. It’s just a two-minute kiss on the head type of situation. Seeing her sleep gives me comfort in my day. I may not know what tomorrow will bring, but I know tonight that our bellies are full and our home is warm. That feeling gives my great pride in the work I do.
The other night the blanket had simply slipped down. So, naturally, I covered her back up. Within that simple act, I began to cry. For my love for her is so great, I cannot contain myself when I give my love to her. The feeling of warmth and covering her is symbolic. The blanket is my love. It is my work, my passion, and this is my fruition. This is the holding of space for life, it is giving every I am to make the moment best for someone else. One may say holding space is an act of sacrifice. I do not see it that way, I see that is the fullest state of my being. It bring me joy and gives my life purpose…within that space there is no sacrifice, there is only passion. The blanket is me, it is my wife, my home, my daughter…it is everything I do to give the greatest life for my family. It is the food I am able to put on the table and the fresh Vermont air we breathe. It is the spring water we collect and the tomatoes we grow. It is the light that turns off before bed and it is waking to the sun. It is all the laughter and tears that spring through this home. It is the fire that keeps us warm and the cold that makes us feel alive.
This may have a confusing relation to sound, but for me…it is everything. The instruments are easy to learn and to play, but to be a human is not without its challenges. Holding space in sound requires us to find the love. The love from a father to a mother is different, as is the love between a brother and sister. The love is different between a pet cat to that of your favorite food. Love is a shapeshifting, multi-dimensional aspect of our consciousness. It is beyond space and time, we know this simply by “feeling” a loved one after they move from their body. They are part of us and us a part of them. Yet, to find the love with a stranger is again a different relationship.
This does not mean you are in love with the people. It means your heart is open for them and without judgement. It means you can love them beyond their politics or the meaningless aspects of being. Love will always be love, everything else is clutter. Holding space is an unconditional state of being that teaches us that each individual is a brother, sister, mother, father, son, daughter…every person in that room knows love in the way God has intended for them to experience it. So as one holding space, you become all of that…you become the love which binds humanity. You do this by welcoming every single person as if they are cold and starving, and your home is now their home. It is selfless love, for we know that suffering is an option so long as ones pride does not hinder both asking and receiving the help, not to mention offering ones self.
So you welcome them into your space, and when they lay down…you cover them with a blanket. You give the gift of warmth. For in our human primality, warmth means we are safe secure for the evening. We will be warm tonight. This act of humanity is beyond anything a singing bowl can do. To make someone feel safe…truly safe, allows them to be themselves, let their guard down for a moment and receive the gift of sound without any mental hinderances. They can be within themselves because you have welcomed them. Love is a welcoming without any expatiations. Love is a feeling of safety.
So then, before one pays the gong or strikes the singing bowl…they must look into themselves and love each and every part of who you are and what you could be. Because those elements that you are not, someone else is. That same person is insecure, suffering, and scared be who they are…the job of a sound practitioner is to recognize the innate and innocent child…and you cover them with a blanket, and all them everything is going to be alright.