I notice that when this small self is worn down, there seems to be less space. When a contraction comes up, there is less space around it – although still not all that substantial. I may dip into the surface of the contraction, but don’t get completely absorbed into it.
When this small self is doing fine, there is usually plenty of space to allow whatever comes up to unfold on its own accord, without any need to engage with it.
As I clarify and deepen the awakening to the nature of mind, this space expands – and tends to stay expanded no matter what the small self experiences. Although – I also notice that this is an assumption based on past experiences (this was true for me during my opening in Norway, and during my time at the Zen center). Of course, it is always new and fresh. It never comes back quite the way it was. The present always has an element of surprise.