Sometimes, there is is a sense of contraction here. Mind gets identified, and “I” and my world begin to feel very small, isolated. Other times, there is a sense of expansion, of no separation, of my world feeling large and spacious.
And is that true? Is it true there is contraction? I find a situation where I experienced contraction (two nights ago when fear, wounds and heartache came up). Is it true it’s a contraction? No. What I imagine as a contraction, the image I have of contraction, happens within spaciousness. It happens within and as awareness. Mind was identified with/as contraction, and at the same time, there is awareness of spaciousness, and of it happening as awareness.
Is it true there is expansion? I find a situation where I experienced expansion (the day after). Is it true, it’s expansion? No. It’s happening within and as awareness. It’s not expansion. What I imagine as contraction and expansion both happen within and as awareness. It’s not really contraction or expansion.
I can look at this a little closer.
Situation: Two nights ago, experiencing contraction (fears, wounds, heartache surfacing, getting caught in it).
Thought: It’s contraction.
Is it true, it’s contraction? Yes. (I can find a place where it feels true.)
Can you know for certain it’s true, it’s contraction? No.
What happens in that situation, how do you react, when you have that thought, it’s contraction? I have an image of contraction. Of my world being very small and closing in on me. Of myself within a little and constricted bubble. I struggle against it. I tell myself it’s uncomfortable, wrong, I should be over it. What are you not able to notice when you have that thought? The spaciousness that’s here. That the “contraction” happens within spaciousness.
Who would you be without that thought? With myself. Friendly towards what’s here. Noticing spaciousness.
TA: It’s not contraction. (a) Contraction is an image, it’s not what’s there. (b) I cannot find any boundaries, any outside or inside. (c) It’s more true that it’s awareness, it happens as awareness.
TA: It’s expansion. (a) It may be, I don’t know. (b) When I notice it happens as awareness, it’s expansion (in a sense).
Situation: The day after, when there was a sense of expansion (transparency, spaciousness).
Thought: It’s expansion.
Is it true? Yes.
Can you know for certain it’s true, it’s expansion? No.
What happens in that situation, how do you react, when you have that thought, it’s expansion? There is an image of expansion, of a large and spacious world with me inside. I feel exhilarated. I want it to stay. I try to hold onto it. I notice this happening, and try for it not to happen. I am in struggle with myself, with what’s here.
Who would you be without that thought, it’s expansion? Living my life.
TA: It’s not expansion. (a) I cannot find expansion anywhere, outside of my image of expansion. (b)
TA: It’s contraction. (a) The thought it’s expansion creates unease in me. It triggers an underworld of beliefs, and these are stressful. (b) When I notice it happens as awareness, there is a sense of “normalization” which – when the starting point is expansion, can be seen as “contraction”.