(An edited transcript of the mp3 entitled Giving Space to Everything on the Listen to Satsang page)
Q: I have an issue that's sort of ongoing. I keep thinking I have dealt with it , and yet it keeps reappearing.
A: Yeah. Remember that toy when you were a kid it was like a little clown, and you'd hit it.
Q: The Jack-In-the-Box?
A: No it's like Bozo the clown, you'd knock it over and it would pop back up.
Q: I had a deprived childhood, hah-hah!
A: Sometimes older siblings use younger siblings the same way.
Q: That's what I understand. There's a person I have to deal with. And she just keeps pushing my buttons. I like try to keep giving and giving and giving. I see her as very needy. So I try not to get angry with her. She says these awful things to me. She did it recently and um, I just, and I have a hard time dealing with how angry I feel. I'd like to tell her that I never want to see her again, but I'm taking care of her cats and I have to see her again.
A: So let me just ask you. So are you expressing your past anger now or are you angry right now about it all?
Q: No. I feel like there's something wrong with me or I'm deficient because I can't just tell her where to go. The anger is directed at myself. So there's part of me that just wants to tell her where to get off and another part of me that feels like, you know, I just don't want to blow this thing. I feel like I love taking care of those cats. And because of this I bite my tongue and just let her words go in one ear and out the other.
Q: She irritates a lot of people. I found out I wasn't the only one. But there's still this part of me that feels like you know, it diminishes me not to stand up to her.
A: So what's it like right now as you speak that? What's that's sense of not standing up to her, how does the self diminishing feel?
Q: Right. Well . it's hard to actually get into it to some degree. I have a headache. I've been having a headache all day, yes. I definitely have one now.
A: What happens if you just give that headache a lot of space? What if you just let the headache be as big as it is? Give it lots of room to be here just the way it is.
Q: That has never even entered my mind.
A: Yeah this is an invitation to waste your awareness. So what better thing is there to waste it on than a headache, right?
Q: Heh, heh, heh.
A: That's a total waste of awareness right? It doesn't even have anything to do with your issue. So we're really getting into the wasting of awareness. What happens if you just give it lots and lots of space? Just to be the way it is, the size it is.
Q: Well, there's certain quietness about it that I actually like.
A: It turns out there's lots and lots of room here including room for the sensations you call the headache.
Q: But I didn't come up to talk about that. (laughter)
A: So like now we get to play, that's all we're here for is just a chance to play. You find out there's room for the headache, what happens now if you give space to the thought that there's something wrong with me, that somehow I'm deficient. What happens if you give space to that whole thought, which has probably become a whole belief. It's like a whole bundle of thoughts about what is wrong with me. What happens if you give the whole bundle lots and lots of space?
Q: You mean just allow them to be?
A: Just allow them -- like I said we're here, it's just to find out what happens if you waste your awareness, right?
Q: It's kind of fun if you just let them be.
A: There's no suffering in that.
Q: There's no fight in that. I'm used to fighting.
A: So there's space to fight in. We're not taking anything away, we're like giving everything space to be. There probably is some real anger under all that self-doubt.
Q: Well, not right this second.
Q: There certainly was earlier.
A: So you can give space to that. Why leave it out?
Q: Well, you're not supposed to be angry.
A: So give space to the belief that you're not supposed to be angry. It's a totally natural thing to believe because you were probably told it many times. You were told, you were taught that it's not okay to be angry. So it's very natural that some resistance appears, but what happens if you give your resistance to being angry lots of space to be here?
Q: Then I kind of calm down.
A: Yeah, yeah. It turns out if you're giving lots of space to that something, then it can be like, trying to fill up a tea cup with a fire hose. Have you ever tried to do that?
A: When you try to fill a teacup with a firehose, water gets in a lot of other places than just in the teacup! And so when you start giving space and start allowing your awareness to just flow to what is here, a lot more is allowed than just that original belief. You'll find out that oh, there's not only room for that belief, there's room for awareness to surrender to a lot of other things.
Q: So it's just like kind of one big OK?
A: That is the nature of awareness, yes. Because again, it can't be harmed, right?
Q: Awareness can't be harmed?
A: Yeah. It's empty. What can you do to harm empty space?
Q: Nothing I can think of.
A: Yeah. So now, we're just playing here right? So when you're playing you might as well go for it, right?
Q: We're playing with Monopoly money?
A: Yeah, right. It's like you have this limitless supply of this free Monopoly money, a limitless supply of awareness. So what happens right now if you give space to this person? Just the way they are.
Q: Whenever that happens it feels good.
A: That's because another word for this flow of aware space, is love. So anytime you're giving it away, guess what? It's like you're immersing yourself in love. Notice what happens if you keep giving space to this person including all of their behaviors. You can give them space equal to the entire state of Oklahoma if you need to. You can give them lots and lots of space. At the same time while giving them space you can give yourself lots of space.
Q: It always makes me feel better when I just allow her to be herself. But then every time it comes up, it takes a lot to move me, but once it does then I feel like I should be doing something.
A: That's why I'm saying that you also need to give as much space to yourself, to all the feelings that arise and space for all of the reactions you have to her behavior.
Q: I almost don't have a headache. Yeah. That always feels good when I do that.
A: The important thing is, is always remember it's limitless. So it doesn't mean you just give space to others. Give yourself lots of space, even that means sometimes literally getting up and giving yourself a lot of space from this other person.
Q: (laughing) yeah-ha-ha-!
A: Space is limitless. So remember you can give space to everything. In fact it's not just both her and you, it's everyone and everything. Also you can give space to all the feelings that you have about her and about everything: all the judgments, all the resistance, all the feelings you have about her cats, about her neediness, about not speaking up, about the headache. It's like you just include, include, include, include. Find out for yourself. Don't take my word for anything. Find out for yourself if you can run out of awareness.