Particles and Space

On a recent vacation to New York City I experimented with a new concept of particles versus space.

It is an exercise about practising focusing on the space and seeing the effect that had on how I felt. Then focusing on the particles and noticing the effect of that on me. Sounds a bit woo-woo or hooey. Let me explain it literally.

On holidays while walking around Wall Street during the height of business hours during tourist season on a sunny day I focused on the space. That means noticing the open physical and energetic space on the sidewalk/pavement, the space above and around me, well ahead of me rather than just under my nose. The result was that I didn’t notice the crowds surprisingly. It felt lighter, more spacious, expansive, and calmer; like there was easily room and air for everyone regardless of how big the actual space was.

Another day I experimented with focusing on the particles as I walked from Central Park down 5th Avenue. That meant noticing all the elements, big and small. This was even possible in Central Park as I noticed the grass, rocks, paths, roads, people, bikes, vendors, birds, squirrels, trees, dogs, garbage/rubbish, sounds, smells, heat, breeze and then all the colours and textures. It felt overwhelming at times and tight, having me feel a bit anxious even though I was in a park and it was still early in the day so few people around. It got worse as I walked down 5th Avenue as there were so many more particles to notice, sense, avoid, and confront.

It was harder navigating through the crowds of people when I was focused on the particles (the people, the curb, the noise, the speed). I bumped into people, there seemed to be more obstacles in my way. When I focused on the space (the space between people, buildings, roads, the air, the sky) it seemed we could all fit in the space easily and lightly.

Where would it serve you to focus on the space for lightness and flow?