SPACE is the title of Part Three of Victor Strecher’s Book, “Life on Purpose.” The Japanese have a word for “Life on Purpose” and that is ikigai, which is used in these posts because it has an earlier appearance in this blog and is shorter.
SPACE is an acronym that stands for Sleep, Presence, Activity, Creativity, and Eating. An entire chapter is devoted to each of these topics, as the author goes into great detail regarding the importance and the implementation of these activities. Only Presence will be addressed in the healthy memory blog.
Presence begins with this quote from Steve Jobs:
“If you just sit and observe, you will see how restless your mind is. If you try to calm it, it only makes it worse, but over time it does calm, and when it does, there’s room to hear more subtle things—that’s when you intuition starts to blossom and you start to see things more clearly and be in the present more. Your mind just slows down, and you see a tremendous expanse in the moment. You see so much more that you could see before. It’s a discipline; you have to practice.”
Jobs is talking about meditation. He personally consulted Zen masters and made periodic trips to Japan to sharpen his meditations.
Much has been written in the healthy memory blog about meditation. What will be included here is “LOVING-KINDNESS MEDITATION.” This particular meditation is famous. One reason for its popularity comes from the recordings of the brains of Buddhist monks while doing this meditation. The phrase, “off-the-charts” might capture these recordings.
*Find a comfortable place to sit, either in a chair or on the floor (HM reclines, which is okay provided you do not fall asleep). Close your eyes. Take a few moments to just be, noticing the sounds, smells, and feelings. Allowing yourself to settle down, turn your attention to your breathing.
*Notice the way you body automatically, effortlessly inhales and exhales.
*Don’t try to manipulate you breath in any way. Notice the feeling of air moving in and out of the nose and the easy, natural way your body moves
*Imagine yourself in a beautiful place. As you continue breathing in and out, say to yourself, “May I be happy and free of suffering.” (You can use many other salutary phrases here such as “health” or “strength”—or create your own.)
*Next, imagine a new person entering your beautiful place. This is a person you care for a great deal. Again, as you continue breathing in and out, say to yourself, “May you be happy and free of suffering.”
*Now move to another person entering your beautiful place. This is a person who provokes no feeling of like or dislike. A neutral person. It could be a bank teller or a waitress you recently interacted with. As you continue breathing in and out, say to yourself, “May you be happy and free of suffering.”
*Now move to another person. A person who provokes feelings of dislike. Again as you continue breathing in and out, say to yourself, “May you be happy and free of suffering.”
*Finally, extend these feeling of loving-kindness to the world. To all living beings. Bring them into your special place and say to yourself. “May all beings be happy and free of suffering.”
*Take a minute or so with your eyes shut before going back to your daily routine.