A pause between two musical notes. The pause between the exhale and inhale, the inhale and the exhale. The eloquent pause between the ticks of a clock, wondering what happens to time when the clock doesn’t tick, the time between when the moment flows into another? In television, it is the moment when Barney Stinson says “Legend….Wait for it…..” and we all wait expectantly for the end of what his character has to say. In Barney’s case it is usually followed by “dary! Legendary!” And within that example, it can be written so suspenseful with the grammatical use of the ellipses; those three dots that have our eyes gazing to what comes after the pause. But what about the pause itself? The space in between when nothing seems to happen?
That space in between is pure magic. It is the moment when the pendulum changes direction. When there is a subtle change in the course of direction. It is the moment in a sports game when the momentum shifts to the other team. It is magically invisible to the naked eye and we only become aware that something has happened when we witness the outcome. This can happen rapidly often leading one to hope and pray for that pause to be longer. Or it can happen slowly leaving one feeling imprisoned by the space in between.
Limbo. Bored with life. Spiritual boredom. Taking time to heal. All of these are times when we watch the clock feeling like our life is that moment between moments, wondering if something is wrong with the clock. Did the seconds stop ticking? We know time hasn’t stopped for the world around us but we feel it has sneakishly stopped for us, leaving us in a sense of purgatory, almost. This kind of limbo can cause distress and anxiety as one awaits what is to come, often times not knowing what is next. This is one view of limbo but another way to experience is observing the bliss that it can offer.
The bliss of limbo is being fully aware and present in the moment. This is the highest teaching in living a mindful existence, being present in the moment when nothing at all is happening and finding the extraordinary in what appears to not be happening. When what is happening is so fine and delicate that it takes the keenest of observer. An observer sensitive enough to feel the energy about her shift, even though there is not a physical sign among her. An observer so in tune with the Universe that he knows there is a force moving pieces of a puzzle that have yet to reflect the image. An observer pulsing with Nature that she can hear the wind whisper “You need do nothing. All is well.”
Limbo is a call to enjoy the peace of the moment. Not thinking of the past. Not longing for the future. Because what is happening in limbo is magical. It is so divine. “There is never nothing happening” as Socrates would say to Dan Milman. Limbo is a time to observe the nothingness in nothing. To observe how life effortlessly plays out and always in your favor and of those involved. Limbo,well, limbo is the time to put your trust into action.
So you see, there is not nothing going on. It is still part of the practice of life. The practice of living a mindful life. The practice of living this life as a realized and awakened being. Limbo is the next teaching to master. The art of living in the space in between. When one is neither in the past nor the future. But peacefully in the NOW. The key is peacefully in the NOW. Not anticipating the next note, the next phrase, the next image. Or waiting for Barney to say “…dary! Legendary!”
Limbo. The space in between has a purpose, like the space in between each vertebrae of the spine. It cushions our experience and can be a comforting place to be. But that is up to you on how you shall experience it.
Take some time to reflect on this song, maybe notice the melody between the notes, sent to me very timely from a dear friend. “Sitting in Limbo” by Jimmy Cliff.
“Sitting here in limbo. I know it won’t be long.” So, enjoy it!