facebook pixel

There is something I must dwell on
because I know more than I know and must learn it from myself.

— Marilynne Robinson

There are some singers who possess a voice we fall in love with. For me, Dusty Springfield is one such singer. Her rich, soulful voice makes her arguably one of Britain’s greatest female vocalists.  Her run of classic 60’s singles such as the 1963 hit ‘I Only Want to Be With You’ and ‘Am I the Same Girl?’ in 1969 are just a few examples of her vocal talent. Dusty’s last, great single of that decade was ‘How Can I Be Sure?’ and in it she sang the lyrics, “…how can I be sure in a world that’s constantly changing?”

The Buddha taught that that all things are impermanent, there is nothing fixed or solid in this world. Everything including our thoughts, body and feelings are constantly changing. This truth, this experience of life can sometimes leave us feeling anxious and we may find ourselves trying to control the world around us to make us feel more secure.

But, if we can try to adopt a more spacious attitude towards our experience, we can learn to trust openness. An image sometimes given to illustrate this spacious quality of the mind is that of the vast blue sky which is limitless and which can offer hospitality to everything within it. All the various changes in the weather from storms and showers to clouds and the sun, everything can just move freely through the openness that the sky offers.

I have found it helpful to be reminded that I am more than just my thoughts, my emotions and my body. I can value and appreciate all that they offer me but learn not to over identify with them. It seems more helpful for me to see them within the larger context of relaxed, spacious awareness which offers me a possibility of a more creative response to both myself and my life.