Observe the gaps between your thoughts and rest there (quotes)

There is always a gap between two thoughts

  • There’s a lot to be learned by studying the gap between thoughts. I’m talking first-person, subjective study of the gap. Don’t let the busy-ness of the mind fool you into believing it doesn’t exist. You cannot think of two things at ones — try it. You can only alternate between. This is because thought follows thought follows thought. There is a succession, not a continuous flow, and the space of no-thought in between thoughts can vary in size.  Vasana
  • There is nothing lost in seeing through this illusion, in observing the mind until it slows down enough and is seen for what it is: a succession of individual thoughts, seperated by gaps of no-thought, each with no power except that which is imbued to them when we fear or cling to them.  Vasana
  • Look for the mind and all you will find is individual thoughts seperated by gaps of no-thought.  Vasana

Pay mindful attention to the gaps between thoughts…

  • The succession of thoughts appears in time, but the gap between two of them is outside time. The gap itself is normally unobserved. The chance of enlightenment is missed. Paul Brunton
  • Pay attention to the gap – the gap between two thoughts, the brief, silent space between words in a conversation, between the notes of a piano or flute, or the gap between the in-breath and the out-breath. When you pay attention to those gaps, awareness of ‘something’ becomes – just awareness. The formless dimension of pure conciousness arises from within you and replaces identification with form.  Eckhart Tolle
  • … rather than solely focusing on thoughts and the content of thoughts, the this and the that of our experience, the him and the her, the we and the they, the materiality and daily grind of cause-and-effect, we can remember to explore the space around thoughts, the space between them. What is found in the gap between the out-breath and the in-breath? Where is mind then? Who are you in those spaces? Who are you in those gaps?  Donna Rockwell
  • Attend closely with sharp mindfulness when one thought ends and before another thought begins there! That is silent awareness! It may be momentary at first, but as you recognise the fleeting silence you become accustomed to it. And as you become accustomed to it, the silenced lasts longer. You begin to enjoy the silence, once you found it at last and that is why it grows. But remember, silence is shy. If silence hears you talking about her, she vanishes immediately.  Ajahn Brahm

…and also gaps that exist elsewhere

  • I like to look to the spaces in between. I like to explore the gaps and fall into the cracks. The space in between words, the pause between songs, the brief moment when there is no noise, just silence and space. I look for moments of stillness. I like the transitions between yoga poses. I watch for the pause between my breaths and I love the space between my thoughts.  Monica
  • Perhaps the most elusive space for human beings to  enter is the gap between our thoughts. Wayne Dyer
  • Look for the gaps, not just inside but outside. Listen to the space between the tic and toc of a clock. Notice to the silence in between the words people speak, the empty road between cars, the gaps between people in a crowd, the hangtime between footfalls, even the spacing between words and letters in text. Being externally aware of spaces seems to reflect inwardly as an awareness of the gaps between thoughts, and the gaps grow in this way. So too does your sense of peace and contentment.  Vasana

Let your attention rest in the gap

  • If we can allow some space within our awareness and rest there, we can respect our troubling thoughts and emotions, allow them to come, and let them go. Our lives may be complicated on the outside, but we remain simple, easy, and open on the inside.  Tsoknyi Rinpoche
  • When we cling to thoughts and memories, we are clinging to what cannot be grasped. When we touch these phantoms and let them go, we may discover a space, a break in the chatter, a glimpse of open sky. This is our birthright—the wisdom with which we were born, the vast unfolding display of primordial richness, primordial openness, primordial wisdom itself. When one thought has ended and another has not yet begun, we can rest in that space.  Pema Chodron
  • Spiritual teachers and meditation masters tell us to not only recognise the Gap but Be in It.  Evelyn Lim

The gap between thoughts is a place where magic lies

  • Running here and there. Pre-occupied with this and that. Swept away by one thought or another. We barely have time enough to notice time passing, never mind the preposterous proposition, dare I say, to notice not just our thoughts, but the space around them: a momentary peripheral reverberation, an infinitesimal synaptic break between cognitions, the very slightest of pauses, a hiccup in the assembly line of thought production, when thought-after-thought-after-thought finally cease cascading like dominoes, responsible for the myopic blur that so often stands against our yearning for greater sanity. It’s too bad, really, because in-between is where the magic lies.  Donna Rockwell

Observing the gap gives rise to a state of pure awareness

  • Attention will expose the gap, the space between thoughts. This GAP is PURE AWARENESS. It may be fleeting, but it will be there. As you regularly become aware of this mental pause, it will begin to work its magic on you.  Dr Frank Kinslow
  • When one past thought has ceased and a future thought has not yet risen,
  •  In that gap, in between, isn’t there a consciousness of the present moment;  fresh, virgin, unaltered by even a hair’s breadth of a concept, a luminous, naked awareness? Well, that’s what naturally peaceful awareness is.  Sogyal Rinpoche

Observing the gap gives rise to peace and a sense of oneness with being

  • When a thought subsides, you experience a discontinuity in the mental stream — a gap of “no-mind.” At first, the gaps will be short, a few seconds perhaps, but gradually they will become longer. When these gaps occur, you feel a certain stillness and peace inside you. This is the beginning of your natural state of felt oneness with Being, which is usually obscured by the mind. With practice, the sense of stillness and peace will deepen. In fact, there is no end to its depth. You will also feel a subtle emanation of joy arising from deep within: the joy of Being. Eckhart Tolle
  • When you have emptied all content – thoughts, desires, memories, projections, hopes – when all is gone, for the first time you find yourself, because you are nothing but that pure space, that virgin space within you. Unburdened by anything, that contentless consciousness, that’s what you are! Seeing it, realizing it, one is free. One is freedom, one is joy, one is bliss. Rajneesh

Observing the gap gives rise to inner silence and space

  • Discover inner space by creating gaps in the stream of thinking. Without those gaps, your thinking becomes repetitive, uninspired, devoid of any creative spark, which is how it still is for most people on the planet. You don’t need to be concerned with the duration of those gaps. A few seconds is good enough. Gradually, they will lengthen by themselves, without any effort on your part. More important than their length is to bring them in frequently so that your daily activities and your stream of thinking become interspersed with space.  Eckhart Tolle
  • When we cultivate present moment awareness, there is no space for inner speech. We are completely taken by the Presence of the moment. One way of developing inner silence is to recognise the space between thoughts. Evelyn Lim

Observing the gap gives rise to love and joy

  • In the space which thought creates around itself there is no love. This space divides man from man, and in it is all the becoming, the battle of life, the agony and fear. Meditation is the ending of this space, the ending of the me.  Jiddu Krishnamurti
  • Glimpses of love and joy or brief moments of deep peace are possible whenever a gap occurs in the stream of thought.  For most people, such gaps happen rarely and only accidentally, in moments when the mind is rendered “speechless,” sometimes triggered by great beauty, extreme physical exertion, or even great danger. Suddenly, there is inner stillness. And within that stillness there is a subtle but intense joy, there is love, there is peace.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Creativity, love, wisdom, all these faculties are nourished by gaps in the stream of thinking.   Vasana

Observing the gap gives rise to creativity

  • All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness. The mind then gives form to the creative impulse or insight. Even the great scientists have reported that their creative breakthroughs came at a time of mental quietude. Eckhart Tolle
  • Discover inner space by creating gaps in the stream of thinking. Without those gaps, your thinking becomes repetitive, uninspired, devoid of any creative spark, which is how it still is for most people on the planet.  Eckhart Tolle
  • For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly.  Khalil Gibran
  • In the enlightened state, you still use your thinking mind when needed, but in a much more focused and effective way than before. You use it mostly for practical purposes, but you are free of the involuntary internal dialogue, and there is inner stillness. When you do use your mind, and particularly when a creative solution is needed, you oscillate every few minutes or so between thought and stillness, between mind and no-mind. No-mind is consciousness without thought. Only in that way is it possible to think creatively, because only in that way does thought have any real power. Thought alone, when it is no longer connected with the much vaster realm of consciousness, quickly becomes barren, insane, destructive.  Eckhart Tolle

Observing the gap gives rise to clarity and energy

  • I get clarity through quiet time, reflection, reading, and meditation. Finding the space between thoughts gives me the energy to take on new challenges with enthusiasm.  Jaime Murray
  • The less mind there is, the more gaps there are, the more contented and vital you are.  Vasana
  • Periods of dreamless sleep are the non-waking equivalent of the gap between thoughts in the waking state. We awake from sleep feeling refreshed by these states of total emptiness.  Vasana

Observing the gap gives rise to wisdom

  • In the gap between thoughts non-conceptual wisdom shines continuously.  Milarepa
  • That silent gap between your thoughts is your window to the cosmic mind.  Deepak Chopra
  • Silence is so much more productive of wisdom and clarity in thinking.  Ajahn Brahm

Observing the gap helps us let go of our identification with the mind and thinking

  • Our addiction to the grasping tendency of mind causes us to overlook the spaces around thoughts, the felt penumbra that gives our experience its subtle beauty and meaning. Neglecting these fluid spaces within the mindstream contributes to a general tendency to over-identify with the contents of our mind, and to assume that we are the originator and custodian of them. The troublesome equation “I = my thoughts about reality” creates a narrowed sense of self, along with an anxiety about our thoughts as territory we have to defend.  Donna Rockwell
  • It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind. Once the gap is there, you are in for a great surprise, that you are not the mind, that you are the witness, a watcher. And this process of watching is the very alchemy of real religion. Because as you become more and more deeply rooted in witnessing, thoughts start disappearing. You are, but the mind is utterly empty.  Rajneesh

Observing the gap gives rise to manifestation

  • Think of thoughts as things, which need silence between them to attract and manifest new forms into life. Two bricks can’t be fastened together to form a wall without a space for mortar. The mortar itself is comprised of particles, which require spaces to allow them to become mortar.  Our thoughts are the same.  They require a pause between them to give life to what they represent separately. This is the gap, and it’s a space that allows us to build, create, imagine, and manifest all that we’re capable of creating with those thoughts.  Wayne Dyer
  • Why should we concern ourselves with entering the elusive gap?  Because everything emerges from that gap — the void. We get an inkling of why the gap between our thoughts is such a vital concept to grasp, and yes, to enter regularly, when we consider the following: The place of “no thing” is where all that is “some thing” comes from.  We need the void of nothing in order to create something.  Wayne Dyer

Observing the gap gives rise to our freedom to choose

  • In the space between stimulus (what happens) and how we respond, lies our freedom to choose. Ultimately, this power to choose is what defines us as human beings. We may have limited choices but we can always choose. We can choose our thoughts, emotions, moods, our words, our actions; we can choose our values and live by principles. It is the choice of acting or being acted upon. Stephen Covey
  • In the space between yes and no, there’s a lifetime. It’s the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it’s the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; its the legroom for the lies you’ll tell yourself in the future.  Jodi Picoult

The gap between our thoughts is where God resides

  • The Self is not in the realm of thought. The Self is in the gap between our thoughts. The cosmic psyche whispers to us softly in the gap between our thoughts.  Deepak Chopra
  • I can’t describe the gap.  Why? Because to do so is to leave the gap and revert to what is either in back of it or in front of it. I know the bliss I feel when I’m in the gap, but the moment I contemplate that bliss, I’m out of the gap. I think of the gap as God’s house, since God is the omnipresent, invisible force that is in all of creation. Wayne Dyer
  • Within us is the almost unfathomable power to enter the gap between our thoughts, where we can commune silently with God and bring to life the same creativity that we see in the world of nature — of which we’re an integral component. That’s right.  We’re just as much a part of the miraculously creative panorama of nature as the flowers, the sunsets, the seedlings turning into palm trees, the changing of the seasons, and everything else. It’s being outside of the gap, and listening only to the ego that keeps us from living at the level of being able to manifest.  Wayne Dyer
  • If you want to find God, hang out in the space between your thoughts.  Alan Cohen

Find the gap by observing where your thoughts come from

  • Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Now, pay attention to your thoughts. Just follow them wherever they may lead. Simply watch them come and go. After you have watched your thoughts for 5 to 10 seconds, ask yourself this question, and then be very alert to see what happens immediately after you ask. Here’s the question: ” Where will my next thought come from?” What happened? Was there a short break in your thinking while you waited for the next thought? Did you notice a space, kind of a gap between the question and the next thought?  Dr Frank Kinslow
  • … that which is seen, hath not come from that which doth appear.  St. Paul

Find the gap by coming into present moment awareness

  • Instead of “watching the thinker,” you can also create a gap in the mind stream simply by directing the focus of your attention into the Now. Just become intensely conscious of the present moment. This is a deeply satisfying thing to do. In this way, you draw consciousness away from mind activity and create a gap of no-mind in which you are highly alert and aware but not thinking. This is the essence of meditation. Eckhart Tolle
  • There’s a great space in which this moment takes place. There’s a great silence that is listening to the thoughts.  Adyashanti
  • The Gap is the silent space between thoughts. It is the space where the mind stands still. No thoughts exist in this space. Hence, it is in the Gap that you can experience present moment awareness. From cultivating present moment awareness, inner wisdom and joy arises.  Evelyn Lim

Find the gap by noticing the space between thought and perception

  • Throughout the day, there is a continuously changing succession of things that you see and hear. In the first moment of seeing something or hearing a sound—and more so if it is unfamiliar—before the mind names or interprets what you see or hear, there is usually a gap of alert attention in which the perception occurs. That is the inner space. Its duration differs from person to person. It is easy to miss because in many people those spaces are extremely short, perhaps only a second or less. This is what happens: A new sight or sound arises, and in the first moment of perception, there is a brief cessation in the habitual stream of thinking. Consciousness is diverted away from thought because it is required for sense perception. A very unusual sight or sound may leave you “speechless”—even inside, that is to say, bring about a longer gap. The frequency and duration of those spaces determine your ability to enjoy life, to feel an inner connectedness with other human beings as well as nature. It also determines the degree to which you are free of ego because ego implies complete unawareness of the dimension of space. When you become conscious of these brief spaces as they happen naturally, they will lengthen, and as they do, you will experience with increasing frequency the joy of perceiving with little or no interference of thinking. The world around you then feels fresh, new, and alive. The more you perceive life through a mental screen of abstraction and conceptualization, the more lifeless and flat the world around you becomes. Eckhart Tolle

Through observation and meditation, the gaps start to lengthen

  • You don’t need to be concerned with the duration of those gaps. A few seconds is good enough. Gradually, they will lengthen themselves, without any effort on your part. More importantly than their length is to bring them in frequently so that your daily activities and your stream of thinking become interspersed with space.  Eckhart Tolle
  • When you become conscious of these brief spaces as they happen naturally, they will lengthen, and as they do, you will experience with increasing frequency the joy of perceiving with little or no interference of thinking. The world around you then feels fresh, new, and alive. Eckhart Tolle
  • Through observation and meditation, the gaps start to grow and through them there is an influx of peace, insight and compassion into your life. It is as if the mind, in its state of illusory power and seeming solidity, was standing between you and all the inner states you yearn for, between you and peace, insight, compassion and happiness. Once the mind slows down and the gaps can be seen, it becomes apparent that what you were looking for was here the whole time, it was just obscured by the virtually interrupted stream of mental noise!   Vasana

We need the gap

  • Silence is essential. We need silence just as much as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If our minds are crowded with words and thoughts, there is no space for us.  Nhat Hanh

To rest in the gap is to experience what we essentially are

  • The `I` in its purity is experienced in intervals between the two states or two thoughts. Ramana Maharshi
  • Between two thoughts try to be alert; look into the interval, the space in between. You will see no mind; that is your nature. For thoughts come and go – they are accidental – but that inner space always remains. Clouds gather and go, disappear – they are accidental – but the sky remains. You are the sky.  Rajneesh
  • I am not my thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions, and experiences. I am not the content of my life. I am Life. I am the space in which all things happen. I am consciousness. I am the Now. I Am.  Eckhart Tolle
  • Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger.  Eckhart Tolle
  • We are the space in which thoughts appear, play, and dissolve like clouds drifting in the infinite sky.  Mooji
  • What is the relationship between awareness and thinking? Awareness is the space in which thoughts exist when that space has become conscious of itself.  Eckhart Tolle

The gap can also be a place to add power to intentions

  • Intention lays the groundwork for the effortless, spontaneous, frictionless flow of pure potentiality seeking expression from the unmanifest to the manifest.  Deepak Chopra
  • Between thought and spoken word is a gap where intention can enter…  Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Slip into the gap. This means to center yourself in that silent space between thoughts, to go into the silence – that level of Being which is your essential state. (2) Establish in that state of Being, release your intentions and desires. When you are actually in the gap, there’s no thought, there’s no intention, but as you come out of the gap at the junction between the gap and a thought, you introduce intention.  Deepak Chopra