- The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said that the frame of a window or door is important, but it is the empty space within the frame that makes it useful.
- Ancient stone carvings were created by removing some portion of the material to create either a raised or depressed surface in the shape of a letter or word. In both cases, the meaning - the usefulness is conveyed by what is is not there.
- A sculptor will look at a giant slab of rock and will release the figure within by....removing the surrounding (excess) rock.
- We "read between the lines" because what is not said is often far more meaningful that what is said.
There is another way....
In meditation...don't focus your thoughts. Focus is not a cause, it is a result. By consciously focusing your thoughts you are damming up a river, allowing only trickle to filter through and then calling it a stream. It may appear calm and serene but the appearance is artifical because you are restricting the natural flow. Instead, let your mind go wherever it wants to go. Ten thousand thoughts, ideas, smells, sounds, memories, emotions are going to rush through. Don't push them away but don't hold on to them either - just watch them come and go as if you were sitting on a park bench on Saturday afternoon. At first, the pace will seem unmanageable as each thought or idea approaches, announces itself loudly and demands your attention. But then, a change. The thoughts will continue, they will still demand attention - but they will appear do so politely, and quietly. Eventually, it may seem that they are not demanding attention at at all as they present themselves silently. In reality the thoughts will remain the same but your perception, and reception of them will have changed. Your mind, now accustomed to the clamor of thoughts will no longer grasp at each one but will selectively give attention as needed. Only then will your "stream" of thoughts be truly calm and serene.