I have been reading Deepak’s book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, where he talks about the “gap.” I was wondering more about what it is and how I get there. Is there a special technique to meditating? I am enjoying the book so much. Each time I read it I learn something new. I hope you can help me out here.
The Chopra Center Responds:
Thank you for your note. We’re glad you are enjoying your reading. To answer your question, the term “gap” simply refers to a state of quiet, restful awareness in which you experience no thoughts about the past or future and are squarely in the present. Since there are no thoughts in the gap, as soon as you realize that you have been in this state of pure awareness, you have just drifted out of it, for the thought “I’m in the gap!” is the thought of the thinking mind. Most meditation techniques are focused on cultivating this state of expanded consciousness, whether through focusing on the breath, an object such as a candle, or a mantra.
The Primordial Sound Meditation technique taught by the Chopra Center is a mantra-based technique. A traditional mantra is a sound without a meaning, and silently repeating a mantra during meditation helps the mind move beyond its usual busy internal dialogue into an experience of the gap. The meditation practice is a continuous cycle of dipping into the gap, then drifting out when we experience a thought, sensation, or feeling . . . then moving back into the state of restful awareness.
Keep in mind that trying to stay in the gap will bring you out of it. The gap is a quiet, simple state of awareness, and mental effort is a more active, excited state of awareness. There’s no need to force or concentrate. When you meditate, let yourself gently cultivate familiarity with the gap. During the rest of the day, the silence you have experienced will naturally be present in your thoughts and actions.
The Chopra Center Staff