The potter knows she plays with clay but works with space,
For the use of the bowl is its empty space.
It is the same with the room,
Made whole by the emptiness between the walls.
Remember that something is not everything.
Nothing is also essential.*

~ Lao Tzu

Without space there would be no substance. Substance is not everything, although our mind likes to think it so.

I remember a time when I was painting watercolors, and learning about negative space. This is the space or background that the subject is set against.  Imagine choosing a tree to paint, and rather than painting in the tree, you paint the space around it.

watercolor trees
Source: Pinterest

Space must be considered in order to allow the subject to shine forth from the paper. Its brings harmony to the piece.

When we consider that nothing is essential, it turns inside out how we see things. I know it also reminds me how limited our thinking mind can be.

Nothing is essential.



*Braun Jr., John; Tzu, Lao; von Bargen, Julian; Warkentin, David. Tao Te Ching (Kindle Locations 211-215). . Kindle Edition.

About Val Boyko

Val Boyko is originally from Scotland and came to the United States over 25 years ago. At "Find Your Middle Ground" Val brings together her experience as a life coach, yoga teacher and mentor, to inspire awakening to the light and inspiration within us all. This blog is a place of exploration and discovery as we all explore finding harmony and peace, in the highs and lows of life 💛

38 comments on “Potter and Space

  1. Great post, Val. I choose to think of awareness as the lucid, empty space within which consciousness (the brain’s output of thingness) is revealed. H ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for providing a shift in perspective today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this, Val. Funny how limited our minds and thoughts can be, until someone or something enlightens us.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great reminder! Thanks Val

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good post, Val. Nothing is essential!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this! This concept feels profound to me every time I read anew.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nothing IS essential! If it weren’t for nothing, we could not experience ‘something.’ I love that you mention art, for when I produce a pastel drawing, I always begin with negative space first. Then the image emerges from that. And then there’s the Big Bang theory … 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love thinking about this. Not being an artist it isn’t something I considered before. Maybe it’s true of poetry also. There is always something between the lines, though it appears to be empty space. The unspoken upon which the words are formed…. ?
    Thanks for the thought provoking post, Val.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Something between the lines that is unspoken, yet felt…. I love this Betty ♥️ Words come from the empty space within. We create them with thought and give them substance as they come into the world I’d substance.
      Lots to reflect on. Thank you Betty 💕


  9. When there is space we can expand and see the path with new vision. Beautiful reminder Val 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks Val. Such a liberating feeling to pause and be with this centering thought… nothing is essential

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a lovely post, Val. Nothing is essential. Therein we dwell…in quiet. I really love your presentation of this concept! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your posts are essential to me, Val. And this reminds me how silence in group therapy is as important as what people share.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Val, I so, so love your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. thanks for giving
    us some space, Val 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This reminds me of the thought that without silence there can be no music. A lovely post, Val, and your artwork of space around the tree is stunning.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. i loved pottery and teaching it…this puts a smile on my face…thank you Val… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Lovely post Val and useful in all life’s facettes ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. amandavanniekerk

    I think we are too quick to rely on our 5 senses and to dismiss what we cannot experience physically. Maybe we can be reminded here that in the greater scheme of things, ‘nothing’ came before ‘something’. Thanks for this lovely post Val.

    Liked by 1 person

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