Ma and Liminality


I’ve been considering the concept of Ma in relation to healing (specifically Ma Five Element Healing) for many years now, however never in any depth with may arts practice. However, it comes as no surprise to me that it has made itself known here too when considering liminal space as Ma is an important aspect of me that continues to fascinate, enthral, and uncover answers.

So, what is the difference between Liminal Space and Ma I have been asking myself? Is there a difference?

A liminal space can be a threshold, a transitionary space, or a transformative space. It can be the pause between two spaces. Liminal space can be physical such as unused buildings, corridors, or non-physical such as a transitionary period between two experiences such as experiencing a death or a change in job.

Ma is the Japanese concept of Space and time. It is the pause between objects, movement, thought, breath indeed, every aspect of life. During this pause, there is space to grow. This grown can affect how we think and how we experience our environment. The Kanji for Ma symbolise a door and the sun where the sun can be seen through the crack of the door. Ma is silence but not emptiness. It is an energy, a feeling.

Ma Five Element Healing utilises Ma as a healing experience. A change of energy is placed within the energy field or Ma of a person, place, event, or collective consciousness to support development / change, understanding and healing.

It seems to me that liminal space can have a more solid nature that Ma doesn’t usually encompass. Both liminal space and Ma offer room for change and transition however energy wise liminal space feels like something that happens to you. Some spaces are fear inducing and it has a sense of being linear. In contrast Ma feels expansive, creative, and carries a sense of freedom through personal responsibility. It enables a flow of energy and discovery. My heart continues to lie with the expansiveness of Ma and so I will consider Rewilding the Artist in relation to Ma.