Saturday, May 11, 2019

The opening hand of faith.

Many years ago my teacher said that the process of awakening was like a hand that begins with a fist of fear and overtime, through persistence and cleansing, opens like a morning blossom emitting fragrance and love…and then it becomes a fist again. This opening and closing continues time and again until one day, your hand remains open, fear no longer reigns and you stay open, exposed and vulnerable yet a blessing to the world.

Buddhist teacher and author Pema Chödrön puts it this way: “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen—room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” 

Our hand opens when we feel safe and closes again when we sense fear approaching. Having neither optimistic nor pessimistic expectations are accepting the reality of life. There is room for it all. 

And one final observation: The cycle of opening and closing happens on a mortal level but when at last we truly awaken, the immortal part of us neither opens nor closes. In an ordinary way, while awake during the day, we can open or close our eyes but the eye of awakening to immortality is always on. Like a mirror, consciousness just is, reflecting whatever comes. It is fear and ignorance that clouds clarity and distorts true understanding.

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