What does it mean to open our minds?
It means seeing beyond what we think we know.
There is a vastness to life beyond what we can perceive from the limitations of our thinking mind. Our thoughts about the world are not the world. It is far greater, far more mysterious, and so much more alive and responsive than we realise. There is always more at play here than we allow for.
For the most part, we are perceiving life through the particular lens of our experience and our conditioning. We get up each day expecting life to behave in the same old way, seeing things through the same old lens, and life largely unfolds as we expect it to.
When we open our minds, it is as if we are opening a door and immediately seeing something bigger. It is like going into another paradigm: same world; new vision. We perceive more.
To open our minds is to subtly shift away from what we think we know - about ourselves, about another person, about our life, our capabilities, the shape of our future - about life itself.
THE BOX OF OUR SEEING
Our current way of seeing things is our current paradigm. It is like an invisible box all round us. We can only see certain things from here, and see them in a certain way. Our box of thinking comes with its own limitations, rules, definitions and expectations.
Beyond this box is the vast universe. It is mysterious, unpredictable, rich and wondrous. It is changeable and changeless. It is potent and alive.
Our box serves to keep us safe from much of that unknown, unchartered, chaotic, abundant aliveness; but it also shuts us off from it.
Opening the mind is a little like pushing against the joints and corners of the box. Light starts to come through. Something of that energy, movement and mystery starts to pour in. An entire area of the box beings to be infiltrated and changed by this. We see things - ourselves, other people, relationships, circumstances - with greater clarity. We see more of the big picture, beyond the context of our own perception. More of the true nature of What Is is revealed to us.
Our box will never be the same. We have seen with new eyes and we cannot 'unsee' what we have seen. Soon, we find that we naturally want to let more of that light in, we want to see more truthfully and be more authentically aligned with this, we want to feel more of the vast, regenerative energy of life pouring in in creative and beautiful ways.
In situations where we would normally judge and assume, jumping in to control or direct life, reacting before the Isness of the moment has been allowed its unexplored expression - we begin to quieten and step back a little, take a breath and look again. Space appears between us and our reactions, a space where life can happen.
Before we pounce on the moment's unfolding, we might start to ask ourselves:
Is this the only way for me to see this situation or meet this situation?
Is there more to this than meets the eye?
Is there more of life and love available here - in this moment, in this relationship, in this situation - than I thought?
This is when we know that the light is starting to pour in. The box of our old thinking - including our old beliefs about how things are, and our habitual assumptions and expectations about what is unfolding - is beginning to dissolve.
WE HAVE NOT BEEN HERE BEFORE
This moment now is entirely fresh and unscripted.
It has never been lived before.
It has not been written.
We do not know its true potential.
It is new.
It is wide open.
It is the Moment of Life happening.
It is Creation.
Nothing we know is happening. Everything is unknown.
Understanding this beautiful truth offers us freedom: we can allow our narrow old ideas and rules, our expectations and limited perceptions, to fall away, because they are not real. They are simply our smallest thinking about life.
They are all the knots that have been living within us, as we have mistakenly held ourselves against life. We have felt them as the tightness in our shoulders and neck, the tensing in our jaw, the furrowing of our brow, the coiling and writhing of our gut, the panic in our chest, the inability to breathe, the knots in our muscles and fascia. Our smallest thinking has kept us from the world . . . kept us confined in a box . . . kept us tied up in knots.
Who are we without these thoughts of how things should or ought to be? Without our little thoughts of how things are?
What happens when we let the moment be and let ourselves be within it?
When we let life come pouring in to illuminate, clarify and move us?
What might we be capable of when we allow ourselves to be moved by life?
Body soft and relaxed; mind open and spacious.
What comes in this place of inner presence is knowing. A deep quiet knowing - spacious and easy; natural, spontaneous and alive.
WHAT IS AN OPEN MIND?
It is potency. Responsiveness. You. Here. Now.
It is unscripted Life writing itself.
It is you listening for what seeks to come forth, what seeks to move from, to and through you. It is divinity and mystery seeking expression in this living moment. It is you being the vessel for this. It is you being 'transparent to the transcendent'*.
It is communion and connection; a conspiracy of life and Spirit.
To open the mind, the naysaying mind has to step aside. The ifs, buts, cannots and shoulds have to be let go. Instead, we face the potency of who we are and what might be.
As we open more, the box falls away entirely. We are inhabiting the radiance and mystery of life itself, without barriers or borders. We know ourselves to be the one instrument and the whole glorious orchestra in a great and infinite symphony. We feel ourselves to be a dancer in a dance of energy, movement and light that dances all of life. We are expressed by it, respond from within it and feel the next step moving through us.
We let go and surrender to this.
The intelligence of Life moves and places us, moves and places us, one moment at a time. Listening, sensing, feeling, for this moment now, we know just what to do and where to go.
It is enough.
Who wants to be bound in the chains of a narrow mind and limited thinking when there is this? There is nothing for the mind to close around.
Open, open, open.
* Quotation from Joseph Campbell