As we launch this new website and write our very first blog post EVER this opening line has some double meaning for us. Beyond that, it is a provocative
subject line to be sure ... but what does it mean that there is no reason
not to open? To us it is simply about how we can stop fighting with the reality we
experience .... to learn to even welcome it. This of course is more challenging when the
experience we are having is not to our preference or desire in some
way. It might even hurt! Why keep opening in that case? For one
reason only-our liberation and freedom from suffering. We don't really
suffer from what happens to us, we suffer over what we think or believe
about it. We suffer over our unwillingness to let the emotion which
follows that thought or belief to move through us. To open into our
experience, whatever it is, is the supreme act of of what we term
"Spiritual Warriorship". This is the practice of facing whatever life
throws our way with presence, openness, and willingness. While working with clients in counseling, this is always the attitude we seek to help others find within themselves. There is more freedom and less suffering in this attitude.
As a spiritual warrior, we are willing because one absolutely knows that ALL experience, as it arises in our mind, can be an opportunity for transcendence. We don't transcend or experience the joy of an undefended heart by simply cultivating a more pleasant state of mind. We transcend when we can allow any and all experience to arise in our heart and mind without judging it, fighting it, or contracting. Thus, any experience is either an opportunity to free ourselves from judgment, contraction, or aggression, or an opportunity to enjoy the realization we have already obtained.
To be sure, if you find yourself in a burning house, walk out. In most cases, however, to open into what is allows us to remain in presence no matter what happens, to respond skillfully if necessary, and to experience greater freedom from limiting emotions and states of mind. Can you imagine the sense of joy or mastery that arises in your being as you become less upset by outward events? The compassion or love you might feel for others when you are not reactive to their verbal expressions or behavior?