you are a vessel
meant to remain open
receptive to the energies that may flow through you
our most natural state of being stays open to the flow
just as the flower transforms from seed to bud to blossom with ease and grace
our practice cultivates this inner strength and balance
so we may remain open to whatever experience we encounter
free from the grasp of attachment to old habits that continue a cycle of suffering
free from the need to hide our emotions
free from the ache to restrict and resist in hopes to diminish and not deal with our fear of pain
stay open my heart
when our hearts are open we receive energy, love, and joy
when our hearts are closed we block energy losing power, restrict love under faulty expectations, and take things personally feeling under attack like a victim
we are 100% responsible for keeping an open heart because not only do we receive the glorious benefits of joy, love, and energy, but all those around us benefit from our open heart creating a beautiful ripple of divine love seated in our true nature and extending from right alignment.
choose to stay open
In the practice of meditation, we call ourselves back from past stories and future narratives. We call ourselves back into the body, the breath, and the heart. We call ourselves back home.
We may encounter blockages, resistance, uncomfortable feelings and sensations, old wounds, and a range of emotions on this journey inward when we retreat home to our inner sanctuary. We must constantly remind ourselves that this is part of the practice and release all expectations of feeling “good” when we practice meditation. When we sit with ourselves we give our body, mind, and heart space to heal, recover, and find balance. We open up space and invite all the thoughts, feelings, and sensations to process and flow through us.
When you experience discomfort in the practice, ask: what do I grasp for? What thought, feeling, desire or action do I reach for so that I do not have to deal with the discomfort? What is my relationship to discomfort?
Use these tools to remain open when discomfort arises in your practice.
- The strength of your heart encompasses the ability to hold space for all to be as is
- Call yourself back to your body
- Reconnect with your breath when you wander away
- Remain open
- Remember you are a vessel, allow the river to flow
- Sit with all the pieces of yourself
- Try not to label a feeling or sensation as good or bad, instead remain aware of the sensation or feeling and watch it transform.
- Experiencing sensations of heat may occur, you can think of the sensations, feelings, or old thought patterns burning up.
Letting Everything In and Through
The ultimate value of staying open is that where scoured clean of all that might burden us: memories, wounds, assumptions, and conclusions— even the debris of unworkable dreams. And more important than what we reach for or aspire to is the cleansing release of all that takes up residence in the reservoir of our perception and feeling. For unprocessed experience and on unlived dreams clog our arteries of being, and this can be life-threatening. So, like it or not, we’re asked to let everything in and through, trusting that it’s the passage of life through us that is renewing, not what we accumulate or accomplish along the way. As blood must pass through organs, as rivers must empty into the sea, thoughts and feelings must pass through our being, if we’re to stay fresh and changeable. After all these years, I’ve come to see that the aim is not to be empty or full, but to stay in open channel for everything life has to offer. I’m still learning how to do this.
From Mark Nepo Things That Join the Sea and the Sky