We all have some capacity to be open, to both give and receive. Sometimes, however, we close down and are unable to give and receive. This closed down state often says, “I know that!” or it thinks “I get that!” or “I have that!” or “I don’t need that!?” Sometimes this closed state refuses to follow or wants to do things in a way that disregards others or the teachings. And yet, the universal mark to “open” is still there even when the parochial I-ego mind appears to shut down the universal openness.
This capacity to open is never tainted by the I-ego shenanigans, but it does get more difficult to discover this universal quality of openness when the “I-ego” is running the show. When the “I-ego” is running the plays it is very difficult to receive and even more difficult to give. When I speak about “giving” I include many things, not just physical gifts…but qualities such as an ability to “listen” and to “pay attention” and “to follow” directions; to receive the teachings with a confidence in them….confidence that is trusting and not belligerent. There are many reasons the openness to receive and give gets cut off – sometimes it is fear or arrogance, sometimes an ugly righteousness forms over the open heart that looks like a know-it-all. But most of these reasons are straw devils — but even though they are straw devils they can run amok in sidetracking and ditching the spiritual aspirant into a phony security.
I hope you see from this short teaching that ‘the capacity to open’ is important to any spiritual work. And that over time, if we continue the work, continue to stay the course, that you will see this for yourself. See when you close down and stray into the petty field of the “I-ego” of thinking all sorts of crazy self-centered thoughts about your accomplishments and your prideful doors that keep you closed down in a mind that “thinks it knows.”
I encourage you to examine what you cling to and what identity you carry that leads you astray. The universal mark of suffering arises from that conditioned identity that you believe is a lifeboat. So there is work to do. Of course there is much more that can be said – but this is enough, a bite of the bread that nourishes the spiritual quest.
I hope you will use what fortitude you have to examine your constructed identity and begin to take down the ridgepole that holds it up. Freedom, the universal open freedom is never apart from you.
With great hope for you.
Author: FaShi Lao Yue
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