Saturday, June 04, 2005

Four practices of open space

Back from the community meeting and how I wish it had been in open space. We spent so much time working out how we would have conversations that we hardly had time for conversations. Once you have been in open space, it really is the only place you want to work/live.

Following up from yesterday...I want to talk a bit about the four practices of open space--opening, inviting, holding and grounding--in terms of my inner experience of them at the moment. For me, at this point in time, opening means softening into the harsh places. It is not about pushing out, but more about non-resistance. For example, if I am feeling fear, opening to it means acknowlegding it, experiencing it, allowing it to be, learning from it, and not engaging with it until it dissolves and something new arises in a more spacious me.

Inviting is about willingness--an openness to possibility and paradox. There are two sides to inviting (at least)--the extending of invitations to others and the world and the engaging or accepting of invitations from others and the world. Willingness seems to flow from the attitude of openness. The impulse to generousity (invitation making) arises and can be seen in the newly spacious interior of the psyche. And through the principle of non-attachment the invitation can be manifested whereas before it may have been suppressed. The impulse to humility? (invitation acceptance) arises as the opening of the heart eases the constriction of the ego and the opening of the soul allows access to the promptings of Spirit.

Holding is about faith. Faith in others, self and Spirit. Faith allows for the development of the virtues of courage, vulnerability, and patience. It is about full-heartedness and strong heartedness. Holding is the continuum of being willing (inviting self) to remain open. The faith is possibility.

Grounding is about acting. It is about taking all the open space and the invitations and the holding out into the world. It is about making the leap of faith across the void from incoherence into manifestation. Without a net. It is experience--experience that will loop back as it pushes against the next harsh place and challenges me to open more space.

A little insight from Rumi...

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

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