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Clear Thinking - Do YOU Have an Open Mind?

From: Janardhan
Sent on: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:43 PM

Do YOU Have an Open Mind?

Pick up a pen and curl your hand around it with palm of your hand face down.�� Then open your hand, release the pen and watch it fall to the floor.�� It���s gone.�� Now pick up the pen, grasp it again, but this time with palm facing upwards.�� Now open your hand and notice the pen remains.�� Yet the tension of grasping has gone, your hand is relaxed and the pen is still there when you need it.��

This perfectly describes what we do in our mind with almost everything and everyone in our life.�� While we can use our hand to physically grasp occasional objects we use our mind to grasp the images of objects, ideas, other people, memories, beliefs, hopes etc.�� And just as there is tension in the muscles of a grasping hand so we create ���mental tension��� when we grasp and attempt to hold to anything with our minds.�� In fact this is where all our tensions, which means all our fears, have their origins, in our grasping minds.��

Mental (and physical) relaxation and renewal will not be possible until we learn to ���hold openly���, without grasping, in our mind whatever needs to be held at any given moment.�� Good decision making will be difficult until we release our mental attention from its habit of grasping and make it available to a wider and deeper awareness.��

When we are ���busy��� grasping the pen within our hand all our physical energy travels to grip the pen, all our attention surrounds the pen and we see only what may threaten to remove the pen from our grasp.�� This shuts down our awareness of what���s going on around us, behind us, above us, in front of us.�� When we are busy grasping our awareness diminishes and it���s as if we ���shrink��� our self around what we grasp.�� Our universe becomes small and limited by what we grasp.

And so it is with our mind.�� It���s here that we create and grasp at the images of things, people, places, positions, memories, ideas, beliefs.�� It is here that we attempt to ���hold on��� to the things we fear losing.�� And so we create ���mental tension���, narrow and shrink our awareness and limit our capacity to see more broadly and with greater depth the big picture of life as it happens around us and within us. Our attention and awareness are not free to support our intellect which is where we make our decisions and choices.�� Our awareness is not open to receiving and passing on to our intellect whatever insight or wisdom it requires to create those decisions.

Returning to the ���pen in hand��� metaphor, if we do not relax our grip of the pen it cannot be used by anyone else.�� And if the pen continues to fill the space of our hand it means our hand is not free to receive and hold anything new.�� And so it is with our mind.�� When we use our mind as a way of grasping and holding on to things, people, memories etc. our mental space is not only tense but it is always occupied, busy being closed around the ideas and images of what we are grasping.�� So we close our self to the river of life itself, which is continuously bringing ���the new��� towards us in the form of new opportunities, new relationships, new ideas and, from within, new insights.�� Being so busy grasping we make our self oblivious to what is attempting to enter the universe of our awareness.

This is why so many of us regularly get that feeling of ���stuckness���.�� The feeling that nothing is changing in our life.�� It seems that we are just going through the same monotonous patterns each day.�� If you feel this then take a moment and look behind this feeling, this pattern, and you will likely see something that you are habitually grasping within your mind.�� You will likely notice that���s what is closing down your awareness which means your ability to be open and to see and receive ���the new���.��

Sometimes we may complain of the dullness that comes with a sense of ���stuckness��� but fail to see this deeper mental cause.�� While we may say we long for the new, for the different, for something to ���break��� the patterns of a predictable life, in truth, it���s more likely we have wedded our self to the very circumstances we bemoan.�� Otherwise we wouldn���t complain, even to ourselves, but would act enthusiastically to seek, invite, invoke, attract, create a new way forward.�� Instead of standing guard at the gates of our comfort zone, in which we are probably tolerably uncomfortable, we would be flinging those gates open and inviting the river to flow through and into our vast and unlimited mental space.�� Hence it takes a little courage to see and consciously release what we habitually grasp with our minds.�� Only then can you allow your awareness and your vision to be filled with new possibilities.

Conversely, and somewhat paradoxically, many do say that they are ready for change, that they crave for the new job, the new way of life, the new opportunity, that this in itself becomes what they attempt to grasp mentally before it shows up in reality.�� So that when it does show up they are still too busy grasping the images of possibility they are not able to recognize and embrace the reality of new opportunities when the river of life does bring it their way!

Hence the wisdom that we all seem to know in our heart of hearts ��� grasp nothing, relax your grip on everything, stay open, be free, embrace whatever and whoever enters the gates of your awareness and maintain the faith that the river of life itself will bring exactly what you need at each and every moment. Remember, the river flows in both directions ��� from outside in and inside out!

Question:�� What do you sense is underlying any feelings of sickness?

Reflection:�� Resistance leads to persistence ��� why is it that whatever you resist just gets stronger?

��Action: Take five minutes at the end of each day this week and review the day for moments of ���mental grasping���.��

���� Mike George 2010

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