Excerpt About Openness
Sometimes we can avoid feeling pain by closing down our sensitivity, and sometimes pain is simply unavoidable; we can’t help feeling it. But essential Compassion responds to and welcomes all forms of pain—whether mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual, whether exposed or hidden. The moment the green latifa is present in our inquiry, sensitivity and openness increase and deepen from all sides. Inquiry is more open and sensitive, and the openness becomes more attuned and empathic. This means that the soul is now more open to reveal her suffering and her vulnerability. When we are not in touch with our true nature, the emotional pain of our everyday life can begin to feel intolerable. But the more we recognize ourselves as our true nature, the less significant our emotional pains become. Regardless of how deep the emotional pain goes, our true nature is infinitely deeper. But without access to the depth of who and what we are, intense pain feels overwhelming. It threatens our sense of who we are, so we close down or clam up. Over time, we block the pain by deadening ourselves, by making ourselves insensitive, thick, and gross. Without the soft, radiant warmth of Loving-kindness, we aren’t going to trust enough to open up. Our field of experience needs to have this sensitivity, because we have become insensitive. So if our inquiry is going to invite openness in our experience, it must be open to the possibility of experiencing the pain, hurt, and suffering. It not only has to be open in the sense of allowing the suffering to surface in consciousness, but the openness has to embody a gentleness, delicacy, sensitivity, softness, and considerateness. Only this will truly invite the soul to open up her pain.