Reverend David Old, MDiv.
Minister's Letter SepT 29th,2022
One of our core values that we have chosen for Unity Spiritual Centre Windsor is “Open-minded.” What does being “open minded” really mean?
Adyashanti, or Adya, is one of my favorite spiritual teachers and writers. He offers some interesting insights that I would like to share with you. In his book, “Falling into Grace: Insights on the End of Suffering,” he writes, “Open-mindedness comes naturally as we begin to see the ways that we argue with our experience, with events that are in fact immoveable and unchangeable.” Moments are always changing, but “this moment is as it is and any moment in the past is as it was.” A very simple concept but very hard to let in because conventional wisdom is that we constantly evaluate and judge, telling ourselves what should or shouldn’t be, what we like and what we don’t like. Adya says this is constantly putting us at odds with life.
What effect does this have one us? When we begin to open our minds we see that this constant evaluation leads to suffering and when we really get that, and clearly see that—we begin to have the capacity to let it go.
Adya says, “When our minds start to open, we’re no longer in a constant state of evaluation and judgment. Naturally, then, our senses open—and we can really see what is before us.” Our eyes, hearing, heart, and emotions open to all of existence. Judging and condemning closes our hearts. Adya wisely points out:
Open-mindedness doesn’t mean that you’re just opening to the good parts of life; it means you’re opening to everything. And this is when you start to discover a type of inner stillness, an inner stability, that vast unchanging expanse that is at the heart of everything.
Opening to things as they are is what it really means to be still, to be quiet, to be in a state of mediation. When you no longer resist reality as it is, you could say that you are in a constant state of meditation. We are not just talking about a moment of contemplation or peace, but rather a way of changing our relationship with life such that our experience is not based in conflict, judgement and constant evaluation.
It’s not so much that we need to change ourselves but rather it is our relationship with our experience that needs to shift.
The greatest generator of conflict, both internal and external is our addiction to interpreting, and evaluating each and every moment of our experience. When we interpret and evaluate, we separate from our experience. We are no longer in the flow. We then find ourselves acting like a sports commentator to our own lives—making comments without actually being in the game. When we judge, we move to the sidelines of our own existence.
May you find yourself gracefully in the flow of life this week, open, receptive, responsive and grateful to the individual moments of your life.
Rich blessings and much love,