Keeping your heart and mind open

Keeping your heart and mind open seems to be key to spirituality.  This is paradoxical for me, since many think of spirituality as being about those moments we experience when our heart and mind are fully open and we experience that wonderful flow of life.  All the rest; the difficult people, situations, ugliness in the world feels to them like the things that are getting in the way of them being spiritual – the things they want to get away from.  My experience has been the reverse, that keeping my heart and mind open is hard work, that the real spiritual work is how to respond to the people and situations we find difficult.  These people and situations are our teachers, or “worthy opponents” as Don Juan would refer to them in the Carlos Castaneda books.  They are the very things that are going to frustrate and hurt us but they are also the key (Chiron for astrologers) to how we grow and learn.  If they did not exist, we would have to invent them in order to develop.  Mostly they are teaching us where we are attached to a fixed picture of how the world should be which has closed our heart down.  Since our brains are more receivers than generators, it is our role to keep them clean so they can be good receivers.  A closed mind or heart interferes with the universal flow – love.  I have to concede my indebtedness to Chrissy Philp (One Way of Looking at Man) for teaching me much of this and for those interested in enlightenment there can be few books as insightful.

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