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September 14, 2005

Opening Vs Openness

Prasad started the session with Ganesha Pancharatnam (a prayer to Lord Ganesha).

After the session, I looked up the English translation of the prayer and felt that it does not capture the devotional quality of the prayer. I then remembered what Prasad once said about prayers. He said that the content of the prayer is not as important as the state of the mind, or even better, the state of being with which the prayer is done. Yet, I couldn�t help but feel that there is something in the poetry and choice of words that helps the devotee slip into a state of devotion.

In the check in, I said that I am increasingly paying attention to the natural pace of any task that I take. Whenever I want to control the pace of the task, my quality decreases. But if I observe my engagement with a task, and if I am able to see its natural pace and work in that pace, it helps me maintain peace and spend energy where required.

I also said that before beginning my daily meditation, I am trying not to tell myself that I am going to sit for an hour. Setting a time limit seems to put meditation in the domain of doing than in the domain of being. So I decided to tell myself that I am going to meditate �now� and then hope that I continue to be in the now.

Prasad said that the state of being of a person is outside of time. Hence, the pace of any task need not affect one�s peace. Only when a person identifies oneself as the doer, then the time dimension comes into play. Only then, expectations like �I want this result, I wish I could do this faster, I hope this is not too difficult� becomes important. If one can be in the now and not identify oneself with the doer, then the now does not become past but it perpetuates and expands.

The next question that came up was that if one person is in the state of being and another person is not, does that create conflict? Since the state of being is a state of complete openness without any agenda, could a person in that state be taken advantage of? How can one �be� in relationship?

Prasad and Dinesh offered a few thoughts:

What creates conflicts stems from fear or attachment. It is when we are afraid or we are attached we feel that there is no choice but to think and act in a certain way. In a state of complete openness, even if someone is trying to take advantage of the openness, there is still a chance for a win-win engagement.

Fear again came up in the dialogue. Prasad then talked about Abhaya � fearlessness. Abhaya is not lack of fear but in spite of the presence of fear, being able to not react, if necessary take refuge in the divine and hence be fearless in thought and action.

The main insight for me of this session was that openness is not a factor that one deliberately introduces in a situation (let me see what this person has to say�). Such a factor is more an opening than openness. Openness is a state of being without intentions. It is the difference between having the door to one�s home open and stepping outside the home into the Open.

Posted by Ragu at September 14, 2005 03:54 PM

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