Happy Monday, February 20, 2023
Recently, my mother shared with me a Danish expression I had never heard before. “My ears are open”, she said, as she leaned in to me.
She explained a little more of her mother tongue by saying that when we are near the end of life, when everything has been said, there is a part of us that is simply open to take it all in. We become a vessel of sorts for whatever is present in the moment.
In the Science of Mind philosophy, we speak a lot about having an “open mind” and certainly as well about an “open heart”. But what about “open ears”?
It’s a useful thing to think about in a month devoted to curiosity. When we have “open ears”, it means we have made an agreement with ourselves to begin the process of deep listening – which automatically engages both mind and heart.
When we have “open ears” our questions become deeper, more intimate; in so doing, we create a space where there is both authenticity and vulnerability. We set the table for meaningful conversation. With open ears, without saying a word, we send out the signal that there is something worthy underway, and in order to capture what is here in this moment, we need to be open in all ways.
As I thought about this more, I realized too that the state of having “open ears” is something we practice in meditation.
In the Zen tradition, zazen (or meditation) is often referred to as “just sitting”. When we sit in zazen, we become receivers of whatever is happening at any one time. To the best of our ability, we suspend our tendency to judge, to reason. Instead, we practice allowing.
This is another form of surrender. We let go of judgment, and instead become the witness to our own level of response. We notice how we react to the ambulance siren outside, to the cat that cries to be let out, or the sound of a kettle. We are amid it all, and being an open ear automatically quietens the mind so that this single moment, the sound of this drop of water into the sink, is all that matters. We become one with whatever unfolds before us.
How does this help us in our daily lives?
It helps us because it reminds us that life is to be lived. There are hundreds of interactions in each day, and at any one time, there are opportunities to be the open minds, open hearts, open ears and open eyes. When we are open with our senses, we are grounded and able to respond to life accordingly. When my mind is in the ethers, it’s easy for me to respond from the baggage that I may be carrying.
So, today, I invite you to surrender a bit of “control” of your life, and simply play with that open space. You may discover that there is more to your day than you realized. And once you make that discovery, there’s an opportunity for you to consider: now what? How do I choose to respond to this moment?
This is spiritual living. No additives necessary.
Peace and blessings,
If you missed yesterday’s Soul Food Sunday titled The World is an Oyster, you can watch the replay and other past services on the CSLK YouTube channel.
Copyright © 2023 Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna. All rights reserved.