The metaphor of the open hand is very resonant. It speaks to the innermost in each of us.
But I am often asked … how do we live as the open hand?
Well, it has nothing to do with how awake or enlightened you are. It has nothing to do with how spiritual you are. Nor has it anything to do with how kind or compassionate or good you are. Although all these qualities will start to start to come through when you live as the open hand.
Living as the open hand of love means softening, letting go, and relaxing within the experience that you are having … whatever that experience is. This softening is neither spiritual nor unspiritual. It is neither enlightened nor unenlightened. Whatever experience is happening within you – whether it is heaven or it is hell – is a potent invitation to the infinite openness of love. You are invited to notice where the clenched fist is still operating, where there is turning away, or numbing out, or the tug of wanting it to be different to how it is. Even if the wanting it to be different is here as your experience, you are invited to relax into that. It can get very subtle. And you can go so much closer to your innermost.
What I’m really talking about here, is the deepest acceptance of your inner experience .. because your experience is all you can know. In the deepest acceptance, you meet reality as it is. This deep acceptance is what it takes to live fully awake.
In this deep acceptance, you meet reality as the open “yes.” It doesn’t mean that you necessarily like it. It doesn’t mean that it goes away. It doesn’t mean that you don’t feel discomfort. It doesn’t mean that you wake up and see it all as an illusion and it doesn’t hurt anymore.
It means that you bow down to what is.
There’s a way of seeing more clearly the mechanism of resistance … whenever you feel discomfort, whenever you feel you’ve fallen off the enlightened heights of peace and grace and transcendence, whenever you feel that there is something wrong and you shouldn’t be feeling like this, you can be sure that you have created yourself as unworthy. And the question is .. unworthy in the eyes of whom?
If you look closely – and even more and more closely than that – the answer is .. unworthy in the eyes of your own imagination. In this moment, the unworthiness exists in your imagination. Test it out .. investigate this with your own direct experience.
So whenever you feel not good enough, not enlightened enough, or that something is wrong in your experience, that’s the clue. The clue that – in this moment – you are fighting your inner experience. The clue that – in this moment – you are divided within your own experience. This is the terror of the inner war.
When you become sensitive to this inner division, it is exactly the right time for transformation. It is exactly the right time to relax – in this moment – to say “yes, this is here .. it is as it is”. It is the right time to be willing to stand as openness in the midst of pain, in the midst of loss, in the midst of discomfort. It is the right time to stand as openness in the face of that which you don’t want and that which you don’t like.
My friend, it is up to you. No-one can teach you this, or wave a magic wand to make it happen. It is up to you to search within and ask yourself if you are willing to give up all weapons of war .. and bow down to what is.
– Amoda Maa