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The Open Mind: Like Water Through Rock

By KM HUBER

The open mind, so essential to mindfulness—experiencing without judging—may also be “the gentlest thing in the whole world” (Byron Katie). Not surprisingly, that which is most gentle is most powerful for the open mind, in its awareness, accepts what is.

Acceptance is the power behind the gentleness of the open mind: “Ultimately the truth flows into it and through it, like water through rock” (Katie). Undoubtedly, accepting some truths may seem like water flowing through rock yet imagine the power of that possibility.
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The power of the open mind is similar to Tonglen, a Buddhist teaching often translated as “sending and taking.” Tonglen “refers to being willing to take in the pain and suffering of ourselves and others and to send out happiness to us all” (Pema Chödrön).

What we take in, we send out in a gentle flow if “…we drop the storyline that goes along with the pain and feel the underlying energy” (Chödrön). In many ways, the open mind is “the bottom line” stripped of judgments and labels, the stuff of storylines.

It is not easy to drop storylines, not easy to resist being pulled in one direction or the other– it is much easier to react–but in the open mind of Tonglen, we stay with the energy that is stirring us. No matter how long or short our stay, in choosing response over reaction, we keep our options open.

In remaining open, we find the way for any truth to flow through us–some call this courage—we appreciate the gentle persistence of water flowing through rock for it is not how long it may take but that it is undertaken at all. That is the power of being gentle.

The open mind is where paradoxes thrive and similes “like water through rock” reveal the world of infinite possibilities for what has never been one moment’s thought may be the next moment’s reality.

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KM Huber is a writer who learned Zen from a beagle. She believes the moment is all we ever have, and it is enough. In her early life as a hippie, she practiced poetry, and although her middle years were a bit of a muddle, she remains an overtly optimistic sexagenerian, writing prose. She blogs at kmhubersblog.com, may be followed on Twitter @KM_Huber or contacted by email at writetotheranch@gmail.com.

© 2013 KM Huber. All content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact me at the above links to request permission.


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