Open Hands, Open Mind: On Not Clinging to Beliefs, Experiences, or Realizations

Sometimes a step out of one trap is a step into another one. As Ralph Waldo Emerson used to say, the very key that liberates us from a previous prison often locks us up  in another one.

Experiences, beliefs, and realizations come and go. They are best enjoyed, like our daily meals, that is, as sources of nourishment that we enjoy, but to which we do not cling, knowing them to be fleeting and impermanent. Just as no one meal can sustain us forever, so can no one experience, belief, or realization.

The journey of life is best explored with a light load. The freer the mind is from reliance and attachment to particular experiences, beliefs, or realizations, the lighter our load.

Though letting go may seem scary, every possession is a burden, and our mental possessions are the heaviest burdens of all.

Ideas are wonderful tools, but just as one puts down one’s hammer after one has finished using it, so should we put down our ideas once they have served their purpose. One climbs a mountain best with free hands and understands life best with a free mind.

The less we cling to particular perspectives of beliefs, the more open we can be to those of others.  And the less obstacles to connecting with others that our minds put in our way, the more we can open our hearts to deep relationships and deeper connections.

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