Intuitively relating to the words Openness, Clarity & Sensitivity

A student writes:

“My experience of ‘openness, clarity and sensitivity’ has definitely been a product of the meditation process. I understand that this feeling isn’t the ‘final destination’ version – however, I couldn’t really find a better way to describe it.

There is an openness about the body and mind and these both close up when getting withdrawn. The body – hunched over, or furrowed brow; the mind – cloudy and dull.

A sensitivity to what is around: physically – having a sensation of aliveness and well-being; the mind –  understanding and empathy with those around me.

Clarity: clearness of thought and noticing where thoughts were stemming from and leaving them to it, not getting emotionally drawn by them which tends to lead back into the hunched and furrowed circle.

So while I appreciate how limited this feeling is, it seems to be a natural by-product of the meditation process. I shall still strive for the more profound version – but this is what is happening at the moment.”

Lama Shenpen:

Yes, it is interesting that the words openness, clarity and sensitivity mean something straight off don’t they? You say to someone that you meditate or practice awareness and they might think you’re a bit odd. But if you say I try to be open, clear and sensitive people will think, well that’s good, even if they think you’re not much good at it!

The interesting question is why these words are so evocative. Why do we value and appreciate openness, clarity and sensitivity just for their own sake? Yes, we can rationalise and say they are good qualities because of this, that and the other, but actually when it comes down to it, they are just good qualities because they have value in themselves.

In fact, the more open we are the more we want to open, the more clear we are the more clarity we want, the more sensitive we are the more sensitivity we want. So why should that be?

It is by asking this question and looking for an experiential answer that we start to realise – it is because this is what we essentially are.

So we are not looking to get more of qualities we don’t have – but to understand more deeply qualities we already have. It’s wonderful really, isn’t it?