Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Praise Song for Wide Open Space

--by Omid Safi (Feb 13, 2017)

Wide open spaces fill my heart with a sense of awe. It can be a plain, a desert, a view from a mountaintop, a vista. Somehow wide open spaces remind me of God’s presence in ways that few mosques, churches, and temples ever have.

I have sat with this mystery for a while, wondering about what it is that touches our hearts so. Rumi said,
"Be empty of worrying.
Think of who created thought!
Why do you stay in prison
When the door is so wide open?"

The opening feels to me not so much like an emptiness but an invitation, a beaconing, a call, a welcoming. Wide open spaces feel like being drawn into a place that’s beyond place, a time beyond time. So many of the ancient sages have been saying this:
"As Above,
So Below."

Somehow the wide open space here (“below”) serves as an opening to there (“above.”) [...]

Maybe there is something about this love of wide open spaces that is a desire to be bigger, grander, more connected. There's something about the urge to lift up our gaze from the micro-dramas of our own life, and be more attuned to the larger rhythms of the cosmos, and the cosmic Artist.

We are meant to live lives that are complete and whole.

At least for me, this is the appeal of wide open spaces: a reminder of who we are, who we have been, and who we must become yet again. It's a reminder that we are not “mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life,” as Martin Luther King used to say, but that there is something in us as vast as the whole cosmos. Somewhere deep in our hearts, there is a faculty that reaches out for the whole universe, because it is made in the image of the cosmic Artist.

This is what open spaces are: a reminder that our hearts are meant to be open, cast open, flung open so that the whole cosmos is reflected within.

Excerpted from this page.

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Previous Reflections:

On Feb 10, 2017 david doane wrote:

I love the wide open spaces.  I just came in from outside looking at the enormous starless sky with a giant full moon -- I felt awe and gratitude.  I spontaneously thanked God.  I remember being in Montana a year or so ago and looking out over an enormous terrain and a big sky that seemed endless (and maybe is), and again felt awe.  In both situations, I forgot about the microdramas of life and appreciated the cosmos and my being part of it.  I felt alive and had a sense of being part of a huge interconnected miracle.  I breathed deep and took it in and didn't want the moment to end.  For me, it was a spiritual moment beyond space and time.  Those kind of glorious experiences of taking in and feeling part of a miraculous cosmos help me remember to be open to more such glorious moments.

On Feb 11, 2017 Jagdish P Dave wrote:

 I had lived in a wide open space in a village size little town in India until I was 16. I graduated from a high school and went to a collage located in a relatively big town.Now when I go back to India, the same town has become a mega city.There is not much open space. It is crowded and cluttered. Living in a wide open space expanded my awareness of natural beauty and human beings.I felt easily connected with them. I  indeed saw the wisdom expressed in the saying "Small is beautiful". The smallness of size expanded and enriched my inner space,my connectedness with nature and people around me. The bigness squeezed my inner and outer space.

My inner openness helps me to receive blessings coming from nature and from people in my life. Outer openness facilitates my inner openness and expansion. I may not be able to change the outer openness but I can expand my inner openness-mind and heart openness.Living this way has definitely enriched my life-mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually.

When my eyes are open, I see the miracles of nature. When my ears are open, I hear the music of silence.
When my hands are open, I feel the touch of kindness. When my heart is open, I feel the grace of love and gratitude. What more do we need to fill the cup of life? 

May we not live in the  self-created prison, when the door of freedom is wide open!


Jagdish P Dave

On Feb 11, 2017 Always Love wrote:

 "What more do we need to fill this cup of life?"  Presence.  Being here ... 

On Feb 14, 2017 Mylrae wrote:

What a nice reading today and I couldn't agree more.  I love wide open spaces, they call to me and I take notice...   On this St. Valentine's Day morning, I walked out my front door, which faces east and witnessed a glorious red sunrise and thanked God for the beautiful gift.   I called my sweetie to witness it with me and he agreed.  

On Feb 14, 2017 Norma Ruiz wrote:

 When I walk my dogs each morning, I try to remember to look up and see the vastness above me -- the sky being warmed by the sun, the hills.  This helps cleanse my mind of the thousand thoughts that pull me out of the moment.  When I breathe in the cool morning and exhale my thoughts releasing them to the universe, I start opening my heart.  Sometimes, it opens big enough to embrace the whole of life.  This is my daily practice.

On Feb 15, 2017 me wrote:

 Any Heavenward reflection takes me to the wide open spaces you speak of.  The world consumes me.  Needs of all around me consume me and keep me buried in "doing and being" in the various roles I find myself.  God keeps me focused on my "larger family" ... the bigger picture ...  From His perspective!  For this, I am most thankful!  Everything takes on a whole new "look" and freedom .  Diving in to His deep is a true adventure!  Amen.

On Feb 17, 2017 Always Love wrote:

 Amen!  Sitting in and with the Risen Son right now!   

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