Crooked Finger (crookedfingers) wrote,
Crooked Finger

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a change of focus

"We have considered various aspects of the contemplative path through the lens of reactive mind: What is practice like? What is ego like? What contemplative skills begin to develop? What are some special challenges? In the following section we shall consider the very themes but through the lens of receptive mind. Each of these themes looks different depending on how much mental clutter has been cleared away by the practice of contemplation so as to enable receptive mind to emerge.

We do well not to think of the change of focus from reactive mind to receptive mind as a progression to a different stage in the spiritual life. While the language of stages in the spiritual life is ancient and esteemed, it gives the impression that such stages line up in sequence. The decluttering of awareness gradually reveals the expanseless expanse of awareness that has ever been the radiant ground of humanity, a radiance both hidden and manifest in the mystery of God in Christ. Nothing is added to reactive mind to turn in into receptive mind. Quite the opposite. The practice of contemplation proceeds by the gradual removal of layers of clutter so that the radiant ground of light now shines less lumbered and encunmbered.

Receptive mind sees and reacts to life in a manner different from reactive mind, but all that characterizes reactive mind remains and can suddenly return to dominate rather than allow, behold, listen, and let be. After sufficient decluttering, and the resulting simplification of our inner sight, receptive mind has room to shine forth, while reactive mind tends to dominate less and less-at least in our better moments." pg. 93.94 Martin Laird 'An Ocean Of Light'

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