This week’s Peace Nurturing Practice is a second look at Openness in which we open our hearts and minds to new voices, ideas, perspectives, and possibilities.  We adopt a “maybe so” attitude rather than, “My mind is closed.  I know all there is to know!”  Like babies and little children, we are curious to observe what others are doing, to try new experiences, new concepts, new ways of eating, of moving about in the world and new ways of communicating.  We are willing to consider all possibilities.

Judgements are fashionable in our world.  We are encouraged to have an opinion about everything and everyone.  There are even radio shows based on people telling what they think of this and that and him and her and, most importantly: why what he or she did or said was either shocking or outrageous.  What an exhausting world!

Let us free ourselves from such heaviness.  An open mind guided by an open heart when face to face with an elderly person who is yelling at everyone around him, sees not “a grumpy, mean old man,” but rather a fellow being in distress.  A neighbor who has different opinions than we do is not an enemy, but a friend with different life experiences and ways of thinking.

Openness gives us a place and space in which to ramble about where one can try out experiences, listen, and learn.  It is our natural state.  Old patterns don’t kick in when the possibilities are unlimited and experienced as such.  They only come into play (are triggered) when one slips into old mental and/or spiritual ruts.  Openness frees us to be the love and peace that we are.

Answers none

Questions many


Possibilities limitless

Boundless and free

Peaceful we


As I chose to view everyone and everything with an open heart and an open mind, I am a radiating center of peace.

Reflection: A friend and colleague who was quite the joker used to say something that has stayed with me for years.  When certain things were suggested as worth trying, she would respond: “I tried it once and it didn’t work, and I will never try it again!” The first time she said it, I thought it was a joke, but it turned out rather than joking, she was affirming her guiding principle in life.  Everything got one try.  I am profoundly grateful to her for helping me realize that being open to new ideas or even trying something more than once can be beneficial.

One of the reasons I wanted to return to this practice is because of how happy and serene my heart is when I withhold judgements and simply observe and listen. Openness offers space in which all are honored and welcome.  Peace makes no demands, creates no boundaries, peace simply is. Our hearts have room for all aspects of ourselves and others to be welcomed and loved.  In openness, we flourish, feel safe, heal, and radiate peace.

This morning these words sounded in my mind and: “I awake to the wonder, promise, and peace of openness.”  May it offer you the same joy, hope, and peace.

Your turn to reflect – How do you feel when you judge yourself or others?  How do you feel when you are willing and able to suspend judgment of yourself and others?  Do you have a preference?

Thank you for being a vital part of Peace on Earth by nurturing peace in your heart, in your life.  The more that you embody peace, the more peace there is.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.  (Click on the blue link below.)


Jean Victor Balin Dove



"When someone is seeking," said Siddhartha, "It happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal.  Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal. You, O worthy one, are perhaps indeed a seeker, for in striving towards your goal, you do not see many things that are under your nose."

Hermann Hesse




Photo taken by Donna Day at T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Reserve

I chose this photo to represent openness because that is how it feels to me.

Free, unlimited, and serene.  



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