Open Space Spirituality
by: Marieta L. Guazon
OPEN SPACE SPIRITUALITY: A WAY TO SUSTAIN OUR INNER LIFE IN THE WORLD OF GLOBALIZATION
“It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh" ( Herbert W. Armstrong). This word struck me most when I read the article entitled What’s Next? The plain truth’s most important prophecies were of the wonderful World Tomorrow. Our world today is surrounded of chaos, problems and conflict etc. People are searching for an answers and solutions. Personally I was one of them. As a religion teacher my Christian faith taught me about the importance of Prayer and Sacraments. It works in my life for how many years especially when I had time for silence during my prayer time, recollection, retreat and the open space life in the province and in Mother of Life where I undergoes formation. Those things sustain my spiritual life for all those years.
After those years I have my spiritual struggle. It’s almost ten years now I am in a search of a Spirituality that can sustain my spiritual life in today’s Modern world. A world of materialism and technology which I am surrounded with too much noise and people who are always busy. A World of competition and consumerism. A world of having deadlines rushing here and there and don’t have enough time for prayer and silence. Amidst of these environment what kind of spirituality that can sustain my inner peace, happiness and spiritual life in order to sustain me through life journey. With this search I found out myself enrolled at ASI taking ACA course. The inputs of my professors give me hope and bring me to the new world of possibilities. It open my minds it challenged me to do something with the family problem that we have now a problem of disunity. On How to bring back the family unity give me reasons to think and find for a solution. This problem give me an opportunity to be one with myself and with the universe.
In the midnight of April 8, 2007 during our family gathering in the house of my brother at Las Pinas City I discovered this kind of spirituality an OPEN SPACE SPIRITUALITY. I was amazed with my experience of a profound peace,
and happiness within. As I lay down in our car, park in front of the house of my brother and looking up in the moon and the stars in the sky above . There is a voice within me speaking and it says why are you so lonely and hurt, look at the moon and the stars in the midst of the black sky above, they are happy looking at you. All a sudden I remembered all the lessons that we discussed in our class. Then I realized that whatever the reason of my loneliness, with all the family problems that I am keeping in my heart. I don’t need to be sad because I am not alone. The universe knows it I know I cannot hide it to myself. I was able to sleep well with this realization and woke up in the following morning full of hope and at peace with myself . This means the solution to our family problem is within me. My realization leads me to possible solutions:
The first solution is, I need to be at peace with myself and the universe is also at peace with me.
Second solution is, I do not need to focus myself with the problem itself but instead I will think of the possible solutions to the problem and what are the things I can do to solve the problem. St. Therese of the Child Jesus said In order to make us bear our misery with great facility let us keep our eyes fixed principally on Jesus and refrain from looking fixedly at our imperfections. It is an efficacious remedy and it has the additional advantage of lifting up our soul while disengaging it ( Rev. Francois Jamart, O.C.D.).
Third Solution is, be happy because by doing it, it’s gives life to my own spirit and it can influence other spirit to cooperate with me to work for the solution of our family problem.“ Our actions speak louder than our words, and by virtue of our actions, we can make a positive or negative difference in the lives of others ( Deepak Chopra).
“To be able to survive the appropriate progress of his attainments, mankind of tomorrow will have to find in the development of his spiritual life and in the uplifting of his moral ideal, the wisdom not to abuse his increased forces (Ken Wilber).
As I sat down and asked myself why with all the material blessing that we have in the family we are not united. When we are kids we had fights but it is easy for us to reconcile and help one another in order to survive. Now we are adults with different profession. We had the capability to earn a living and live with much material blessing and have something to share it difficult for us to give. Our parents are sad and we are not happy also.
Why we are not that happy? Why we cannot unite ourselves and help one another? We did it before during our childhood life why we cannot do it now?
We belong to a big family. I have my brothers who are working abroad and almost eleven of us finished our studies and have work except with my two brothers who are sick. The one who is blind after working in Taiwan for almost five years and the other one who was mysteriously sick.
These questions in my mind lead me to search for an answer and search for a solution to work out the unity in the family.
I said to myself may be the reasons of disunity in the family are the following: It is because of distance by living apart from each other since childhood, may be because of different culture we have now some are working abroad for a long time and adapt other culture. It might because of mixed marriages, different educational background or different status in life.
Thinking with all the possible solutions with all the inputs that I have learned in ASI I tried to study what is the best way to bring this family again. I tried to work it out with the Culture of spirit. The culture of sharing with the help of father Joseph Vaddakel, MCBS I bring my family together again in prayer. Almost all the family members are started working together except by the two of my siblings who are living with different worldview about family life. Instead we get angry we understand them may be in the future they will realized the value of family relationship. By truly valuing diversity and accepting our family members for who they are, we cannot help but strengthen these relationships (Deepak Chopra).
With the newfound Spirituality which is The Open Space Spirituality the spirituality of understanding and accepting the person for who they are. The acceptance of their world view , of their own family culture and living with them. Accepting my brothers and sisters beyond their human limitations there is a possibility to bring unity in the family . These lessons I learned when I give myself a chance to be one with the universe. I said to myself If the universe can accept me for what I am. I need to accept others for what they are. As the sun shine both to the sinners and the good alike and the rain drops to all of us whether we are good or right. If I can accept my brothers and sisters for who they are then we can solve the problem.
Open space spirituality is living beyond human limitations. The world contains all types of features and surfaces and lines, but they are all interwoven into a seamless field ( Ken Wilber). Look at our body with different parts. Our hands is different from our feet, and our feet is different from our ears but we can recognize that they are members of one body, and likewise our body expresses itself in various parts all in one and one in all. Similarly, in the territory of no- boundary, all things and events are equally members of one body, the Dharmakaya, the mystical body of Christ, the universal field of Brahman, the organic pattern of the Tao. Any physicist will tell us that all objects in the cosmos are simply various forms of a single Energy( Ken Welber).
Like wise in the family my elder brother is different from my younger brother but we are members of one family.
In accepting one another then we can find true happiness and fulfillment in life because by doing it we can live in unity and in reality we are all one. We are the sons and daughters of the universe.
This new found spirituality sustain my inner life and makes me happy atlas I was able to accept my brothers and sisters for who they are. Now we are working out the unity in the family. We handle it with joy and we are one in helping the sick members of the family. I got the cooperation of my brothers and sisters. It is because I find time to be one with myself and to be one with the universe there I got my strength to be one also with my brothers and sisters to work it out our differences. Open space Spirituality is a kind of Spirituality living beyond human limitations .We can just do it if we find time to be one in the universe through silence.