The Mind of an Open Question
“It is in those moments that we give ourselves over to the mystery and fullness of life, that we are able to experience our own brilliance.” — Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel
Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel uses the phrase “the mind of an open question” to describe the greatest potential of the human mind. When we ask an open question, the mind becomes naturally curious and engaged, creating a fertile environment for learning and clear discernment.
We may have a tendency to think the qualities of openness and curiosity are naive, passive, or vague, and assume that genuine confidence comes only from holding definitive conclusions about things within our mind. But in the tradition of the Buddha’s wisdom, inquiry is highly valued and considered a practical and crucial element for clear seeing. The mind that does not close down around its object in a determinate way finds protection from the extremes of fundamentalism and doubt. This increases our ability to read patterns, take in vital information, and to make choices that bring our actions together with our intentions.
In accord with the topic of open questioning, Elizabeth’s method for teaching aligns with the traditional methods of inquiry found in Mahayana Buddhism. She inspires us into rethinking how we look at mind and its world and how to cultivate our most precious asset on the path: the mind of an open question. People find her approach to the material lively, disarming, and empowering.
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