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Open-Hearted Humans

Updated: 6 days ago

Let me share with you one of my favorite songs, it is called “Ábrete corazón” (Open up Heart) attributed to Rosa Giove, a Peruvian physician and epidemiologist:

Open up heart,

Open up feeling,

Open up understanding,

Leave reason by the side

And let the sun in you shine

Open up ancestral memory,

Hidden in the earth,

In the plants,

Under the fire,

Under the water. 

It is time now,

It is now,

Open up heart

And remember

How the Spirit cures,

How love heals,

How the tree blooms and life perdures

That to reach God

One must learn to be human.

Please do not be discouraged if the word God is not part of your language in your spiritual journey. You can translate this word to “enlightenment, the best version of yourself, the mystery of life, the transcendent, the Divine, the Goddess” or whatever word that you use to speak of that which is greater than yourself. 

What I love about these lyrics and particularly about the last sentence is that is contrary to what is often prescribed as a way to get closer to the Divine: prayer, meditation, contemplation, solitude, etc. I mean I am not devaluing the wisdom of mystics and spiritual teachers but as Jack Kornfield noted in his book “After the Ecstasy, the Laundry”, even the holiest of monks would struggle if he had to face the day to day challenges of the average person. I wonder often about what it means to be human. As I meet so many different expressions of humanity in my workday, I am in awe, wonder, amazement and, even puzzled, when I meet people whose lives, realities, and human experiences are so different from mine. There is only one way in which I know how to exist and be a human being, others teach me the many other possibilities to exist as expressions of the divine. 

What does it mean to be human? I don’t have a definite answer for you. But I do know that asking myself this question often and, especially when I encounter other humans, allows me to expand the possibilities of the answer. I do not know, but I do know that every person I have met has taught me something about being human. Exploring what it means to be human, and how those expressions are found in others, has become one of my spiritual practices. It allows me to suspend judgment, to invite wonder and curiosity, to extend compassion, to marvel and how they learn and grow and understand life, but it also allows me to find ways of connection and how our being human overlaps with one another. 

This exploration of what being human means has the potential to lead us on a journey of remembering. That is, of re-membering, of reconnecting parts within ourselves but also of reconnecting with the world and with others. More importantly, it can helps us understand every part of ourselves, every sensation, every emotion as contained within the human experience. That is, nothing that you experience is outside of the human experience. 

We cannot be enlightened beings or mystics if we do not first find the path that brings us closer to the beings that share this time and space with us. It is an opening of the heart that helps us remember the power of love, the power of connection, and the healing power of the earth. To get closer to G-d, one must learn to be human; the Mystery of Life is revealed in our encounters with the others, if we are willing to let our hearts and minds open to our fellow siblings that share this planet with us. 

The song is in Spanish, but I am adding it here if you want to listen to it.

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