Contemplations on the Open Path

Path of the Friend

Contemplations on the Open Path

The essays in this section – written by Elias – originally appeared in the quarterly journal of the Sufi Way, the Window. They explore several aspects of what is called the Open Path – a non-sectarian approach to spiritual awakening and whole-hearted living.

For many reasons during our lives we come to identify ourselves with the contents of our awareness, with our opinions, beliefs, desires, aversions, self-concept, and other mental and emotional fixations. This conditioning gradually becomes experienced by us as what is real, while our natural state of open, contentless awareness is felt as vulnerability and lack. Often the reaction to this sense of vulnerability is a contracting away from any hint of openness, masking it with self-assertion, defensiveness, or self-doubt.

The work of the Open Path is a direct approach to releasing this reactivity and opening into our natural condition of clear awareness. It involves a spontaneous giving up, a non-grasping that gives us no place to dwell. As we gradually (or suddenly) learn to flow with this letting go, the intimacy and beauty of life are revealed. In the tranquility of pure openness we awake, without an agenda, present to what is.

The Open Path

One of the most joyful moments in the life of the spiritual seeker is when we recognize that the long sought-for goal is already here. We are the pure Presence the sages and poets speak about. Not our personality, but the heart of our own natural awareness is this most intimate and infinite Presence. We understand in these moments of realization…

The Art of Awakening

There are contradictions at nearly every step on the spiritual path. In fact the very image of a spiritual path is a contradiction. It implies there is a distance to be traveled, that we are walking on a path that goes from somewhere far from the divine to somewhere closer, from darkness to light or from a state of less awareness to awakening…

The Simple Fact of Being Aware Right Now

Imagine the sky on a clear spring morning—utterly transparent, empty, and vividly fresh. It is alive, though there is nothing there….

Following Beauty

Sufis speak of a gentle way of continual blessing available to us—a way of beauty. Following the way of beauty does not require adherence to a special belief or dogma; it is a path that simply reveals itself through our direct, intimate experience…