Posted on May 10, 2006


The Open Hand

The Open Hand Image represents for me a hand open to give, as well as open to receive.

Out of living with open hands comes fresh new growth.

Living with open hands is an expression of an open mind, open heart, and open will.

But this begins with being fully present and learning to See and Hear at a deeper level.

Open eyes see beauty, represented by the flower,

in every person and everything in creation.

Not only does living with open hands bring forth beauty

but it is also the source of the passion of compassion.

The flames of love are not stifled but are fanned

into all-consuming, all-embracing, all-inclusive, unconditional love.


There are two distinct approaches to living life:

Open hand livingopen-hand


Clenched fist living

Our hands are an expression of our heart and mind, our inner self.

As an artist expresses the inner self . . .

As a warrior expresses the inner self . . .

As a villan expresses the inner self . . .

As a thief expresses the inner self . . .

. . . Through the hand,

So do we in our every action and re-action

To people and to life

“Think of the difference between being confronted with a clenched fist and being offered an open hand. The clenched fist signifies threat, rejection, arrogance, exclusion, refusal, anger and violence. The open hand means friendship, help, peace, sharing, communication and connection.” (fr. Vivian Boland: see his full sermon, Clenched Fists or Open Hands, here

Clenched fist living contrasted with open hand living

Clenched Fist Open Hand
Threat Invitation
Hidden Revealed
Uptight Relaxed
Defensive Inquiring
Stagnation / Entropy Open System
Barrier Connection
Sees Limits Sees Possibilities
Energy Bottled-Up Energy Released
Closed Mind: knows all, opinionated, full of certainty Open Mind: always learning, inquiring, anticipating
Closed Heart: guarded, controlled, fear Open Heart: embraces change, diversity, people
Conquers / crushes risk and the unknown Embraces the unknown and seeks new possibilities
Competition Collaboration
It is all about ME It is all about ALL