Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > oneness and invitational presence


door always open ~ the grace of invitational presence

Apr 20, 2019

Saying For Today: Presence cannot not be invitational. This is like saying, the door to presence is always open, always welcoming.

Looking through Open Doors

When a pastor, we referred to having an open door policy. This meant whoever and however is welcome. Now, that was the ideal, the reality may have been different somewhat, for it often is difficult for persons to feel comfortable for others too much unlike them to enter what they feel is their space with their kind of people. Yet, when we feel uncomfortable around someone we see to be unlike us, that is an opportunity to relax into the discomfort and allow something more than our sense of cultural, psychological self to come forth and show itself. What is that something more?

I had a friend in seminary in New Orleans, in the 1980s. He was visiting different church congregations, looking for where his family and he would attend worship. He visited one, where I attended, and he dressed in shabby clothes. Looking like one of the many homeless in the city, he wanted to see how he would or would not be welcomed. He was welcomed. The family had found the place of choice to worship.

* * *

presence cannot not be invitational
and only invite for one to respond "Yes"
presence, in offering itself,
is, also, offering the other to reply "No"

presence, unlike the fictional ego-self,
is in no degree diminished by "No"
for presence cannot be added to or taken from
presence being fullness, being boundless Love

so, presence is never aggressive
in seeking a response from anyone
presence is, rather, graceful, for
arising from Grace and as Grace

* * *

She and I talk when I visit the bank. She is a teller. We talk, laugh, and seem to enjoy the interaction much. She always appears interested in me personally, not just as a customer.

On a recent visit, she speaks to me of the demise of her husband, two years prior. She tells me about her family, a son and a new grandchild. She speaks glowingly of enjoying the new family member. I inquire as to if that has helped in beginning again, following the death of her spouse. She smiles, again glowing with glee, and affirms that the grandchild has much helped in her start again as a widow.

She is aware I am single and new in this region of the country, so, I share I would welcome having a friend, and let her know I am receptive to sharing over coffee or tea. She looks at me, seemingly surprised, but continues as though I had not invited her to a friendly sharing elsewhere. We fellowship for a time more, and I leave, this being the first time in my 58 years of offering a verbal invite and receiving no verbal reply.

Walking outside, toward my truck, I felt no disappointment that my offer was ignored. I was at peace that I had simply offered an invitation, and there was no place for disappointment or embarrassment. Also, there was no felt-need to think about why she would not want to accept or acknowledge the invitation. That an invitation was offered, was enough.

This led, later, to remembrance of the use I have often made of invitational presence. Yet, where does a pure invitation, not arising from egoic interest, arise from? ~ Presence.

What is this presence, or Presence? Presence is both the Sacred, the source of all presence, and the sacred within us, what we are most deeply. Between thoughts, in that vacancy, there is a fullness. That fullness is presence. Presence is that always-present. So, we can say, "I AM," for there is no interruption of presence, of being.

* * *

To even say invitational presence is redundant. Presence is invitational by nature. Presence cannot not be invitational. This is like saying, the door to presence is always open, always welcoming. Presence is essentially hospitable, is the source of all hospitality of disposition and action. That is, presence is the source and inspiration for hospitality arising in specific contexts, and we are the means of this spontaneous welcome.

Presence, being invitational, means, likewise, presence prior to any offer of invitation, such as a verbal invite, is already inviting. What to? To itself. Our offering sincere, caring invitation is an expression of this ceaseless welcome. When we are in communion with Presence, we, as presence, are spontaneously invitational. We do not have to do or say anything to be this, we are it.

* * *

Persons prepared to sense this invitational presence when with us, will sense it. They may not know what is sensed, may not be able to put words to it, may even be confused by it, yet they will sense it. Other persons will likely not. Being aligned with Grace leads us, then, beyond being personally offended by whether persons welcome or not us, in reply to our welcome. Likewise, we relax, knowing our presence is an invitation for others to sense the presence we all are, and the Presence that manifests as our diversified presence.

* * *

Unlike some persons, I do not speak of the ego-self as something in need of overcoming, even as one spiritual writer I read recently said, destroying. The ego is what I like to think of as earth equipment, the ego being a cultural, psychological beingness with a functional design. Ego is for presence is, being an extension of Presence and referring back to Presence, its Source. Ego is a body-mind phenomenon, presence expresses through the body-mind, yet is not of the body-mind. And the ego invites, but is not invitational by nature, only welcoming within the boundaries which have shaped the ego to invite. This is why prejudice arises from the ego. So, as the ego moves to the background, it is limited more to its functional role and presence expresses more influence, even transforming actions that before were functional. The whole beingness shifts more from functionality to the simplicity of being, which means, also, being in the moment, not extending into the future or retracting into the past. So, one becomes more a being of Love, and Love is not functional, but acts in the moment for the glory of expressing Itself and receiving Itself. When Love loves, Love refers to Itself, even as it is expressing Itself. This Love is invitational presence. All hospitality, then, is a mirror in which Love refers to Itself and celebrates Itself.

Open Door Policy

Grace and Peace to All

*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.

*(C)Brian K. Wilcox, 2019


Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > oneness and invitational presence

©Brian Wilcox 2019