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Reflections for the Meetup - Matters of the Heart

From: Jay
Sent on: Thursday, August 7, 2008 2:12 PM

Matters of the Heart

 

The phrase, "What ails yer heart?" can still be heard occasionally in some remote parts of England.  Roughly translated it means 'what is the matter with you'?  Today we still refer to the heart in numerous ways.  He laughed 'heartily' while she ate a 'hearty' breakfast.  He only tried half 'heartedly' while she died of a broken 'heart'.  She spoke from the 'heart' while he completely lost 'heart' and gave up.  All seem to refer to place or space within us that matters.  All point ultimately not to the heart of our body but the heart of our self, which is essentially the self itself!  Perhaps the most common context in which 'affairs of the heart' is the primary theme is what is sometimes known as the myth of romantic love.  And of course there is that small industry called St Valentines day.

 

While the mind and the intellect are vital faculties and resources within our consciousness, within our 'self', it is the very heart of the self, what could be called the true self, which is the power of our life.  In the world of action and interaction the mind is where we go 'to do' our thinking.  The intellect is what we use 'to do' the work of discerning and deciding.  But we easily forget that we are not human 'doings' we are primarily human 'beings'.  And at the heart of our being is the���heart!

 

Visualise a lake.  When the lake is flat and calm, and nothing is moving the potential power of that mass of water is enormous.  The first ripple across the surface is the first manifestation of that power.  Similarly, within our consciousness, our self, when we are calm and silent, we are at our most powerful.  In the external world of nature the mirror like quality of the lake, the calm and serene state of the lake, attracts our attention.  We seem to recognise this form of natural beauty and resonate with it from a place deep within our own nature.  Perhaps it's because it represents and mirrors our own true, natural and original state.  Similarly if you are in the presence of someone who is completely calm, someone who seems to carry a certain serenity into everything they do, it is as if they give off the 'fragrance of peace'.  It is a fragrance that also attracts our attention because it resonates with the heart of our own being, which is at its core, of the same nature.

 

Unfortunately many of us don't live in our inner 'nature' very often.  The general trend of almost all societies over the last two centuries has been to leave the natural world and gravitate towards the busy, bustling and often bruising towns and cities.  Similarly we have also left the calm, still centre of our being and learned to live mostly in our busy minds or be over occupied with our intellects.  We have learned to think too much and often about the wrong things at the wrong moments.  We have learned not to create an occasional ripple across the surface of being, but to generate huge waves going in many directions.  We have learned to cling to our thoughts and even identify with our thoughts and, as a consequence, we find ourselves living a turbulent and agitated life.  And when we do use our intellect we can easily develop a tendency not to use it to discern the true from the false, but to judge others.  Consequently we disconnect from the true nature of our being which is calm, tranquil and peaceful, and swing through the jungle of our thoughts in the form of images, ideas, desires, memories, imaginations and very often accusations and condemnations of others.  And then we wonder why we become tired and often exhausted.    But there is no one to tell us that all we have done is leave the tranquillity and beauty of dwelling in our heart, just 'being' at the core of our own being.  There was no one to guide us back to the place where our peace and our power can always be found.

 

When we return to that tranquil beauty of the countryside for a weekend break, one of the first thoughts is often, "Why did we not do this before?" or "Why don't we do this more often?" or "Why don't more people take a break from their frenetic city life?" The reason is usually an addiction to some form of stimulation.  In our fast paced and stimulating world there is always something to do, someone to see, somewhere to go and we get lost in many such mental stimulations.  We think that if we go away, even for a couple of days, we might miss some thing, someone, or some happening somewhere!  Similarly, within our consciousness we don't take a break from our busy mental and intellectual activity and return to our true nature because we become addicted to our thoughts, such as "I am so concerned about���!" or "It's a real worry what so and so might���!" or "I do hope everything will be���"! or "Oh dear how could they do that when���!"  "You can tell they are a bad because���"

 

If you sit quietly by the lake you will, if you listen closely, begin to feel your heart beating.  You will become aware of your pulse.  Similarly, if you sit with the intention to allow your mind to slow down its production of perceptions and thoughts, if you let go of your intellectual evaluations for a few moments, if you let things become very quiet within your consciousness, within your self, you will hear and feel another heart, your real heart.  You will hear and feel the pulse of love. (not Hollywood love!).  From that pulse comes intention and the deepest intention for human beings is to make a connection, commune and harmonise with others. 

 

At every moment every human being, much like a radio transmitter, is transmitting a subtle and invisible energy, a vibration.   It's highest vibration is what we call love.  Not the love that says 'I love you', not the love that needs an object to love.  But the love that we each are.  When this energy radiates outwards without the hindrance of any attachment, without the distortion of desire, without being diluted by judgments or fear, it enters the world, connects with the world, and embraces everything and everyone 'out there' in the world.

 

This is not a task, not another action, it is not something that we have to do.  It is already being done, it is already happening, because, in the words and understandings of the sages, saints and mystics through the ages, it is what we are.  When the self lives from the heart it is the energy, the intention of love that then shapes our thoughts and informs our decisions.  Judgement and resistance are replaced by compassion and acceptance.  Fear and anger dissolve simply because their deepest cause was the unfulfilled need for love and peace from others, which is now fulfilled from our own hearts, from within the self.  Heaviness and sorrow take a bow and exit stage left because now the heart needs no thing and no one to 'make' it light and happy.  It already is.

 

And what of the body in which we live?  It has needs for shelter, food, rest and exercise so that a healthy heart is maintained in the cavity behind the ribs.  But the need of our real heart, our self, is not to 'take in' anything but to 'give out' what is already there.  And as all those who 'do life' with love will tell us, when everything is given and done with love the one who is nourished and empowered first is the giver. 

 

And so to the 'heart of the matter.  Only when we step out of our busy minds can we sit back in the peace of our heart.   Only when we end evaluation and judgment of others can we cease creating those irritations and frustrations and thereby rediscover the serene and peaceful nature of our heart.  Only than can 'real love' emerge from the depths of our being and find its way through our life and into daily living.  Only then will the search for love end with the realisation that love is not an object of neediness, not 'something' that can be acquired.  Only then you may realise that you don't fall 'in love'.  You already are and always will be 'in love' because it is what you are and always will be.

 

Question:  How many ways can you open and share what is in your heart i.e. how many ways can you give love?  List as many ways as possible.  Consciously practice one every day.

 

 

Reflection: You cannot know true love until you give it away.  Why?

 

Action:  Sit quietly, become aware of your self, inwardly step back from your mind and just watch, step back from intellectual activity and just observe.  Notice a natural peace arise within your being.  Allow your self to be aware of a natural connection with all and everyone.  If do not 'feel' this notice what is in the way.

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