Take it to the Heart
“The heart is intuitive. It does not share the mind’s many limitations.”
-Daaji, The Heartfulness Way
I write this during a period of surprising struggle with myself over what seem to be multiple unnecessary concerns, blown out of proportion in my own mind.
A few months ago, I sat down for my morning meditation with a positive outlook and no particular worries. Out of nowhere, a relationship that has been stressful over the years came to mind and I began anticipating a conflict based on past interactions. My attempts to let go of the anxiety were getting me nowhere. Instead, I felt like I was being sucked into a whirlpool of worry. I could not seem to ignore this “uninvited guest.”
As the minutes ticked by and I saw my meditation being swallowed up in this stressful train of thought, I got rather annoyed with myself. What to do? Another thought came: “This guest is perfectly happy hanging around and has no intention of leaving my side. After all, I’m feeding it with my emotions, engaging it with my ‘what if’ scenarios, and entertaining it with a full-blown psychological drama. Why would it go anywhere?” I became very determined to get to my heart and save my meditation, one way or another.
It then occurred to me that I could simply take the guest with me and give it over to the heart. In essence, I said to the guest, “I have to go now, but you can come with me. I will hand you over to the heart’s care, and it will know exactly what to do with you.”
The shift happened in that moment. It was so immediate that it shocked me. It was as if the entire complex mental struggle simply vaporised, and I slipped into a very nice meditation. I was so struck by this occurrence that I began to take my concerns to the heart in this manner on a more regular basis. In the midst of daily life, or in meditation, I would simply ask the heart for help, without any preconceived idea of what form the help would take.
What I discovered was that the heart never fails to respond in some way, and its responses are surprisingly simple and clear. Sometimes they just point my attention in another direction, toward something I hadn’t even thought was relevant or connected. At other times the heart provides insight or a different perspective on a matter. Sometimes it simply shifts my inner condition, removing the concern entirely. Most interestingly, its responses are never quite what I expect and they are different each time, always original.
Suggested read : Finding peace with heartfulness meditation
Sometimes I fail to follow through on the heart’s response. Recently during an evening Cleaning session, I found myself in a mentally obsessive state much like the one that started me down this road of referring to the heart. Once again, I offered up my concern, and the heart told me quite plainly, “This is a non-issue.” In other words, the turn of events I was anticipating was not going to come about at all. While I still couldn’t seem to let go of the anxiety, I did file away the heart’s response. And as it turned out, the very next day it was indeed a non-issue.
I remember being part of a small group of meditators sitting with our Guide some years ago. Someone asked him if he had the same negative thoughts we do. He answered, “Yes, but they pass so quickly I hardly notice them.” This tells me that none of us is above having thoughts we wish we didn’t. Ram Chandra once said, “Thoughts come up in order to go away.” I suspect it’s the ego that tells me I should be beyond this sort of struggle, beyond all sorts of attitudes that get in my way. I hope someday I will be, but for now it only makes the struggle worse when I think badly of myself because of it.
Here is a “tip for progress” that seems particularly relevant to dealing with difficulties:
“In spirituality we can be like lions… brave against odds and obstacles and confident of attaining the goal. So, negative feelings like fear, doubt, uncertainty and lack of confidence in one’s own self can be consciously avoided.”
When I’m assailed by thoughts that fall into the above category, I will continue to go to the heart, taking these thoughts with me if I have to and giving them over with faith in the heart’s response.
-By Leslie Blair