The Heart is a subtle organ of wisdom, of that so-called “transcendental intellect.” It has been said that: “The rational mind cannot understand the reasoning of the Heart. ”Because it cannot be understood by the rational mind, the role of the Spiritual Heart is ignored and even denied. In refuting spiritual intuition, which comes from the Heart, to focus only on reason, the illuminating role of the Heart is abolished. Rational thinking is called reflection because it is, in fact, a reflection of the energy of the Heart. Because of this, ancient traditions held reason, rationality, to be just a capacity for mediated, reflected knowledge.
The mind knows through a process of acquiring information. The Heart knows through surrender, trust, and joy.
The knowledge of the mind is sequential; the knowledge of the Heart is instantaneous and undivided. It is revelation. It is holistic. It reveals advaita, non-duality.
The Heart, being the Spiritual Sun, is an image of the Center. It is considered the place of revelation, the vital center of being, and the source of the deepest intuition. The Heart is a “theophanic” organ (theophany is a visible manifestation to humankind of God). It is a sacred symbol par excellence.
The mind is thus an imperfect instrument with an inherent inability to understand and realize atman.
“The truth of Self cannot come from him who has not realized that he is the Self. The intellect cannot reveal the Self beyond its duality of subject and object.” – Ramana Maharshi
So here we arrive again... a new week, another day, same heart..
The above text articulates so well, all that I am exploring and will be continuing to explore with you this week.
I was slightly anxious and anticipating the weekend just gone by for one reason and another, due to my own matters of the heart. I too had classes to teach, Yoga trainings to partake in and family situations to invest time in to, as well as long anticipated catch ups with old friends booked in. And here we arrive in the week later and I did all these things with my heart still beating. yet change is always a guarantee. What deeper awareness can be cultivate in ourselves to observe those changes, especially within the heart this week?!
The final day of the weekend, I had one of the best days that I have had in a long while with one very special and aptly named 'Alice' (in wonderland).
After a 'wonder'filled week honouring motherhood during half term and getting out of the city in to nature, with the elements of water, fire, and all others in abundance, I already felt I had gained that incredibly necessary rest and perspective we all need to gift ourselves with now and again. To be in the here and now! By these actions of renouncing my usual weekly responsibilities and being in the moment with my children and every new experience we encountered, I touched in to the hearts of my angels i love more than anything else on the entire planet, my children, and had my heart opened up, filled up and expanded more than ever!!!
Upon our return to the city, I was gifted to be asked to cover two teachers classes, as they too took well deserved breaks. It became a total blessing to me, as i also then experienced being touched by their students old and new, with such openness and acceptance to all that i offered and the opportunity to hold space for them to connect to their own radiance, was well received. we discussed how simply my role as a teacher is just that.
To hold space for you to connect back to your heart! To become yourself for that time, without the mind needing to get involved but to switch off and feel with your heart's'.
As I went onward through the weekend, with more yoga trainings, learning all about the gift that is bringing life in to the world and how to serve these womens bodies, I ended my day ready to relax in the garden with family. And yet...
My heart stopped a few beats.
As a change in health of an older relative changed the evening spent visiting my incredibly close Aunt at her hospital bed side. My nerves became comprised and my heart felt like a big crack had appeared in it. The love was bursting for her and her recovery, and it cracked at the pressure.
We all know that it is the cracks in us that let the light in and i took this knowing finally, in to the sunset in the garden of my parents house as we reflected upon how we felt, upon all the trials and tribulations we were experiencing and as we shared, we returned to the all important realisation of how incredibly important love is! The love of your family and in relationships of all kinds.
Some of you may wish to stop reading here, for family dynamics for you may feel far from loving. I hear ya. But... do continue...
For me, family have always been incredibly important, yet at the tender age of 18 I couldn't wait to spread my wings and leave home to explore the world, consciousness and truly begin to experience what this life is all about, without the loving care i had been sheltered with while younger and this wide eyed curiously has continued to this day.
With Italian running through my blood, i'm by nature a pretty feisty, passionate and highly independent soul, yet hypersensitive to all things and very awake and affected by all things.
It both serves me and troubles me at all times. Yet, i always return through it all with the knowing that i am not alone. Sometimes I want to be very alone, sometimes I push people to the other side of the planet for space and to not suffocate this need to explore life, love, people and myself and yet, like a honing pigeon, i always return to those that i consider family, to THE LOVE in my heart.
Over the years, family has both become smaller through loosing a few that i have loved dearly and its grown ten fold from gathering the most incredible friends and community. We have in Bristol an undeniably blessed community, with treasures from all over the world, humans that continue to blow my subconscious mind. We also in life have those gems that stay with you through all walks of life, you have those that exist only in chapters of life, that feel like you've shared lifetimes together and wise ones that bring teachings that help us grow.
On sunday, upon waking, I reached out to another older family member and shared with them the importance of supporting eachother with such certainty and peace. After a drive through the fields of somerset, I found myself in Frome catching up with one of my oldest friends and one of my best friends from innocent study days gone by, her name is Alice.
We wear the experiences of life within the cells of our entire body and Alice and i too, in very separate conversations kept coming back, after sharing all the highs and lows of the time since last seeing one another, to the very conclusion that relationships are everything! The relationship with yourself being the number one!
How when you've shared experiences in your self and with others, whether that be from being blood relatives, old uni mates or lovers, you made a mark and we must give thanks. Those people somehow affected the heart directly and that power you can never change, no matter how much time passes by, it has no relevance! If you've been hurt, the pain will be there until we face it and find acceptance. That love will always remain if we hold and cherish it.
Regarding time, not only because time in life can not be defined, how much or how little there is, in an instant we could be gone from this body and the uncertainty of the thing of that, but because whatever has been and gone, has enabled us as individuals to grow. To feel. We don't judge a river by time as it is connected infinitely to the mouth and the ocean, there is no separate as it continues to flow like prana, there is no definition of time.
My incredibly wonderful yoga teacher Wendy Teasdil, was very simply doing her thing, teaching me effortlessly this weekend and just very simply mentioned the 3 hearts we have in such a casual context and in that moment, mine began beating faster. I felt it come alive. But it was my entire chest and being that awakened to some kind of realisation as she spoke.
I asked her to explain it further and she looked at me with that knowing gaze and shared her wisdom.
She spoke of the 'physical heart' on the left, the 'Anahata' in the centre and our right heart, our 'Hridaya'.
That wonderful world i had allowed myself to forget from my studies gone by and there it was again, the word i had been seeking and found on my trip in the van last week, that i'd felt, that I'd fallen in love with again.
It all made sense to me just then about my own heart. How when in life you feel love so powerfully, yet you cant articulate why. nothing makes sense. Sometimes you feel it, sometimes you let go of love without rhyme or reason. Other times its unquestionable and you hold on tight... and yet where does this come from? How sometimes another kind of love will feel enlivening and another love will manifest physically and hurt!
Yet it is the 'right side' that for now feels to be the one i am most focused on connecting back with.
Hridaya is our 'spiritual heart', our fundamental essence.
In our times, the connection between our superior intuitive intelligence and the Heart has mostly been forgotten. Even if we generally accept the idea of the existence of a Spiritual Heart, we tend to accept it symbolically.
The Heart, seen as an organ of direct knowledge, can and should be trained constantly in order to increase its purity and capacity to Love, witness, surrender….
In this way, the borders of individuality fade away, and through the recognition of its fundamental attribute as a gateway to infinity, the Supreme Self, atman, is revealed.
We talk about breaking hearts and having our hearts broken a lot but what does that mean to us as individuals and how does that relate to yoga?
The heart is ever changing, yet always constant while we live and breathe, our physical heart beats...
Yet we have an ego.
Generally, the activity of the mind is governed by intentionality and implicitly is a movement governed by ego; it is activity that wants to grab information and to “conquer,” to keep control over the objects of activity and the process of self-knowing.
When we withdraw the senses (pratyahara) and center ourselves in the chest area, looking for the deepest aspects of our being, we start to search “the interior” to the detriment of “the exterior. In this way, we pass from the usual “conquering” attitude of the mind to a receptive, contemplative disposition. It is a kind of surrender, which implies lucidity, discernment, vigilance. There we can still speak about an action, but it is of a completely different nature. It is more like a radiance of pure presence, not an action of the ego.
these quotesbove SING to me and help me to define what happens in heart break, as we close off or defend the love, the self, the perception of right and wrong doing.
Give it all away!
The ignorant one thinks that the Self can be known by the intellect, but the enlightened one knows that he is beyond the duality of the knower and the known.” – Kena Upanishad
The unity between Bhakti, Love and Jnana, non-mediate Knowledge
The best way of keeping the awareness of the Spiritual Heart is to love.
That’s why jnana, the direct knowledge, is so related with bhakti, which means love, devotion, zeal, fervor, heartiness, ardor, adoration, ecstasy.
The great Sufi mystic and poet Rumi affirmed:
“There is a candle in your heart,
ready to be kindled.
There is a void in your soul,
ready to be filled.
You feel it, don’t you?
You feel the separation
from the Beloved.
Invite Him to fill you up,
embrace the fire.
Remind those who tell you otherwise,
comes to you of its own accord,
and the yearning for it
cannot be learned in any school.”
In the same manner in which the mind is trained in school through the process of education, our Heart (seen here as the organ of spiritual perception) needs to be cultivated. In the domain of the Heart, most of us are somewhat or entirely illiterate.
Is your mind in your heart or trapped inside your EGO?
Of course, the process is different because its attributes are different. Art and contemplation represent some of the way to cultivate our Spiritual Heart, but the best method is through meditation for the revelation of the Spiritual Heart and Love.
MEDITATE ON IT!
Coming back to the Heart, all the vain noise of the world is quieted….
The Heart is a sanctuary of silence.
There, in the most sacred intimacy and solitude of the “cave of the Heart”, the moods of individuality fade away and the consciousness of unity is revealed. There, the world and man are one. So, in a paradoxical way, the solitude and intimacy of the Heart reveals the essential Unity of all existence.
Lets work on existing in the world being aware of our 3 hearts! This week, mediate on your right side ' The Spiritual Heart' and find your centre.
See you on the mats in class to begin finding it.