Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > The Heart in Spirituality

 
 

Touching and Touched by the Heart

The Heart in Spirituality

Jun 24, 2009

Saying For Today: By feeling I do not mean mere emotion, rather, I mean a sense of heart, and I prefer not to try to define that, for it is utterly indefinable.


Welcome to OneLife Ministries. This site is designed to lead you prayerfully into a heart experience of Divine Presence, Who is Love. While it focuses on Christian teaching, I pray persons of varied faiths will find inspiration here. Indeed, "God" can be whatever image helps us trust in the Sacred, by whatever means Grace touches us each. Please share this ministry with others, and I hope you return soon. There is a new offering daily. And to be placed on the daily OneLife email list, to request notifications of new writings or submit prayer requests, write to barukhattah@embarqmail.com .

Blessings,
Rev Dr Brian K Wilcox, MDiv, MFT, PhD

Interspiritual Pastor-Teacher, Author, Workshop Leader, Spiritual Counselor, Chaplain

Brian encourages support of the 4-Star Christian organization Compassion, which supports children worldwide; for more see www.compassion.com .

Opening Meditation

Just as day declines to evening, so often after some little pleasure, my heart declines into depression. Everything seems dull, every action feels like a burden. If anyone speaks, I scarcely listen. If anyone knocks, I scarcely hear. My heart is as hard as flint. Then I go out into the field to meditate, to read the holy Scriptures, and I write down my deepest thoughts in a letter to you.

And suddenly your grace, dear Jesus, shatters the darkness with daylight, lifts the burden, relieves the tension. Soon tears follow sighs, and heavenly joy floods over me with the tears. Happy is he who opens his heart to you, good Jesus, for you enter and rest there. You bring the heavenly light to the troubled breast, calming every emotion with rays of peace... filling the soul with the joy of your sweetness.

*Aelred of Rievaulx (b. 1109)

Sacred Teaching

First, I share two experiences. Both happened during a session of body work, called Zero Balancing...

After the practitioner had worked for a while with the energy of the body, poking here and there, stretching and turning limbs, pressing, … she touched my heart area with the palm of her hand. She had informed me that some persons cry during a session. I never felt like crying, until she placed her hand over the heart chakra, or energy center, associated with the heart. What I felt happened was one implication of the frequent allusion touched my heart. After that, when the session was coming to a close, I felt a profound lightness in my heart area and within my body an immense, pure love for the practitioner, which I verbalized to her, feeling more comfortable to do so because she and I had been friends for some time. Likewise, another person came to my mind, whom I had spoken with some days earlier, and I felt a blissful love for this man. If he had been present, I would have told him of that love for him, as I did for the practitioner.

During the session, I had the onset of a rapid heartbeat, which I had been having episodes of for many weeks. I thought about getting up. I informed the practitioner of what was happening, and she informed me to let her know what I would need in case of an episode. I decided to remain still and present, breathing mindfully into the muscles just above my stomach. Quickly, the pulse returned to normal, much quicker than usual. Then, I had an experience I had never had before. I was able to speak to my heart. When I spoke, I could sense the energy of the communication penetrate, compassionately, to my physical heart. I had, literally, touched my heart with compassion, even as the practitioner’s hand had touched it, earlier. I told my heart that all was well, all would be okay, and felt the intimacy between my whole body, including my brain, and the heart. I sensed a real “listening” of the heart, the actual, physical organ.

Some days later, I came upon, I believe by the Providence of Wisdom, or synchronicity, the following writing, which confirmed my experience of speaking to my heart:

If you want to love, take the time to listen to your heart. In most ancient and wise cultures it is a regular practice for people to talk to their heart. There are rituals, stories, and meditative skills in every spiritual tradition that awaken the voice of the heart. To live wisely, this practice is essential, because our heart is the source of our connection to and intimacy with all of life. And life is love. This mysterious quality of love is all around us, as real as gravity… Yet how often we forget about love…. (Jack Kornfield, A Path with Heart, emphasis mine)

In reading Alan Watts, in the classic The Wisdom of Insecurity, a few days after the above experiences at the balancing session, he addressed the problem of the dualism of Western culture. His contention, and one I agree with, is that Western culture has, generally, suppressed the heart by over-reliance on the brain. Just observe how most will question anyone who speaks of understanding something or receiving guidance that did not arise from “logical thought.” Observe how much religion, both Eastern and Western, is about “thought” and equates wisdom with “belief,” “dogma,” and “propositions.” Much of Christianity is, frankly, a propositional faith, even as many sermons are little more than dogmatic or psychological lectures, high on opinion and lacking feeling - By feeling I do not mean mere emotion, rather, I mean a sense of heart, and I prefer not to try to define that, for it is utterly indefinable.

Continued...

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