Opening the Heart to Love – Mindworks Meditation

4 Heart Practices Meditation

I think when I started practicing, probably for the first two years, I sat there and thought about meditation. I thought that was what I had to do. Imagine: what would it be like if I were meditating? That would probably be the case. It can be wide, it can be beautiful. So I was imagining the practice, instead of really embodying the experience, which is breathing, sitting here. That is a direct experience of ourselves.

Because I had closed so many doors in my heart, I didn’t want to feel that pain, it was too hard. Maybe there’s some trauma I was working with. Shielding the heart is something that comes with the territory of a difficult life. It makes sense to me why we have protected ourselves. Whenever we had to survive, we did what we had to do. But I think it’s easy to end up feeling a little exiled or far removed from our own experience.

So how do we recognize what has served us well and let it go? Armor is a great asset for survival, but it can be a problem for our freedom and happiness. So how do we get back on the table and have a complete contact experience of ourselves?

How do we give this backstage laminate to the whole show? Because when we cut any part, we cut the vitality of our life. It’s not like I just removed the pain, I cut off part of the joy, part of the feeling of belonging.

Because when I close I’m in here, alone. I’m sure, but I’m alone. And they say that all paths have the same goal: to save us from the calamity of a separate existence. So we go back to the table, to our heart, and say, I have forsaken you for a long time. But I’m ready to go back. I’m ready to try to make myself feel at home. And this requires practice, to access the heart from which we have moved away.

That is why we must do these practices of the heart, because we experience the world through the mind. Therefore, it seems logical to us that we endow our vision with healthy qualities. With a little practice we see that we can make our own consciousness be like that golden light of the honeymoon, which makes everything that shines beautiful.

We sit down and introduce ourselves and care about what comes up. We have to give up many of our demands so that this moment is in a certain way. Otherwise, we are lost in the conditions. Oh, I feel good, I must be doing well. If I don’t feel like it, maybe I should go do a different practice.

Stay in a long loving look at reality, moment by moment.

This is again mistreated by our preferences, with little tolerance for states that are not a constant onslaught of pleasurable feelings. Anyone who has practiced even a little knows that this is not what practice is. I want to take a long, loving look at reality, moment by moment. And then can I trust the trained heart? Because we are training the heart. Can I trust you to respond with one of the four flavors of love? When there is something painful, is there compassion that arises? Yes, of course. When there is something beautiful, is there joy? Yes. When I think of the practices of the heart, I compare it to the alchemy of presence, where we bless things with our presence, paying attention to them and trying to be intimate with them.

When I think of the four practices of the heart: these qualities of loving kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity, it is like the four chambers of the heart. Right? These four flavors of love, with which we are training to respond. Whatever happens, we can trust the heart’s response when we reconnect with it.

So goodness sees what is beautiful. Compassion sees what is difficult. Joy sees people’s successes and wants this to continue. And equanimity keeps everything going. Because any of these, if unbalanced, could be easily turned into sentimental kindness. So what keeps it going is equanimity. My understanding of equanimity is to be close to all things.

And we know that the more we practice, the easier it will be. And it doesn’t mean it’s linear, it’s getting easier every time. This is not a Rocky montage. It’s more like: Can I introduce myself and worry about what’s coming up? Can I really be present in my experience and attend to what is happening? Not my ideas about it, or my hopes, or my fears, but allowing things to arise and die a natural death. You don’t have to jump into the river of experience and push it, for it to happen faster. We don’t have to jump in the middle and stop it so we can reach an imagined peace. We see things as they are, almost effortlessly. Things come up, we write them down and let them go. Not personal, not permanent, not perfect. That’s right now.

The mind is so busy trying to categorize everything, this is good, this is bad, this is skillful, this is unskilled. Practice asks us to go beyond labels and look at the nature of the experience itself. What is this? This constellation of feelings that I call anguish, or boundless joy, or whatever? And be very curious: we can open ourselves to the real experience. Because as Rudolf Steiner said, “Unless you love something, it won’t be revealed to me.”

Part of what makes it possible is to be sitting long enough for us to have enough mental stability, to be able to connect and keep our attention on one thing, so that we are not everywhere trying to find something comfortable.

I think when I got into practice, I was starving for an experience of my own. This gives me an experience of myself, when I practice with my heart in this way, and I find myself with what awaits me in that space.

This article is an excerpt from Mind Talks on Mindworks Meditation Courses by Vinny Ferraro.


#Opening #Heart #Love #Mindworks #Meditation

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