Atma Hridaya (the heart is the self)
Hridaya Mayi (the heart within me)
Hridaya Amritam (the nectar of the heart)
Amritam Anandam (this nectar is the bliss of the Self-Source)
The One who is at play everywhere said,
There is a place in the heart where everything meets.
Go There if you want to find me.
Mind, senses, soul, eternity, all are there.
Are you there?
Enter the bowl of vastness that is the heart.
Give yourself to it with total abandon.
Quiet ecstasy is there-
and a steady, regal sense of resting in a perfect spot.
Once you know the way
the nature of attention will call you
to return, again and again,
and be saturated with knowing,
“I belong here, I am at home here.”
Answer that call.
Sutra 26, Vijnana Bhairava Tantra
Lorin Roche The Radiance Sutras
The above is the sanskrit and amazing translation by Lorin Roche of one of my favorite Radiance Sutras, the original text being the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra. This entire text makes my heart sing when I read it, and lights me up in ways that few other verses can.
With this week, Valentine’s Day brings a lot of emotions to all of us. Good, bad, sadness, loneliness, love, fulfillment…. the list could go on, and I’ve heard every range of it this week here in my practice. It seems like this year, with the power to be Vulnerable and urge to live life fully so strong, listening to the heart and allowing it to shine is becoming ever more important.
I had the pleasure this weekend of seeing a dear friend, Ellen Lenson, another awesome CranioSacral Therapist from the east coast, and we had a discussion about facing our mortality: accepting that as humans, at some point we are destined to die and we don’t know what may come after. And that in this acceptance, in this knowing, we can know true freedom and happiness in this life. I’ve heard it said by many who have faced mortal diagnosis that in facing this, they were able to finally start living their lives. I’ve met many of these people, and experienced the awesome power that they have in the face of such a ‘grim’ (in medical terms) future. Yet- many are beginning to thrive in this knowledge. And the one thing in common when I see anyone like this: their heart is ON FIRE. Glowing with the knowing that every moment they live is a blessing, everything they encounter is part of their story, and all of their past has made them the strong person they are today, rather than bringing them down. They have let go and surrendered, and their heart glows because of it.
It reminds me of what Bryan Kest, my first yoga instructor, said in a master class once: Yoga is the Art of Dying. Of preparing the mind, body and soul for the ultimate ‘let go’ of life by ‘letting go’ of the little things- and sometimes maybe big things- along the way. It’s not always easy. Sometimes it sucks and hurts. But that feeling of lightness when you finally release something that has been holding you down and making your heart hurt is so worth it. Always is. Always will be.
I bring this all up today because in the midst of Valentine’s Day, the heart is at the center of the discussion. And many of us- well, our hearts have been hurt one way or another. It’s part of this whole crazy human experience we’re living. And I’m seeing more and more people begin to wake up and want to heal their heart, their wounds, and their suffering. Wanting to ‘let go’ so they can begin to live a life truly free. Truly from the heart- scars and all. And let that radiant light shine in spite of it all.
How can you begin to heal your heart? What scars do you have that want to be seen and released? Spend some time with your heart today in preparation for the holiday tomorrow. Ask it what it wants- what it truly wants- out of life. How it feels you could be living more freely- and what may be holding it back. What it needs to let go of, and what help it needs to make that happen.
Our heart has all the answers, we just need to take the time to listen.