I have felt a definite shift in my mindfulness and meditation practice over the last few weeks. I have felt the need to be silent, to be still, to step away from the noise and to drop into my heart, to hear what it has to say.
The heart seems to have a mysterious way of knowing just what is required, yet so often we don’t listen to it. In the busyness of life, the heart gets drowned out by the noise of it all, opinions, judgements, I should do this, I shouldn’t do that. When we drop into the heart and truly listen, intuition comes to the fore and common sense prevails.
I find it fascinating that science is coming round to the fact that the heart may have a brain of its own. Besides its primary function of keeping us alive, research has shown it appears to contain thousands of neurons and neurotransmitters. I am not a doctor nor a scientist, I can only tell you, (from my heart) it has been one of the most transformational aspects of my practice so far.
“If mindfulness is the boat, compassion is the water it floats on”
Mindfulness without compassion is a bit like trying to push a boat on dry land. If mindfulness is the boat, compassion is the water it floats on (you know I like my nautical references).For this reason, compassion is the most important aspect of my practice and teaching. Compassion, kindness and awareness can come to us naturally if we truly listen to our hearts.
The heart of the practice
It takes time to connect with the heart again. For years, I didn’t listen, beating myself up, fears, judgements, all the noise took over. But slowly, without over thinking it, for ten minutes I would just sit, putting my attention to the heart area and breathing in deep as if breathing in light to the area, then a release of the breath out, sending the darkness out into the atmosphere, just repeating that for ten minutes, light in, dark out. As with most of this sort of practice it is experiential, it cannot be intellectualised and in a way it can’t be written, it has to be felt and experienced with no expectation. I don’t practice this at every meditation but at least once a week, I drop into the heart.
The heart knows what we truly need, it wants to be listened to. Don’t take my word for it, drop into your heart every now and again and just listen. Put your hand on your heart and give yourself the love, the kindness and the compassion you need.
Be patient, watch the small shifts happen and allow things to unfold in their own good time, not forced but from the heart.
With Love from The Mind Shed.
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