Understanding what it means to open our heart and how we need to let go of our efforts in the process.
Opening our heart… Part 2
By Irmansyah Effendi
So, how do we do it? What are the steps?
The first key is to realise that in fact “we” can’t do it! All we can do is to set up things in such a way that we begin to stop our blocking of what is a very natural process. It’s the blessings from True Source that open our heart and this is one of the main reasons why it’s taken us so long to start using it properly. One of the strongest concepts we have is the one that links output to effort in such a way that says we get more out of anything if we put more in. When it comes to the heart, this concept is turned on its head.
Step 1 in opening our heart involves two important keys:
1. Don’t let your brain block your heart
2. Allow your heart to be free naturally on its own.
1. Don’t let your brain block your heart
Our brain blocks our heart with its constant thoughts. Those thoughts often generate harmful emotions that create negativity in our heart. While this is quite normal (so no need to worry about that!) its not our natural state.
When we relax our body we can start to let go a lot of the brain chatter. Naturally, like any skill, it will become more natural and enjoyable with time and practice
2. Allow your heart to be free naturally on its own.
When you are relaxed and your brain isn’t blocking, your heart will be free naturally on its own. To kick start the process we can stimulate our heart by smiling! Smile freely, easily and happily. All the time. With practice your heart will become free all on its own.
Again, this might take some time, because we are still lost in our thoughts which can cause stress and stop us from smiling freely and naturally.
So, the four key steps in doing heart exercises are
2. Close your eyes
3. Touch your heart
4. Smile to your heart
The first two steps may seem obvious and the second two a little curious! But, there are important reasons behind each one and they are actually very natural for our heart.
· Relaxing means our mind and body. There are so many ways we guard our heart by holding tension in our body. And we so often limit how relaxed we can be. So when you feel really relaxed, simply relax even more.
· Closing our eyes helps our brain to be more relaxed because its so often associated with the ‘activity’ of rest or sleep. The main thing is we are blocking outside visual stimuli from activating our mind.
· Touching our heart (in the centre of our chest at the same height as our armpit) helps to awaken and activate our heart. Because we so seldom use our heart in our daily life, this physical action really helps. Just by using one or two fingers to touch and then enjoying the feeling from our heart is all that’s needed.
· Smiling to our heart? Yes! Smiling sweetly and freely to our heart helps our heart to grow stronger. Feel how easy and gentle the feeling is and just let it become more dominant. Don’t think about where your heart is, or visualise the process or bend your head to look at your heart. Just stay relaxed and let it happen! Being natural is the key.
Once you have tried this process a few times your heart will grow stronger and open more. It may take time and you may feel pressure to begin with. As our heart is connecting to the Love and Light from True Source, the blessings naturally flow into our heart – that’s what creates the nice feeling. We may experience pressure just as rusty doors that have not been opened for awhile creak and groan!
The natural process is for our heart to share these blessings and so they flow out from our heart in every direction to all hearts and situations everywhere … and in the process, negativities and blockages in our heart that we have experienced as emotional reactivity in the past, are released so our heart becomes freer and the blessings flow smoother. It’s a wonderful and very meaningful process which can quite rapidly transform our lives in so many ways, connecting us to a purpose we may not have realised we had.
Smile to Your Heart Meditations.
The gift of simple a practice for peace, health and spiritual growth
by Irmansyah Effendi
We are meant to be happy.
If you look at the motivations behind our thoughts and actions – conscious and unconscious – they’re all to get us closer to the feeling, or at least the idea, of happiness.
Yet, in spite of our worldly successes and social relationships, we sometimes feel lonely, empty, as if something is missing. Even when we experience happiness, it tends to be more of a brief touch than a lasting embrace. We seem to slip back to a lower plane, a place of wanting, again and again.
Psychologists economists, poets – and, most importantly, us – have long asked why. But for all of the scholarship and human insight across the centuries, nobody has found a complete and enduring answer. Perhaps because it’s been too close to see.
The answer, the truth, is our heart. Not the physical heart that beats in our chest, but our spiritual heart: the key connection to our True Source, the Source of peace, calmness and joy. In opening and using our heart, we’re blessed with a lasting peace and happiness that we can feel – actually and really feel – as we go about our daily lives. (Because opening our heart is universal and applies to all religions and faiths, please feel free to replace the term “True Source” with whatever name you use to refer to the Source of Light and Love).
There are countless sayings recognising the importance of our heart:
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Jung
“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Aristotle
“The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the heart.” Rumi
“The worst prison would be a closed heart.” Pope John Paul II
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.” Helen Keller
Sakyamuni Buddha taught: “Calmness is within you; do not look for it outside of you.” Yet you don’t have to be a Buddha to see how those who chase down worldly success in an effort to be happy and peaceful many times end up anything but. Many wealthy people find it difficult, often impossible, to smile freely or feel any real calmness or peace in their daily life. If we neglect our heart, we may attain success and material goods, but serenity and happiness will always still be in front of us, just out of reach.
When we open and use our heart properly, by contrast, we find that contentment and pleasure come hand-in-hand with the wealth: helping us to enjoy everything better, and with real perspective. We also share our happiness with those around us more freely, and create an environment that encourages and supports this peace and calmness.
By opening and using our heart in our daily lives, moreover, we can feel and enjoy this peace and calmness – so clearly – that our whole heart and our whole self are happy each moment. Your heart, in fact, already knows how. It’s only a matter of opening it up and using it.
It is my joy to share with you both information about the heart and also one of many simple and effective exercises to help open and strengthen your heart even more.
The steps are actually quite simple and natural. Being guided by your feeling as you begin to practice, you will experience the beautiful ease of allowing your heart to lead you. Everything is happening at such a fast rate during this spiritual awakening age. In fact, it was only 2 years ago that people started to be able to strengthen their hearts easily without the need for workshops.
By opening and using your heart more, you will become happier, more peaceful and healthier. You will quite naturally also feel more grateful and through the blessings that touch your heart, become closer to True Source.
… next post… the steps to opening our heart!
In this post, we explore what we call "Heartfulness".
Heartfulness is the process of actively allowing our hearts to be opened to the Love and Light that wants to open our heart. When we are "heartful" we are engaging in an effortless process that acknowledges that we cant open our hearts! This is why we need to be clear about what our responsibility is in the opening of our heart.
Because we are so use to being "involved" in our activities - which means we consider that is US who is behind every activity - we find it almost impossible to let go of that "doing" part. IN reality, the process of our heart opening is TOO easy! We keep thinking there must be something else that we should be doing for our heart to be opened. But that very activity, is actually contributing to blocking the divine energy from doing what is a completely natural and automatic process: the opening of our heart to the essence of the Universe and the Existence: Love.
'So our responsibility in the opening of our heart is very straightforward: It is to enjoy the process! To accept what is happening as a beautiful and natural correction of our state of being which is currently not as it should be. We are not as we should be because of all the choices we have made in the past where we made choices that were not consistent with the essence of our existence, ie they were Non-Loving. Whenever we chose anger, jealousy, hatred, greed, etc etc, we actively turned our backs on our true nature. This has created a reality where we experience separation from each other, our environment, and of course, the Source of Love and Light - our Source, our Creator.
Heartfulness is different to Mindfulness in one very important way. When we are being mindful, we are engaging as the one that is being aware, watching our thoughts and in essence "being involved". Mindfulness has remarkable results that brings great peace to our minds and helps us to accept "what is", allowing us to be more present, more aware and less stressed to name just a few things. Heartfulness on the other hand requires us to let go of any effort, or technique so that we shift from being the "observer" to being the "experiencer". There is no subject in heartfulness as a result, we are becoming a part of the very essence which is bringing us into that state. A kind of "melting" happens and we are brought closer to the Source of our True Self.