It occurred to me this morning during my meditation that in order to close the heart it takes effort. An open heart is relaxed open, whereas anything less than an open heart requires some degree of conscious or unconscious effort.
Another way of saying this is that the effortless state of an open heart is the natural one. An open heart is the heart in its natural state.
This is not to condone any intent to push the heart open, which is a common, usually unconscious intention in many spiritual communities.
The heart can only be invited open with gentleness and patience. Otherwise, imagine shouting at a flower to open before it is ready–that will be quite counterproductive.
Don’t try to convince the heart to open with mental logic either. The heart has an intelligence of its own, which doesn’t respond well to logic.
What the heart needs in order to relax back open and return to its natural glowing, undefended state is presence and awareness and patience.
An open heart also doesn’t necessarily imply naivety, as some may presume.
My hypothesis is that an open heart somehow lays the foundation for the development of wisdom, as it is the hub of the 4th chakra, while the 5th chakra in the throat is the blue ray of wisdom. An open heart also confers protection in a way I do not yet understand. I read about this in The Ra Material.
I’ve also read in some places that the best protection is an open heart. This is a bit difficult for me to believe, however this idea does strike a cord in me, and I’d like to believe it is true.
The Amartya teach that when we have truly given up our attachments and are genuinely standing in the glow of an undefended heart, our love becomes the medium for our actions, which would then be a direct expression of the sacred Self.
I imagine that if I were to keep an open, undefended heart, that I would occasionally encounter intense pain, when people act in a hurtful way or maybe when they simply don’t offer me the presence, patience and understanding that I would like extended towards me, which inevitably is a part of life.
What I’m learning from this, and what I’m intending to practice is to keep an open heart anyway, knowing that it is effort to keep the heart closed and defended; trusting that in the process, my wisdom will grow in order to avoid increasingly more often situations which would be harmful and to create increasingly more often situations which would be helpful for my harmonious growth and evolution.
And when others fail to “be there” for me, when they do not offer me the presence, patience, understanding, skillfulness, or whatever it may be which I would like for them to offer me, I trust that I will be there for myself.
I choose to be present, patient, and understanding with myself, regardless of others’ actions, and to develop the skillfulness in myself which I may find necessary for my growth and evolution–for my growing senses of love, joy and peace.
When I’m Disappointed In Others Or In Myself
I know others will continue to let me down in various expected or unexpected ways, and I use these opportunities to compassionately learn about what I can or cannot rely on different people for. Not in a condemning way, but in a wise way, so that I can navigate and create my life more masterfully.
Despite doing my best, I may still encounter pain. It is helpful for me to remember that painful situations I encounter are opportunities for me to learn and grow. I choose to ask with humility, “What can I learn from this situation?”
I don’t see why any of this would require me to close my heart.
And when I fail myself, to be present or patient or understanding “enough” with myself, then I know that the sacred Self is there for me, and forgives me before I’ve forgiven myself, with infinite compassion, patience, presence and understanding.
I can relax back into that every time.
And simply do my best in the meantime.