A little while ago, I read the book ‘The Seeker’s Guide’ by Elizabeth Lesser, and within it I found one point in particular that has stayed with me ever since: the heart is a bank of messages (p. 174). For some reason the idea that the heart could be listened to just as we can listen to our thoughts seemed to fascinate me. Does the heart have something to say that I don’t already know? Certainly becoming mindful of my thoughts has been an interesting and ongoing lesson. Someone said to me learning to listen to your thoughts is like tuning in to a radio station, and we just listen – can we do the same for the heart?
To me this seems like it could be one of the most important journeys we will make on our spiritual path. If Spirit is pure Love then it would be logical that this would be the place where we would be able to communicate, where spirit could ‘speak’ with us. However, just as the mind is usually full of troubled waters, so is the heart. If our hearts are troubled then it seems obvious that we won’t be able to hear anything. The heart-radio will be tuned in to two stations at once, and the troublesome station will be too loud for the other one to be heard clearly.
So the question is, how do we turn down the noise and tune in to the clear and pure love messages that Spirit is wanting to share with us? Maybe there are more ways than one to do this (there are usually many paths that lead to Spirit). I have started making a list of possible ways we can help the heart tune in to the loving messages of Spirit:
- Meditation: The Buddhist meditation practice focuses on stilling the mind which helps people avoid suffering and brings them closer to Enlightenment; and Taoists believe that meditation ‘smoothes away the rough areas of the soul’, which helps people unite with the universe, other people and nature. Meditation has become very popular with psychologists, as they are finding it extremely useful for the treatment of anxiety and depression. Stilling the mind and heart with meditation does seem to be a reliable way to clear the turbulent waters of the heart.
- Love thy neighbour: The Dalai Lama said, “If you want to be happy, practise compassion.” I’m not entirely sure if actively practising compassion will help you hear the messages of spirit, but it would make sense that if we are tuning our hearts to love, we must be tuning in to Spirit, and so opening our hearts to the messages of Divine Love.
- Prayer: If you have ever prayed (especially in times of need), you will know the feeling of the heart opening up. We begin to hope and believe that we will be heard. That moment when we turn inward to ask for help or guidance, our hearts automatically seem to switch to a searching and listening mode. And so I feel that prayer is also a reliable way to ‘tune in’.
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