The Light's Return in an Opened Heart

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Season's Greetings my friends!

I love this time of the year. What I really love about this time of the year is this sense of the Holy. It seems that as the nights become longer, and the sun is low in the day, there is a tangible sense that the veil is a bit thinner- that we have more access to life's great mysteries. During the Solstice, we can feel that the Universe is here to help us on our journey. Maybe that is why so many of the Native cultures honored and did ceremony during this time of the year. They knew that the mystery of Life comes closer, and they did what they could to make contact. Maybe this is why I tend to spend longer times in Silence, so that my being can feel connected in a way that the Universe is asking.

I recently returned from seeing Amma in California, and it was a wonderful time. I had been struggling with an aspect of integration, and just a few days prior to visiting her, there was an opening from Grace, and a new way of bringing the mind home was revealed. When I went for Darshan with Amma, she validated that what I was experiencing was a potent way to incorporate the mind into the awakened heart.

Never in my life have I been more aware of the importance of the Opened Heart. The heart’s opening is such an essential part of our Being’s evolution, yet it doesn’t get mentioned much in spiritual circles. and if it does, there can be a great misunderstanding of what an opened heart is. When I talk about an Opened Heart, I don’t mean that someone walks around being all open and lovey-dovey to everyone. This is not how an Opened Heart is. An Opened Heart is a Heart that is completely unguarded- and consequently extremely powerful at dispelling illusion. It is the throne of the Divine within our Being.

And while I remain diligent about the importance of bringing the mind back into the heart, I am also aware of how the heart wants to continually open. It is it’s nature to do so. When we protect the heart, (which is done through the ego), we cut ourselves off from all the Light that is within us. We cut ourselves off from the flow of prana as well, and we begin to wither and die. It is our heart that is the source of all Life. Our most fundamental nature resides in the heart- either in a dormant state, or alive and awakened to Itself. And to bring attention to the heart, and to find ways to nurture its opening, is to cultivate the dormant capacities that lie within. For me, to recognize how essential the opened heart is, in order to really live from a True Perspective, is worth all these years of surrender.

There are many ways we can tend to this open heart. It is vital that we begin. I can give satsangs about the ego, and what is true, and how we keep ourselves from living this truth, but until this heart is wide open, we will still have beliefs that tie us to this illusory world. And no amount of awakenings and understandings are going to free us from it. I know this very well. The heart was made to absorb all fears. A wide open heart will swallow the world- as the mind sees it. A well-tended heart is a place where we can let go of all of our doubts, and know what real love and faith is. This is what we can aim for. And our own heart will be there waiting for us. For our own heart is the same as everyone else's. So to know true connection, we dive in to our own heart, and find what is deep within.

The Spectrum of Experiences (and who is experiencing them).

I’ve been rich with experiences lately. You know- the ones that Life brings. It might be simply because I have become increasingly more sensitive to them. And because of these abundances of experiences- I also have an opportunity to see where they might lead.

Every experience has something to reveal about itself, if we only look. By revealing, I don’t mean by analyzing them- what caused them or what they might mean about us. I mean to see where they might lead if we have a curious attitude about them.

Each and every experience has a much broader significance than we give it credit for. If I am feeling frustration- it isn’t only because I am frustrated. If I look very closely, I can also find peace, calmness, allowance and everything else along the spectrum of frustration. By being aware of these other experiences within the spectrum of frustration, my awareness of my own spaciousness becomes much more vast. You can really feel this vastness immediately when you become aware of other experiences along a Spectrum. We become aware that we contain infinite experiences. And that they are all possible!

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When I do this, I am not aware that one experience is better than another. When I am in the spectrum of any given experience, they all become equal and the same. No  experience is more preferred than another. Now, my beliefs may say calmness is more desirable to frustration, but to the Infinite Reality that just simply isn’t so. All experiences are needed for a spontaneous, authentic Life. And they all have their value, given the perfect circumstance in the moment.

Because once we get into the Pure Spectrum of experiences, the Infinite Reality is the one choosing the experience. It is pure because the Infinite Reality is not fixated on any given experience (such as enlightened one). It doesn’t need to maintain any experience, nor does it need to resist any experience. It is looking for absolute freedom. And it also doesn’t need to justify, explain, or own any experience. It is the infinite Reality. So it doesn’t need anything at all- except it delights in knowing itself as what is experiencing the experience.

So, when we get into Spectrums, we are availing every single experience to Life itself. When I feel frustration, I see it as an open door for the Infinite Reality to have access to anything else it may want to experience- in order to know ITSELF.

When the Infinite Reality is knowing Itself, it lives life in a completely free and spontaneously. There is nothing in the way. There are no beliefs, judgements, fears. This is the enlightened condition. And, if you have ever watched someone like Amma operate, you can see this spontaneously free way of living in display. It is remarkable to watch!

In fact, Amma has a quote. “God is pure experience.” She is not saying to have an experience of God. That is entirely different and not really possible- as experiences come and go.

I’ll leave the rest for you to interpret.

Truth and Distortions

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It's so important to realize how we value our relationship with Truth. What is it about our relationship that keeps us inspired and open to Grace? And just as importantly- what blocks it?

For me, it is Love that keeps me inspired. It's always been Love. And the deep desire to serve. So, in essence this is my Truth. It's what keeps me on my path. It's what has kept me opening to Grace and deep seeing.

And in any given moment, something might show up that gets in the way of this Truth. Is it some story of something happening at work? Or is it some fear about the future? These are what I call distortions....because they are distorting this moment. Like an overlay, or a block.

We know what it feels like when a distortion wants to take hold. When it comes in- as thought, belief or fear, and sabotages our Truth. It can even weigh us down, and take away our inspiration. This is because when a distortion comes in, and the consciousness that we are merges with that distortion- we are seeing through a viewpoint that is distorted- we are not seeing through the unlimited view. So, it is vital that we recognize that is what we are seeing through.

Now, the tendency for the distorted view is to fight with the distortion. To judge it. To want it to go away. The distorted view is the egocentric view. It is seeing the distortion as something problematic. Maybe it is evaluating it, or defining it as something. Distortions can be a million different things to the distorted view.

So we go on, and we fight the distortions because we don't want them. We fight them because there is some judgement about them. Or we may avoid them entirely. Until we run out of juice to do that. Maybe Life happens. And one day instead we open. We come back to our Truth. We come back to our Love.

What if we were to open up to what we love- in this moment- so that even the distortions can be seen as a way back to our Love. All it takes is a simple recognition that there is a distortion being offered to us. Because it is essential that we do not judge the distortions. They are arising within our awareness- to be used as a means to come back to our Truth.

The Beloved is offering distortions/thoughts/beliefs/ideas/opinions to us so that we can differentiate them from our Love. It's kind of like Dodgeball. Remember that game? The thoughts and distortions are coming at us- at the place we view from.- which is simply the egoic view. The  ego is always getting the bad rap, because of it's tendency to merge with the distortions being offered to it. Yet within that egoic view is also the power to differentiate between distortions and emptiness. This is where the term comes from, "The way to Nirvana is through Samsara." 

 The distortions are a manifested part of our Self. They are not separate- but they are manifested- they are not essential. Yet they are part of our journey in learning to differentiate between Truth and Distortion. To use this tool, that is from ego- to differentiate- is an extremely powerful way to embody the Truth. It is standing in the fire- yielding the sword of discrimination- with Love. Not to fight the distortions, but to say yes to the opportunity. For the distortions are all coming from Love- from the Beloved's Love for the soul. To set the soul free.