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Trusting the Heart

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Here is a comment someone sent me in an email in response to my previous post about the recipe for Truth, where I suggest that an opening or resonance in the heart is the most important ingredient in knowing something is true, just as chocolate chips are the most important ingredient in chocolate chip cookies:

I have been suffering with a lack of chocolate chips in the areas of my life work, finances, and moving to a new area.  Although I felt into this article I still could not reach the chocolate chips to move myself forward.  I just felt the dough. I feel off purpose or stagnant, like my pot is boiling dry and I'm not sure how to expand deeper into me.

Here is my response:

Trusting the Heart is particularly challenging when you feel contracted and dry. But that is the right way for a small or incomplete perspective to feel. When life seems off purpose and there is no Heart resonance with what is happening, the invitation is to be with the experience of contracted dryness just as it is. Sometimes it just isn’t time for the truer direction to appear, as the bigger mystery often has its own timing, which doesn’t always fit with our agenda. Sometimes there is something more to be seen about our resistance and conditioning, and often we are only willing to look at our conditioning when that conditioning is no longer working for us. The dryness and difficulty may get us to finally pay attention to something that needs to be seen.

When the Heart is contracted, it is still working perfectly to show you the nature of your experience. The real art of inquiry is to give space and curiosity to the tightness itself, instead of trying to push through to a bigger truth. Our conditioned reactions are showing up to be seen, accepted, and loved. Once this conditioning is seen, it naturally falls into proper perspective. These small truths don’t need to be gotten rid of, but just seen as small. There’s room in our awareness and in our Heart for all of life’s experiences, including very small and limited perspectives.

While questioning the truth of our limited or stuck places may be challenging, doing so can also be profoundly liberating. The discovery that even an experience of dryness and stagnation is something to be valued and explored frees us from the compulsion to try to fix or change our experience. There are insights and treasures to be found in every aspect of our experience. We can explore our experience, not to get a better one, but to fully taste and digest the treasures found in every experience.

The Recipe for Truth

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Please feel free to contact me with email questions or comments that I will address in this blog.

The truth is what opens your Heart and quiets the mind. That is the most important ingredient that lets you know when you are experiencing a greater or more fundamental truth. It is not the only ingredient, but it is a necessary ingredient, and also the most important ingredient. Kind of like chocolate chips in a chocolate cookie recipe; they are not the only ingredient, but without chocolate chips it is not a chocolate chip cookie. And so there are also always other ingredients that make up the truth in any moment: the simple facts of the situation, your knowledge and skills relating to the situation, any insights or intuitions that arise, common sense, and anything else that influences you or the situation.

But unless there is also a softening, opening, expansion or dissolving of boundaries in your Heart, unless there is an opening or expansion of your sense of self in the experience, then it is not an experience of a very large or profound truth. Without this deeper kind of knowing, the facts, theories, details, and even sensations of a particular experience are just thoughts about or small parts of the reality of the experience. They are not very large or meaningful containers of the essence of the situation. They may all be true, just not very true. They are like a chocolate chip cookie with no chips.

But when you add in the "chocolate chips" of a softening and expansion in your Heart, when you touch something that causes a shift in your sense of yourself to a more open and complete experience of your true self, then you have experienced a bigger truth. For example when you are struggling with a practical decision about where to move or whether to take a job, all of the facts and pros and cons do not mean that much unless there is also a resonance or response from deeper within your Being to one of the possibilities. And your Being also knows that ultimately it does not really matter that much where you live or work. And so the realization that it would be fine either way is really the biggest truth of the situation. It would be this realization that would quiet the struggling in your mind and bring this softening and opening to your sense of identity. This can also put the practical question into perspective and make it easier to just make the decision, since there is no longer so much at stake. The Heart is a true guide and teacher and you can trust it.

( You can read more about the Heart's wisdom and ability to know the truth in the free ebook download of part 2 of Nirmala's book, Living from the Heart, available here.)

Giving Space to Everything

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I just posted a new audio clip on this site with an exploration of the possibility of giving space to everything in our experience. It is on the "Listen to Satsang" page and also here:

Giving Space to Everything