It is a hard job to crack the heart open. For years my spiritual teachers kept on bugging me ‘You have to work on the heart, work on Anahata; there is no other way’. Yeah yeah… Well I did work on the heart, did my asana practice, my meditation, tried to say ‘I want everything for you, I want nothing from you’ again and again, but it didn’t really sink in. Because I want to be loved, held, protected, supported, adored, spoiled. I want it all. How is this going to work? If I don’t get what I want I turn into a text-book example of spiritual texts on love revealing all the symptoms of a child whose toy has been taken away.
Yoga is an important practice. Some live flooded by emotions, others stuck between narrow walls of the mind. In between these two one may be so suffocated by the shadow that a bright state of comprehension, a mind-blowing piece of art, the intoxicating smell of jasmine, the simple magic of any blissful moment can pass by unnoticed. There comes yoga to introduce a harmonious flow to the mess, a thorough cleansing of the zilllions of dust particles in the mind. Once peace is restored there opens another door, towards the core of those particles, the pit of the rabbit hole.
So I knocked at that door and the first stop was compassion. I guess we all know by now, every person we encounter acts as a mirror. Whenever we are triggered by an action or word we need to look at ourselves, ask what in us hurts instead of trying to break the mirror. Only then can the evolution begin. When suffering presents itself there are some standard ways we react. Either avoiding it by any means, being repulsed by it or playing the hero. Masters say responding to suffering with suffering generates pity whereas love leads the way to compassion. And compassion is the only way to transform suffering which we fear so much, trying our very best at all times to stay away from. Well said, but what is compassion really? How do we find it when there is so much envy, fear, anger and frustration lingering in the hearts of us all, no matter how well we manage to hide them behind our masks?
Many words, many ways, many methods and they all find you when it is time. They offer another option to the judging, labelling, discriminating mind; not an easy job. There is space for a lot more reflection and contemplation on compassion.
My second stop was joy. This is a state hidden in the heart, more explosive than happiness, more refined than pleasure. All is well, but joy is not there in my life these days and it troubles me. Until recently I did suffocate myself a little trying to figure out who am I, what am I doing, what will I do with this ‘I’, trying to see through the subtle layers of my existence. I felt like chasing my own tail. However, life kept flowing. Another beautiful thing about yoga is the practice grants one the ability to still flow and keep the windows open for sunlight even if you are hopping in and out of dark holes. When you fall or rise, it is just an impermanent state which doesn’t really define who you are. Life can be harmoniously progressing in this awareness. Still, joy, or lack of it thereof is an issue. All those meditations and practices didn’t unlock that section of the heart. So Maha Shakti, the nature gave me a slap so that I could let the suffering go. A strong fever burned down all the heaviness in me. The wheel of joy started spinning in my heart while I was just observing what was happening.
Then the ride led me to the ‘butterfly’ stop. The heart not feeling any need to ‘settle’ anywhere cozy and safe but rather dances from one flower to another. Spreading the wings wide open without any fear of being caught. I loved this stop, I want to pass by here again and again feeling, expressing the lightness and beauty of this magical creature . Nice to fly out of the box!