Heart centered practices

I am reminded of how important heart-centered practices are for me and probably others.

As long as I hold anything or anyone as an enemy, I hold parts of myself as an enemy.

My mind holds parts of itself as an enemy. 

This can be understood through the lens of conventional projections. What I see “out there” – in others, in the world, in life – reflects parts of me. So when I hold something “out there” as an enemy, I will do the same towards similar parts of me.

Equally or more important, my experience of the world and anything is me. It’s happening within and as this awareness. So when I hold anything as an enemy, my mind holds parts of itself as an enemy. And that’s painful. That’s how suffering is created.

That’s the reason heart-centered practices are emphasized in most or all spiritual traditions, and in many healing traditions as well.

And that’s why it’s so important in any healing, maturing, or spiritual work to first recognize what or who I hold as an enemy, and then explore this in different ways. For me, this exploration is often a combination of obviously heart-centered practices such as ho’oponopono, prayer, or tonglen (or metta) and some form of inquiry (The Work, Living Inquiries).

Heart-centered practices help me see the grudges I hold (hangups, beliefs, identifications), and they also help shift my orientation towards what I previously held as an enemy. Inquiry can further help dissolve this and open my heart towards what I held as an enemy.

Inquiry is often seen as a more head-centered practice. But to me, it’s equally much body and heart centered.

It helps dissolve imaginations held as real, true, and solid. (Which is how suffering is created.) It helps me explore body contractions and see what imaginations holds them in place. It helps remove what temporarily clouds the heart. And when these dissolve, there is a natural empathy and love. Awareness naturally holds itself – including it’s images of (former) enemies – in love.

I am also reminded that this form of healing is really a healing of our imagination. The mind creates painful imaginations and suffer, and these imaginations can be healed through seeing more clearly what’s really and already there (inquiry) and holding it in kindness and love (heart-centered practices).

P.S. I wrote this post without notes or an outline so it’s a bit rambling and disorganized. I’ll leave it as it is.

P.P.S. I wrote this in 2016 and left it unpublished as I sometimes do. Now, in May 2024, it came up while I searched for something else so I decided to publish it.

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