Finding it in myself is one path to keeping my heart open.
If I only see it “out there”, it’s difficult to keep my heart open. It’s too easy to go into judgment, separation, self-righteousness, and so on.
If I recognize in myself what I see in others, with concrete examples and viscerally, my heart opens to myself and others.
HOW CAN I DO IT?
The Work of Byron Katie is one of the most effective ways I have found, especially with the guidance of an experienced facilitator. (When done with sincerity and specificity, and allowing ourselves to take in what we find.)
Tonglen is also effective, as is ho’oponopno.
Other forms of inquiry can also be helpful like the Kiloby Inquiries or even the Big Mind process if skilfully facilitated.
WHY WOULD I WANT TO DO IT?
For me, the answer is that it’s more comfortable.
It’s more comfortable to have an open heart to myself and others.
It also helps me respond with more skill and discernment, and less from reactivity. It makes me slightly less annoying and more effective in the world.
Is it easy? No, obviously not.
It’s easy when I feel generally good and somewhat removed from what’s happening, and I am doing these practices in the comfort of my home or a spiritual center.
And it’s not so easy when I am in the thick of it and my own hangups, traumas, and painful beliefs are triggered. Going into my old habitual patterns is sometimes easier, at least for a while until the storm fades and I can relate to things with a little more clarity and kindness again.
That’s part of the process. It’s messy.
I can open my heart to that too – to my own struggle and the struggle of others. There too, we are in the same boat.