There’s a war being fought inside of me. It’s between the mind and the heart.
My heart may be open but nothing flows unless I invite it or in other ways cause it to.
And when love doesn’t flow from the heart, I fall back into the default of the mind.
We usually talk about the world outside the mind. But we don’t usually talk about the world outside the heart and inside the mind.
The mind has no idea that love (real, transformative love) exists. It can’t see very far, has very little hope, and experiences very little satisfaction, happiness, or self-expression.
It focuses on its own survival and the survival of everything with which it identifies – spouse, children, job, house, car, etc. (“me and mine”).
It ensures survival by making itself right and others wrong, judging and avoiding being judged, dominating and avoiding being dominated.
Where it sees itself wronged, it endlessly rehearses and feeds itself on the memories of its past woes and others’ perpetrations.
When opposition is encountered, its rule is resist, resent, revenge. Resist others; resent their seeming misdeeds; and revenge itself upon them. It deals in fear. It operates by force. There’s no aliveness there.
The heart dissolves woes and perpetrations, fear and force. It resists nothing, resents no one and never revenges. There’s only aliveness there.
And then there’s me, who forgets the importance of working with the heart, forgets to unpack its treasures and use them to raise me up beyond the reach of the mind.
Hour after hour goes by while I walk past what Krishna called the place in the heart where the Lord resides. (1)
The mind will never drop away or die. It just needs to be enlisted in the service of the heart once and for all.
It needs to know who’s boss. The heart is boss. It’s the kindest and most loving boss anyone will ever have.
The mind needs to be ushered into its new habitation. And thanked and loved and nurtured. Job well done. Thank you. Time to step down.
I haven’t taken the time to do that. I allow the small cares of the day to endlessly postpone the final shift from fear to love.
New management coming soon! But soon is, oh, so slow to arrive!
When I was married in a Zen Center long ago, the monk conferred on my wife and me Zen names. Mine was Ancient Spring. Hers was Spring Rain.
The heart is that ancient spring. Love is that spring rain.
Hour by hour I must intend that my attention remain focused on the heart, the fount of all good things. Remind me if I forget?
There’s nothing more important, now or ever, than heart consciousness – than remaining focused on the heart.
(1) “Fools pass blindly by the place of my dwelling
Here in the human form, and of my majesty
They know nothing at all,
Who am their Lord, their soul.”
(Sri Krishna in Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, trans., Bhagavad-Gita. The Song of God. New York and Scarborough: New American Library, 1972; c1944, 81.) [Hereafter BG.]
“The Lord lives in the heart of every creature.” (Sri Krishna in BG, 129.)
“The devoted … know Him always
There in the heart,
Where action is not.” (Sri Krishna in BG, 59.)