First of all, I imagine most people think of any kind of opening as being followed by a flood. Open the sluice gates and the water pours through. Open the purse strings and the money flows, and so on.
A heart opening isn’t like that. It allows for access but it doesn’t necessarily result in a flow of love.
If I want love to flow, I have to breathe it up from inside of me and send it out to the world or do some other similar exercise that primes the pump, to use AAM’s expression. My reward is that I experience the love as it’s passing through me.
Secondly, a heart opening magnifies love when love does come up, but what we don’t think of ahead of time (Who would? Why would we?) is that it also magnifies unwanted or unpleasant feelings.
I was feeling what would have been a mild heartache the other day, missing a former love. Ordinarily it would have been just a nagging sadness in the heart, but after the heart opening, it surfaced as crippling grief.
I had to more or less go into isolation because I could not factor the grief out of my experience when I spoke to people. I was toxic for the time being because my emotions were exaggerated. And none of it had anything to do with the outside world.
I was trying to describe to GD the other day how it felt at a time like this. Whenever something like grief or sadness arises, it feels like walking around in a body that’s sometimes in emergency, sometimes in shock, sometimes at the end of its rope. Tough assignment. Not all wine and roses.
This morning, I was feeling more grief and sorrow than I thought I could manage. And then, in the course of simply allowing and observing it the past several days (OK, weeks), it lifted.
Here’s a second example. A friend invited me to a Disney movie. Harmless, right? I nearly left the movie three times when the bad characters had their way. I was either outraged or ready to scream. When the good characters were coming together and winning … in the final reel … I couldn’t stop crying. My friend may never take me to a movie again. I could neither stop the magnified experience of feeling nor could I hide it.
Many of us have probably heard of “enlightened” masters who still have their temper, greed, or lust. I can see how that could happen (until sahaja samadhi) (1) based on what I’m living through right now.
If I was unconscious of the unprocessed feelings that are still left (some of which could be for the collective) or if I denied or refused to acknowledge them, then I’d most likely be acting them out and projecting them onto others. Or at least speaking over top of them, a situation that makes me cardboard and fossilized over time.
Spiritual experiences like a heart opening don’t come with a user’s manual. How to manage them isn’t taught in school or university. Our parents probably wouldn’t even know what we’re talking about if we described it to them.
We’re more or less like a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s court in that we don’t necessarily know how to deal with the situations that arise.
We have to learn how to adjust to and cope with some of the supremely-aching states of heart and mind we may have after an opening as well as the ecstatic states, without freaking out, remaining balanced and calm. And that can be a huge challenge.
(1) Sahaja Samadhi is the stage of enlightenment that brings moksha or liberation from death. Once we experience sahaja, our harmful vasanas, including our appetites, are incinerated.
It’s also called a permanent heart opening. My own heart opening is not sahaja. I don’t believe it to be “enlightenment.” But it’s a wonderful state of being nonetheless – until sorrow arises.