Being Present with an Open heart is the Heart of Spirituality
Spirituality is ultimately another word for our State of Being. It can also apply to anything we do to address that state of Being. One may believe in a Soul or Spirit, or not, but we all live within our state of Being regardless. Happiness certainly comes from within, as does Love, so our state of Being, our “Spirituality” is the foundation of our lives and experience.
People may be turned off by culturally specific rituals, mantras, ceremonies and practices or any hint that some blind belief in a God or Gods must be adopted to be spiritual.
It’s not like that.
Spirituality is always part of our experience with or without any of the trappings just as physical health bears on our experience whether we pay any attention to it or not.
While many of those things may be part of the path for some people, we all walk our own path. There are many ways to clear the way for Presence and Heart to shine and illuminate our state of Being.
Mystical traditions worldwide have many practices that can help. Modern modalities of emotional healing may also contribute. Just acting with compassion is uplifting.
There are many ways that clear the way to abide in our True Self. The only faith needed is the willingness, intent and sincerity for the inner journey.
There is a sunny path and a stormy path to that willingness to address our state of Being.
The Sunny path is taken by those who have had a taste of ecstasy, of peace, of light, of higher love, and want to abide further and deeper in that.
The stormy path, admittedly common, is taken by those whose pain motivates a path to relief, to a cure, to healing, to a peace they are lacking.
The two essential ingredients to spirituality are presence and on open heart.
Presence is undivided conscious awareness and attention in the present moment. There can nonetheless be degrees of presence that we embody along the path. It builds like a muscle through returning constantly to “Be Here Now.”
The mind can be a huge distraction in this so many practices of meditation and mindfulness that address the mind can be tools for progress.
But “Being Present” is something one can do in each moment . A focus on this creates a powerful shift. Deep presence requires peace of mind, they go together.
The shift is moving the center of our state of Being from the mind’s incessant internal dialog about ourselves, to abiding in the conscious awareness that illuminates our experience each moment. This conscious awareness is peace, consciousness and Love itself, but is obscured by our divided attention, constant thinking, wrong identification with our self-image and every sort of distraction in our inner and outer worlds.
The fact that this conscious awareness, the True Self within, cannot be “found” or “Seen” makes it a very subtle goal. It is the source of “Seeing.” It is not outside our core to be “Found.” You can only “Be It” and use your mind as a tool to navigate this life instead of being its slave and tangled in its self-image thoughts. You can still play a role in life from the expression of your Being instead of trying to validate your existence through some idea of success.
The Self, conscious awareness, is the source of Love itself. Awareness and Love are the complimentary polarities of the Self.
Love resonates Awareness, which would be otherwise dry. This is why having an Open heart is the other essential aspect of inhabiting our True Self.
Everyone finds themselves in their own poetic journey. Some may start with a good heart as a blessing and a resource, while others will have to heal, and cultivate that openness.
It is a mark of human evolution that spirituality is increasingly embracing emotional healing and shadow work to heal the heart, enabling it to open and resonate. It’s possible to do this without being completely engrossed in our personal identity and story but for many people, one opening leads to another, and the path unfolds from there.
Love is so needed and so powerful that fear of lacking love leads us to all sorts of numbing and denial The truth is Love is a part of your very being and no-one can take your love away. Realizing this sets your heart free.
Presence is the medium Love resonates in. When our attention projects into the future, ruminates on the past, and needs to be distracted and entertained, it is not collected enough to sustain presence. Presence feels great when we have collected ourselves enough to feel the peace and love it holds. If we are too divided, we can’t find our center to abide in. The presence is too diffuse.
Our state of life force energy is another factor is inhabiting ourselves. It is vitality itself. It flows within a kind of subtle nervous system which is subject to blockages and weakness. Practices like diet and exercise, yoga and martial arts, breathing, meditating and moving energy throughout the system are modalities that can collect, amplify and free the life force energy which supports conscious awareness and love. They are aspects of the same Self and resonate with each other.
There are mysteries related to our state of life energy such as the kundalini energy and a profound mystery called Grace. Another mystery is the effect of connection with real gurus, shamans or “enlightened” people. Some substances facilitate inner shifts as well. If we stay centered, sincere and discerning, we find the right opportunities and means to evolve.
How we live and who we spend time with are also powerful factors in our state of Being. People who abide in Presence and Love emanate it, and this resonates to the state of Being of everyone in their sphere. We soak up the company we keep. Who you abide with molds who you become. The presence of Genuine Spiritual teachers can often be a channel for grace and transformation.
Still, all powerful things often have powerful risks. False teachers may not know their limitations. Self-honesty, sincerity and discernment are always needed. Delusions and exaggerations are common along with some dramatic awakenings as the sub-conscious opens its doors into awareness. Also for some, the light shines through the cracks so great sensitivity can sometimes come with a fractured personality.
We have to navigate this world’s challenges because we’re here. Wherever you go, there you are. There is no avoiding yourself without numbing yourself and that just ultimately leads downhill.
Not everyone is suited for what feels like the path that has worked for you. Some people’s lives are completed and blessed just by raising a family with love and serving their community and kids. Others might keep the world at arm’s length or feel like misfits to ordinary society. Your state of being and how you express it are the bottom lines. Everyone can do so within their unique path and according to their inner means.
The point of all this is just to say, happiness is within and is activated by presence and an open heart. Don’t confuse this with the world of doctrines, dogma, practices and judgements. If you aim at inner peace, love or some kind of happiness, the most effective and direct way is to address your spirituality, meaning, address your inner state. No blind faith or belief necessary but be honest with yourself.
Live the poetry of your life unfolding, but don’t expect the game will be the source of your happiness. It’s who you are within the play makes your experience. Don’t forget to look withn and collect yourself and free your heart.