The gift of mindfulness practice is that in any moment of anxiety or fear, we are called to open our hearts, to have the courage to be with even our deepest, darkest fears. An old Hasidic story says teachings are placed on, not in, our hearts, so that when the heart breaks, the teachings fall in. We hear, reflect on and put into practice the teachings, so that in the turmoil of anxiety and fear, loving awareness, is our response—trusting that loving, compassionate, peaceful presence is what is most healing in the experience of the broken, anxious or fearful heart.
These days, I have been experiencing directly with great gratitude the power and profound healing of community support in difficult times. Reflection naturally emerges on the indispensible nature of the boundless, universally empathic mind/heart capacities at the ground of human experience. They are timeless and transcultural: love, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. Called Brahmavihara, these qualities are, happily, capable of cultivation and development.
These teachings and practices train the heart into feeling life fully and tenderly, intuitively sensing how to reach out and connect with our own and others’ hearts with clarity and sincere caring. They encourage intuitive wisdom and courageous, loving presence in the face of the joys and sorrows all humans know. We allow the teachings to fall lovingly into our heart and trust what we find there. Can you open your broken heart so the experience of boundless loving awareness can fall in?