Bruce Springsteen says, “Everybody has a hungry heart.” But what is the heart, and what is it really hungry for? When we know what our heart really needs, we’re better able to give others what they need too. First, we can reflect on where and what the heart is.
In Zen training we consider the heart and mind to be the same, It’s just called HeartMind. HeartMind is vast, infinite compassion, bodaishin in Japanese, bodhicitta in Sanskrit (pronounced bow-dee-chee-tah), fused with deep, penetrating wisdom, pranja in Sanskrit. The wisdom from a Buddhist perspective is knowing that everything is unreal, just like a dream. Things can appear solid, but they’re really temporary, or impermanent. Knowing that all beings suffer and that this suffering is illusory opens the gate of compassion.
So where is HeartMind in our physical bodies? In the West, when we’re confused, we may scratch our heads. We often seek wisdom from the Executive Office between our ears. Tibetans, however, are known to put their hands on their hearts when thinking, to connect with their intention to be of benefit to all beings who suffer. When we connect with our own suffering, we allow ourselves to connect with all beings. No one wants to suffer. Everyone wants happiness. That’s the desire. That is the hunger we all feel.
What is your heart’s desire? Before you answer with words, try to connect with the feeling. Put your hand on your heart. Listen to the rise and fall of energy as the breath of your life moves through your core, heart, HeartMind. From your heart, as your heart, in the voice of HeartMind, finish the following sentence (aloud or silently): I am your name’s HeartMind. I need… As you go through your day, return to HeartMind often by placing your hand on your heart or noticing the breath. Create an intention to live from HeartMind with yourself. Connect from HeartMind to HeartMind with everyone you meet.
From the center of my heart space, anahata to yours,
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