Pondering the Path from Mindfulness to Heartfullness

Have you ever been sitting in a kirtan* when the kirtan leader says, “Now, from the heart!”? And you wonder, “how do I find the place of my heart?”

Of course, there’s the physical heart, with its ventricles and atria and valves and all. And research does show that even the physical actions of the heart are affected by grief, joy, “heartbreak” etc.

And then there’s the emotional heart, when we fall in love, or out of love… Thinking, feeling and willing are the actions of the emotional heart/mind, each one engaging us more powerfully than the previous one.

But what about the heart of my heart? The deepest place inside of me where I, the soul, the jivatma reside. The seat of my deepest love and aspirations. And where the Soul of my soul, the Supersoul, also resides, guiding me over innumerable lifetimes… if I will only hear.

I heard a story from a friend, a Buddhist teacher, about one of her colleagues. He, also a Buddhist teacher, was assisting one of his students who was dying of a very painful stomach cancer. The teacher was coaching his dying student to go to the place of mindfulness. After some time, the student told his teacher that the mindfulness wasn’t working. His teacher replied, “Then you must go to the place of the heart, you must go to the place of heartfulness.”

We hear so much about mindfulness, and most of us have benefited from it’s gifts. But the interior journey has many layers. In the external world, so many extreme terrains have been trekked and explored; the highest mountains have been climbed; the mysteries of deep seas have been uncovered. But that place of the heart of our hearts remains the deepest unknown place of mystery and unexplored treasures.

How can I pursue this inward bound journey? By the sincere cry of my heart, and by begging for grace from beyond my own strength to uncover these deep secrets that are within me.

*Kirtan: the call and response singing of sacred names of the divine. Meant to uncover our eternal forgotten connection to our Source, the Supreme Beloved Person, known by many names, such as Krishna, Govinda, Ram, in the Bhakti tradition, or Allah, Jehovah, and others around the world.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

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