from 'THE JEWEL OF PARADOX:
I get myself settled down. Seated with my bedding as cushion under my
butt and between my back and the wall, I make myself surprisingly comfortable.
I sense inner guidance, as a woman's voice, coaching me to watch my body
breath, to let my mind rest with that flow and become quiet.
It works. Inside and out, the flow of my breath moves slower, more effortless.
This work with the heart is a kind of prayer, my female guide explains.
And so a prayer seems to form by itself, framed as we prayed in the Order.
Oh, Lord of Darkness and of Light,
I am here within Your Sight.
In Your shimmering Eye, I pray
To see my heart as it is today.
A higher part of me awakens to my guide, a more expansive, knowing part
to follow her guidance through this heart work. My body leads me to hold
my left palm a foot or so before the center of my chest. I close my eyes
and inner sight turns to that place behind my breastbone that I feel getting
Something slips in place and the process begins. I'm jolted with a barrage
of familiar hurts and pains, needs and fantasies. My feelings and emotions
are desperately scattered. Uncertain, searching for direction, for quenching.
Their blaring screams make thought impossible.
"This is the realm of the heart that meets and mixes with the outer
world," my guide describes. " What you wanted and didn't get.
What you didn't want and got. This is the heart realm where the "me/you"
and the "you/me" bring their unique worlds together."
"Here, at the outermost level, is the heart-realm of the personality,
of the ego." With the awareness I'm now granted, I see that the froth
and turmoil, the fragility and limitedness of this realm can only bring
me frustration and suffering. And always has. I can hear those sub-selfs
screaming, begging little voices. "I want... I need... I must..."
Perpetual, pointless, unsatisfiable neediness. This is where I've lived
from most of my life, taking it for granted that these endless tantrums
were the end-all and be-all of life.
And here I am, my hand and heart in energetic communion, experiencing
that part of myself as I never could have before. As a compassionate other,
there are unimaginable new ways of knowing and relating with my life,
coming to myself from my heart.
"Lord of Compassion, have mercy. Lord of Mercy, have compassion,"
she leads to softly repeat and repeat till there is an easing at this
outermost level. A dissolving, a release that comes with a full sigh.
I'm moved to draw my open left palm closer to my heart center.
Again that sense of passing beyond a boundary there, of a profound shift
into another place -another, deeper level to my heart. Hurt and longings
are here too, but freer of circumstance, less fragmented and fleeting.
I recognize that here are the ongoing concerns in life, the ones I've
lived and might die by. These are diverse rather than scattered and are
signs of my many sides. My consciousness here is reflective rather than
worried. These self-concerns are weightier than the personality's, more
significant. Less about my fleeting wants than about my longings and callings.
There is a more definite knowing of who I am and what I'm about. A sense
of more spaciousness for myself, many more dimensions and possibilities
of experience, of more purpose and value to me.
"This is the part of you that makes the soul journeys," she
explains. I see this second realm of my heart as very bright, very known.
I'm moved to bring my palm closer to my Heart Center again. Again, there
is a discreet shift in awareness of myself. This realm, she calls the
realm of spirit. Though my consciousness is far subtler, its contents
are more tenuous to grasp, mysterious. I'm opened to more intuitive knowing,
my inner seeing fuzzier, less concerned with details, more aware of the
wholeness of things. I grasp the boundless, infinite dimensions here and
the obscure ways of relating them.
My emotions in this third realm of my heart are rich, rising up from the
deepest levels of my being, each one gifting me with truer knowing of
who I am, what I truly feel, what really matters to me. Though it's the
first time I've knowingly experienced this level of my heart, I'm certain
that here is the source of meaning in my life. This is where the currents
of my gifts and callings run clearest. This is where I can find my Self.
Within its richness and giftings, beyond and beneath it, is a bittersweet
longing, a desperate waiting to be really, fully born. Not to be just
born in a body, with a name and a history, but being really born so that
I am the spiritual being I live and act from. And all that clutter and
busyness out there doesn't distract or torment me anymore.
Now, poised before my inner Holy of Holies, the female voice guides me
to rest my left hand right on the warmth of my Heart Center. There is
a shift into a higher domain of experience that takes my breath away.
My awareness plummets down, deep within to this core-center of my heart.
My mind is utterly quiet, overcome, entranced. All the experiences of
the first three realms disappear into this awing, peaceful calm. "The
Heart of your heart," my guide calls this. "God's Heart inside
of ours." That's what this is, the utter Source of it all, here in
the center of my own heart.
A thirst is quenched I've had my whole life, totally fulfilled in this
Presence. Wonderment and joy. I'm drawn upward through it, as if by a
gentle tornado, gentle and soothing. The ascending swirl, infinite, eternal.
I know I'm Home... Yes, here, at the center, deepest level of my heart
is where the Rays of the Sun of Truth enter into my being.
My awareness swells open, its focus expands to near infinity. I see myself
sitting here, the space I'm in and all that surrounds me. My view continues
to expand, out and out, knowing the Aliveness in all of it. The places
and people, out to the surround Ocean. I experience all this from the
inside, where I witness it from. And within it, beneath it all, I'm held
in this gentle divine swirl, the golden warmth from the Center of my Heart,
knowing that it fills and inspires all that is in my world.
The gigantic panorama fades, remains only as a knowing of the Rays of
the Sun of Truth permeating everything, here in the Heart of my heart.
This is where I find it! I affirm, pressing my palms to my Heart Center
with tears of joy. I taste the nectar abundantly, drink it in to quench
my deepest thirsts, dissolve in it, until there's only timeless enthrallment.
Realization blooms. This is the Power that lifts me up out of the Cosmic
Whirlpool. This is the Longing that lovingly draws me to the Sun of Truth.
This is a ray of the Wholelife Energy Bond sourced in my being. Awoken
by visions and driven by desperation, I've been prepared, readied to receive
from this core-center of my Heart. Without reserve or hesitation.
I drink and drink of this splendor, drunk with it beyond all imagining.
Return to top
Copyright Nathaniel Schwartz 2003