Written by Adyashanti
The fully open heart rests in sweet unknowingness, safe in its own embrace, rushing to meet its own perceived need that dissolves in the grace swallowing it. Dancing its tender dance of sheer delight in its own loveliness, merging with itself everywhere, only this, exquisitely so.
This may sound far off for some people, a place unattainable, a state made available only for a few, but I can assure you that it doesn’t require you to change or to become different at all to know this firsthand. It only requires a willingness to stop. The more we stop and the more we let go, the more our consciousness naturally opens.
The more we question our conclusions, the more the doorway opens for us to have a wider and wider vision. The deeper we see into the reality of things, the more our heart opens to include everything, because if we’re really feeling into our deepest reality and truth, the heart isn’t something that would want to escape from what is here and now; rather, our hearts are already embracing everything. We can allow our hearts to be big enough to be broken.
My teacher called this world “the great heartbreak”. When we really begin to wake up to our true nature, we become more conscious of the suffering around us. We feel the people and the events of our lives more profoundly, not less profoundly. We become more present here and now.
What we see is that, even though our vision may have expanded, even though we may have woke up not just to reality, but as reality, still we can’t control anyone. Everything and everyone has their own life to live, and we can’t just wipe away their suffering because our hearts are open. Although we would love to have everyone wake up and be happy, part of the heartbreak is accepting this moment, this world, just as it is.
Another one of my teachers said, “All true love sheds a tear. It’s bittersweet,” and I’ve found this to be more and more true. The more deeply I love, the more I taste the bitterness with the sweet. It’s not a negative bitterness, it’s a bitterness that makes the sweetness even more sweet. Life is beautiful not just because of beautiful mountaintop vistas and the pristine, clear environment of a high mountain lake. Life is also beautiful in each and every moment.
There is nobility and beauty even when human beings are suffering. Our hearts do not want them to suffer; we want to save them, but the heartbreak is that we can’t do that. The quality of our love, the openness of our heart, still does have a profound effect on the world and others in it. Our hearts just can’t control it — nor would they ever want to.
But don’t ever think that your presence here — your physical, material, individual presence — doesn’t have a great impact on everyone around you, because it does. You can’t ultimately control what’s going on around you, but you do have a great impact. This is the gift we have to give other: this gift of oneness, of union, of a true open heart that comes when our mind opens.
Yes, it will be heartbreaking, and when our hearts break, it will be asked to open even wider, so wide that there’s nothing and nobody to hold onto the heartbreak. But the heartbreak also moves through the transparency of consciousness. If we’re willing to open that wide, to where we’re willing to not just transcend this world, but to inhabit it and embody it, then we become the answer for which we’ve always been looking. Then we become the peace that all beings are seeking.
Sometimes it is disturbing to realize that we’ve been holding onto a pocketful of dreams, but ultimately , it’s liberating. We can let our hearts break; they are that big. Illusion never brings peace, never brings happiness. When we’re done being disturbed by our own illusions, then we start to become astonished — astonished that we aren’t just our illusions, that we’re something so vast and unexplainable.
We’re not something that exists within Heaven or even in the great mystery of being, but we actually are the great mystery of being. One Zen master said, “The whole universe is my true personality.” This is a very wonderful saying: “The whole universe is my true personality.” If you want to see what you truly are, open the window, and everything you see is in fact the expression of your inner reality. Can you embrace all of it?
Falling Into Grace
A little video to add to this: Experiencing Through the Heart
Copyright Michelle Peterson © 2021