On the spiritual path we may have the notion that our heart needs to be fully open in order to go deeper in our insight and understanding. This may be reinforced by inspiring stories of those who have lived selflessly and who have given of their heart to all that they meet.
However what if we feel our heart is too complicated?
Tutor(s): Nick Edge
Compassion and unconditional love, at times, flow from all of us. At other times our hearts can be troubled, creating an internal conflict which projects out into our relationships with others in the wider world.
The gift of spiritual practice is that we do not have to wait until we are an idealised version of our self; we begin right now as we are. One of the most important steps to take on any spiritual path is to learn to be kind to ourselves as we are in this very moment; coming to terms with those places where we may be at war with our story or our current experience. Slowly, with patience and with practice, we can face many of the challenging knots that bind the heart. In time, our practice can have a profoundly transformative effect on our hearts. The sense of inner peace and compassion that ensue will naturally radiate out into our relationships and interactions with others.
When we come to peace with our story and our own hearts, we find that any tendencies to be harsh towards others, or to judge too quickly, start to fall away. We don’t have to try to be more accepting of life; it arises spontaneously.
During this course we will work with specific practices aimed at awakening compassion for the self and others – namely Metta (loving kindness), Tonglen (receiving and giving) and the Taoist practice of the Inner Smile. Together we will also practice asana, chanting, yoga nidra
and kirtan to support the process of awakening the heart. We will also take part in a havan (fire ceremony) as an aid to the process of opening the heart and releasing old wounds.