Welcome to DAY 7 of our practice. Let’s begin…
Please close your eyes while you take three slow, deep breaths. Then open your eyes and consider the invitation to: “Open Your Heart.”
What does it mean to open your heart? And what does it have to do with gratefulness? When we talk about opening our hearts, we are pointing to a deference to the wisdom of our hearts with the understanding that the heart has an intelligence beyond that of our minds. In cultivating open-heartedness we are expanding our capacity to be with challenging emotions, situations and people, and to do so with tenderness, compassion, love, and gratefulness. We can learn to attune to what emerges within this expanded capacity, and to trust the vulnerability, intuition, and instincts which arise. It is through our hearts that we can connect to oneness. Our hearts know our inseparability from all that is, and it is through listening to our hearts that we connect with our interdependence and find that our actions and words are guided accordingly.
In honoring the wisdom of an open heart today, we invite you to:
- Set an intention to open your heart. Notice how simply setting this intention impacts you.
- Allow your heart to calm and inform you through doing a “Hand Over Heart” practice: Close your eyes, place a hand over your heart and take several slow, deep breaths. Breathe a sense of peace, calm and love gently into your heart and feel its perpetual rhythm in return. After a few breaths, sit quietly, feeling the effects of the practice for 30 seconds or so, attuning to whatever arises. If your schedule allows, you can try this several times throughout the day, or whenever you seek deeper ways of sensing what is true for you.
- Look for opportunities to speak from your heart. When we speak from our hearts with sincerity and a desire for the good of the whole (as opposed to simply seeking to have our needs met), it opens the way for healing and new possibilities.
- At day’s end, reflect upon what you noticed and explore how it feels and what might have changed as a result of following your intention to open your heart.
- Write about your experiences in a journal and/or share below.
If you would like to explore this topic further, you might appreciate:
- A Heart to Hold it All – a blog by Fabiana Fondevila
- Unconditional – a poem by Jennifer Welwood
- A New Republic of the Heart – a blog by Terry Patten
- About the Heart – Br. David responds to a question