I’m not feeling especially chipper at this moment as I begin this blog. I thought it might be a jumping off point to write about sinking from the head to the heart. In other words, how do I find my way back to a spacious, silent peace when I’m in my head telling myself a variation on the theme that “this isn’t it”?
First thing I do is see clearly that I’m telling myself a story that something is wrong. I notice my depressive mood, feel a contraction in the body and listen as thoughts tell a story of how I’m not okay/happy/feeling okay. Once I see this “condition” arising, I am creating some distance from it by noticing it.
Then I can ask, “Who or what is noticing the negative thoughts arising?” I take a breath and follow thought to the quiet, spacious, aware presence which notices the thoughts. I take a second breath and ask myself, “Am I willing to let this go? Could I just simply breathe deeply and let it go?” Many times I can then release myself from the story and relax away into a quiet, gentle flow of the aware presence in which all experience is arising.
The underlying understandings here are the following:
1. I have a direct experience of the quiet, spaciousness—the aware presence—which listens to thoughts as they arise and fall. With this direct experience I am able to move from the head (thoughts) to the heart (quiet, peaceful presence).
2. Once I have this direct experience I have a flexibility to move from content (thoughts, feelings, sensations) to context (awareness). In this simple way I am returning to my true nature.
3. Our identification as aware presence is the key. We have misidentified ourselves. Taking ourselves for the body/mind (thoughts, sensations, feelings) imprisons us in the story of thoughts and their preferences and judgments. Now that we know that thoughts are not “us” we can notice the thoughts without treating them as truth-telling—and relax into the peaceful awareness that we are.
So, the steps to move from head to heart are:
1. Notice that I am taking on my thoughts as real and truthful.
2. Breathe and relax away into the aware presence that I am.
3. Abide as the aware presence that is inherently peaceful, happy and fulfilled.
One last thought: Practice moving into the quiet, spacious awareness that you are, so that you can easily relax into this experience with a breath or two. To find this spacious awareness ask yourself, “am I aware?” and follow thought until it disappears into the aware presence that is ever-present but overlooked as we give all attention to the world of thought. Find this experience of yourself and transform your experience of who you are! This the evolution that is coming into human consciousness now. Why not “join the evolution!”