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Heart Center

Diamond Approach

Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom

From the teachings of A.H. Almaas

What is Heart Center?

Diamond Approach Teachings About: Heart Center

Bringing the Heart to a Devotional Attitude

We want something for its own sake when we truly love it. There's no other way to want something for its own sake. Conversely, when we appreciate something for its own sake, we call that love. So loving truth for its own sake brings the heart to a devotional attitude, an attitude of selfless affection and dedication. It is the heart's openness, the heartfelt appreciation and longing, the gravitational pull that makes us want to see the truth, to be closer to the truth, to be intimate with it. The heart’s love of the truth is not a thought or an idea. It is not a matter of trying to live according to an ideal. It's not a motive that comes from the mind. It is an impulse from the depth of the soul, a deeply felt motive from the heart. It is not that we think and deliberate and decide that truth is good for us, so we end up wanting it. Love of the truth is not utilitarian. The truth often ends up being utilitarian, but that is not what inspires the right attitude for the journey. The correct attitude is that of a lover who wants to be close to the beloved.

Contribution of the Heart Centre in the Process of Understanding

The heart center’s contribution has to do with its central quality, which is the personal essence. The contribution of the personal essence is the diving movement, the actual living of the experience. You not only allow it, you’re in the midst of it, you’re one with it. You’re really it, you let it happen, you feel it fully, you sense it fully, you experience it fully, right? That’s the contribution of the heart center. The belly center has its contribution, which is represented by the self, the essential self. The contribution of the essential self is the disidentification, the turning away. When you are truly functioning in the belly, you are completely present, and being completely present, you are being yourself. So you are not identified with the usual activity of trying to get somewhere else. I am not implying that space is always in the head, the pearl in the heart, and the essential self in the belly. Centers lose their importance after a while in terms of locations of essential aspects. What I mean is that when space is functioning as allowing, it activates the head center; when the pearl is functioning as involvement, it is usually in the heart center; and when the essential self is functioning as disidentification, it is usually in the belly, in the Hara center.

Deepest Longing in the Heart

As you consider this perception of oneness, you will see that in a very deep place in you, in the deepest part of your heart, there is a very deep grief, the deepest wound, the wound of the separation from oneness. And there is longing in our hearts, the deepest longing, the deepest yearning. The most powerful desire we have, in the deepest part of our hearts, is the longing to cease as a separate individual; to be united, to see that there is really only one because it is our ultimate nature. If it is cut off from our perception, there has to be a sense of loss, a deep, gaping wound that does not heal, and there inevitably arises an immense longing, a very deep ache, so that no matter what you experience or feel, there is dissatisfaction and discontent. Your heart does not allow itself to be completely happy because this oneness is what your heart ultimately wants, and everything else it wants is just a little reflection of this. You might think your heart wants this and that, and it is all true, but these all are superficial wants. What will make your heart dance in happiness is this perception of oneness, your direct knowledge of the unity of yourself and everything in one nature.

Mystical Poverty

We are talking about mystical poverty because this perspective is needed in our work here. We are not working to get richer; we are working to get poorer. You might think you are coming here to get more realized, to achieve more essential states. The truth is you will have less and less. The heart and the mind usually do not hear this message for years and years. They keep rebelling, keep doing things according to what they have learned. “I don't want this. I want that.” After some long time, the heart and the mind become wiser. The heart sees, responds, and moves toward poverty. The heart realizes that riches hurt, that they are not the real thing, not the truth, not the true Beloved. Also, the heart realizes that trying to get riches is not the heart’s nature. Its nature is always surrender, forgiving, disowning.

Opening of the Heart of the Soul

What we are pointing out here is that one of the specific ways of experiencing the soul is as an infinite, ever-flowing fountain of knowledge. We can experience the soul as an overflowing fountain, sometimes out of the heart, and the content of this fountain is knowledge. Sometimes we experience this knowledge as an ocean, or many oceans, as happens in the visions of the heart’s imaginal capacity. The knowledge, because it is the very substance of the soul, feels real, organic, alive, and nonlinear. In this experience of our soul we have the perception that there is available for human beings, as part of the potential of being human, an infinity of knowledge. We not only come upon knowledge, we not only discover knowledge, but we can do these things because we are knowledge: real, alive, and relevant. When the heart of the soul finally opens there becomes accessible to us an infinity of knowledge. We then only need to turn our attention to a particular inner subject, and the knowledge begins pouring out, endlessly. This substance of knowledge, this essence and presence of knowledge, begins to manifest the forms of knowledge relevant for our study.

Participation of the Heart Center as Inquiry Deepens

So as our inquiry deepens and becomes more powerful, it will require our ability to sense our experience to become subtler, deeper, and more penetrating. Not only do our physical senses need to become more vivid and intense, we need to bring in subtler senses as well. We need to sense our bodies and our inner sensations more deeply and clearly. We also need to open the heart center so we can feel our emotions and our feeling states more intimately and vividly. And we need to have greater clarity, spaciousness, and quietness in our mind to be able to perceive thoughts and their processes.

The Courageous Heart

Now a courageous heart is a heart willing to love regardless of the negativity. The courageous heart is the heart that will love in spite of the badness that is there. The courageous heart is not just the heart that only loves and nothing else; it is the heart that loves regardless of what happens. The courageous heart is the heart of unconditional love: whether the other is good or bad, you continue loving them. Usually, with your friend or your spouse it is easy for you to be loving if the other is loving. But if the other is frustrating or mad, angry or rejecting, right away you shift, and close your love and bring in another reaction. You are hurt, you are angry, hateful, or frustrated, and if you are angry, frustrated, or hurt, you do not let yourself feel your love, at least not at the time of your initial reaction. What splitting does, more than anything else, is close the heart. Whether you are all bad or all good, whether you are all loving or all hateful, what you are doing more than anything else is covering up your courageous heart. You are not allowing yourself to have your courageous heart, to be your courageous heart. You are not allowing your love to be unconditional. Your love becomes conditional. You respond lovingly only under certain conditions, or with certain manifestations of the other. So true relationship, real relationship is based ultimately on love, and does not exclude anything else. The courageous heart does not exclude negativity. If your heart is loving, you do not have to exclude the negative. You do not have to forget what you know about the situation, about yourself, about the other person. If you have to make the situation unreal, then your love is not real yet. It is conditioned by the beliefs in your mind. Your heart is not spontaneous yet, not real, not courageous yet.

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