I’ve gone through different kinds of retreats and self help workshops but this last one I attended resonated so much with me. Maybe it just caught me at the right time. It’s called “Open Heart Meditation” and was conducted here in Manila by Sanuk Tandon. He flew in from Jakarta just to share with us this practice. Flew in for two people who were curious how we can find more centeredness and meaning in the lives that we lead.
As the workshop title states, it is about opening the heart, connecting with the core that is our True Source. One of the things that struck me the most was the distinction between emotions and feelings. I always thought that they are one and the same, springing from the same source. Emotions are driven by our brain contrary to belief that it comes from our heart. These negative emotions are actually blockages that prevent our heart from fully opening up and surrendering. Feelings on the other hand emanate from the heart. You sense these, it comes out as realizations and we may sometimes treat it as our inner voice.
The practice seems repetitive but that’s exactly how practice should be. It deepens as you keep on doing it. Relax, smile, let your heart smile, have no expectations, just stay with that- this is the general rhythm. No intense purging of emotions nor gut wrenching self reflection. Just exercises to achieve a sense of calmness. Interestingly, I’ve always considered myself a relatively calm person but I didn’t realize that there is so much more space to be calmer and more relaxed.
I am drawn to it because it is a meditation that allows you to be out there in your everyday world. It is not one that calls you to be a recluse or to give up everything. It is meant for people who lead regular lives. It is a call to listen, heed and do from the heart in the midst of our context and circumstances. It is choosing to be present to our heart center so we may be able to receive the grace that we seek.