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"Do-be-do-be-do ..." Frank Sinatra
Not long ago a friend asked me what I mean when I say, "Open your heart". I had no answer. Those words are a perfect description of a different state of awareness but that simple phrase has no meaning unless personal experience supports its realization. Then it dawned on me (a small progressive illumination) that perhaps the idea of being rather than doing would provide some insight. Many spiritual traditions use it.
A state of being is discovered in moments of psychic balance when the busy internal dialog between your emotions and mind ceases; the constant conversation you have with yourself is placed on hold. Marvelous events occur in the midst of our doings when that equilibrium is achieved. For it to happen innate talents need to be developed and skills become so ingrained they seem automatic. Next, the intent or spirit of our actions is added into the equation. Desiring perfection in physical activity, beauty in aesthetic realms, truth in the domains of the mind or goodness in our relationships supplies the energy to make the quantum leap of consciousness to the heart.
Athletes have periods of 'being in the zone' when everything just works perfectly and effortlessly. Dancers achieve a similar state when their bodies are in perfect harmony and the person just seems to be along for the ride. Writers experience moments when the words flow in perfect meaning and elegant phrasing; a similar phenomenon happens to computer programmers. Musicians feel that they just step aside and let the music pour through them to the delight of audiences. They are in the groove. In every arena of human activity there exists the possibility of reaching for that exalted state when we are doing our best and suddenly catch a wave of fleeting transcendence. Those moments are the fizz in the flow of our lives, effervescent sparkles of relative perfection, a fleeting reflection of the Divine.
The results vary depending on the circumstances. During performances the spirit of perfection is reflected to all who are present. Other inspired efforts crystallize the energy in material creations to be shared via remnant flickers of that momentary enlightenment. Reaching the state of being in the midst of doing indicates the direction toward an open heart. That's how we begin to discern a cosmic Love is available to us. We discover it in the steady-state aspect of the Creator who is absolute Being.
Using the heart in the midst of our doings is frequently unconscious and may seem mysterious but giving Love can be a conscious act. Teachers experience this when their students seem to magically draw the capacity to learn directly from them. The most universal encounter with Love is recognized in the unselfish outpouring of care, hope and affection between mates and their children. Experiencing that feeling of the Creator for Hisherit's offspring is an exquisite touchstone with Divinity.
There is an immaterial arithmetic equation that accounts for the net goodness from moments of Being. Love flowing through you minus selfishness equals spiritual gain.
A PDF version of this essay can be found here.
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I really really appreciate the depth of discussion regarding this very "thing". Thank you for articulating it for me, and opening my mind to the opening of my heart.
Truth resonates Beauty and equals Goodness.