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Birthing the Heart: The Open Heart

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Teacher: Rodney Smith
Date: 2014-09-16
Venue: Seattle Insight Meditation Center



Another attribute of the heart is its inclusiveness. The heart does not deny access to anyone or anything and is open to the full catastrophe of living. The mind, on the other hand, judges and defends most of what it sees, and thereby selectively chooses what it will allow in. As the mind loosens its grip and the heart emerges, it sometimes feels as if we are awakening out of a dark cave, and this can accompany a fear of being too exposed. But if the heart steadies its composure and does not concede its bearing, the feeling of vulnerability soon evolves into joy. The secrets to continuing to open are nonresistance to experience and remembering that all experiences can be held.


Reflect on your degree of openness. Under what conditions are you willing to be open with others? How honest and open are you with your attitudes and motivations? Are there secret areas that you will not share with other people? What do those areas say about your level of honesty? Write a list of behaviors that you pass over or ignore in yourself. Across from each entry write the reason you wish to keep that part of yourself private and unexposed. Select one of those to expose to awareness. Study it in yourself thoroughly. Watch how and when it operates. What mind state(s) are operating when it appears? Go deeply into the intention behind the activity. Do all of this without self-blame.


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