Your raw and beautiful heart

When you awaken your heart in this way, you find, to your surprise, that your heart is empty. You find that you are looking into outer space. What are you, who are you, where is your heart? If you really look, you won’t find anything tangible and solid. Of course, you might find something very solid if you have a grudge against someone or you have fallen possessively in love. But that is not awakened heart. If you search for awakened heart, if you put your hand through your rib cage and feel for it, there is nothing there except for tenderness. You feel sore and soft, and if you open your eyes to the rest of the world, you feel tremendous sadness. This kind of sadness doesn’t come from being mistreated. You don’t feel sad because someone has insulted you or because you feel impoverished. Rather, this experience of sadness is unconditioned. It occurs because your heart is completely exposed. There is no skin or tissue covering it; it is pure raw meat. Even if a tiny mosquito lands on it, you feel so touched. Your experience is raw and tender and so personal.

The genuine heart of sadness comes from feeling that your nonexistent heart is full. You would like to spill your heart’s blood, give your heart to others. For the warrior, this experience of sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits you, you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.

~ from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chögyam Trungpa

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8 thoughts on “Your raw and beautiful heart

  1. The heart concept has so much in common with my “Home” concept. They are intangible and quite real. It’s like falling in love. You can’t touch it but it’s real and a part of who you are. And yes, it does feel like a sadness, a yearning.

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    • How great you say that. He says the same thing, that it’s like falling in love, in this case, falling in love with the world. “Experiencing the upliftedness of the world is a joyous situation, but it also brings sadness. It is like falling in love … This is not a problem; in fact, it is wonderful. It is the ideal human emotion.”

      I know the moment I fell in love with the world. It was six years ago. I was driving and looked across the intersection to a driver coming in the other direction and we looked in each other’s eyes and then the surprising thought “Oh, I’m in love with life.”

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  2. Oh Narelle, you brought tears to my eyes. (Not a bad thing) A good friend and I were in Carmel a long time ago when all the kids were starting to get high on drugs everywhere, and we looked at each other and said THIS is a “high”. What’s the matter with all those people? We had that wonderful uplifting feeling that you always remember. I’ve never lost it either.

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    • So good. THIS is the high. Isn’t it amazing? Those kids were hiding from, protecting themselves from reality via drugs. I used to do it via literature and other things. Now i get reality is enchanting, and as you say, once gotten never lost.

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