You know, the human heart is very tender, very soft, easily wounded. Because of this, many people try to hide their tender side, hide those vulnerable feelings inside so that other people don’t really see the vulnerability, the need, the dependency, the fear, the sorrow. Because you want to make a good impression on others, many people tend to hide these feelings, these more vulnerable feelings. These feelings of vulnerability, of need and also the feelings of tender love. You don’t want to be hurt by someone. You don’t want people to take advantage of you.
So, due to these concerns of public ridicule or exploitation or somehow seeming not appropriate, people tend to hide their deepest feelings, hide their hearts. And what happens? The mind and even the entire life can become disconnected from your real Self, from who you really are deep inside. Then the duality begins to occur. You are a certain image to the world, to all the people around you but who you are inside is someone quite different. You may become so immersed in your presentation of yourself to the world around you that you even lose track of who you are. You get disconnected from that very sensitive, vulnerable human heart that lies within you. Those delicate feelings become inaccessible for some people. For others, they are just well-hidden and they live a life of duality where perhaps, alone by themselves, they let that small voice out; they let that small, vulnerable voice, that delicate sensitive person to the surface. For others, that gets to be controlled and the person becomes disconnected. For those whose disconnect is more extreme, even when alone, they don’t really know who they are. There isn’t a sense of self-recognition.
All people struggle with this to one degree or another in all cultures because you are a small child and then you are trained by your parents, by your teachers and by the roughness of the other children in their play, by their mockeries and harshness. You learn that you need to defend yourself. You need to be able to stand up to the world. You need to be able to put on a front so that you are not crushed. Little children learn this young, five six years of age. Then the lessons continue to grow. They watch their mothers, their fathers and they see what they say and do is not the same as the person they are deep inside, the person that that child loves so much. For the child will always love that vulnerable, connected, true person that lives from the heart that is within you. That is who the child loves.
So when you do meditation, when you want to connect with divine presence, this duality of self becomes a barrier. If you are dwelling in the intellect and your heart is so guarded that you cannot accept it, then how are you to meditate successfully? Meditation becomes sterile for the inward milieu inside is sterile. It does not go to the depths of the heart. It rests in the mind. So you can do many nice practices to quiet the mind, to work cleverly with your attention, to be mindful, to be aware but where is your access to that vulnerable heart within you?
When you touch that, you feel. You do not just observe. You are not simply aware or mindful. You feel deeply your passion. You feel your own heart. You feel your own vulnerability. You feel your own deep love and with that comes connectedness, a sense that you are connected to yourself. When you are connected to yourself, you can feel the connection. Then it becomes surprisingly easier to connect with other people. It becomes surprisingly easier to feel your connection to the Divine.
Divine love and divine presence comes with that vulnerability and connection, comes with that love. When you have that deep association within you, that connectedness, then in that wave of connection to yourself comes the awareness of a love that is very vast. By feeling the love in your own heart, the real love that you have for your dear ones, the real connection to yourself, when you melt into it comes the connection to the Infinite, to the Self of yourself, the Self of all beings. You feel connection to that deep space in which all beings are linked, in which life is an integral whole. In that connection, you are one. You are whole. You are home.
What allows you to make that connection is becoming aware and allowing the vulnerability of your own heart, of your own sensitive self, letting yourself feel, know and acknowledge that very vulnerable heart-connected, sensitive being that you are with all your faults and failings. Those faults and failings make you certified human! Without them you are a plastic reflection and do not have your authenticity. Your authenticity comes from the mix of your successes and your failures, your strength and your struggles.
Being with your humanity, being with the gentle love within you, with the gentle vulnerable self, you have access to a wider, vaster field of being. The capacity to become aware of divine Presence dawns in your being, in your awareness. You feel the love that is always there, the shower of grace, a love that is eternal, pure and ever-present. It is there for you. You are part of it. It is the very substance of that vulnerable heart dwelling in the core of you. When you can feel that love, that heart, that core of yourself, that connectedness, you are connected to all beings and all beings to you. In that divine flow, you are one with the Infinite. You are one with the Self of all beings. You are one with Divine.
It is not a oneness that your mind really grasps. It is a oneness that your heart knows. It is a connectedness that you feel. You know it in the very fabric of your own being. The knowledge there is essential knowledge. You just know it. You know truth. You know the real from the unreal. This knowledge is not acquired anywhere. It is a basic knowledge that lies within you when you are connected to your feeling, to your heart, to your vulnerability. When you can feel your own Self and your own ground, your own core, your Atman, you feel the connection to the eternal Self, the Paramatman. This is the beauty of meditation. This is the Source of meditation so if you want to know the one eternal Self, you want to know the vastness of all that is, know your own Self. Stay connected to your own being, to your own small voice within that comes from the depths of your own heart space and let that love open your mind, open your being and fill you with grace eternal.
All right? Does anyone have any questions tonight? All right. Go deep into your heart, deep into your connectedness with all life and there find the love that never ends.