Which would you prefer? A quiet, still mind, or a loving and open heart?
They are both beautiful options, of course. Some of you will be thinking “Wait a minute – I want both.” This is very normal because the heart and mind are so intimately connected, like two hands with interwoven fingers. As one grows or shifts, the other has to expand along with it. At the deepest level, Heart and Mind are one.
But most of us live at the surface level of life where there Heart and Mind are separate. And practically speaking, our intention matters. If we dive into the infinite Source Field of life as if it is a field of Infinite Silent Pure Consciousness, we return infused with stillness. If we approach this same field as if it is Infinite Dynamism, we return infused with energy.
Here’s another way to describe this: if we transcend through the mind, we are culturing our nervous system and brain to experience silence. If we transcend through our hearts, we are culturing our heart to experience love.
Transcending through the heart is a topic all unto itself in another blog, so for this blog let’s get to an expanded version of the original question:
Which would you prefer?
- Living 24/7 in Cosmic Stillness, where Eternal Bliss Consciousness is your full-time reality, and where waves of bliss flow through you with every person you meet, with every step you take.
- Allowing your heart to expand to include all of creation, so that with every inhale you breathe all of creation flows into your heart, and with every exhale you fill all of creation with your love? In this state, love alone exists, and every action, every person, each thing in the world is just as precious as the unmanifest Universal Heart.
My experience of Infinite Silence
I can tell you I moved into the first experience as a full-time reality on Dec. 18, 2000 at about 4:20 pm. I know the time because the sun was still barely in the sky. Sunset was 4:38 pm that glorious day.
For 27 years I had been following what I will call “The Path of Consciousness”, because the essence of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s message was that we should experience Pure Consciousness twice a day with the TM technique.
Eventually, we would reach the state he called Cosmic Consciousness – where for 24 hours a day we would experience Pure Consciousness aware of its own existence, whether we were awake, dreaming or sleeping. It sounds crazy that we could experience inner awareness while sleeping or dreaming, but that was my experience. The mind shuts down during sleep, but consciousness is independent of the mind.
That state of consciousness lasted for about nine years, and then it got even better as I shifted into Unity Consciousness. I’ll describe all this in detail in later blogs.
The reason I am mentioning it here is not for self-glorification. That’s not for me. I would prefer my privacy, but I have been given the mission of helping to heal the wounds in the Heart of America. (More on that later, too.) That’s why I am writing this blog.
What about the other option – the loving, open heart?
In 2013, after about 40 years of Consciousness-based meditation, I decided to try the Path of the Heart. You may legitimately ask why, as consciousness-based meditation had been so obviously successful for me.
I have been a Christian minister since 1992 when I was appointed to be the minister of our local Unity Church. This morphed into an independent Mystical church, but I was actively preaching for 18 years and I am still active in our church. Christianity is very important to me.
The Desert Fathers and Mothers
I read an article by Puran and Susanna Bair that clearly showed how the 3rd & 4th century Desert Fathers and Mothers – the Abbas and Ammas – used a form of heart-centered meditation. These Abbas and Ammas profoundly shaped the direction of Christianity for hundreds of years, and they practiced heart-centered meditation instead of mind-based meditation. I had to try it.
I took an online course to learn Heart Rhythm Meditation, the modern name for the ancient meditation practice of the desert Abbas and Ammas. It was offered by iamHeart, the school Puran and Susanna Bair founded.
My experience of Living in my Heart
Like most people, my habitual center of awareness was somewhere behind my eyes. When you live from your heart, your center of awareness is within your heart instead of your brain. In my body, it’s about an 18-inch journey from my forehead to my heart.
Those 18 inches between the head and the heart don’t sound like much of a journey, do they?
But my experience of moving into my heart was more profound and more satisfying than that day in Dec. 2000 when I first experienced Pure Consciousness 24/7 as a full-time reality. This again sounds crazy, but that is my experience.
In the middle of that Heart Rhythm Meditation online course, I drove my son to the Des Moines Airport. That’s a two-hour drive from my hometown of Fairfield IA. My son started listening to podcasts, and my wife started listening to a book on tape.
I started breathing into my heart, connecting the rhythm of my breathing to the rhythm of my heartbeat. Because of my Christian background, I added the Jesus Prayer to the process: “Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me” with every inhale and exhale.
After about an hour, my awareness just moved those 18 inches down into my heart. My heart expanded wildly, and by the time we reached the airport my heart was leading me everywhere.
The energy of my heart would move in one direction, and then my eyes and senses would follow my heart, and then my body would move in that direction and do whatever action was needed.
My heart, and the energy of my heart, was primary; my consciousness, my senses, and my body were all connected but definitely following the lead of my heart. There is a saying “Consciousness rides on Energy”, and now I experienced what that meant.
Consciousness rides on Energy
I had always been very attached to the idea that Consciousness was primary, but it was hard to ignore this experience. I will say this: Perhaps from one perspective, Consciousness is indeed primary. After all, when I put my attention on something, my energy follows my attention/consciousness. But after my experience that day I always wonder if my heart moved first, and I was unaware of it? Then consciousness and even more energy followed. I can’t say yet I have fully experienced this area of life.
No matter what, experiencing Energy as primary opened for me a whole new amazing way to look at the world. I will share this with you over time. It’s quite remarkable.
Living in the Heart as a full-time reality
I cannot say that I live in my heart as a full-time reality yet. It took many years to culture my nervous system to where it could experience Pure Consciousness 24/7, and it takes time for the Heart to be cultured as well. However, I can move into my heart at will, and that is a great gift for living.
The more I move into my heart, my life becomes richer, more alive, and filled with love. So I choose the Heart, and I invite you to choose your Heart also. Here’s my promise to you: you will be grateful you have chosen your Heart.
©Steven Winn 2018