I'd like you to imagine that every day we're given a choice when we wake up. How to interact with the world, that we could set an intention. And that intention might be I'm going to interact with the world the way I always do. Through my conditioning, you could say. Another version might be well I read the news, and it scares me and my body contracts and I hate those people. And so we might wanna be a bit more shut down and protect ourselves more. And there's a third option, a third way of waking up every day, which would be to choose to be warm-hearted with the world. To open our hearts and feel our interdependence and interconnectedness with all of life, when we wake up every day.
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This last weekend I watched "The Great 14th," the documentary with the 14th Dalai Lama. And a few of the things that he spoke about was so poignant. Amongst other things, it's just beautiful to see. This life, his beautiful life given over as one long act of service to the whole world, to the Tibetan people but to the whole world. And he describes waking up and how every day is really both an act of service and given to the world, but that he cultivates warm-heartedness, as he describes it, I really like this. And many of the ancient mystical traditions speak of this. , that's a little bit of fancy Latin for eyes of the heart, from mystical Christianity. And you'll find the same in Islam so much spoken about of the heart. And the same within Buddhism heart-mind. So this notion that in fact our heart could really be the center of our consciousness. And no, this isn't a Hallmark card or some kind of cheesy notion where we all just love each other and bypass all of the problems of this world or our own problems. But there's this notion that we can descend out of our heads or out of our conditioning, and see the world through the eyes of the heart. The contemporary spiritual teacher, Nirmala, beautifully describes how we become conditioned really just by our culture and as children, by our parents and family. And he describes us as if we're little baby ducks. And you know, how little baby ducks just follow their mother or father or parents everywhere, they imprint on their parents. So does our awareness. When we get taught to print our awareness on thought, as if that's me, that's little me. That's who I am, this thinking little entity is who I am, then we believe that, that is true. But our awareness is much more malleable than that. For example, right now as we hang out with each other right now, I'd like to invite you and me to bring our awareness to our feet, feeling our feet from the inside. So that our awareness is more foot-based than it is thought-based or heart-based or tummy-based. So bringing our awareness down to the feet, and imagine we could almost see the world through our feet so that our awareness is more in the feet than anywhere else. Let's hang out like that for a bit. And so too, we could also gently shift our awareness towards our hearts just intuitively moving the center of our awareness into the center of our chest. Now this may or may not be easy for you to do at this time. Just try it out, see if you can drop or move your awareness into the center of your chest. You might enjoy feeling the somatical body sensations in the center of your chest to help you focus here. And so we can hang out with and just play with this notion of being heart-centered. Another thing one can do is just add in a little bit of a sense of emotion. So bringing in just a sense of emotional connectedness, allowing in our emotional body also helps to open up here, so many routes in. Wonderful teacher, Loch Kelly, describes this as the 18 inch drop from here down to here, and has a whole bunch of routes for getting down there. And perhaps we can try one right now. So let's get in heads, get a little theoretical for a second. Let's get back to that normal, conditioned, heady awareness that we spend every day and just be there for a sec. Let's rationally interpret all of this and let's get rational together. And I just feel that as if that center of awareness is kind of behind our eyes in our heads where it normally is or where we spend much of our lives. Let's take a deep breath together. So really allowing the center of our awareness to be behind our eyes and be completely comfortable with that. And as we do that, he uses this wonderful and curious term, we're gonna unhook our awareness from thinking and from the mind. And really what that means is we're just gonna kind of unclip it if you like, and allowing it just to drop. So we allow our awareness to move and right now the invitation is to move your awareness into the center of your chin. Feeling the chin from the inside, the sensations of the chin, bringing presence and focus here. And allowing that to marinate for a bit. It also now inviting the awareness to drop down into the center of the throat. So feeling the throat from the inside. So, feeling it's somatically from within the inner body so feeling the inside of the throat And then we can allow that to drop even further and drop deep down into our upper body and to the center of our chest. Feeling the physical sensations of the center of the chest. Allowing our awareness to be dropped there rather than looking down from our head or from our minds or from our imaginations down at the chest but feeling and being in the center of the chest and feeling the center of our chests and just enjoying being centered here together for a little bit. Being in our hearts but also feeling our interdependence with everything, our interconnection. Me and you and all of us. What a nice place to hang out. Maintaining your sense of connection to the heart. I'm just gonna say that I've got a beautiful little hair caught inside my right eye, its making it difficult to keep the eye open. But let's just stay in our hearts and hang out. And so this is just an invitation for today to play with heart-centeredness. What would it be like to interact with our families, our children, our parents, other humans, just with the center of our awareness in the heart to practice this. Maybe also ask the question, how can we be of service in the world today and how could we help other people today? And as the Dalai Lama says, Look into each day with a warm heart.