A Bhakti evening on December 5, 1998

Advaita Post – Volume 15 No.1

Text Satsang

From an Advaita talk with Douwe Tiemersma

A Bhakti evening on December 5, 1998

During a certain period there were bhakti evenings because it was useful for the people who are especially open on the emotional level. This series stopped because we can’t do everything and because still, the emotional approach is also present in the weekly advaita talks. This particular evening began with a heart meditation, in which some different aspects are dealt with than were originally mentioned in the heart meditation published in InZicht Magazine Volume 2, No. 4.

Return to your own concrete bodily situation. This individual bodily sphere is usually not homogeneous, as there are harder and softer areas. Right now it’s about seeing these latter areas more precisely. It’s about an examination of your self, in the area of the emotions. In any case, this area is strongly located in the region of the heart. Just give more attention to this source of feelings; through this they can come free.

Take note of the location from which you look at everything, the location of your own ‘I’ as observer. Usually this place is relatively high up, in the head. From there just let yourself sink down, just let yourself sink further and further in the direction of the heart. Immediately take note of the bodily realm in which you are now present: what’s it like relative to softness and hardness? There are harder and softer structures. You can, as it were, already decisively determine where it’s harder and softer. Most likely you can experience that it’s soft somewhere in the region of the heart. You can see that for yourself. You can always get closer to it. You can already decisively approach it. You feel what it’s like, very concretely! Once you have found the location of that gentle heart feeling, its strength naturally increases the more often you go towards it. In contrast to the harder areas, the core of the heart is soft and fluid, and its fluidity increases the more attention you give. Then the emotional energy starts to flow. It’s a very dynamic feeling. It’s a wave that constantly moves back and forth. This wave movement becomes stronger and stronger. Just experience it as a strong wavelike energy, initially as a fluid. It’s a fluid light energy. Inhale and the energy comes in, exhale and the energy flows out radiating in all directions. It’s a clear feeling, but also you might see it as a luminous energy. Just visualize it differently so that you can experience it very concretely. When you can see it very clearly before you, you can gradually enter into it, so that you can go along with that dynamic movement, the waves and the rays. Let yourself sink more and more into it. From out of your head, let yourself sink consciously more and more into feeling, into the heart. So head and heart, mind and feelings come together.

Consciously return once more to the location in your head and then look at the heart feeling. You affirm what there is to affirm. You do that from a mental point of view, or at least from a standpoint of consciousness. But you, as consciousness, are more than just a mental clarity, more than a theoretical clarity. You are a being-awareness, an awarely present being, for whom emotion is an aspect. A clear emotional energy is present in your own aware sphere, an emotional energy in which you are involved. If this emotion is to avoid becoming objectified, as it is in psychology, then it will have to be integrated. When you remain positioned at the view point of consciousness, you remain distant from your emotions, you remained situated with an internal disunity. When you, as consciousness, descend to that emotional region, the duality disappears and the feeling sphere becomes clear from the inside-out.

Frequently the heart energy has a quality of longing. This longing arises because there is a separation between yourself as longing energy and the longed-for. Mental conception plays a large role in this. Your emotional energy is kept within certain limits. The ‘I’-think constantly says: you are physically present here, with these and these forms and those feelings; over there, are other things from which you are separated, but actually they belong to you.

When you allow yourself to descend into the realm of the heart energy, is there still separation, is there still longing? When you as thinker are completely immersed in the heart energy, you experience that all separateness disappears. When that ‘I’-think enters into the realm of emotion, the structures of the ego seem to disappear. The ego is nothing more than a hard structure, a hard energetic structure that can become fluid once again. It does so when you enter into the flowing heart energy. Everything dissolves within it, even the limits that the energy initially had. You give in to it and notice how the energy instantly and automatically develops cosmic dimensions.

In going inward to the heart be careful of the transition. When you return even just a little bit to the head you have separation again, limitations and longing. When you really let yourself sink into the heart energy all these restrictions disappear. Let the heart energy burst into flames, so that it becomes a huge fire, into which your ‘I’, you, enter. You might also experience that at first this heart-feeling is like a small candle flame and that subsequently this flame becomes a large fire consuming everything hard. It also strikes outward and even consumes bodily boundaries.

Internally, in the feeling sphere, you are your Self as present being-awareness, without limits, infinite. There is just one vast ocean of feeling being-awareness. Notice that as soon as forms and limits return, it’s once again the activity of thinking. Then the important thing is to return anew, completely into the realm of the heart energy. Then the separations disappear and there is no longing, because all that was longed for has been absorbed into the whole. There is a deep bliss. Sat, Chit and Ananda come together. That is the core of every mysticism. At first there is an experience of separation that is very painful and that one wants to transcend. Then there is an impulse towards the core of your heart. You don’t have to drag in an entire theology there. You can call the core of the heart divine, but it also seems to be the sphere of your Self. So this realization of unity is not difficult, in fact it’s very close by, so close that you easily overlook it. But by remaining alert and returning to your feeling Self, you experience what it’s like. You know what needs to happen. Then you can also let it happen.

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