6. The secrets of the spiritual heart

Your heart is one of the masterpieces of creation.
You can hear an instrument, but you feel your heart. And if you think that you feel an instrument, it’s only because it touched your heart. Your heart is an instrument made of extremely subtle energy that few people come to appreciate.

Even though its behavior governs the course of our lives, it is not understood.
You are so identified with them that you use the words “I” and “me” when you refer to what’s going on in your heart. But in truth, you are not your heart. You are the experiencer of your heart.

The heart is actually very simple to understand. It is an energy center, a chakra. It is one of the most beautiful and powerful energy centers.
An energy center is an area within your being through which your energy focuses, distributes, and flows. (Shakti, Spirit, or Chi)
Feeling in love, or inspiration, great enthusiasm, confident and strong.
The heart, like a valve, can either allow the flow of energy to pass through, or it can restrict it.

You can be experiencing great feelings of love while in the presence of someone, until they say something you don’t like. Then your heart closes toward them, and you simply don’t feel the love anymore.
The heart closes because it becomes blocked by stored, unfinished energy patterns from your past.

When you take in the world through your senses, it is actually energy that is coming into your being.
Form itself does not come into your mind or heart. Form stays outside, but it is processed by your senses into energy patterns that your mind and heart can receive and experience.
Your eyes are not really windows through which you look out into the world. Your eyes are cameras that send electronic images of the world into you. This is true of all your senses. They sense the world, convert the information, transmit the data through electrical nerve impulses, and then the impressions get rendered in your mind. Your senses are, indeed, electronic sensing devices.
if the energy patterns that are coming into your psyche create disturbance, you will resist them and not allow them to pass through you. When you do this, the energy patterns actually get blocked within you.
This is very important.

What it would be like if nothing was stored. What if everything just passed right through you? For example, when you’re driving down a highway, you probably pass thousands of trees. They don’t leave impressions on you. They’re gone as soon as they’re perceived.
There’s just a momentary impression that allows you to see them. Though they do come in through the senses and make impressions upon your mind, as quickly as the impressions are made, they are released. When you have no personal issues with them, impressions process freely.

This is how the overall system of perception is meant to work. It’s meant to take things in, allow you to experience them, and then let them pass through so that you’re fully present in the next moment.
You’re simply having experience after experience.
These experiences are gifts that are being given to you, like a great movie.
They are passing into you, awakening and stimulating you. They are actually having a profound effect on you. Moment after moment, experiences are coming in and you’re learning and growing. Your heart and mind are expanding and you are being touched at a very deep level.
experience is the best teacher.

What it means to live life is to experience the moment that is passing through you. and then experience the next moment, and then the next.
That is how an awakened being lives in the “now.” the wholeness of life is passing through them.
Imagine if you were so fully present during each experience of life that it was touching you to the depth of your being. Every moment would be a stimulating, moving experience because you would be completely open, and life would be flowing right through you.

But that’s not what happens inside most of us.
All the subsequent experiences are trying to pass through you, but something has happened inside that has left this past experience unfinished.
You didn’t need to process the trees, but you need to process this. Because you resisted, it got stuck, and now you have a problem.
When you are unable to allow life’s events to pass through you, they stay inside and become a problem. These patterns may be held within you for a very long time.

When the energy can’t make it through the mind because of conflicts with other thoughts and mental concepts, it then tries to release through the heart. That is what creates all the emotional activity. When you resist even that release, the energy gets packed up and forced into deep storage within the heart. In the yogic tradition, that unfinished energy pattern is called a Samskara. This is a Sanskrit word meaning “impression,” and in the yogic teachings it is considered one of the most important influences affecting your life. A Samskara is a blockage, an impression from the past.

Just like energy waves, the energy that comes into you must keep moving. But that doesn’t mean it can’t get blocked within you. There is a way that the energy can both keep moving and stay in one place—and that is to circle around itself. We see this in atoms and in planetary orbits.
atoms have enough harnessed energy to blow up the world when that energy is released. But unless forced otherwise, the energy will stay harnessed because of its equilibrium state.

This process of cycling energy is exactly what happens with a Samskara. A Samskara is a cycle of stored past energy patterns in a state of relative equilibrium. It is your resistance to experiencing these patterns that causes the energy to keep cycling around itself.
This is how most people process their issues.

Once the disturbed energy patterns are packaged and stored in the heart, they are basically inactive. It may look to you like you have handled the situation and that you have no more issues with that experience.
Everything that did not make it through you, from the time you were a baby all the way to this moment, is still inside of you. It is these impressions, these Samskaras, that encrust the valve of the spiritual heart. That encrustation builds up and restricts the energy flow.

we have answered the structural question of how the heart gets blocked. You can certainly see the potential for impressions to build up to the point where very little energy can make it through. If they build up sufficiently, you will find yourself in a state of depression. In that state, all becomes dark. This is because very little energy is coming into your heart or mind. Eventually, everything appears negative because the world of the senses must pass through this depressed energy before it gets to your consciousness.

When a Samskara is stimulated, it opens like a flower and begins to release the stored energy. Suddenly, flashes of what you experienced when the original event took place rush into your consciousness—the thoughts, the feelings, sometimes even the smells and other sensory input.
It is way beyond any computer storage system created by human beings.
All this information is stored into a tiny energy bubble within your heart.

Imagine how many things you see all day. They’re not all stored like that. Of all these impressions, the only ones that get blocked are those that cause either problems or some extraordinary sense of enjoyment.
In both cases, you are not letting them pass, and you are wasting precious energy by blocking the flow through resisting and clinging.
The alternative is to enjoy life instead of clinging to it or pushing it away. If you can live like that, each moment will change you.
If you are willing to experience the gift of life instead of fighting with it, you will be moved to the depth of your being.
It is the beautiful experience of love that pours through your whole being. This is meant to be going on inside you at all times. The highest state you have ever experienced is simply the result of how open you were.
unending inspiration, unending love, and unending openness. That is the natural state of a healthy heart.

To achieve this state, simply allow the experiences of life to come in and pass through your being. If old energies come back up because you were unable to process them before, let go of them now.
just smile. Be happy that this Samskara, which has been stored down there for all this time, has the opportunity to make it through you. Just open, relax your heart, forgive, laugh, or do anything you want. Just don’t push it back down. Of course it hurts when it comes up. It was stored with pain; it’s going to release with pain. You have to decide if you want to continue to walk around with stored pain blocking your heart and limiting your life. The alternative is to be willing to let it go when it gets stimulated. It only hurts for a minute and then it’s over.

They’ll come up during the day and they’ll even come up in your dreams. Your heart will become accustomed to the process of releasing and cleansing. Just let it all happen.
Don’t process them one by one; that’s too slow. Stay centered behind them and let go. Just like the physical body purges bacteria and other foreign matter, the natural flow of your energy will purge the stored patterns from your heart.

Your reward is a permanently open heart.
You live in love, and it feeds you and strengthens you. That is an open heart. That is the instrument of the heart as it was meant to be. Allow yourself to experience every note the heart can play.
Set your eyes on the highest state you can imagine and don’t take them off. If you slip, just get back up. It doesn’t matter. The very fact that you even want to go through this process of freeing the energy flow means you are great. You will get there. Just keep letting go.