Heart or Mind


The important shift in the journey of the soul is the movement of consciousness from the head space where our thinking and analysing and mental chatter occurs through verbal language, to the heart space where silence is the all pervading method of communication.

By its structure and nature the head space is dualistic. It is designed to help us navigate our temporal world and does so through judgement based in duality; us or them, right or wrong, male or female, dark or light.

The heart, in structure and essence is an integrated whole. When our consciousness resides here we know no dualism. There is no God, self or others as separate entities, there is only all in all. In this space there is a melting of all the barriers that divide – verbal language being amongst the most critical.

Thus our most powerful prayer is the contemplative silence of the heart space where we do not engage words or images – not even those of God – for mainly these are constructs of the dualistic mind.

In the silence we gradually begin to integrate what the psalmist understood so well when he wrote ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Such knowing is deep – it is the dissolving of all that created the illusion that we were ever separate from God at all, and in the bliss of such oneness the deep yearning of the soul is fulfilled.

Live in Silence

 

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“This silence, this moment, every moment, if it’s genuinely inside you, brings what you need. There’s nothing to believe. Only when I stopped believing in myself did I come into this beauty.
Sit quietly, and listen for a voice that will say, ‘Be more silent.’ Die and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you’ve died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.  Live in silence.”   Rumi

Observing ourselves

 

 During our earlier Heart and Soul sessions we studied the  concept of the meta position. This is the perceptual position we adopt when we disassociate from our thoughts, feelings and actions and observe them as if we were a detached bystander. From this position we can watch our selves responding to others, observe our own thoughts and how they rise and fall and even how we experience those thoughts whether that be in pictures or sounds or some internal conversation.  We can also observe how our feelings are engaged by certain thoughts and even the link between our thoughts and feelings and physiology.

 This meta position offers a very different perspective from the associated perceptual position. When we are associated with our thoughts and feelings we are directly engaged with them, responding in the moment, as it were. We may be completely engrossed in the brain chatter or swept up in an emotional high (or low), our physiology and feelings can be blown about by whatever is happening in our external world before and without our even noticing the effects upon our body and mind. Effectively we are not in control of our inner world when we are in the associated perceptual position.

 Part of the mystic journey is to begin to control our feelings and physiology, to learn to manage our thoughts as they rise and to choose which we allow to form and those which we discern will be opposed to the intention of aligning ourselves with the God energy. To do this then we must develop within our selves the ability to adopt the meta position. To become the fly on the wall of our own thoughts, feelings, actions, intentions and physiology so that we are in a position to choose our responses to the world around us. In this way our external ‘reality’ ceases to control us and we become liberated, free to decide our internal responses. This position of observer offers us more choices about how to respond. We need not be impatient in the queue of traffic or descend into a negative spiral when something goes wrong. This awareness, or watchfulness we might say, is a key factor in our awakening and ongoing spiritual growth towards an ever deepening communion with God. Once we understand  that there is such a thing as the meta position then creating the observer within becomes a relatively simple yet crucial process.

Douai Retreat for Heart and Soul members

Last May we all went off to Douai Abbey for our retreat. Our theme for the day was ‘wisdom’ which we  explored through scripture, nature, poetry and in meditation. We were incredibly blessed with wonderful weather which gave us opportunity to spend time in the beautiful grounds of Douai.

We had intended to spend another day at Douai this coming Spring, maybe just after Easter though I am aware that this will fall close to the date of the away weekend…So, your thoughts please on what you would like to do!  Perhaps a day in June would work better. We’ll discuss this at our next meeting but if you want to let me know your thoughts via the contact page then please do…

Blessings, Jayne

A new for look Soul Space

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Those of you who are Soul Space regulars will already know that the name is changing in line with a whole new online launch. We are now called Heart and Soul and this is the new blog which aims to share news, events, reflections and themes for the fortnightly sessions.  As you are aware, I will be moving on in the summer to pastures new but am committed to offering support to all Heart and Soul members old or new.The new look Heart and Soul will offer;

  • An online space where all members can connect and follow the themes.
  • News of our regular retreats which will be available to all Heart & Soul members
  • Reflections on a variety of Heart and Soul themes
  • A place to share

Watch out also for a new facebook page which you should  follow in order to get the latest news and also share with your friends those pearls of wisdom that Heart and Soul is always digging for.

 

Solitude

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O Solitude! if I must with thee dwell,
Let it not be among the jumbled heap
Of murky buildings; climb with me the steep,—
Nature’s observatory—whence the dell,
Its flowery slopes, its river’s crystal swell,
May seem a span; let me thy vigils keep
’Mongst boughs pavillion’d, where the deer’s swift leap
Startles the wild bee from the fox-glove bell.
But though I’ll gladly trace these scenes with thee,
Yet the sweet converse of an innocent mind,
Whose words are images of thoughts refin’d,
Is my soul’s pleasure; and it sure must be
Almost the highest bliss of human-kind,
When to thy haunts two kindred spirits flee.

 John Keats