Question: “How do you use meditation to find and resolve the emotional wounds in the heart? Would this keep certain emotional themes from recurring?”————————
Answer: The heart is easily wounded and, when wounded, several things happen quickly. (1) The wound leaps to the mind, which reacts to lessen the pain by trying to distract you. (2) The wound is too much experience in too short a time, so it will need to be revisited over and over. Hence life will present repeats of the situation that caused the wound so that understanding might build up through repetition.
(3) The wound leaks the energy of the heart so that all emotions run to that wound, like the drain in a sink. When you are hurt in a relationship, every relationship hurts — even the beauty of other people’s relationships hurts you. Being alone hurts too. The energy of the heart leaks out like blood from the wound, leaving you weakened and unable to respond in a generous or creative way.
When you meditate, you will find a series of pains, like beads on a string. The string is the betrayal, the disappointment, the abandonment that has wounded your heart. The beads are all the things that seem wrong – a thousand things. The beads can help us find the string.
But there is something underneath the emotion of the heart’s wound too. Why do we feel so crushed by a person’s exercise of their freedom to align and realign their friendships? There is a more fundamental disappointment and abandonment underneath that, an older one, even older than childhood.
We all experienced abandonment at the moment we were separated from unity to become individuals. That was the cosmic emotion of being abandoned by God. Some of us remember it more tragically than others; some felt it as a great opportunity to be of service. So the patterns of our emotional lives are established very early.
One who remembers the cosmic separation finds separation everywhere in this world, and longs for reunion. So in meditating on his heart, he will feel regret and sadness for losing a friend, grief for the death of a friend, and guilt for allowing a relationship to unravel.
An even more intense process is to breathe into these emotions until one emotion becomes so strong that its intensity bursts the heart. What breaks is the conception of the emotion as one’s own. What is revealed in the breakthrough is the cosmic emotion that was always underneath it, now so intense that it is a constant experience. The objective is to walk around like that, living with the broken heart, never letting the emotion fade, yet realizing that it is not one’s own. “I am sharing in the emotion of the universe. The emotion I have in this heart is the emotion of all people. The blood in this heart is the blood of humanity concentrated into a drop.” That’s what we call Stage 5 of Heart Rhythm Meditation.
Notice some of the beads of emotion that you find in your meditation, so that your self-observation might lead you to the string. When you find the deeper emotion, the examples of it no longer arise because their purpose was to fill in the gaps so that the underlying experience can be found. (The string, which is nearly invisible, is easier to find if there are more beads, so life provides beads.) Enough theory — the emotion of your heart is what’s important.
We do not aim for surpassing or rising above emotion. That would take us out of the heart. We aim to hold the emotion in our hearts, consciously, simultaneously with the complementary emotion that completes it. ALL emotion, all at once. That’s connectedness. Nothing in human experience is denied. When all emotion flows together, it becomes love, and then peace.
Puran and Susanna Bair