It can be a painful topic for so many of us who have been raised in a culture that demonizes vulnerability, self-exploration and expressing difficult emotions.
Growing up in a culture of self-repression means that many of us never got to know our own hearts in a meaningful way.
And what do we even mean when we say the word 'heart' ?
There’s the emotional heart that you’re familiar with, where so much poetry comes from - there are the dramatic, romantic qualities of the heart. There’s feelings of love and hate and jealousy and sweetness, and tenderness and all of the emotional states, and then there’s a deeper space where the intuitive heart resides.
It’s the place where subtler emotions come together and connect you to the universe. That's the space where love and presence merge to show us who we really are beneath our fears, insecurities, hang ups and dramas.
Many of us are afraid to open our hearts, because that kind of vulnerability to love and be loved also opens us up to the possibility of pain and anguish.
But cultivating the courage to open our arms to love in all of it's subtle and not-so-subtle forms also opens us to our true human potential.
The more we are able to clear out the dark corners of our own hearts, the more we are able to embody our true nature as compassionate, empathetic, connective beings.
And as we explore this new way of being, those around us are encouraged to take off their own masks and reconnect to their intuitive hearts.
In this four-week course, Ram Dass will lead you in meditation and mantra practices focusing on opening your heart and defining your own individual path on the journey into real love for self and others.
Whether you are an experienced meditation practitioner or just beginning the journey, this course is accessible to everyone who is willing to step into a beginner's mind to cultivate openness, curiosity and wonder.
Starting exactly where we are, how can we begin to relate to our fellow human beings soul-to-soul, in a less reactive and judgmental way?
When we tune our receptors to the soul channel, we are able to relate to each other from a place of mutual understanding, love and forgiveness.
In this way we are able to awaken feelings of compassion towards others, which is the first step in opening our hearts beyond all of the transient emotional states that come up in any moment.
Weekly Meditation: Alchemy of the Heart (17:27)
Weekly Mantra: The Sun Mantra - Aditya Hridayam Punyam Sarva Shatru Vinashanam
How does one become loving awareness?
Living from the heart with the degree of openness it entails requires a lot of trust and vulnerability.
When we make the switch from our head, the thought of who we are, to our spiritual heart - which encompasses intuition, loving awareness and direct feeling, we are able to transmute love into a state of being rather than an action.
Weekly Meditation: Ocean of Love (8:51)
Weekly Mantra: Offering up our impurities - Om Namah Shivaya
How can we learn to love all of the roles we play in this life?
Once we loosen up our grip on our ego, we are able to neutralize the fear that keeps us living separately from each other.
The practice of loving awareness helps us to loosen that grip and turn inward toward the soul, which ultimately brings us to God. When we are able to accept that kind of love, we are in turn able to give it away.
Weekly Meditation: I Am Loving Awareness (19:07)
Weekly Mantra: Bringing the Absolute into Our Heart - Sri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram
The most important aspect of love is not in giving or receiving: It’s in the being. When we need love from others, or need to give love to others, we are caught in an unstable situation.
How can we learn to see the beloved in everyone, even those we disagree with, through embodying love itself?
Ram Dass shares a beautiful personal anecdote to illuminate the importance of closing the gap between ‘self’ and ‘other’. Our states of mind matter because we are so deeply interconnected with one another.
Weekly Meditation: Resting in Love (13:35)
Weekly Mantra: A Salutation to Love - Om Radha Krishnaya Namaha
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