In the days following my silent retreat I am grateful for the residual tranquility. I also continue the thirty-day reflection on the Psalms that I used as my focus during the silence. On a recent day the mantra to contemplate was “Create in me a clean heart, O God”. I sat with the mantra, enjoyed a time of quiet contemplation and journaled my reflections. I then logged into my email and was immediately moved to a state of upset by an email that felt insulting. I fussed and fumed for a moment or two and then was reminded of this day’s mantra: “Create in me a clean heart”. Oh my! Not even fifteen minutes after my calm contemplative time and I was drawn into emotional responses that were clearly not from a “clean heart”. I sat again in the quiet and stilled my mind. When I again found my peaceful center, I returned to the tasks at hand.
The day progressed and I was mindful of thoughts that stirred from a heart that was not clean and pure with love. I returned to the mantra over and over again “Create in me a clean heart, O God”. As the next day arrived, I sat for contemplative time and to read a new Psalm, yet, I knew in my heart that I was far from complete with “create in me a clean heart, O God” so I stayed with it. I set the intention to be even more mindful of moments I was entertaining unloving thoughts. As it turned out, I lingered with this same mantra for three days and each day I found spaces and moments that I responded from thinking negative or judgmental thoughts. On the third day as I sat in meditation, I asked “What do I need to know and do to create a clean heart?”
BAM! Just like that the awareness came that if I am to live from a cleansed heart then I would need to be living in my heart. All the while I had been functioning from my head. I revisited the email that drew me into upset and I asked several questions:
In what emotional space was the author of the email writing? Was it from a space of hurt that they were feeling? If that was the case, I could certainly be compassionate and kind. Then I asked the real question that needed to be answered. From what space emotionally was I receiving the email? There it is, that’s the real question to be probed. My response wasn’t about the author of the email. The response was all about me! As I sat and practiced the heart coherence exercise, I was able to show loving-kindness toward myself. I was able to feel loving-kindness toward the email author.
I sat with the notion that if I am to live from a clean heart, then it is in the heart space that I shall dwell. It is important to call upon the intellectual aspect of the mind and journey through the heart as I live in my world. It is a well-balanced life that is lived with coherence heart and mind. It is a compassionate lived congruent with my spiritual practices and beliefs.
I am grateful for the questions that rose for me. I am grateful for the awareness exposed. I am grateful for these spiritual practices that lead me toward greater expansion ion of consciousness.and i am grateful for the Psalms