Is Your Heart Ticklish?

by | Jun 7, 2016

Newsletter, June 2016


How the devil have you been since we last connected? In the last newsletter, we started to explore connecting to our heart centre (Anahata Chakra). A good question to ask yourself, right now, to your heart, is as follows: Does it feel open or closed, free-flowing or blocked? Do you feel in love with the world, or do you harbour resentments and heavy doubts? Wherever you are along these scales, there is no judgment, only compassionate recognition, that we all suffer, and that our hearts only ever close to protect us from pain.
I have been running a lot of mindfulness groups in London over the last few months, and I have really been feeling how so many of us are just yearning for a space where we feel safe enough to allow our hearts to open. Sometimes, our minds get in the way of our natural sense of compassion. One oy my favourite quotes of the moment is by Nisargadatta, a great Indian teacher, who said:
The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.
I have been using a combination of creative exercise, improvisation, meditation, and poetry to help people’s hearts cross that abyss, creating a space where people feel total, undaulterated permission to open their hearts, and the results have been amazing. It only takes the right supportive environment for anyone to open up the floodgates of compassion, towards themselves and towards other people. These two faces of compassion are essential for a more peaceful and loving life and a more peaceful and loving world.
I’ve been excitedly working on a powerful heart-opening meditation, which I will be recording over the next 2 weeks, and which I am extremely thrilled to share with you soon. In the meantime, the most simple way to cultivate a connected and open heart is to remember that you are going to die, and that you genuinely don’t know when. As harsh as this sounds, when we ignore this fact, we tend to live our lives on autopilot; we keep ploughing forwards without ever properly stopping to appreciate the absolute preciousness of this moment. Remembering how little time we have in this life is the most direct way to crack open your heart’s innate appreciation of the beauty in the everyday. This quote from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition is one to stick on your wall and keep close to your heart:
 Death is certain, its timing uncertain, so what is important now?
I was at a conference on Digital Legacy yesterday (what happens to your digital life when you die) and my heart was broken wide open by a lady who was speaking about the death of her son 4 years ago in a tragic accident. She spoke so beautifully and unsentimentally about her loss, and so I wanted to share with you her website, where you can see the film she made of her son’s funeral. Be warned, your heart will be opened:)
There has also been some good press about the game I am developing to support young people when someone they love has a terminal illness. We are currently looking for (ideally young) people and their families who have or are experiencing the terminal illness of a loved one, and who would like to join our user-group to contribute to the development of this game. So please, if you know anyone, please do put them in touch with us.
I am getting closer to securing a retreat venue for the Autumn meditation retreat. I have had several requests from people asking me when the retreat was happening, and I was sadly let down on the place I initially had in mind. The new place I am considering has options during the week and less options at the weekend. It would be really helpful if anyone at all interested in joining me on a deep heart-opening meditation retreat in a beautiful countryside location with seriously delicious, nutritious food around October this year could let me know by clicking the ‘get in touch’ button below. Can you state if mid-week does or does not work for you?
Finally, as poetry is such a direct route to the heart, I have been working more with poetry myself. I wanted to share this poem with you all before I publish it elsewhere. I hope you enjoy.
Is Your Heart Ticklish?
Upon a moment,
A butterfly sneaked through,
And tickled a man’s heart with its wings.
He shuddered;
His most private part exposed.
The butterfly soon vanished
Leaving but a fluttering memory.
And this man,
He ached;
Oh how he ached
for more!
His ache grew
Into a fig-leaf;
A heart-sheath,
That he held so very tightly
Over his most private part.
Now he felt safe
Underneath this sheath
He could never forget
That memory
of his oh so ticklish heart.
If you listen carefully,
You too will hear
A gentle flutter
Near your most private part,
Your precious, tender heart.
Will you let her in?
With All My Love