If you search the web for definitions about speaking from the heart, you will find that they all refer to expressing yourself with emotion in order to connect with others. One blog described a presentation by a well know public figure, now a paraplegic through an accident, who could not convey emotion through his speech or gestures, yet his eyes told of the sheer determination to walk again. The blogger wrote that in listening to this person, he felt glued to every computer generated word while locked in the spark of the speaker’s eyes. The author used this example to illustrate optimal speakers’ behavior, using charged emotion as opposed to technically driven presentations that quickly lose an audience with stuff they will never remember. Speaking from the heart, the author states, leaves a lasting imprint. While this last statement is true, it is my contention that the imprint comes not from an emotionally laden speech but from the inner wisdom that comes from the peace of understanding. This is the subject of this 12” x 12” acrylic and mixed media on paper called Allowing the Heart to Speak
In my experience, the heart talks all the time. We simply do not listen. Our heart’s speech is neither loud nor emotional, but what it expresses, causes changes in our physiognomy. That is what creates magnetism. I am referring to the concepts embodied in the Heart Sutra, one of the most treasured and studied of Buddhist teachings. The Heart Sutra is about understanding the wisdom in this powerful voice that enables us to see things as they are, with love, acceptance and equanimity. While the text of the Heart Sutra is characterized by what the heart wisdom is not, it is intended to decisively cut through, deconstruct, and demolish every conceptual framework built on our rigid ideas and belief systems that create the reference points we live by; including the tenor of our spiritual path.
The Heart Sutra questions the very foundation of who we are, not just in terms of thinking and concepts, but also in terms of our perception, of how we see the world, how we hear, how we smell, taste and touch. It beckons us to notice how we regard and emotionally react to ourselves and others and to the phenomena around us. The constant use of the “no” qualifier, leaves no doubt that is intended for us to believe and rely only on the wisdom gained through meditation and contemplation, and arising from an insight that is greater than our ego-based world reality.
The being that learns to hear and is guided by the heart is balanced and content. This contentment breathes the openness to confidently act in the world and connect with ideas and people without a hierarchy of good and bad. Life flows and is filled with events providing lessons that once learned are integrated and lead us to new learning. When the heart speaks and we hear it, we create, regenerate, and are always growing, peacefully and happily. Failure is replaced by acceptance and understanding. Loving deeply begets the freedom of non-attachment. Peace and gratefulness connect us to a space very sweet and deep within us; the knowledge that we are Spirit in human form tasked to bring heaven to earth here and now. We see that we are connected not only to Spirit, but to everything.
To describe this painting requires words that may be misleading and take me to convince you of what I see. I know I look different, as I have been changed when my heart spoke in colors, paint, textures, lines and shapes I placed on a paper using brushes, other textured papers and glue. I smile now and I am present to what I see. My eyes are sparkling, my cheeks are flushed with joy, and my fingers fly through the keyboard eager to share my thoughts with you.
Yes, when my heart speaks, I hear it and follow its lead, it changes my total physiognomy. If you saw me now you would know that I am unquestionably joyous :). You too can experience joyousness and notice how others are gratefully affected by your demeanor. No high emotion, just peace and love.
I intend to use the painting as an example when I teach to sip Tea, Meditate and Paint from the Heart on May 17, from 2 to 5 PM in Arlington, Ma. If you live in the area, you may click here to register. It will change your physiognomy forever or at least for 3 hours. Who knows? You may like it!
Hope to see you on the 17th and have an awesome week allowing your heart to speak.