Friday, June 18, 2010

The Heart's Release

The Buddha promised that all of the Dharma leads to one destination: "The sure heart's release." This afternoon I experienced such a release.

For the past few weeks, I have been enjoying an intense practice of metta, or loving kindness. Along with the traditional phrases of loving kindness practice, I have been utilizing my own. "May my heart be free of hatred, anger, and ill will." "May my heart be free of unwholesome desires." "May my heart be free of fear." Today, while negotiating very slow traffic on the West Side, I was saying my metta phrases, when I simply left off the specifics. "May my heart be free..." "May my heart be free..." "May my heart be free..." And in that moment, my heart was free.

Time was inconsequential. The snail's pace of the traffic was meaningless to me. I was on a love cloud. I spoke randomly to people in elevators. I went into a large camera store to buy some binoculars and it seemed that everyone with whom I made eye contact was affected by my open heart. I was met with toothy grins at every turn.

I'm still feeling the high, and it is wonderful. I know, however, that the heart must open and close in order to do its job. It may not always be this way for me. Buttons will be pushed that will trigger reactive states of mind. I will become vulnerable to anger, frustration, desire, and so forth based on physical factors, such as fatigue or hunger. Yet, the experience of the heart's release is always possible; always available.


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