The French philosopher, Teilhard de Chardin, reminds us that “we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” [i] How might your life be different if you lived from the expanded perspective of your soul/spirit? We can glimpse one aspect of this possibility by exploring the experiences of people who have perceptual abilities that are not usually available to the general population. For example, many visionaries, artists and writers open to dimensions that enliven their creativity. Peak performers in every field access a realm beyond our typical understanding which they name as flow or being in the zone. I know people who sense the presence of people who have died. Others recognize energy originating from different lifetimes. Several colleagues communicate with animals and many more converse with angels and ascended masters.
As an energy teacher, I recognize that we can grow our consciousness and expand our perceptual abilities. One way to open the door to other dimensions is to observe from the heart. The Episcopal priest, Cynthia Bourgeault looks to Wisdom traditions to know what it means to see with the heart:
- The heart is an organ for the perception of divine purpose and beauty. It is our antenna, so to speak, given to us to orient us toward the divine radiance and to synchronize our being with its more subtle movements.
- The ancient Wisdom traditions . . . directly perceived that the physical world we take for our empirical, time-and-space-bound reality is encompassed in another: a coherent and powerful world of divine purpose always surrounding and interpenetrating it. . . . [I]f the heart is awake and clear, it can directly receive, radiate, and reflect this unmanifest divine Reality.
- The heart serves as a bridge between the mind and the body and also between our usual physical world and this invisible other realm. [ii]
The following meditation opens the eyes of the heart:
Begin by taking several breaths and focusing your awareness on your heart. Then look around and notice your surroundings. Let your eyes pause on one object and simply observe it. If you notice your mind activating a thought such as a label or a judgment, take a breath, return your awareness to your heart and continue to simply observe the object. If you notice your mind moving to the past or future, take a breath, return your awareness to this moment and continue to simply observe the object. As you give your full attention and presence to this object, gradually let your gaze soften. Be aware of opening your heart to take in more than the outer appearance of this object. Deepen your awareness to encompass the Source of All Creation present within this object and within you. Rest in this expanded awareness and allow your experience to unfold itself. After several minutes return your awareness to the room, knowing that you have expanded your perception and created a clearer pathway to and within your heart.
Although the process of expanding awareness can be dramatic, like a quantum leap, more often it is very gradual and subtle. Repeated practice clears the pathway. Be curious. When you open to new possibilities you might discover unknown horizons of awareness that make life magical.
To read more of Cynthia Bourgeault’s discussion of how Wisdom traditions view the role of the heart go to https://cac.org/blessed-pure-heart-2018-02-05/
Starry Night by van Gogh, (1889) courtesy of Google.
[i] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin Quotes. (n.d.). BrainyQuote.com. Retrieved February 19, 2018, from BrainyQuote.com Web site: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/pierre_teilhard_de_chardi_160888
[ii] Cynthia Bourgeault, The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart. (Jossey-Bass: 2003), 33-35.