Hello my fellow human Beings:
How would you describe a closed heart?
- Hardened, self-centered, critical, me-thinking, bitter, disconnected, with blinders on?
How would you describe an open heart?
- Gentle, altruistic, forgiving, us-thinking, sweet, connected, clear-seeing?
Marcus Borg, a contemporary Christian scholar, in his book, The Heart of Christianity, describes a closed heart as follows:
“Blindness and limited vision go with a closed heart. We do not see clearly when our hearts are closed. A shut heart and shut eyes go together; we have eyes but do not see. So also we have ears and do not hear. Enclosed in our own world, we neither see nor hear very well. …
A closed heart lacks gratitude. If successful in life, a person with a closed heart often feels self-made and entitled; or if life has gone badly, bitter and cheated. But gratitude is far from it.
A closed heart is insensitive to wonder and awe. The world looks ordinary when our hearts are closed.”
I know that sometimes life’s circumstances contribute to the closing of our hearts. We may not recognize that this is happening, but we experience the symptoms – the negative feelings, the pessimistic self-talk, the closed perspective, and the free-flowing judgements.
If we are alert and aware, these symptom help point to our closed hearts, and we can take appropriate action to open them again.
By going to what Marcus Borg calls our “thin place” – a place where we are closely connect to the God that is within us, among us and surrounds us.
What is a path to this thin place?
For me, an important path to getting to my thin place is through meditation. By sitting (or standing or walking) in silence, focused on the rhythmic movements of my breath, I am able to calm my mind chatter and shed the veils surrounding my heart – an extremely useful technique to transition from a hectic work day to coming home to my family.
As I continue to meditate, my awareness and alertness increases and I am reminded that in those thin places I am more connected to God, more connected to My True Self, more connected to the uniting force that permeates the Universe and makes us all one.
Remembering the joy and peace and love that I feel in the thin places, inspires me to continue to find moments to be still and to meditate – to open my heart and in turn to open my eyes to truly see the beauty and wonder and awe before me.
Marcus Borg, in his book, The Heart of Christianity, depicts an open heart as follows:
“An open heart and seeing go together. We see more clearly when our hearts are open – see the person right in front of our face, see the landscape stretched out before us. We move from darkness to light, from night to day, when we ‘see with the eyes of our heart enlightened.’ An open heart and enlightenment go together.”
So this week, as you travel through the days of your life, venture to those thin places. Find time to be still, to meditate, and to connect with the God within. Open your hearts and open your eyes to truly see the beauty within you, in front of you and all around you. Experience the AWESOMENESS of all the little things in your life – a child or a pet running to meet you when you get home, a hug from a loved one, the warmth of the sun gently touching your skin or the trace of the cool gentle wind against your face. And as you do, may you live more abundantly!