By Aiyanna Diyamayi
In the western world we’re taught that we must base our choices on logical reasoning, but many spiritually open-minded people have recognised the need to listen to their hearts. But there are common pitfalls and misunderstandings in attempting to listen to the heart that we can overcome through ‘Karunyamarga’, the spiritual art of compassion.
The heart feels everything – true feelings like gratefulness, generosity, acceptance or kindness can give us direction, but we also feel emotions like jealousy, greed, anger and pain – results of defense reactions and aversions. When we listen to those emotions our thoughts and resulting actions can be painful for ourselves and those around us. But to only follow good feelings would be a form of avoidance. And sometimes illusions can feel very good! If our ego gets stroked, our identity is confirmed, or an attachment has been satisfied, we feel some kind of happiness.
What we truly seek is an alliance of heart and mind. The mind carries essential principles we need in order to make a discriminative choice for the truth and emotions are important messengers we can use as part of the process. If we bring our mind into a state of receptivity, while being present to our ability to feel, we can surrender all restrictions to our higher mind, which is one with divine mind. Once the right answer touches the feeling aspect of the heart, an alignment of mind and heart is ignited. We can perceive this as a sublime issuance of bliss.