The heart beats and we are alive. Within that life anything of significance brings us back to our heart - a broken heart, a weak heart, a full heart, wholeheartedness, heartfelt, heart-warming, The list goes on and on.
Besides keeping our blood moving, the heart is the place where our emotions are stored in endless mixes and swirls, and it is also the seat of the soul and home to the Supreme Lord Krishna as Supersoul. All that is in the heart we carry around in our body, or more accurately, that carries us. The heart, therefore, is the center of all life - material and spiritual. Life at all levels is built around the heart, and how we keep our heart, is how we keep our life.
In a spiritual community such as the one I belong to, we say that the temple room is the heart of the community. Lots of people-movement in and out of that sacred place where, sometimes alone and sometimes in the company of others, we find our soul and connect with God.
Last week our temple room was repainted. The walls were black with the smoke of ghee lamps offered over the past year. We took paintings down and found cobwebs, pulled chairs out and found layers of compacted dust, we cleaned and found contrast. We felt refreshed and happy.
In our body, the heart is the temple room, and it also needs repainting. What is hidden behind the old paintings and lists of our life that hang there? What will we find in the corners that need to be broomed and swept and washed? What do we keep, what do we throw from our human heart - that place which holds us in the deep spiritual truth of pure love in relationship with divinity?
This inner paint job requires time every day through prayer/ meditation/ reflection. It requires we slow down and listen to our heartbeat, our rather our soulbeat. We take the daily journey within with the broom and brush of a genuine spiritual practice. We need to be brave enough to shine a light to the deepest and most hidden places there, and repaint them with the colors of our own individual offerings of love, change, and sweet surrender.
As Arjuna struggled to find his heart before the battle, to face himself as he faced the opposing army, we too will be called to those moments. Those are the external critical times of our life when failure opens the doors to our heart and deep cleaning happens. A daily spiritual practice keeps those doors open and invites us to spend time there - cleaning, decorating, and building a spiritually awakened heart that is so vast and so out of this world that our small life before us becomes both happily unimpressive and wildly alive when we arrive there.