Notes on “The way of the heart – Cynthia Bourgeault”


I have read the illuminating article by Cynthia Bourgeault, which really brings much clarity to the full definition of the heart, which is described in Sufi and other traditions as the tripartite physical, emotional and spiritual center of our being, instead of merely physical or merely spiritual as thought in some contemporary circles.

I also learnt that “passion” historically has to do with compulsive emotions, and though the heart is already whole and complete, it may be susceptible to emotional turmoil when agitated, hence the need for contemplative practices such as centering prayer to disengage instead of repress emotions, so as to liberate the heart and alleviate suffering.

Like she wrote:

“liberation lies in an increasingly developed inner capacity to notice when a thought is beginning to take on emotional coloration and to nip it in the bud before it becomes a passion by dis-identifying or disengaging from it. This is the essence of the teaching that has held sway in our tradition for more than a thousand years…

the genius of the earlier tradition has been to insist that if one can merely back the identification out—that sense of “me,” stuck to a fixed frame of reference or value—then the energy being co-opted and squandered in useless emotional turmoil can be recaptured at a higher level to strengthen the intensity and clarity of heart perceptivity.”

It reminds of Proverbs 4 about guarding our heart with all guarding, for out of it are the issues or essence of life. It is a powerful, life-giving teaching indeed. 👍🏼

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