Reader comment on Rick Jarow's passage ...

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    On Sep 29, 2012 Ricky wrote:

    I have come to realize I can’t live any other way, than from the heart.  Nothing else has meaning.  We are all connected as One.  The Four Immeasurables, the Four Qualities of the Heart, are a most outstanding guide for this way of living.  The four are Maitri, friendliness; Karuna, compassion; Mudita, delighting in the joy of others; and Upeksha, practicing equanimity.  In some circles, the heart is center for the Big Mind.  The Heartmath Institute (highlighted in the documentary ‘I AM’) shares that the heart is the energetic center of us, and has more radiant vibration than any other area.  This would make sense on a physiological plane, but when you live from the heart, you recognize it from a deep connection with the emotional, mental, intuitive, and spiritual plane as well.
     
    Every day I wake up with gratitude for another opportunity to share my life with all others around me.  And there are a lot of others around me.  The teenagers I share my life with exhibit all types of behavior.  I have begun to change from addressing the behavior to addressing the energy imbalance many of these behaviors exhibit.  I have the privilege of teaching yoga in high school as a PE elective, and one student asked to be able to join the class several days after the semester started.  I invited her in.  She did not connect.  She distracted all others around her, including me.  After a couple days, she was tardy to class, and I asked where she had been.  She said she was talking to the basketball PE teacher about transferring back into his class.  I said, go, you need to do that.  And she left.  I emailed the basketball teacher, who was not thrilled with having her return to his class.  I caught her the next day in the hallway, and asked what was going on.  She said she had talked with him because she thought I didn’t like her.  I smiled and said, What’s not to like?  She started to tear up, as I did.  I said she was welcome back any time she wanted, just as long as she was committed to practicing the art of yoga, and to let go of the art of conversation, at least during class.  She smiled, and has been with me a year and a half now (three semesters).  She is gentle, kind, and smiles a lot, and does this around campus.  She says yoga has changed her life.  Her favorite quality is Mudita, delighting in the joy of others, which I watch her do.  And she has changed my life.
     
    The students who are in my care nurture me and teach me much more than I can offer them.  When the behavior drops, the heart can open and be free.  One of the conversations I have with them is about bullying.  We discuss the ramifications of bullying, and I am always so relieved when the students who are actively bullied share about how they feel.  After a while, I ask them what they think is going on with the bully to feel that they need to bully.  Usually the students sit in stunned silence.  Then I give them information about how bullying affects the nervous system, the digestive system, the tearing down of emotional health, in both victim and perpetrator.    We discuss Karuna, compassion, and there continue to be skeptical and quizzical looks.  So, I let them know that I understand how this next statement will be hard to hear, but I say ‘It seems very little is done to mitigate the circumstances and the suffering of the person who bullies’, which is a great lead in to Upeksha, equanimity.  I always discuss with them that bullying is never okay, but perhaps there is something missing in that way of living that kindness and wholeheartedness can help ease.   Students report during their four years of high school that many times the person who picked on them eventually becomes a friend.
     
    Living from the heart opens possibility.  If I notice there are a series of events that are coming together like a perfect storm to slow my shopping agenda to town, I am ready to meet the homeless person(s), the long lost friend, the parent of a student, witness an act of random kindness, see a beautiful sunset, watch a moonrise, have an excellent conversation with a cashier, and remember ‘the art of possibility’ (Ben Zander) which lives within the heart.  Nope, can’t imagine living any other way.    
     


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