22 Oct 2017   Shanti Gowans
Doing nothing, noticing happiness.
When you meditate, you sit in the heart of awareness.
Holding a newborn child and looking into their eyes, their being, their inner self seems to extend forever. The heart of awareness can be seen in the innocence of all children before worldliness begins to cloud it over. This innocence used to last so much longer, but in the modern world, with so many mental demands, children seem to be losing this innocence and inner peace at an earlier and earlier age. 
Also, when love has defeated all obstacles, on the faces of the bride and groom on their wedding day, on the face of a winner at sport or even someone who merely finishes at that moment of realisation that their body has caught up with the perfection of their soul, the joy of helping a stranger, in the faces of older people as they describe what is important in life, in the bright blue sky, the orange light at sunrise and often experienced in spectacular nature.
But the heart of awareness is not necessarily tied to an event. Awareness sits in its own naturalness, naturally joyful. Unveiled, uncluttered, unfiltered, the brilliant heart of awareness is in each and every one of us. Life is joyful.
When awareness is not crowded with the details and demands of modern life, within our own natural awareness, is a great lightness of being. Emptied of the debris of life, cleansed of all the busyness, awareness is naturally pure, and utterley peaceful. The heart of our awareness is our no self with no boundaries, no limits. Eternity knocks. Time is eternal.
We need to cleanse our inner world, to free ourselves from our obsessive thoughts, memories, difficult feelings and emotions that float like yesteryear's trash in the beauty of our inner life. We need to release the heaviness to have the love and live fully in the heart of awareness, now.
Joy is the great cleanser of awareness. Any and every act that brings us to our heart, naturally clears away some of the clutter, tossing aside old feelings, renewing our awareness in the process. Humour, laughter, dance, music, art, truth, listening deeply, all activities that embrace the heart are activities that free awareness. Free the heaviness that weighs you down, preventing the natural flow of your life. Spiritual practices such as generosity, forgiveness, compassion, and service release our awareness to its true nature. Spiritual practices restore our awareness of our greater sense of Self, embracing the larger life we all share together.
Silence, retreats and meditation are the main ingredients many people are discovering to find the pure heart of awareness and live here. 
Silence naturally washes the noise from within us. We find the inner stillness that is at the centre of our heart. With our awareness is centred within, there is a well of peace. 
Retreats give our awareness space from the outside world that overruns our pure space within. When we retreat from the demands upon us, we find something other than our concerns. We find the room, lots of room in which inner resources of gentleness, acceptance and humility wait.
Heartfulness meditation is a journey to our innermost being, directly into the heart, where there is expansiveness and freedom.
The primary key lies in offering everything we carry in our hearts, our challenges, desires, worries whatever holds us down (to a vaster intelligence). Offering lessens the load and weakens the attachment and grip that the world has on our being.
The second key to heartfulness, and most important, is the practice of receiving deeply in our heart, absorbing the essence, the light of the heart of awareness. Within each of us is this inner reservoir of simply being, which is also our well of trust, peace, innocence, goodness, the God-space, our Buddhanature within us.
Heartfulness meditation opens the treasure and holds it in the hands of our awareness. Spiritual practice is offering and receiving. We offer the obstacles that keep our awareness from the beauty inside, and slowly, surely receive our source, the heart of awareness.
Unless meditation (or therapies) include the richness of our heart, we continue to struggle. There is no way around joy. We either embrace it, receive it, or we don't. Life is too precious to live separate from this part of us. it is time to let go, to rest and receive. This is true spiritual practice.
Silence, retreat, heartfulness and pure awareness, instead of bouncing from here to there, find a true place within us to anchor. A new identty, a true self emerges. The heart of our awareness is our inner abundance of sweet understanding.


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About Shantiji

Shanti Gowans is the globally recognised author and founder of Shanti Yoga™, Meditation and Ayurveda for the self, family and community.

Shantiji has brought the concepts and practices of a healthy body and a still mind to thousands of Australians through her Yoga and Meditation programs on national television... Read more about Shantiji's biography

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