Saturday, November 17, 2012
A Gift: Cracks In The Heart
90th ISLANDS OF GRACE POST
Lance Kinseth, 2012
AT FIRST GLANCE, it would appear that participants in gentle body mind practices do so because of difficulty practicing more arduous strength and flex-favoring classes.
Observation of participants who practice gentle body mind over time may reveal a more profound reason for participation. Most participants may initially be drawn to gentle practices simply because they are “gentle” or “relaxing.” But across time, the practices open something more compelling. In marital arts, people may begin as a form of exercise or self-defense. But by the time they approach black belt, they typically describe the benefits in terms of virtues and self-development that outweigh physical attributes.
The youthful heart is rather impenetrable—self-centered and perhaps less compassionate. But life has a way of “cracking the heart.”
A timeline of a person’s life is a roller coaster of ups and downs. And the “downs” leave cracks in the heart. Encounters with sorrow and loss, responsibilities and choices that seem to limit freedom, a growing sense of mortality, and a growing sense that one controls very little challenge the sense of impenetrability.
The “downs” in life can seem to make life appear to be a battle and a struggle for survival. And so there are body mind teachers who even teach that “cracks in the heart” are the problematic elements to be driven out by rigorous body mind practices.
When one calms and quiets, instead of the heart being broken and wounded by “downs,” the cracks may allow light in. And as the light enters, “downs” might begin to transform to opportunities and possibilities. The black and white world may become subtle and eloquent.
Many young and seasoned body mind practitioners who acknowledge that the gentle practices are those to which the highest levels of body mind aspire, but never “find the time”—so very busy trying to stay up and in control.
Cracks in the heart are powerful—not weaknesses. They are gifts that open the heart. Everything offers. Because the heart is cracked, love and light flow freely in and out.