“The Heart is the totality of your connection with the essential qualities and greater dimensions of your true nature as limitless Being.” ~ Nirmala, from the Preface to Living from the Heart
Living from the Heart offers a beautiful exploration about how to live. Nirmala’s language and tone is easily absorbed. Each section of the book has instructive practices that help the reader embody his teachings. Read this overview and you can download a FREE PDF copy of Living from the Heart courtesy of Free Spiritual Ebooks … and it is also available from Nirmala’s website.
Living from the Heart is divided into three main sections.
1. From the Heart: Dropping out of your mind and into your being
2. The Heart’s Wisdom
3. Love is for Giving
This overview introduces the first section, From the Heart. All quoted material from the book is in italics.
“Often we are so used to looking and sensing through the head and the mind that when we are asked to look in the Heart, we look through the head into the Heart to see what is there. Usually we end up just thinking about the Heart. But what if you could drop into the Heart and look from there? How would your life look right now? Is it possible that there is another world right in front of you that you can only see with the Heart and not with the mind?”
Nirmala invites his readers to directly explore ways to directly feel into their hearts… what he calls a “radical perspective.” He begins by exploring spaciousness…
“Right now as you read these words, who or what are you really? Are you the body, mind, and personality? Or are you the spacious awareness or aware space that these appear in? What you are is this space. It is a remarkable space that is alive and aware. You could say this is what you are made of: You are aware space.”
He invites his readers to experience and play with spacious awareness…
“That aware space is the real you. It is what you are made of, what you exist as here and now. It also turns out that everything that really matters in life is found in this aware space. This is where love, peace, joy, compassion, wisdom, strength, and a sense of worth are found. These are qualities of your true nature as aware space.”
Awareness becomes imprinted on our physical bodies and our thoughts and minds. This leads to a universal but understandable misconception about who we really are…
“Since you are almost always aware of your body and your mind (because awareness follows your body and mind around), you come to the mistaken conclusion that you are your body and your mind. You fail to recognize that what you are is the empty, spacious awareness that the body and mind appear in. You assume, since they are almost always here, I am the body and the mind…This mistaken identity as the body and mind creates all of your suffering.”
Nirmala offers a solution. He explores “Another Way to Sense Your World.” We can quite simply (yet with challenge), move our perspective away from our head and into our hearts. He offers techniques and practices that encourage readers to do so. He proposes a flexible perspective and guides us to move our focus into our body.
“The key is to allow awareness to flow from the Heart…The important thing is where your awareness seems to be located. Because of the strongly imprinted tendency to look from the head and through your thoughts, you may find at first, that you are looking into your Heart,… if only for a moment—just look or sense from your Heart. What is that like even if it only lasts briefly? Does your awareness open up and expand? Do you sense things in a different way? Most people find that their awareness becomes softer, wider, and more open.”
How do we know if we are actually sensing through the heart, rather than from our habitual mind/thought center?
“The awareness will be wider and more open, the boundaries between the awareness and the objects in awareness will seem less substantial, there will be more of a sense of oneness and connection with whatever you are sensing, and thoughts will be of less concern or not noticed at all.”
Living in the world through the heart vastly enriches and expands experience. Nirmala explores the benefits living in the world in this expanded, heart and belly based manner.
“The belly grounds awareness in the real world without magnifying or distorting the content of your awareness. Sensing from the belly is a direct and simple meeting of whatever happens, which includes a strong and capable sense of yourself.”
He also addresses the fears some may have about letting go of habitual head based patterns of awareness…
“Moving in the world while looking from the mind has tremendous drawbacks…Most of what you think about never does actually happen, and the tendency to focus on the mind’s contents can prevent you from fully noticing what is actually happening.”
Nirmala describes integrating heart and head as well as moving flexibly between them….
“Looking from the Heart and looking from the belly can add so much to your awareness and to the sense of satisfaction and capacity you feel in life. Looking from the head can also be a useful capability of your awareness. Although thoughts are not in and of themselves profound realities, there is no reason to deny their existence or usefulness.”
“This true Heart is your real home. The perspectives of the head, the chest, and the belly are all components of this spacious Heart of Being.”
Starting where we are, in any given moment, is the best way to “discover the truth of awareness and what its possibilities are.” What is happened in this moment, is where your awareness actually resides…
“The key to all spiritual practices is to apply them to your actual experience as it is right now. An idea of how you need to be different or what needs to change is just another thought that filters and shapes your awareness. Meanwhile here you are.
Nirmala continues to explore conditioning, thoughts, emotion, desire, relationships, death and loss, the physical body and our divine nature, our very being…. all in the context of living from the heart.
“It doesn’t matter that much what you are experiencing in life. What matters is what you really are. Is it possible that you really are not the body, your personality, or your mind.”
Download his full book to learn much more …or …..stay tuned for our next post on The Heart’s Wisdom … coming soon …
After a lifetime of spiritual seeking, Nirmala met his teacher, Neelam, a devotee of H.W.L. Poonja (Papaji). She convinced him that seeking wasn’t necessary; and after experiencing a profound spiritual awakening in India, he began offering satsang and Nondual Spiritual Mentoring with Neelam’s blessing. This tradition of spiritual wisdom has been most profoundly disseminated by Ramana Maharshi, a revered Indian saint, who was Papaji’s teacher.