Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Welcome The Heart Arrows

For several weeks now I’ve been feeling a very intense emotional kind of “heartpain”… No particular event, trauma, or wound comes to mind – just a generic kind of universal human experience wound of the heart. Arrow arriving in the fence nearly two weeks ago was a timely metaphor for looking at this pain, and seeing through the wound into the womb of the Heart…

In the exuberance of opening to the Heart, as has been happening here, there is now an opening and “outpouring” of the wounds that have been held here – the wounds of this life experience that have been hidden in the heart. This does not mean that I am “suffering” with any kind of victimization, or wallowing in old wounds, lost in the memories of old betrayals, and arrows. None of the wounds needs to be identified or rehashed. It’s more of a natural process of release of the accumulated “pain of life” as a whole. As I acknowledge this deep pain, these wounds and their subsequent armoring are being relieved of their duty to guard and protect this heart… But I didn’t realize the process would be so “painful” – requiring such mindfulness not to fall off the edge into story again – to not fall into the unconscious pit of pain…

Last week I just happened to pull Pema Chodron down off the shelf. I like to keep her handy. :) As I scanned through her pages my eyes fell on a few sentences here and there. One phrase in particular was rather timely I thought. She said: “Get in touch with the arrow in your heart and *relate to the wound.* Feel the wounded heart… If someone comes along and shoots an arrow in your heart, it’s fruitless to stand there and yell at the person (or situation). It would be much better to turn your attention to the fact that there’s an arrow in your heart and *relate to that wound.*” Wow – okay – heart begins to twitter… She says that by coming face to face with our wounds and relating to them, actually allowing ourselves to *feel* the rawness of them, the heart actually opens more, and we find the spacious tender heart of bodhichitta – the awakened Heart - underneath the pain. She says that every arrow, every wound is an opportunity to open to this deeper space of the Heart – and relate to That… She does not say to suppress them, or deny that we have them, but to face the wound directly and *it* will lead you to the tender Heart of Hearts underneath… Okay, sign me up for another Heart excursion… I’ll bring the bandages and tape…

However, it appears I’m already on one – and have been for a long time… It is not something I remember consciously choosing to do, or planning to do; it is just happening. Life circumstances have provided the opportunities - the arrows… Maybe ultimately this “outpouring” is happening now because many years ago my desire was to live with an open heart, and I think I thought it was going to happen easily and automatically – maybe even create a by-pass around those clogged arteries. You know, just put in your wish and the magic happens – you awaken and pour out gobs of love and bliss. My life hasn’t worked that way… I didn’t know what “heart opening” would entail, or feel like, and I don’t think I brought along the right gear… No matter, this heart is apparently opening anyway, whether I’m prepared or not, revealing its accumulated contents, and the tender Heart Womb beyond the wounds. I’m in labor here - birthing into the womb of the Heart… Geeze this birth canal is long and dark and there’s no air!

Interestingly, at the end of January I experienced a rather intense period of “heartpain.” So I went to “The Cave” and sat with this “heartache.” I breathed *into* the “pain”, deeply and consciously attending to it. I faced into it internally and took a good look… There was the sense that this “deep pain” was some kind of encasement around the heart, protecting a deeper more vulnerable space. Within the encasement of pain there was a deep light, although I could only see its faint glow. Through the encasement, which was transparent, I could feel beyond the solidity of the pain to a tenderness, a gentle space – the soft heart as Pema calls it. There was also a sense that the pain was also a “gate”, an opening into something unguarded and untouched. I realized that the experience of pain, no matter what the cause, is really an invitation, not an obstacle or barrier. It’s an invitation to open more to the Deep Heart. It’s not enough to just meet the pain, one must follow the pain all the way through into the Womb of the Heart…

It turns out that Arrow in the fence was a messenger of sorts, not only to relate differently to my neighbor, but to welcome the arrows of the heart, to deeply attend the wounds, and allow the light to come through them – the openings that life’s arrows have left behind…


Check out this piece of prose from Ameeta at Self discovery self


  1. So beautifully written; I am drawn into your experience through the clarity and the wonderful metaphors or analogies that you bring into your writing--so many incredibly crisp sensations when I read what you shared today. Striking close with "I think I thought it was going to happen easily and automatically – maybe even create a by-pass around those clogged arteries." And through your words, I feel my own heart open further "allowing light to come." ~ Bright Blessings ~

  2. Thank you Darla... Bright Blessings shining through to you :) C

  3. Thank you for this beautiful piece Christine. Since the Mystic Meanderer has generously been an imageless mirror for this person I feel your message leading me to look into a lifetime of pain in this heart. I am not sure how to do that as it has been my path to let go of thought or to not be attached to thought. However the pain and suffering seem to be demanding a different approach. In being aware of how I avoid feelings I also see how I label being with feelings as 'attachment'...instead of being 'real'.

  4. Dearest Leslie - yes - me too: "looking into a lifetime of pain in this heart" - which is why I am beginning to write about it... There will be more posts I'm sure because, as you say, the pain is "demanding" to be looked at...I sensed that today. I do see this as a good thing - really looking at it; not labeling it or dismissing it as thought, or attachment - but really seeing what it is, seeing what it wants, leaning into it and allowing myself to actually *feel* it... It's intense for sure... But as you say, it's about being "real." So let's grab our flashlights and take that excursion into the depths :) LoveLove - C

  5. Shining Dearest Christine. XOXO -L.

  6. Christine...I just love you. That's all. :)

  7. I love the synchronicity of the neighbour's arrow and your heart "pain". Maybe it's just an acknowledgement of how tender our hearts really are and how vulnerable we really are and what great courage it takes to look at and express this.

    When you talk about the"encasement" I saw a thin hard candy layer, you know that sweet stuff that just shatters when you tap it. And the shattering creates this beautiful pattern, like thin ice when you tap it.

    And of course tomorrow is Valentine's Day, what better time to talk about the true nature of the heart!

  8. Aw Gee Maria :) Thanks... Love you too my "heart arrow" friend :) C

  9. ZDS ~ I love your beautiful imagery! And your words here have inspired another post :) Thank you! C


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