Dreaming in the Fields of the Heart

by Alan McAllister, CCHt PhD-phys
published in Shakti Yogi Journal

fields of the mind

Spring is a good time to open your heart and let new things bloom in your life. Seeds that have been underground through the winter push upwards into the air, reaching for the sun. They contain the patterning for growth that leads to new blossoms rich in beauty; plants and trees rich with vegetables and fruit. This patterning expresses a Life force which is fluid and flexible, adapting to specific conditions, so each seed becomes its own unique plant.

In the fields of the mind the seeds of creative thoughts float in as inspiration, the breath of Spirit whispering. The intuitive mind receives creativity first; in dreams, imaginings, or active meditations. Laced with feeling and nurtured by the energies of the heart, these impulses are rich with life and possibility. Thought forms arise later in the analytic mind giving expression and adding structure as creative inspiration manifests into the world.

In the eastern cultures the mind was always centered in the heart and thoughts and feelings are not separated out as being different. Western biology has recently shown that the chemistry of thought and feeling is similar 1, and that all thoughts have an emotional component 2. This relationship is seen in the Japanese character for thoughts 思 which is comprised of a rice field over a heart.

The image of the field with regular boundaries symbolizes the structured aspect of analytic thought. Looking at a winter field, it is dry form only; until it is watered, then new seeds sprout in spring, and it lives again. Its form lasts from year to year but it is loose enough to serve each new crop of seeds. Living thought, like the sprouts in the field, is fluid and constantly changing. There must be room for them to breathe, an open heart to nurture them and receptivity to ongoing inspiration to guide their growth.

If thoughts are too structured, the boundaries and forms too tight, they bury creativity in fixity and old patterns. Then there is no breath, no life, neither the heart nor its flowers can open. The mental forms that we are given in school are simply a starting place, like the grammar of a language or the drills you do when you first learn an instrument or a new sport. The master of an art or sport learns to adjust and mold these initial forms to the flow of the moment, to express what intuition and awareness are showing him now. Structured thoughts must be malleable or we kill the life and power of the inspiration we are trying to birth.

The structured aspects of thought must serve the essential inspiration. Spiritual creativity is the true source. Over time the core of creative inspiration and insight is often lost. Words passed down tend to loose their essence and cease to live when taken literally 3. The old masters whose words have become the source of today’s formal thought, had open hearts and fluid minds in their own day. They breathed in essence and inspiration, just as you do; creating and speaking from their hearts. When only the form remains, it becomes dogma; there is no room for life left, for new wisdom or present time inspiration. Even the best of the old forms can be too tight, when the essence has been lost. Believing that the forms are the knowledge and the wisdom (which is generally how they are presented) we will miss the Essence that was present when those ideas were first birthed.

Old forms can lead us back to Spirit, their source, and inspire us to find new words for a living Truth that wants to be reborn today, tomorrow, each day going forward. However, when we try to jam a new dream into them rather than letting them adjust to express it, the new inspiration will not thrive, no matter how beautiful the old form is.

Even doing spiritual practices or working creatively, which are activities inherently alive, we can still get caught up in the forms of outer manifestation and lose track of the inner inspiration and spiritual energies that are their core. The practice of working in form and mental structure easily sucks us into a place of analytic thought where we loose touch with the essence of what we are creating the form to express.

It is important to periodically take time in the midst of creating a workshop, writing an article, or building a practice to feed and nurture the wellspring of what you are birthing into the world. Simply remember to pause, center, and reach inside to feel the inspiration, the Essence, of what you are creating. Breathe into that space, relaxing, opening to spaciousness and for a few minutes let go of the mental engagement with the formal task at hand.

Expression and form can serve spirit and inspiration, the genius that is your Soul. Life is not a paint by numbers set. The rainbow, the rose, the sunset are always a variation on the theme, birthing fresh and alive each time they form, each time they are witnessed. Each year’s rice field is planted with fresh sprouts, which grow as a new and unique expression of ancient processes and cycles.

Learning from what has gone before, doesn’t have to strangle what is coming through from Spirit today, if the old is given new life in the present. Staying aware of the essence of life, fresh flowers will bloom from new seeds. The heart will sing a new song this spring, rather than trying to vainly recreate last spring’s song and blossoms.

[1] Pert C., Molecules of Emotion, New York: Touchstone, 1997.
[2] Bohm, D., Thought as a System, New York: Routledge, 1992.
[3] Brown, T. jr., The Quest, New York: Berkley Books, 1991. p 106

(© 2/2015)

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