Path with Heart
Now we get to discovering your life. In some traditions this process has come to be known as living a path with heart. For example, Christianity emphasizes devotion as part of its path, and thereby instills an orientation to heart. On another front, Jack Kornfield offers a range of Buddhist practices relating to inner transformation in order to fully engage life with abundant meaning. Throughout his book A Path with Heart, he gives insights on individual and group growth. He deals with self-knowledge, expanding awareness, altered states, ethics, and applying meditation to psychotherapy.69
Shaman don Juan boiled down the process of creating a path with heart to using your death as a way to focus your involvements in life. The trick is to consult death in a way that it doesn’t encumber, to use death as a tool to battle fear rather than be a morbid fixation. Nonattachment helps. When making a decision, for example, make it in the light that it may well be your last act on Earth. From this perspective, there are no small or large decisions, just behaviors which may be your last. This helps bring to light the deepest drives and core values of a person.70
When you are suitably focused, the criteria for selecting the elements of your path are based on peace, strength, and joy. Once several pursuits have been initiated and you have a full-bodied orientation to them, you are on your path. Your path is not static; it deepens and changes over time and is not a straight path. The constancy of it comes from your core. Rather than pursue money as a primary objective even though you really don’t like the chase, for instance, you involve yourself with something else. In the context of an energetic logic and ethic, having a large bank account is not errant, but going after money when it doesn’t resonate with your core stultifies your growth. You also avoid activities that are self-aggrandizing. After many years of grooming your life based on peace, joy, and strength, you will have built a life with that foundation. It’s not only a matter of living your life, but how you live it.
Your choices reflect values which are made apparent through feeling, a role of your heart as it connects you with the environment. The circumstances resulting from this then shape your cohesion. It's a movement of energy between self and world, with the environment demonstrating the greater governance. What is in your heart reveals where you fit in with the world, and the subsequent alignments in refining your path are based on the influences impacting you. You may then apply this to such things as imagining and pursuing the best way to construct a dwelling or the mechanics of cosmological emanations in determining the conditions of the energy body—both reflecting the bioenergetic interactions between an organism and its environment. It's a matter of scale; the process is the same.
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