From the Heart

You’re probably hearing and seeing a lot of fuss about romance and a very particular idea of love right now.

The month of February, and the 14th in particular, is saturated with red and pink and fluff and chocolate and diamonds. And what of the heart? It’s red construction paper folded and carved, embellished with a doily. It’s glittered and blinged and calligraphied and inflated. But the actual heart and the seat of devotion and love bears consideration beyond the sweetness and passion attributed to Valentine’s Day.

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The cardiac muscle, as we know, has the essential task of receiving depleted blood, passing this blood off to the lungs, receiving oxygen-enriched blood, then sending that off to do its job. In this way, the heart embodies selfless service in the body, mirroring compassion, acceptance, and non-attachment -- the ultimate expression of healthy love in relationship.

Enveloping the heart is the fourth chakra, according to Eastern philosophy. In Sanskrit, this chakra is named “Anahata”, which means “unstruck, unhurt, and unbeaten”. It is the concept of two forces coming together to produce a result without changing each other. It is the meeting of opposing ideas in a place of expansion and openness. It is pure acceptance while facilitating something new.

Love is looked to as the fabric of all existence, an impossibly vast yet simple energy, a conversation of open arms, of listening, of turning toward connection despite ego, ideology, emotion. It is dedication, trust, and commitment.

While not traditionally thought of as a love story,  the Mahabharata reflects so many facets of love -- selfless devotion, steadfast duty, trust in one’s path. This is one reason dhyana Center founder DeAnna, who happens to be celebrating a milestone birthday February 17, thought Valentine’s weekend the perfect time to showcase this tale.

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Out of the heart of this story comes a collection of spiritual messages, pathways to a meaningful life -- the Bhagavad Gita. The Gita is a story within the story, where Krishna, the voice of the divine, speaks to his disciple Arjuna, whose battle chariot he is driving. Krishna reveals his god nature in the ways he counsels Arjuna, who is deeply conflicted about the war he is fighting.

Krishna speaks of the importance of understanding Arjuna’s part in a greater plan and how Arjuna must follow the path to which he was born, learn the lessons he was born to learn in this lifetime, even while understanding that the actions of the heart and spirit transcend the frailties of his current body.

In the Gita, it is written, “A gift is pure when it is given from the heart to the right person at the right time and at the right place, and when we expect nothing in return.” What could be a more potent description of love?

Whether you’re celebrating February 14 hand-in-hand with your beloved, curling up with a cozy blanket and a warm beverage, or passing the day like any other Thursday, take the opportunity to reflect on all the ways love manifests through you in all its colors and shapes. Are you meeting yourself in connection and kindness? Are you letting your family live the lessons they were born to learn while holding them in support? And be sure to give a thought to your very own heart, receiving and releasing, in love.

See what messages the epic story of India has for you February 15-17. Attend one or all three nights. Purchase tickets today; seating is limited.


Andrea Foster