Health And Family

Keep Your Heart Alive

FROM THE HEART - Gina Lopez - The Philippine Star

I am on my way back home. The three-week hiatus into spiritual worlds is over. It has been an amazing experience. That’s an understatement. More than the experience, what I am grateful for is the building of “spiritual muscle.” This happens in an environment where one is able to experience the blessings of the Divine and one learns to flex one’s muscles of discernment because of the clarity that exists in a non-chaotic environment.

It is clear to me that humanity is at a critical juncture. On one side is material consciousness, where money and power is the be-all and end-all. On the other side is a consciousness where spiritual values prevail — the result of which is a society of harmony and love where human spirit can blossom.

From a bird’s-eye view the scene looks like a tessellated pavement that is neither black nor white but a mixture of both. The challenge comes in the navigation.

These are my reflections coming from going deep:

• The physical world we live in is a speck compared to the grandeur of spiritual worlds. My experience of spiritual worlds gives me a sense of freedom and limitlessness. One of the biggest mistakes of humanity is to foolishly think we are these physical bodies and life ends when this physical body deteriorates. The truth is that we are spirit. Living now gives us the opportunity to “hone” our spirit so that it is more aligned with higher forces of truth and light. Life presents to us numerous situations wherein choices have to be made. These choices have an impact on the flavor and texture of our human spirit.

• The human mind, with all its complexities, limited thinking and chaotic flavor, is the barrier to spiritual growth. The key to growth is to quiet the mind so that spiritual forces have access to us, and we can then experience our higher nature. The mind has imprints and traumas from life, so living purely within these boundaries is severely limiting.

I had a six-day silent meditation, which was eight hours of meditation daily, no talking — not even looking at anyone — no exposure to the internet, the phone — total silence. An instructor facilitated each meditation session.

This was a very moving experience for me. These are the “gifts” I got from this segment of the retreat:

• Yin is the way to go, to have the attitude of receiving. Then we need to be beyond this and not just “lazily” bask but put our will into immersing into spiritual worlds.

• Exercise! Our physical health is crucial to meditation. It’s very difficult to sit down for hours if one is not healthy. I thankfully brought resistance bands. So over and above the yoga asanas, I was able to do physical exercise for my back and legs. That experience led me to the decision to alter my morning routine and put physical exercise before my daily meditation so that I get to do it every day and not only when there is time.

• Meditation is good for health! I am 64, soon to be 65, and gravity is setting in. My experience with meditation is an uplifting, a lightening of energies that has an anti-aging feel. Learning to keep one’s energies high has led to an improved sense of well-being.

• Every night, since it was a new moon, I was able to stargaze. This was so good for my sleep. Feeling the consciousness of the stars had a superb calming effect on me.

In the last segment of this “intensive” — the more advanced level, this is what I felt:

• Again, that calmness is important; I experienced precision and sharpness as a result. That in this state, one can actually work with connections, meaning that if one is calm, one is more open to guidance.

Towards the end I had a fresh perspective on what I am doing for the country. I don’t know if what I will be doing will be successful or not, in the sense that life is unpredictable. However, the process of getting people to work together, of touching lives, of bringing in a consciousness of God’s creation — that has value in itself.

On my way back, I had this one gem of a realization: The best way to interact with spiritual reality is through the heart. I am always trying and often get frustrated with myself. But that’s because it is a mental exercise. So it becomes mechanical and dry. My experience is that the spiritual worlds respond to the human heart.

For my temperament, it is the way to go. Actually, Filipinos are primed to go the way of the heart. It is in our genetic makeup.

To reiterate, we are facing a critical juncture in human society. There are forces from both sides of the life spectrum, some of greed and selfishness, others of light and hope and in-betweens. There are forces within ourselves and forces in society. How do we navigate and keep afloat?

We keep this heart connection with the Divine. We nurture this connection regularly, daily, throughout the day. I am convinced it is the spiritual connections that will bring in the light at the end of any tunnel, that will hand us the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that will grant us the field of stars in which we can let our spirits spread wings and fly. The heart is the key. It is the heart that will give us the magic we so desire in life.

So keep your heart alive and loving.  Keep offering to the Divine in trust and totality. Life is not only good; it is splendid! With the right attitude there is no future that is not sparklingly bright.

* * *

I can be reached at hellogina@gworld.ph.


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