WHAT is a Home State (the Heart Space?) – Part-3

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While it’s common to analyse external events and people using our minds, it’s also important to examine the state of our own mind. Instead of being fully identified with our thoughts, we can practice stepping back and cultivating awareness. Through slow breathing and fostering positive emotions like gratitude, we can expand our heart space and live in our true Home in the inner world. We will then not only see the world through our mind, we’ll also see our mind!

In essence, meditation involves living in the space of the Heart where with more awareness and gratitude, we enter the world of the real ‘I’ – the soul. This is an emotional-spiritual realm that nourishes and energizes us.

A New Perspective on Meditation

Many meditation teachers present meditation as a tool to control the mind. The focus is often on bringing the mind back to one’s breath, the sound of a mantra, or the tip of one’s nose. However, here we explore a new perspective on meditation.

Drawing from the ancient Indian text, the Taittiriya Upanishad, which explains the different sheaths that cover our real self, we delve into the subtlest of all coverings on our consciousness: the Anandamaya Kosha, or the bliss sheath.

Our true self, known as Atma, exists beyond the body, mind, intelligence, and all our feelings. The fact that we can identify and explain our bodily sensations or our mental state, and name our feelings and describe our thoughts, means that we – the “real I” – the self – are different from all these emotions. There is someone or something that experiences all these sensations and acknowledges that “I was thinking hard” or “I was in deep, dreamless sleep.” Who is that “I”?

According to Vedic texts, the true self, Atma, is enclosed by five sheaths, with the gross physical body being the outermost covering. The next layer is the vital life force or breath, known as Prana. The third layer is the mind and senses, followed by the faculty of intellect and wisdom that exercises determination and introspection. The fifth and closest layer to the soul is the Anandamaya or Happiness sheath. This layer is characterized by Eternity, Consciousness, and Bliss, known as Satcitananda. Developing this sheath can lead to deep contentment, and regardless of how bad our external circumstances are, we can experience happiness if this sheath is developed.

When an emotional state or an activity of meditation helps us access this deep, inner self, we are living in the Heart Space – our real home in the inner world. It’s in this space that we feel totally sheltered and are situated in our true glory, or we are in a state that is known as satcitananda – Eternity, Conscious and Bliss.

When we talk of Heart Space or Home State, we are referring to that state of being in our internal life that is totally anchored and sheltered – a sense of belongingness engulfs the person; he or she is safe, loved and one with the universe.

To be continued….