Friday, June 18, 2010
Going into the Heart within the Caves of Ramana Maharshi and Arunachala
My time in the Caves of Arunachala, especially Ramana's Lover Cave, my favorite, was spent working with emotions. As I would slip into the deep abyss of meditation, blissful states would come and go, as would long-forgotten memories from my childhood. Numerous hours were spent simply 'being with what is,' and have enhanced my life beyond words. I discovered a life-changing technique, which I share extensively in my book 'Bringing Home the Mountain-Finding the Teacher Within.' By using the breath to move into the space of contraction, meaning feelings of constriction, painful or stifled emotional states, without avoiding what is experienced, we have endless opportunities to break through the painful barriers of separation to freedom.
"I spent four hours on the Mountain, primarily in Ramana’s lower cave.
I focused on experiencing my love for Ramana, feeling this love in the heart
center. After focusing on my bodily sensations, and the ego identity
of Cathy with all the stories, history, strengths and vulnerabilities, a
profound deepening or widening of the heart center took place.
There were no boundaries or restrictions to this space. I focused on
giving loving attention to my body, where I could physically feel
emotions that were constricted. Some childhood memories flashed
"I immediately sensed a narrowing of my throat and heart space,
along with a growing physical sensation of anxiety. The anxiety
seemed to be locked in my stomach and chest so that breathing was
difficult. I invited Shiva, the deity of fire, to burn away this
resistance, fully breathing in the healing energy that surrounded me.
The results were extremely powerful. There was an even greater
opening within my heart center, best described as freeing. A
physical release had somehow occurred, letting go of an area of
constriction that had been guarding my heart. I had not realized it
had even existed until it was gone."
~Bringing Home the Mountain: Finding the Teacher Within