A Sabbatical Is, Above All, Time to Follow Your Heart

Posted on: Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
Posted in: SoulTrain, Blog | Leave a comment

Uh-oh. Drop me in the shallow waters before I get too deep…

One of my teachers recently prescribed homework, and it included a chapter from the book, A Path with Heart:  A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life, by Buddhist monk Jack Kornfield’s book, A. 

If you are in the mood, please give this passage a read…

“It is possible to speak with your heart directly. Most ancient cultures know this. We can actually converse with our heart as if it were a good friend. In modern life we have become so busy with our daily affairs and thoughts that we have forgotten this essential art of taking time to converse with our heart. When we ask it about our current path, we must look at the values we have chosen to live by. Where do we put our time, our strength, our creativity, our love? We must look at our life without sentimentality, exaggeration, or idealism. Does what we are choosing reflect what we most deeply value?”

Having just written about the costs (non-financial) of Breaking Away, this excerpt arrives like a sunbeam at dawn this morning. At the 49-day Countdown, it’s darn easy to get all hot and bothered about why NOT to go. But what about the costs of skipping this blessed chance? Mr. Kornfield speaks to that.

BTW, one must be careful of this sort of self-help inspiration stuff. It can lead to painful shoulder shrugging and eyeball rolling. Then a dodgy desire for more. Then yoga, meditation, classes, teachers, sunrise rituals, and more. Been there, doing that.

It can be corny, but often effective. Rather like religion. Which, according to R.E.M., most of us have lost.

Yoga by the lakeshore: Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that. I thank the heavens; my body thanks me. The candles show the light until the sky starts to glow. Then, the sunrise is most awakening and stunning—today, anyway. Sometimes it’s even better than sleep.

What about these matters of the heart? What about “heart?”—a word so overused and Hallmark-abused that this writer dares not to type it often. Yet without IT, we can become, “So busy with our daily affairs and thoughts that we have forgotten this essential art of taking time to…?” Fill in the blank. Taking time to…

A sabbatical is, at its best, taking time to let the heart speak. To shut up and listen—to feel the beat. To follow its request list. To pay attention to your mates as their heartbeats take voice.

It’s a time to dance wide-eyed into the great mysteries and, with any luck, make discoveries both childish and profound. Could be as simple as building a sandcastle with your kids. Or trying new foods. Or making music. Or just stepping out of the distraction-laden routine to follow wherever your heart may lead you.

Okay. Enough of that. There’s work to do, whether my heart is in it or not. But soon soon, that work will more resemble my Life’s Work.

Come along! (Or get the hell out of the way…)

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