When I was living in Dharmasala, India for a few months, I had the honour of studying with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for several weeks. The Dalai Lama held daily teachings in his monastery and temple for the local Tibetans, and it was also open to foreigners. Luckily we met a few avid western students who provided translations for us because the teachings weregiven in Tibetan. The temple and monastery exuded divinity and radiance as the local Tibetans prostrated or mindfully stepped around the monastery over and over conducting their daily japa practices. One of Dalai Lama's teachings still rings true in my ears and heart:
" Educating the heart is like personal hygiene....like brushing your teeth. It must be done every day. Educating the heart requires a training of the mind. The expression of compassion and creativity are two primary forms of a healthy brain and lead to an open heart. Both require practice. Compassion requires an objective attitude. Creativity requires imagination. Practicing different mindsets is the best brain hygiene. One significant mindset to perform is the spectrum between a Hero (will, determination, fire) to a Child (innocence, playfulness, water). Use objectivity and your imagination to be a Hero and a Child over and over again".
These teachings have invited me to dive into a place beyond social constructions and stifling judgements from others.... to a place far from feeling embarrassed or guilty....to a space where I am innocent and vulnerable. I try to imagine my favorite experiences as a child - when I felt wild and safe. I also spend time visualizing the times when my commitment and inner fire led my intentions into fruition. Close your eyes and journey to these places...what do you see? what do you hear? what do you feel? Allow the compassion and creativity to traverse you back & forth from head to heart.