Says the Tao Te Ching: The doorway to the mysteries is cracked by opening one's heart.

The great mystic Meister Eckhart (1260-1327) talked about the birth of the Word in the heart, adding that we must become
devoid of self-interest. ("In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God.")

Edgar Cayce offers a similar insight, namely that we must empty the heart of selfishness (the opposite of love?) which blocks the flow. Power comes from our
detachment from self-interest. (It's possible to conjecture that self-interest is
synonymous with exploitation.)

Eckhart was formally charged with heresy

It's evident, therefore, that true success in life, true fulfillment, lies not in what comes out of our heads but from our heart. At a minimum, this principle applies to true
communication. Said Tolstoy, truth is only kind when it is spoken through our heart with sincerity. If the other person doesn't get what you're saying, it's either not true or not conveyed with kindness. Let me suggest that if we replace the word 'truth' with 'touch,' the same principles hold up on the massage table.

In his personal experience, Robert Calvert (a massage instructor and founder of
Massage magazine) has noticed that people are helped not so much by technique, but by the degree of care and compassion behind the touch. Massage conveys its benefits through the character and healing intention of those who give and receive it.

Kahlil Gibran's book The Prophet explains this same principle another way: "If you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half of someone's hunger." As in the rest of life, success depends on the ability of each partner to establish a "heart connection" with the other
person, which includes getting what they're saying beneath the words they're uttering. Impatience (what F.M. Alexander would call end-gaining) can make this connection difficult. Note that Edgar Cayce says that developing patience is one of the great lessons of our times.

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Working the heart is probably one of our least developed faculties. Pema Chodron is a Buddhist nun who wrote The Places that Scare You in 2001. She writes that to make our love stronger, we need to work the muscles of the heart, as if it's a capacity we need to discipline and channel on a daily basis, like going to the gym.

"For me, there is only the traveling on paths that have heart," says Don Juan in the works of Carlos Castaneda. He adds that learning is never what one expects. It must be free from personal ambition, as we have seen. Further, and this might be the scary part, once we find a path with a heart then we must travel its length to completion (a moment that does not exist in time).

When the muscles of the heart are working, a physical component might come into play as well. This connection between hearts (which is harder to define) and intention (a concept that's easier for me to grasp) can both be felt in the chest.

Said Rumi, 'When you do things from your soul (in this case he probably meant the heart as well) you feel a river moving in you." We'll read more about this when we mention the concept of
entrainment.

On a side note, I had a rather cynical biology teacher in high school who made fun of the
expression "I love you with all my heart." He'd say that the heart is basically a pump, so people should say,
"I love you with all my pump."

Our heart

Soul (and prayer)
Anyone who professes to know much about the soul is probably full of it. But for now, let's take this piece of wisdom from St. John of the Cross: "The soul lives by that which it loves, rather than in the body which it animates. For it has not its life in the body, but rather gives it to the body and lives in that which it loves." If I can amend this statement, let me just suggest that self-absorption equals spiritual death.

To develop our soul, it doesn't take one out on a limb to say that prayer plays a role. Here's the little I can share about prayer:

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