Thursday, April 18, 2013
Tapping of the Heart
If you lived in your heart, you’d be home by now. ~bumper sticker
I read recently about an inner knowing attributed to the bushmen of the Kalahari. They seem to know things beyond their physical senses, like where the game will be found, or when danger is approaching, or when someone is coming. They describe this mysterious knowing as the “tapping of the heart.” They know with an intuitive knowing that comes from a deep place.
In Seven Sacred Pauses, Macrina Wiederkehr tells a story about a group of westerners who hired some bushmen to guide them through the desert. After traveling at a rapid pace, the bushmen sat down and refused to continue until they were ready. They explained that they had to wait for their souls to catch up.
I wonder about the pace of my life. Since retirement, and especially since my nest emptied last December, it has certainly slowed down, but my days are still full. Sometimes they feel too full.
Gradually, though, there is a settling, a deepening. I spend more time in the morning and evening meditating and praying, and reading wisdom literature. (Right now I’m reading the Bhagavad-gita, and Inner Chapters by Chuang Tzu.) I spend more time in solitude, either at home or at my cabin in the mountains. I spend more time listening. And practicing my word of the year – Wait. Perhaps I’m waiting for my soul to catch up.
I’m fortunate to have this time. Not everyone does. When my children were growing up and I was working, I barely had time to pee, much less to pray. Contemplating bushmen heart tapping was not on my schedule. If my heart was tapping, I probably attributed it to stress-induced palpitations.
But now the idea draws me in, like a quiet drumbeat in primeval forests, shrouded in the mists of time, lost in the fog of modern life. I hear its echo deep in the inner chambers of my soul. I listen...and wait.
Deep calls to deep. ~Psalm 42:7
related posts: Falling Away; Spiritual Simplicity