Who will love the loveless if not you?
Expanding the Heart zone
WE HUMANS are creatures of habit even in the way that we express our love.
We unconsciously strata the love and affection that we feel for others with the tendency to always reserve the greatest love for those closest to us.
The love is diluted significantly as it circles out concentrically towards the unknown stranger, until it is dispersed completely: poof! all the love has gone.
The recipients of our most loving attention begins with family, spouses and lovers, broadens out into close friends to less close friends, our social group, those we work with, acquaintances, to people of our community, then our town, our country and finally the world at large that includes foreigners from strange lands whom we know exist but will never know.
This circle has us in the middle and is very exclusive; in fact we normally don’t even consider connecting in a loving way to the world at large that is so fraught with suffering because it is so much easier to stick to our own little familiar patch.
Indeed this is a very good place to start; extending straight into foreign territory can make us feel very uncomfortable.
Following the path of the heart
To enter into a divine state of unconditional love, transcend the limits of our ego and connect with all other life, where we become free of all selfishness and emotional instability, may seem an overwhelming - even impossible - ideal.
So how do we begin? We could make a conscious decision to bring the whole heart centre into our awareness and allow it to naturally de-frost and break free from its binds.
The best place to catalyse this process is to start smack bang in the middle of the circle, with the most neglected one, who is often the one we most dislike and for whom we reserve our harshest judgements – our self. From this familiar beginning, we may then spread the warmth outwards, extending the verdant, fertile wilderness of our heart zone to include even animals and all sentient beings; all deserved of our love. We learn that real love is inclusive, uniting all those on the “outside.”
Embracing what we avoid
To dissolve the barriers in our hearts that keep us feeling separate from others we must cultivate a deep compassion for all living beings that also includes ourselves; we will need to meet and embrace reality in a radically new way.
The challenge we face if we wish to change this paradigm is: how we deal with the suffering we habitually shun and willingly ‘bring it on’?
To truly broaden the heart-scape we need to transform the indifferent sympathy we experience into ‘sensate’ empathy.
By immersing ourselves into the feelings bodily with mindful breath, we might witness how and where the hurt arises in our physical body.
Only then can it naturally surface and dissipate which it is often striving to do.
Most of the emotional, pain we experience, is often only a result of running away from pain. Pain, itself, is intense sensation and the great spiritual mystics say that sensation is nothing but reality perceiving itself. Before we can know compassion as the deepest thing inside, we must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
Connect with the open dimension of our being
Strangely enough, compassion sets in motion an exponential multiplication of our powers; we discover that a single strand of hair is enough to stir the sea.
When we face everything in the moment, as a whole, then we are invincible. Imagine what would happen and how different life would be if we decided to change this non-inclusive heart paradigm and didn’t differentiate between those we hold dear and those we believe are less worthy of our love.
To live in a world where you always feel safe and loved, needn’t be seen as an unattainable utopian fantasy, rather than the innate, native state of the human heart, a heart whose natural response to suffering is deep compassion. Expanding the heart zone lets us accept the oneness of life; through loving we radiate the joy of being, seeking true heart connection with others.
Awakening to a more vast view of reality
This simple practice need only be about changing our attitude towards people and recognising that we are so critical inside, so judgemental of others, avoiding those we think are unworthy of our care and compassion.
We are capable of alchemically transforming the negative feelings that we perceive from others and experience our own heart as more than a pumping fleshly organ but a centre of transformation and growth.
If we were to open our selves to others’ suffering every time we were confronted with the unpleasantness of our own judgements, we might allow ourselves to see how these judgements are what we see in ourselves.
People who repulse us are too often in suffering, they are in pain and we turn away because it makes us feel really uncomfortable, bringing up our own fears and confusion.
This is a great place to begin to soften; to become more loving and understanding; to heal the tight, hard places in ourselves and in those with whom we connect.
Turning poison into medicine
Perhaps this Christmas we can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings, no matter how cruel or cold they might seem to be.
We could connect with our own suffering and that which is all around us as a method for overcoming fear of suffering and for dissolving the tightness in our heart. Let us try to liberate ourselves from the default pattern of self-absorption, or its dark twin, self-neglect, to awaken authentic compassion.
To melt away the solidity of suffering we discover a spaciousness in which to redefine the love we feel for others and ourselves; this spaciousness is who we really are.
Eventually from our conscious intention, when we are abiding in the selflessness of our true nature, compassionate action occurs spontaneously without thought or premeditation as expressions of enlightened awareness.
Now that is a majestic Christmas wish, for how wonderful the world could be.
Tonglen: Compassionate Meditation
The Tibetan practice of tonglen or “sending and receiving” is a powerful meditation to ease suffering.
To practice tonglen, imagine yourself breathing in the hurt, fear or pain of the person who is suffering; completely feeling and accepting it.
As you breathe out, visualise yourself sending out that person warmth, happiness, and relief from their pain. Each exhale from this heart space intensifies the mercy and loving kindness we experience toward the one who is suffering.
We could begin with forgiving and accepting ourselves, then methodically work our way outwards, to family, close friends and eventually to those for whom we feel aversion; or we can do ‘on the spot’ Tonglen. It may seem counter-intuitive that one would bring in the suffering with breath, however if we let this experience actually break our heart open; its true nature of vastness and boundlessness is revealed to us.
By practicing Tonglen, we connect with a less defended and more open, spacious dimension of our being.
Wishing for you all a loving, kind and compassionate Christmas; a time to focus on your pulsing heart.
- Cassandra Menard, Tinderbox
Raphael: A scent for healing
Radiate healing through Raphael
IT MAKES perfect sense that Tinderbox should be inspired to develop a perfume based on the archangel Raphael, since both he and Tinderbox are both intently concerned about healing the whole human naturally and spiritually.
Raphael is known throughout western spirituality as one of the Archangels. His beautiful name means God heals and indeed he helps us realise our true Essence as healthy, whole and complete.
This profound perfume, which presides over Tinderbox’s new Ethereal Collection, is not about a cure but accessing through smell the very origins of the illness.
It is about cultivating the very actions required to turn around those entrenched negative patterns that condition our behavior and manifest in the bodily dysfunction. Raphael is a spiritual scent about healing at the very deepest level; that helps us see our blind spots.
Archangel Raphael’s healing domain is all encompassing: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic health.
His healing also extends to the animal world, to help domestic and wild animals.
Our hearts are nourished by love of nature, animals, children and the elderly. Raphael helps us love our lives by loving others and sharing this light heals us and heals the world.
Raphael is a pure plant perfume to keep us optimistic and motivated about honouring and respecting our body’s intrinsic requirements. After all, we need as much encouragement as we can get to eat well, sleep well, breathe well and exercise well.
A little whiff of this gorgeous scent guides us to listen to our deeper inner wisdom; to take the appropriate life-affirming action to realise our most needed health aspiration.
Smell Raphael’s perfume to inspire you with spontaneous insights into just what you need to heal.
Invite Archangel Raphael to guide, inspire and mentor you toward self- healing, and assist you in the reawakening of your own natural healing abilities.
Scent your body and now see it as a gift to honour, by allowing it to experience pleasure, connection and healing.
The lesson this ethereal scent brings to us is, about how ‘curing’ a disease doesn’t necessarily heal the soul.
True healing is about allowing the soul to travel forward into the next stage of growth; this often results in the body’s healing itself as our energy system is fired up to use its stores of power to right what has gone wrong at a cellular level.
Archangel Raphael is the angelic presence of the Heart chakra Anahata. Mending the heart so that it is able to love again is the basis of all healing.
Deep healing comes through expanding the heart chakra so that our heart song resonates with the pulse of our beings.
The heart’s work is to be receptive and allow love to be. We all need love as the essential core of our lives, if painful wounds have closed the heart off from receiving; it is essential to revive it.
Raphael the scent helps us revive a wounded heart, increasing our ability to see the good and forgive the past; this helps us regain energy that has been wasted suppressing feelings.
The heart suffers whenever there is a sense of separation.
For the heart to heal, we must employ forgiveness, prayer, meditation and positive intent to release old hurts that weigh us down and perpetuate our illusion of our singularity. This is the whole raison d’être of Raphael the ethereal scent.
The clear intentions of Raphael
SUMMON the archangel Raphael, our celestial guardian devoted to our experiencing a healthy and happy life.
Invoke the healing powers of a steadfast angelic ally who provides compassionate healing support to all those who call upon him.
Breathe in Tinderbox Raphael deeply and expand your comfort zone, now set a clear intention to foster the positive formation of thoughts and actions that will promote healing
Empower your prayers with this divinely fragrant blend of pure and precious plant oils; boundlessly impassioned to impart to you whatever you need to thrive.
Ingredients: rose hydrosol, emerald gem infused water, pure essential oils/absolutes (amyris, ruby grapefruit, geranium, cacao, champaka, vanilla, chamomile maroc, juniper berry, lavender angustifolia), solubiliser (olive oil/sugar source), benzoin gum tincture.
The Ethereal Collection
This range of pure plant perfumes from Tinderbox takes the concept of perfumery to a much deeper level than merely scenting the outer body.
By penetrating into the etheric realms of the individual; natural plant oils are healing for the subtle bodies (emotional, mental and spiritual) and act as energetic tools and catalysts for change.
These perfumes pay homage to the model of the multi-layered human being that has three distinct selves that act together synergistically; when smelt, they gain intimate access to the limbic brain, the part of our brain responsible for memory and determining how we feel.
This is a gateway to the subconscious that we can consciously awaken with the help of very specialised scent and set clear intentions for dissolving the obstacles that impede our ability to become who we truly are.
These natural perfumes can be our companions on the spiral of our spiritual evolution.
Their effectiveness is a result of our intention, effort and desire to promote change in our life.
The Ethereal Collection is: Raphael, A scent of healing; Mythic Muse, A scent of creativity; Equanimity, A scent for clearing; Rose Radiance, A scent of release; and Lavender Splash, A scent of tranquility.