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The Heart Dharma

12 Years Ago

The Heart Dharma
by Jacqueline Bass
I am writing to tell you about something new that I learned that I hoped some of you might want to learn too. In one sense it’s an actual physical healing technique, in another sense it’s a way to feel peace in your life to heal all the wrongs that have been done to you that you couldn’t get over. But more than that, it’s a way to improve the world and save it. I have to explain a few things first about how I came to it. I hope after you read it you will send it to everyone you know and they will send it to everyone they know.
    Anyway, I have to tell you a little background first so that you will understand how I came to the information that I have now. I am not a traditional religious person by any means, but the reason that I learned this stuff has to do with God.
   See, last year when we moved to Portland and Jodie was out of work we were pretty stressed out. We were driving each other crazy and we were worried about money, although there always managed to be enough, and it was a difficult time for us. But, in the middle of it a lot of good things happened too and we learned a lot of things about ourselves.
       During one of those difficult periods I was sick as well as worried about everything. It began to turn into a spiritual crisis. Everything made me unhappy and I felt like I couldn’t even stand my own self. Do you ever have those times when it feels like your heart is drying up and you don’t feel any love in it- not for anybody OR yourself? That’s how I felt. I began to beg God to help me. I was really scaring myself.
About that time the traveling Buddha Relics came to town. They are a collection of Relics that are attributed to the Buddha and other Lamas and holy teachers from the Buddhist religion. In the Catholic religion, there many ways to declare someone a saint (like they healed people or performed miracles). One of those ways is that after they die their bodies don’t decay. They had so much of God’s divine energy in their bodies that even after their spirits left, the body remained very much as it was when they were alive.
In the Buddhist tradition people are cremated. But what they found is that when the body of a holy person is cremated instead of turning completely to ash, there are left these incredibly beautiful pearl-like balls. So, when I heard about the tour I was very curious.  It was a profound experience and I was very very glad that I went. I had been sick and I felt better afterwards and more peaceful.
I am not a Buddhist or anything but I am a curious person and I know a lot about Buddhism, which is not so much concerned about the issue of God and who he is but in being a really decent person who cares about others.
Later that evening after Jodie and I got back and were just sitting around the table there was suddenly this huge energy in the room. Now, some of you know this already but I’ll just say it for those who don’t- I can sense things (‘feel’ energy, both good and bad and the variations in between) and Jodie can ‘ hear’ things. So, when this huge, kind, wonderful energy came I had Jodie ask questions for me. I’ve gotten a lot better about ‘hearing’ but I don’t always trust my answers or my ability to hear well.
The person that came was a Lama. He knew that I had been unhappy and struggling and he told me that I needed to find the Heart Dharma. Neither Jodie or I had ever heard of it and internet searches revealed nothing. There were entries for variations of those words but never that or anything that felt vaguely right.
So, a year passed and I forgot all about it. It’s been a year of learning probably more than I have ever learned in one year. It seemed like every time I learned a lesson it would come up again to test whether I really got it and moved past it and the ones I was having trouble learning I was getting hit in the face with again and again and again. It’s been really tiring at times, but for those of you who understand on a deeper level what is going on in the world and the things that are to come, then you understand the importance of getting rid of the stuff that doesn’t serve you and learning real love- of yourself and the world.
There are some things that I continually have a problem with that at times make me feel like my heart is being crushed in my chest and I can’t breathe or go on living. It’s hard to care about people when it feels like they don’t care about you. I say “feels” like, because sometimes people really love you but you can’t see it or don’t understand that they are doing the best that they can. It’s hard sometimes to realize that most people are walking around in so much of their own pain that they can’t even take care of themselves much less be careful with your feelings.
Some of the problems that I have related to this were coming to a head when the Buddha Relic tour rolled back into town again, more than a year later. This time there was a ceremony and members of other traditions-Catholic, Christian, Hindu, various Buddhist sects were there and they had speakers who talked about the need for a joining together of people of all faiths to love the world and bring greater peace to the planet. It was a nice ceremony and it made me feel better, as before. Afterwards I walked up to a Lakota singer who was also apparently a Buddhist and one of the docents for the tour. He told me about all the people who had been healed or had amazing things happen because of the tour and how blessed he had felt to be a part of it.
Then I told him about the Lama that came and told him about the Heart Dharma and how I hadn’t been able to figure out what it was. He took a deep breath and strangely I felt like I was being inexplicably being sucked forward for a second and then he answered that he did indeed know what the Heart Dharma was and that I needed to go talk to the other speaker with the tour who was standing across the room.
I walked over to her and repeated my story. I felt a little guilty about bothering her at all because she looked like she was having a ‘moment’ but she smiled and wiped her eyes and asked me, “A Lama came to see you? Which Lama?” And I just smiled and she stared at me for a moment and a recognition came into her face. And she didn’t ask anything else about it but nodded as if she understood what I was saying and wasn’t troubled by a world in which divine spirits come to visit you and said, “Ah.”
Then she began to teach me what the Heart Dharma was.
She said that in every culture and neighborhood around the world there were those people who had chosen a life of service to humanity. In the Buddhist context they were called Bodhisattvas. These Bodhisattvas loved everyone equally and wanted everyone released from their suffering. These are people that take the negativity of others and make it better. The Tibetans liken them to being Peacocks. She said, “Did you know that the Peacocks eat the poisonous food that other birds can’t eat? It’s that poison that causes the incredible colors in their feathers. So, what would kill other birds is what makes them beautiful.”
She said it was the same way for human beings. She said there was a practice called the Heart Dharma that took all the illness and unhappiness and negativity around you and transformed it into pure love. She said that she’d personally seen this woman use it to cure her own terminal cancer. She said that she’d seen the Dalai Lama use it as well and that it felt like everything around him flowed into him like reverse ripples in a pond. I thought of the Lakota man that I had spoken to a few minutes before and saw what she was saying.
The thing is, the practice itself doesn’t just make the world a better place around you. You are also releasing all of your own negativity. So, by doing a selfless act of service to the world around you, you are also making yourself better. Like the Peacock, you become beautiful.
So, I would like very much to teach you how to do what she taught me in that brief exchange. It is very very simple, although there are a few important points I have to make first.
I used to think about what Jesus did, suffering through what was done to him, when I couldn’t even suffer through all the little slights that people did to me without feeling crushed and damaged.
Maybe all along I should have realized that the key to what I was being told were in the words themselves- Heart Dharma. The Sanskrit word Dharma refers both to the underlying nature and order of life (the truth of it) and to the mind of God. So, Dharma is the truth and mind of God. The heart in its highest form is the spiritual and emotional core of a being. The Heart Dharma is therefore the Highest Spiritual and Emotional Core of Truth about God and the order of life, which is that in being loving and selfless we make everything better- including ourselves.
We realize that everybody in the world wants the same things, needs the same things to survive and we realize that everybody suffers in some way. Everyone in the whole world experiences heartache, NOBODY escapes it. We are all brothers and sisters in this condition. Having compassion for each other transcends the separation that people put between each other. Pain and anguish can separate people but having compassion and remembering that we all suffer can unite us.
 You know, many people walk around feeling hurt and blaming other people for wrongs that were done to them. And most of the time they just need someone to hold them and say, "yes, I know what was done to you and I'm so sorry. Let's make it better."
 The Buddhists have a saying. "Drive all blames into One."
It's kind of like this.
Your father, for instance, may feel that things in his life are terrible and insufferable. And maybe he was hurt by things that people did and there was no justice. That suffering and emotional pain is like a poison in his life if he can't get over it. Haven't you noticed how bitterness can poison a person's life?
In the Heart Dharma, we take responsibility for that even if it isn’t ours. And so, first, you say that for everyone around you, you take responsibility for that blame. You take that blame, no matter what it is. You say that you are going to take that poison and you are going to wash it away. You say that it doesn't matter that it isn't your fault, you will take that blame, that poison away out from the people around you, out of the air itself in an act of pure selfless love.
So, you take a deep breath and pull all the negativity in that is around you- from the people in the house and the negativity that lurks around clinging to the things that you own. And inside of you, you transform it.
But you aren't just transforming their negativity, you are also transforming YOUR own.
So you gather all the negativity from the world AND your own negativity (all ills, emotional pain, everything negativity) and then you:
 In doing this you are releasing and cleansing the negativity of the world  and your own as well. So, like the peacock you are taking the poison and becoming beautiful.
So, you breathe in everything negative and you breathe out pure love. Everything negative is transformed- including you.
 You know, I have learned many techniques  over the last three years to protect myself and clear a space. It can be very difficult to be empathic and feel everything that other people feel- their physical pain, their anger and negativity. I had to do those things for awhile so that I could walk around in the world.
 But now, when I walk into a bad place I do this Heart Dharma technique and I just clear the space. Then that place is better just because I was there. The people are better because I was there. You can heal others, little by little, just by doing this while you are around them. And it will help you to heal yourself too.
But I would also like to add that because you are releasing things you are also creating space (literally) inside yourself. So, it is important to pray or meditate or whatever you feel comfortable with to fill that space with the light of the Divine. So that you will be full of light.

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12 Years Ago

I've practiced the Heart Sutra--never heard of a Heart Dharma--if you do it with heart, any dharma is the heart dharma is what I think---my practice is the Buddha-dharma, or behaving like a Buddha, whether you are one or not. The Buddha taught four Truths, the first being that everything i n the material world is suffering--and the other three truths follow on that. I am a Harmonist--that means I  harmonize the different religions and spiritual paths and I am not an exclusive practitioner of any of them, although I have a "home" path. Amd I l also do not mix them up--everything has its own purity. I studied Buddhism with Master Hsuan Hua, an old Chinese monk known as the "monk in the grave".. He taught a combimation pf Zen and Pure Land.School, and my conception was very much furthered by the Lotus Sutra, which it is very hard to find in English. If you like, you can join my Pan-Religious Harmonism group. Srila Bhaktisiddhanta gave me the name, from his magazine called  The Harmonist. He was a religious genius.