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Dan Millman
An author of the million-plus-copy best-seller Way of the Peaceful Warrior, as well as the classic The Life You Were Born to Live, Dan is considered one of the most prominent and influential teachers of our time. With messages of hope, humor and spiritual wisdom, his seminars draw thousands worldwide. A youthful grandfather, Dan lives with his family in northern California.
  Exercises for Opening Your Heart   #412
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You are the most important and precious person in your entire world. The more you develop an inner love and appreciation for yourself, the better and happier a person you become. Here is Dan Millman to share with you some wonderful ideas to really tune in to yourself.

Love, like happiness, is a moment-to-moment state. Trying to remain loving or happy all the time is like trying to eat once and for all. From one moment to the next, our awareness either emanates from the heart or remains trapped in issues of subliminal fear, sorrow and anger.

Trusting in the principle that awareness heals, we can clear these obstructions moment to moment, recognizing and accepting them as part of our process, and then moving beyond them by applying one or more of the methods of opening the heart you are about to learn.

Opening the heart generates a deep and profound emotional healing of the entire psyche. As our awareness rests within the heart or feeling dimension of our being, we experience a quality of happiness that transcends worry, fear, sorrow, regret, or any of the parade of concerns that normally preoccupy us. Even if our external lives don't change at all, our internal lives can change instantly.

Opening your heart allows you to attain the highest levels of emotional and therefore physical health. From the space of unconditional love, you no longer care whether you are loved back in return; you are too busy communing with love itself. This is no namby-pamby sentimental sigh. This is a warrior's love, passion and compassion.

The physical heart is our strongest muscle. It also functions as the core of our feeling dimension. As with any muscle, it grows stronger with use. By creating a feeling connection between our heart and our voice, our thoughts, our touch, sight and hearing, we access a direct method for opening the heart and feeling the love within us. The moment this connection occurs, we also contact the wisdom, love and mercy of our higher self. Simultaneously, we transcend fear, sorrow and anger, healing ourselves and others around us, literally, not figuratively. The beauty of this process lies in its simplicity.

In this practice, you don't merely put your attention on the heart. Rather, you see, experience and touch others from the heart. As a first step, do this deceptively simple exercise.

1. Direct your attention to your nose. To help you focus, you can move it and touch it. Then stop moving it. Remove your touch and keep your attention there until you become more aware of that part of your body than any other.

2. Now, direct your attention to your heart by placing your right hand over it. You may notice a quality of attention you hadn't noticed with the nose, a quality of pure feeling in and around the heart.

3. Now, remove your hand and remain aware of the feeling in your heart. Breathe, relax and notice any emotions that may come up. This act of feeling your heart is one of the deepest, most profound and yet simplest spiritual practices of love.

Now, here are two things you can do immediately to center yourself and enrich your life.

First, sit quietly without interruption and concentrate all of your attention on one part of your body, like your nose or ears or even your diaphragm as you breathe. This will calm you and center you in just a few seconds.

Second, listen carefully and attentively to the sound of your heart beating. As you become very still, you will hear your heart throbbing throughout your whole body. This exercise will attune you to the universe around you.

Other BestSteps® You Might Enjoy
The Spiritual Experience of Love
How to Listen with Your Heart
Love Starts with You
Learning to Love and Accept
Are You Love-Starved?
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