Living from the Heart Week 5: Understanding

We are now on to the 5th virtue of our Living From the Heart syllabus at HOA: an exploration of the Six Heart Virtues that constitute the essence of our energetic heart. When expressed in our daily lives, these virtues enable us to practice emotional self-mastery and cultivate the heart as a portal to our higher self. 

This week September 2nd - 8th, we will be working with the theme of Understanding, as an expression of our inherent human capacity for empathy. As the popular saying goes,

“You cannot understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

But how? Indeed, the virtue of Understanding is a complex one to embody because each of us are faced with vastly different circumstances. We may not be properly equipped to truly understand another person due to the limitations of our own circumstances, which have been shaped by conditions such as our world views, values, experiences and the way we have been raised. 

Ultimately, it’s near impossible to (metaphorically) walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, but we can instead invoke the heart virtues we have previously explored in this syllabus, to gain fresh perspective on another person’s circumstances and be empathetic to their situation. We may begin with the virtue of Appreciation, by seeing the intrinsic value of each person and expressing gratitude for their ways of being. We can extend Compassion towards them, by acknowledging that they’re doing the best they can with what they have. We may Forgive them for their transgressions and pitfalls, by affirming that these occurrences are merely a result of their conditioning. We can practice Humility and remember our own shortcomings and difficulties against the context of our personal growth. In recognising our own need for love and Understanding, we may extend the same for others. 

When we actively choose to Understand another person, we may soon discover that we are actually trying to understand our deeper Self. The biggest inhibitor to our Understanding of others may manifest in our automatic tendency to judge, or to hold preconceived notions and biases. By examining the root of these tendencies, we can resolve them within ourselves, so we may extend Understanding and hold space for those in need. HOA co-creator and facilitator Sue is no stranger to holding space without judgement. She holds the following views on the virtue of Understanding: 

“Each day, I take the time to learn something about myself. Knowledge is everywhere from the people I surround myself with, to the conversations I have with my loved ones or even a stranger, to the food I put in my belly and the internal conversations I have in my mind. I take the liberty, time and space to Understand my behaviour as I'm inquisitive and curious about the other layers of myself in the environment I am living in. (the bodies of physical, emotional, energy, knowledge and bliss) Layers are also known as Koshas in Sanskrit. So by Understanding these layers, it helps me to embody the practice of unconditional love by accepting who I am, have compassion, to learn and forgive myself that everything I do has it's caused with the choices I make and to always be humble and have humility. Yes, it may be overwhelming, which is why it is a practice, a journey of emotional self-mastery. Then, it applies the same to facilitating at HOA. It becomes a ritual, a lifestyle instead of a chore.” - Suraya Sam

Deepen your Understanding of the self and others with us at House of Ascend, and begin to truly live from the heart. Book your spots today

Written by Izzy Liyana, content creator & writer for HOA