Communicating from one heart to another is easy when the other person is known and loved. But strangers! Two conversations have bought me to my keyboard this week. making me think of how we would all benefit from the meditation of heart kindness.A conscious decision to open our hearts to others and their world.
Mum telephoned to tell me of her recent stress test for her heart. Mentioning that she spoke to someone she ”would not normally speak to ” Why is that I asked? ‘Well he looked as if life had been hard on him. And I didn’t know if it was his wife or mother with him, in the waiting room of the surgery.Would you believe that when we were conversing they have come from the country and would you believe it, the same little town that your sister lives in. mum was so delighted with the connection one heart to another.
The men in our little seaside village have been grumbling to one another, as they pass on the beach or out walking their dogs, of the presence of the ‘beach netters.’ “Those men who drive onto the beach to net the schools of salmon.” After all say the amateur fishermen we are constrained to a bag limit and these fellows can take up to 40 boxes at a time.” And so a separation occurs, you against me, we against them. We finally met these ”beach netters” as they worked, yes they were weathered and scruffy in appearance actually they were dressed for the task at hand.Taking photos of the two men as they rowed out throwing the net over the dingy’s edge, gave me an opportunity to approach the “leader” . explaining that I intended to create a painting of the fishermen as they hauled in the net made heavy with the sparkling fish.
We learned then that yes they too had to own a very expensive, for them, fishing licence. And this contained them to a certain coastal area.The fish was mostly used for lobster bait in another state, very little as table fish. This very labor intensive way of fishing, heavy hauling, wading into the water on the coldest days and the long hours of watching and waiting to see the shoals and compete some times with the local seals and dolphins, has no bi catch caught in the net. Unlike the local amateur fishermen who has the luxury of not fishing when the wind comes up or he doesn’t feel inclined, these men have a contract to fill.
Simply by opening our hearts to their lives for only one conversation we are learning so much each time we meet . The older man whose top teeth are missing,and as mum said, looks as if life has been hard to him, asks about a bird he had not seen before, did we know what it was called? This weathered man told us of migrating birds coming from New Guinea. He feared they would not return next season. Gentle and wise is the heart of the stranger, even if it comes in the guise of a life worn and weathered.
Stepping away from appearances brought us a rare glimpse of another and their innate wisdom. Shanti Gowans in her book ‘Calm the Mind’ talks of the Hearts needs for Love, Caring,Sharing…….Meditation for the special needs of human hearts:
“Human Beings sometimes need someone
with whom to share inner thought and motives,
who hears not merely words,but deeper feelings for which there are no words.
Someone who values silence and listens deeply,without pushing or pulling,attachment or condemnation,like or dislike.Could it be you? ”
How easily we fit people into the shape of our perceptions and preconceived ideas, and are we not the poorer for it?
“Sometimes the heart simply bursts with joy. A joy that must be shared to be fully experienced, and we need someone to praise us for our accomplishments,
rejoice with us in our good fortune, and someone to increase in us our awareness of the beauty and goodness in life… Because of our strengths our weaknesses ,our dreams and our longings,
We have family,
and we have friends, and we have us,
that here on earth we might glimpse the joys of heaven.” Shanti