Grief, vulnerability and the opening of the heart chakra

By Tristan Dorling

I am experiencing many things at the moment that are very difficult. I feel that I need to be on my own a lot of the time and there are a lot of feelings of grief and heartbreak. Some of it feels as if it is related to things happening around me now, but a lot of it feels as if it is old stuff, coming to the surface. It has been about 10 years since my kundalini awakening. Is this normal and is it something you have been through?

This is something that can happen to people on the path of spiritual awakening. It does not happen to everyone, as it depends on each person’s unique karmic obstructions. In the Christian traditions it is sometimes referred to as “the dark night of the soul”.

A lot of it has to do with the opening of the heart centre. The feelings of heartbreak and grief are to do with that, and the feeling of needing to be protected and to be secluded. It is only a stage on the path, and eventually we come out the other side, hopefully all in one piece! Or rather, finally all in one piece. The reason I say that, is because this is a process of transition from being disconnected from the world, to being fully whole, and fully connected to the world, and everyone in it, through love, and as love. It is a bit like being a caterpillar in a chrysalis. What comes out is completely different than what went in.

It can be the most difficult stage in yoga though, and the most challenging, especially in the early stages of this process. It can feel as if there are a lot of difficult things happening , and not many good things. Not many of the “fruits of yoga” you could say. Gradually we begin to get glimpses of Divine love though, and that starts to change everything. This is love that is felt towards everything and everyone, no matter who they are or what they do, or what they say. This love is seen to be the only thing that is real, and everything else is like a play of light dancing on the surface of consciousness. Love is the fabric of consciousness.

Ironically all of these things can be present at the same time for a while. So, there can be feelings of separation and vulnerability, a longing for the Divine, heartbreak, pain, grief and despair and this sensation of intensely loving everything and everyone. That can feel very confusing. A bit like being caught up in an emotional whirlpool!

Gradually, over time, the feelings of grief, despair and heartbreak will subside, and the experience of loving everything and everyone will grow stronger and stronger. It is actually a very beautiful process. One of the most beautiful things anyone could go through.

It is actually the heart that gives us the strength to move through this process. This is another of the paradoxes in yoga. Even though the heart is the most vulnerable aspect of our nature, it is also the strongest, and when it opens, it can carry us through anything, because love transcends everything. On the path, love is even beyond bliss. Love is the goal of yoga. It is where everything ends up.