Live in your heart

“Let people live in your heart.”  – a Tokyo elementary  school teacher


I recently discovered a very touching ten-minute video on the Internet called “A Teacher in Tokyo”.  It appears to be part of a documentary originally broadcast on the CBC. The short clip follows a grade four class whose students are learning how to express what they are experiencing in life. In this particular segment they are talking about going through a death in the family.  What happens quite naturally among the children when they share these real life experiences is that all of the students end up in a state of acceptance and understanding of each other.    While being interviewed, the teacher says that one of his favourite quotes is “Let people live in your heart…there’s no limit on numbers”.

So how do we really let people ‘live in our hearts’?  Most of us understand the sentiment expressed, but what does the phrase actually mean?

If you take the time to pause and to think about someone that you love who might be going through a difficult time and you let compassion arise, you will also notice a sensation arise in your chest area.  If you stay with that bodily sensation, you will sense a general relaxation of your entire body and of your mind.  You will sense a softening, an opening up.  You will probably also feel more connected to that person and to the present moment.

In some cultures, we often refer to thinking as ‘being in our heads’.   While experiencing what we might call ‘positive emotions’ our bodies tend to relax and open; with ‘negative emotions’ our bodies tend to tighten up.  Perhaps what we refer to as ‘letting people into our hearts’ expresses what happens in our bodies when we adopt an open, inclusive state of mind that allows us to feel deeply connected to others.

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