What does it mean when you say we ‘meet in the heart?’

A student writes:

I was just contemplating your teachings on Vaster Vision. You’ve said before that we ‘meet in our hearts’ rather than meet in time. Relating to what you’ve taught on Mandala Principle and boundaries, does ‘meeting in our heart’ mean meeting at our boundaries, at/in the interface, in presence, in the heart’s very awareness? Is that the “space” we meet in?

Lama Shenpen replies:

Yes. We meet at/in the interface, in our presence there, in the heart’s awareness – that is the ‘space’ we meet in. That is why it feels so intimate.  That is how we know the ‘other’ inseparable yet distinct from ‘self’ – we are each the ‘other’ to the ‘other’ and that is what makes the interface so delightful – sensitive and responsive!

It is also where fear can arise – perceiving the other as truly other in the sense of alien and separate creates the illusion of oneself as also cut off and separate.

It is as if a gap opens up in our mind between self and other and then we cannot feel each other any more or respond sensitively with clarity and openness.  Yet we are never separate and never can be however much we try.

Discover more about Mandala Principle and other topics by joining Lama Shenpen’s students in studying the Living the Awakened Heart Training – a structured, comprehensive, supported, distance learning programme in Buddhist meditation, reflection and insight. The training, which is open to all, brings the profound Dzogchen and Mahamudra teachings to a Western audience in an experiential, accessible way, through spiral learning. Find out more and how to join at www.ahs.org.uk/training