Off with your head!
...an invitation for heart opening.
I will introduce you to the Goddess Without a Head: Chinnamasta.
She is one of the hundreds of goddess from the Eastern Philosophy where – like any other myth - the characters are always reflecting aspects of our own psyche. We all have some qualities of Chinnamasta in us.
If you Google Chinnamasta you will find many classical interpretations like this:
"Chhinnamasta, the headless goddess, is the Great Cosmic Power who helps the sincere and devoted yogi to dissolve his or her mind, including all the preconceived ideas, attachments and habits into the Pure Divine Consciousness. Cutting off the head suggests the separation of the mind from the body, that is the freedom of the consciousness from the material confines of the physical body."
But I believe our headless goddess is a lot smarter than that.
"Chinnamasta stands for the most radical of radical affirmation. She affirms herself so deeply that she is no longer willing to listen to her own inner voices of doubt, fear or unworthiness".*
And that's why we can relate our headless goddess with our inevitable Big Heart Opening process. Just like her, when we open our hearts, we are no longer willing to play small.
The Heart Opening comes with the longing to imbibe a direct experience of our own power. We are happy to cut off our own head because such a sensational act no longer frightens, instead it empowers our desire to experience the whole of our Self.
And the Whole of ourselves is on the authenticity of being just what we are, following and affirming the desires of our own Heart!
This Heart that is the most powerful force we can access within ourselves. In the ancient scripture of the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna teaches Arjuna that when you have an open heart – nothing can hurt you! When you have an open heart, you experience all the pure qualities of your soul: acceptance, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, love, courage, wisdom, joy, etc...
In the Bible we hear about Heart's Intellectual/Spiritual functions:
The heart thinks! (Matt 9:4; Mark 2:8), remembers, reflects and meditates (Psalm 77:5-6; Luke 2:19). More specifically, as the eyes were meant to see and the ears to hear, the heart is meant to understand, do discern, to give insight.
Advaita Vedanta philosophy teaches that the Supreme Reality (Consciousness) exists as the ultimate essence of one's being. It is called "atman," the Supreme Self. And in our body would be located on the Right Atrium on the physical heart.
The Chandogya Upanishad explains that: "the "Self" within the heart is Brahma itself and not the soul".
Shivaism also teaches that the greatest quality of the Heart is fearlessness. We must allow our hearts to open, so that we become fearless beings... not the other way around.
Our goddess is willing to look at herself with a fearless sword of penetrating clarity. Her self-discernment leads her to a choice that many others might refuse, but by going to that razor's edge, she discovers within herself a taste of ecstasy beyond previous limits.
My friend Erico Stoneberg says that "Chinnamasta is dancing on a couple in love! (Of all the embodied experiences one might have in one's body, an orgasm is pretty much one of the best of the best).
Our goddess knows all about the pleasures and blissful states. It is why she steps in all of that. She owns it!
But she also has gone past that limit of good feeling! Chinnamasta says there's something EVEN BETTER than what you think of as THE BEST human feeling!"
Our Headless Goddess knows that when we're willing to remove our self-imposed limitations, and instead listen to the call of our ecstatic inner life force, others will want to stop by and have a taste.
That abundance is so vast and so forthcoming - Chinnamasta shares it freely. She knows that her essential nature lacks nothing, and that there's an endless supply of power inside. That well will never run dry.
May we open our hearts!
Off with our heads!
From Adv CBP, BAT and FreeFall Instructor
Myriam Machado Baker