Build Your House On Rock. Sally Kempton
At WisdomFeed, when we promise to “bring ancient ideas down to street level,” we are talking about the kind of wisdom in this transcription from Sally Kempton. Sally was one of our keynote speakers at our very first summit. The Surfing The Tsunami of Change: Mindful Solutions For Uncertain Times. Here is a transcribed excerpt of her presentation, The Heart Is Your Anchor: Living from the Center of Wisdom excellent.
It’s lovely to be with you and everyone else.
And so how does your work tie into the title of today’s session, “The Heart is Your Anchor, Living From The Center of Wisdom?” And it’s really just, you know, the world is different than it was not so very long ago. And I’m looking forward to seeing how the heart is your anchor, or how does that relate to what we’re going through now?
Well, as I was surfing my, my mail program the other day, I came across a conversation from someone who runs a podcast somewhat similar to yours. And they were quoting from the book of Matthew, from the New Testament. And a very famous line, which is one who builds their house upon a rock. Yeah, the winds come, the storms come, the house is not shaken the house doesn’t fall, one who builds their house on sand, who does not have a firm foundation, when the winds come, etc, the house is shaken and falls. And in my own life and my life has been pretty much a tsunami of change.
So I kind of feel like many of our generation who followed it, let’s say not the normal life path of, you know, climbing the corporate ladder or whatever version of that goes with our personal template, but instead of doing that, I’ve attempted to continually look inside and find where I stand inwardly that can help me deal with the the changes in my life. And it feels as though this particular moment this particular time, and I know many people agree with this is a huge test for us, as a society and as individuals.
And you know, not to belabor the nature of the test, but we are having the experience in the United States and other places in the world of what it means to have built our house on sand. Because our infrastructures are being so challenged, right. So all of our systems are being challenged. We’re seeing the fragility of the systems. I’m not going to go into the, the physical details of it, we can read them, you know, in any outlet, that media outlet that we listen to, but I was very struck by something Bernie Sanders said a few weeks ago. He said, This is the worst crisis the United States has faced since the Civil War. And I realized, you know, he said it. You know that Bernie’s intense style. And I realized that he was right, that it is that and you know, and it’s true all over the world, some places more than others. And so the question is, what’s the message other than the message about our social systems which is screaming at us, and which is not what we’re here to talk about today, it’s not certainly not my area of expertise.
But what it takes as an individual, as an adult human in this world at this time, to be living from a foundation of wisdom and strength, and what I call intuitive wisdom, you know, which is, is a particular category of understanding that’s taught in the yoga world. And when in yoga, and in Tantra, in the eastern traditions, we talk about intuitive wisdom. We are not talking about that kind of gut level intuition. That, you know, our president, among others, you know, says that “I have a good gut,” I rely on my gut. Intuitive wisdom comes from a much deeper place. It’s called in Sanskrit in the Sanskrit language a word Rta, which is a very old concept, which refers to the law of harmony, the law of what, you know, some people call righteousness in the universe.
In other words, the way things naturally work, and to be in Rta is to be in harmony, to actually be able to move through the seams of reality, with, awareness, with clarity, with kindness, and with a deep sense of security, which comes from being so centered in yourself that you can trust the messages that come from within, even when they say they’ve seemed completely cockamamie and then, you know, and in contrast to what’s called Coming to you from the outside. So right now our information ecology is so broken, we really don’t know what to believe who to believe. You know, so how do we discover this. And I’ve found that the only surefire method of, of actually knowing really what to do, because this is kind of beyond thinking, comes when I center myself in the heart, and I have a very specific protocol for doing this. Many people have their own. But I actually work with the heart center behind the breastbone. And I found over the years that, that having turned my attention into this center, which is approached, which you can approach to the breath, which you can approach through a visualization to a mantra, but it’s all about, actually literally turning your attention around, finding connection to the center, to this particular center of wisdom.
It turns out that the human body is filled with wisdom centers with interior places that that we don’t normally have access to. Because first of all, we’re so focused on our lives. And for for good reason. We all have incredible amount of responsibility things we have to do things that scare us, not only our health, but you know, many, many other issues that we have to face. So to actually find time, to turn our gaze backwards to find the time to find the inclination, to find the capacity even to find the interest is really difficult. And one of the things that I’ve been hearing from so many people during the pandemic, and that includes people who are working at home and homeschooling their kids. Is that it does seem to be possible, more possible now, to make that internal leap.
So when I, I’m telling people what I think works, you know, what I think is helpful, clearly what you’d say to somebody who’s in who’s in an essential job, who has to go to work every day, who’s risking their lives, you know, bagging groceries, or even as a health care worker, which I have relatives who are doing that. It’s a very, very different set of prescriptions for keeping yourself sane in those circumstances. But in every case, turning into the heart, tuning into the heart, makes sense, you know.
You can see Sally’s wonderful talk at our Mindful Solutions For Uncertain Times Summit by signing up for the next free replay of the summit here.
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- Steve Stein