Is That Safe ?!

Mitrasena dasa

When I was a kid we had a recording of children singing, " Let the sun shine in, face it with a grin, open up your heart and let the sun shine in."
"Sunshine is nice", I thought, "But if I open my heart, isn't that dangerous? Just a little cut and I need a band-aid. Cutting my heart open to let sunshine in will certainly kill me."
The song always bothered me because I thought it might be something I have to do when I grow up.
It sounded messy and painful, but all these kids were singing with happy voices. Something didn't seem right.
I wondered if they were dead because they opened their hearts.
I felt sorry for them and hoped it was worth dieing for. This was a scary song for me.

I'm still scared of opening my heart. I've found that it can be messy and painful. Some sun may shine in, but other things can get in too. There are risks. We don't go around opening our heart anywhere and everywhere to anyone we meet. For one thing it's not an easy thing to open. There's no twist off top, it doesn't pour out of a bottle.
Most of us don't know how to handle such a vital and delicate organ. Good thing hearts are resilient. They enjoy opening in spite of the risk. It's not like surgery. Good intentions are all that's required for a safe heart opening session.
If a heart hasn't been opened for a while it can get stuffy and ugly. They need to be aired out once in a while.

Heart opening is described in a 16th Century book of only 11 verses, Upadeshamrta, by Rupa Gosvami.

-This historic booklet begins by taking stock of personal integrity, getting our body, mind and emotions under control.

-The author advises we find suitable people to share love and gives clues how to recognize these special people.
These teachers may have defects such as ugly features or even mental illness, but we are to look beyond these. Defects are compared to foam or mud in the waters of the Ganges River. One simply avoids those things in order to bathe, pushing them aside. Everyone of us is flawed in some way. Don't let that stop you from loving, from opening your heart to let the sunshine in.