Healing the Broken Heart


Someone wrote on Facebook and I quote here:

It's mind numbing how many people I'm in touch with feel various versions of this:

"There's a critter like underlying feeling that nothing is ok.

I look at my blessings, there are so many of them.

One minute my heart is full. The next minute - empty.

One instance I think I'm ok, the very next I feel like crying.

I try to think there are so many people on earth who has it much worse. It doesn't lessen my pain.

I feel like crying.

And crying.

And then crying some more."

As I have been contemplating, writing, sharing on spiritual healing, it feels that the above sharing is very timely and appropriate when it comes to healing, specially healing the broken heart. I feel that this brief sharing captures the crisis of not only one or few individuals but also the profound crisis of our collective human situation.

As I discussed in the Presentation on Spiritual Healing that the nature of our reality is such that the outer always always reflects the inner. The mystics of Bengal, the Bauls thus very accurately describe this phenomena with a metaphor called "arshi-nagar," which means "city of mirror". This world that consists of both visible and invisible realities has this constant leela or play where The outer is ever mirroring the inner.


Lets take note that this feeling is coming from the deep within, its a feeling (of the heart and originating even deeper than the heart), not a conscious thought. That feeling that "nothing is ok" is a sure sign for those who have understanding and intellect to pay attention to the fact that our inner life is in a completely shattered state. Within a generation or two human beings in this planet have forgotten what is sacred at such a unprecedented rate that nothing can cope with it.

Just as the physical seen world has its physical laws which are universal, constant, very similarly the spiritual unseen world has its spiritual laws which are immutable.

With our terrible level of ignorance and veiling of wisdom we have forgotten everything that is sacred including our reverence for the unseen and spiritual world and its immuntable laws. Among the current generation of people who inhabit earth we are mostly living our life with so much neglect to the inner dimensions that has to do with matters of the heart and soul that is unprecedented. Even our religiousness is taken over by materialism i.e. fake, ego centric spiritual materialism, showiness and window shopping attitude devoid of any real commitment, patience and sincerity.

As human race we need to relearn how to live from heart and soul, rather than just thoughts and logic of mind. We need to shift our over focus to head to neglected heart

One of my most favorite teacher of reality, Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in one of his recent book, Darkening of the Light wrote the following:

"It should be understood that the inner worlds are influenced by the consciousness of humanity, which is why spiritual teachings throughout the ages have stressed the importance of our attitudes and the values by which we live. Thus, while our physical acts affect the outer world and have produced our ecological crisis, it is our consciousness—our attitudes and beliefs—that directly affect the inner, spiritual dimension of life on Earth...."

I have highlighted and underlined the part that says "the importance of our attitudes and the value by which we live" - because it holds a key to the answer for this question 'why there is this feeling that nothing is ok, despite apparently there are plenty of stuff, material gift, possessions etc.'


If we really examine carefully what attitude we adopt in our daily life when it comes to life itself, what values we live by, what kind of consciousness do we carry throughout our waking hours and what really do we believe - we may be surprised if we are honest with ourselves or more importantly if we can really assess that correctly. We may end up finding that it is utterly selfish attitude, money/profit/gain driven values, sub-human consciousness that all it can think of is eat-shit-sleep and when it comes to belief we believe more in pharmaceuticals and commercials in tv than anything else. 

Yes thats more or less is our condition. So should we be surprised that if the faculty which is most sensitive to truth, that is the heart and soul start to sense that nothing is OK? Well nothing is Ok when it comes to our inner reality, same is true in our external reality - our economics, our workplace, our politics, our society, our relationship with others.


This feeling is again a testimony to the truth that this feeling that "nothing is ok, both within and without" is a feeling of the heart. Its more so because the heart goes through this experience of what the Sufis say, QABD (contraction) and BAST (expansion). This is the state of experiencing desolation and its opposite as states of the (spiritual) heart.

And it is Allah who withholds and grants, constricts and expands, and to Him you will be returned. ~ The Qur'an 2:245


This cry or the urge to cry is the hearts longing to turn to the real. Before turning one feels immense need for washing, washing with the light of truth, washing with tawba which literally means turning, an honest admission of one's spending life in illusion, a need to realize the truth of who we are and longing for our real home. One is ever traveling from a world of illusion to the world of reality - this is true whether one understand it or admit it or deny it. We are to return.

.. and to You is the [final] Home Coming. ~ The Qur'an 2.285

The wayfarer travels from the world of creation to the world of the Creator. The heart and soul is homesick, and thus it feels this great longing within and it bubbles up as the cry of the heart, of the soul.

The heart is the faculty of realization of truth, thus this occasional experience of realization (even when this realization is unconscious and unacknowledged), this separation of the soul from its original home makes one cry or this urge to cry and cry more.

This actually is a good state, a much better station than the heedlessnes, sleep walking station. This is the early stage for the heart calling itself to orient itself to the Real. Its a Sign on the way towards the Journey Home. Its one of the sign of awakening of the heart, or the heart's readiness to wake up from this deep slumber. Its time to return.

How can you cover up the truth and be ungrateful in the Divine when you were lifeless and the Divine Lord brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you [back] to life, and then to Him you will be returned. ~ The Quran 2:28

This feeling of crying and crying and crying some more is the need to realize the emptiness of one's ego self that holds on to conditions, labels, concepts, false identification, expectations of no value and much more. It is the realization of the poverty of the self. It is like the infant crying out for mothers milk for it is only Mother who can sustain her and provide her life's nourishment while the infant can do nothing to take care of itself.

And Allah is the One Who is Ever Self-Sufficient, while you of creation are needy of Him.
~ The Quran 47:38

There is this Bhakti Song in Bengal that speaks of our apparent busyness and seeking after the world of illusion while neglecting what is real. Click above to listen to it. Here is a rudimentary translation of the lyrics from Bengali to English.

Ami Shakal Kajer Pai Hey Shomoy
Tomarey Dakitey Painey

I find time for every busyness
But no time to remember Thee.

Ami Chahi Dara Shukho, Shukho Shammilono
Tobo Shongo Shukho Chainey

I seek companionship, home and peace
But never Thy Companionship do I seek.

Ami Kotoi Je Kori Britha Porjoton,
Tomar Kachey To Jainey

So much travel I make in vain
And yet never I venture to travel to Thee

Ami Koto Kije Khai, Bhorsho ar Chai
Tobo Prem Amrito Khainey 

I eat so much kinds of worthless food
But never I seek Thy nectar of bliss.

Ami Koto Gaan Gahi Monero Horoshey
Tomar Mohima Gainey

How many songs I sing with my heart
But never do I sing Thy glory.

Ami Bahirer Duto Akhi Meley Chai
Gyan Akhi Meley Chainey

I see only with my external eyes
But never do I open my heart's eyes

Ami Kar Torey Dei Apona Bilaye
O Podo Toley Bikainey

For many I give myself completely
But not to Thee

Ami Shobarey Shikhai Koto Niti Kotha
Monerey Shudhu Shikhainey

I'm busy teaching ethics to so many
But never do I rectify my self once

Ami Shakal Kajer Pai Hey Shomoy
Tomarey Dakitey Painey

I find time for every busyness
But alas! No time to remember Thee.


May be we dont have to be caught with every ten billion illusions?

May be we can wake up from this collective dream?

May be we can start to learn to read the Sign-Post towards our journey back Home.

May be we start to pay attention to the truth that the Beloved promised us to show us Signs both on the horizon and within ourselves until it become certain to us what is real.

So perhaps the solution is in the act of witnessing, witnessing both our selves and also the external and the internal realities out there. When someone is a witness, he or she is not a judge of the situation but someone who is only like a mirror. A mirror only can witness what is truth, the objective truth.

Shaykh Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee again:

"There is a very important tradition of 'witnessing.' Many spiritual teachings talk about the importance of witnessing or watching without judgment or expectations. There is great power in consciously being aware of events without being caught in trying to fix or resolve them. At this time, it is important that we engage this capacity for witnessing. When the veils of perception are not clouded over through reaction and 'problem solving,' we see and allow things to be as they are. Only then can we take responsibility for what has taken place.

There is a pressing need for real awareness—to wake up to the reality of what we have done. We need to become aware of our present predicament in the inner and outer worlds. We cannot take responsibility for our present ecological imbalance, or know how to act, without recognizing the global devastation we have created. Nor can we take responsibility for what we have done to the inner worlds without becoming aware of the darkness and forgetfulness of the sacred that is covering us. Maybe this first step towards responsibility and accountability will help to redeem what we have desecrated. It is a step towards maturity and real awareness."

~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, from chapter 9, Darkening of the Light -Witnessing the End of an Era


To sum up the feeling shared, it is also a cry of those hearts which are broken. Now broken heartedness in spiritual understanding doesnt mean a context of a romantic love. This broken heartedness occur when the heart and soul goes through a process of disillusionment, then begins an alchemical process through which the heart begin to sense that things are not what they appear to be. Have you read the label on the side mirror of cars that reads 'objects are nearer than they appear'. Like that.

Its the process of awakening or waking up to the real. When that start to happen and we firstly need to acknowledge it, and perhaps by listening to the heart allow ourselves wash with the tears that wish to come out so passionately though we may not understand why. This washing is important. This is a priceless therapy and it does things to the heart and soul that would otherwise take decades. So cry for God's sake, literally. Every drop is precious to the heaven.

After acknowledgement we begin to witness, both what is on the horizon (external reality) as well as what is within ourselves (both shadows and light). And the most amazing thing awaits us, the Companionship of the Beloved, the great glad tiding and promise become true - which says that the Beloved is the companion of the broken-hearted. Can there be a more greater glad tiding than that? And when that news breaks inside our heart, may we start keeping vigil alone with the Alone, for the lovers indeed need some privacy that none has right to interfere. May you, we all experience that sweet companionship of the best of companions.

The Divine Beloved is intimately near to the broken hearted. ~ Psalm 34:28

Thus declares Allah: "I am with the broken-hearted." ~ Sacred Tradition of Islam, Hadith Qudsi

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. ~ Psalm 147:3

# Here are some Talks by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee of Golden Sufi which I believe touches upon some of the aspects related to this post. Click on each link below to listen to the talks.

The Journey Home
Part A: 20 mb | Part B: 20.7 mb

Surrendering to Separation
Part A: 13.7 mb | Part B: 13.2 mb

The Transformation of Shadow
Part A: 21.5 mb | Part B: 17.8 mb

Finding What is Real
Complete Talk: 31.4 mb

Love & Emptiness
Complete Talk: 30.5 mb

More talks are available here - Audio Archive of Golden Sufi



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Technology of the Heart: Healing the Broken Heart
Healing the Broken Heart
Feeling from the Broken Heart and Inspirations
Technology of the Heart
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