The Spiritual Heart: How This Chakra Functions

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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What is the function of your spiritual heart? How does your heart chakra regulate your life experience?

Your spiritual heart is an exquisite regulator of your experience. It governs your life because it opens and closes in sync with human relationships.

Keep reading to learn about your spiritual heart chakra, what happens when it gets blocked, and how to release those blockages.

What Is Your Spiritual Heart?

Your spiritual heart is the chakra you’re most familiar with from daily life. Your vibration depends on the state of your heart chakra:

  • When your spiritual heart is open, you can fall in love, feel inspiration, and feel enthusiasm. When it’s closed, you can’t.
  • When your spiritual heart gets hurt, you get angry.
  • When you feel you’ve lost touch with your spiritual heart, you sense a desperate emptiness.

Why Your Spiritual Heart Closes

Your spiritual heart closes because it stores up and becomes blocked by unfinished energy patterns from your past. Your sensory experiences of external events are an intake of energy patterns. Your senses are like electronic devices that transmit these patterns into your inner world. Ideally, we would all live completely in the present and experience the flow of these incoming patterns as a gift, like a wonderful movie. We would let them flow through us without clinging or resisting. But instead, we get hung up.

Another example: You’re feeling fine as you drive down the street, but then you notice a parked blue Mustang. It looks like your girlfriend’s. You see two people hugging in the front seat. Your past programming for jealousy kicks in: Was that really your girlfriend hugging someone else? You’ll never know, you’ve already driven past. But now you’re hung up on the thought and booted out of the present moment. Instead of seeing the street as you drive, you’re fixating on the emotionally charged memory of that one visual impression.

How to Remain Open

You don’t have to live at the mercy of circumstances. You can choose to reject the lie that there’s any energy you need to block. How much inner energy do you want? How much love and enthusiasm? It’s yours for the taking.

Realize that you’ll never become free by trying to protect yourself. Self-protection will only lock you inside with your darkness. Instead, become conscious of the part of you that’s devoted to self-protection, and make the decision to give that up.

Learn to relax and release. Let go of the old, stored energies whenever they come up in the course of daily life. 

  • First, notice your energy flow starting to tighten into anger, jealousy, or whatever it is.
  • Second, relax and remember yourself as the self, as the objective witness of the disturbance. Remember that your spiritual heart isn’t you. Rather, you’re the one who experiences your heart.
  • Third, use the opportunity to release the negative energy through non-reactiveness. Just let it flow through you and out of you.

To return to the previous example of the blue Mustang: Be happy and grateful when the sight of a blue Mustang brings back the old jealousy. Recognize this as an opportunity for healing. Allow yourself to fully experience everything that wants to flow through you, without clinging or resisting.

Exercise: Open Your Heart Chakra

This exercise leads you to become more acquainted with your heart chakra and its blockages.

  • What are some typical situations where you feel your inner energy flow freely? (What situations tend to make you feel inspired, joyful, confident?)
  • What situations have become triggers for blocking your inner energy flow? (What are some typical situations where you feel your energy vanish so that you feel drained, depressed, and defeated?)
  • Pick one of your low-energy situations and reflect on it. Why that situation? What life experiences have created the blockage in your heart chakra? What negative emotion is involved? (Anger? Jealousy? Fear?)
  • Focusing your attention on the blockage will actually activate the stored negative energy. Do that now. But don’t react to the energy that arises. Instead, just feel it and observe it. Then report: What happens to the negative energy when you do this?
The Spiritual Heart: How This Chakra Functions

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  • How to find your true self instead of your false identities
  • Why getting lost in the moment is important
  • Why death is the greatest spiritual teacher about life

Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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