Honey in the Heart

by Ananya Sri Ram Rajan

It is said that Buddhi or “pure knowing” is seated in the heart. Such knowing is not attached to anything. It is does not come by absorbing knowledge from various books or teachers, because it is not intellectual. Yet it is conscious intelligence. It is not created over time so is not conditioned by circumstances or the world around us. And yet, its intelligence allows one to see things at a deeper level. There is no way to actually put such knowing into words because it must be experienced to be known. And it is only for the knower to know. Each experience is different depending on the person.

When discussing this with a friend, she referred to a person with such knowing as having “honey in the heart.” Honey, as many people know, holds several healing properties. It is antibacterial and because of its thick consistency, it also provides a protective barrier around any wound to keep it safe from infection. Honey also helps soften and condition dry skin, heals chapped lips, and is soothing on a sore throat. It is often an item a home will rarely go without. I am not completely sure buddhi and honey in the heart can be compared to one another, but there is some truth that those who carry honey in their hearts have a sense of “all rightness” with the world.

According to my friend, such people don’t seem to get too worked up about what is happening around them. They have a sense of “calm joy” which is contagious. Suddenly one feels better just by being near them. Their sense of “all rightness” with the world seems to spread and one feels safe. For such honey hearted people, life flows and they flow with it, taking it as it comes. As someone once said, they are reflective, not reactive.

While I am not proposing that everyone run out a buy a bottle of honey, I do wonder if there is a way to use the concept of honey in the heart as a way to soothe the difficulties we face. Too often the stress of everyday life affects the heart physically and energetically. It is a known fact that stress of any kind has a direct impact on the heart muscle, and it also determines whether we are open hearted or not. Conflict and struggles tend to make a person’s heart close because we pull in our energy in order to protect ourselves.

In his book The Longevity Plan, Dr. John Day writes about his trip to Bapan, China to visit a remote village known as Longevity Village. In Longevity Village, it is not uncommon for residents to live past the age of 100 and, according to Dr. Day, they “didn’t get sick, were not on medication, and were not seeing a doctor.” While many of us can say it is because of good genes, Dr. Day found the opposite. It is mainly due to lifestyle. He found that our DNA does not determine our destiny. We do.

One of the tips that Dr. Day discusses is how necessary it is for us to change our attitude and to connect with others. In fact, many of the articles on longevity state that what a number of centenarians have in common is their ability to adapt, in other words to have resilience, and a positive attitude. It is about accepting the things one cannot change but fighting for the things one can. It is also trusting that things will get better because life is forever changing. People who live to 100 have honey in their hearts.

Perhaps when we face a trying circumstance we can remind ourselves to take a step back from the drama that surrounds it and try to work from a place of strength and gentleness, with others and with ourselves. There is truth to the statement that seeing things from a distance tends to put things in perspective. And while it may sound a bit corny to think of honey in our hearts soothing away the bitterness we may feel toward a circumstance or a person, a simple visualization is often all we need to change how we feel physically or emotionally. And we all know that a healthy heart is often a happy one.      

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