Anahata means sound produced without touching parts together. An unplayed musical instrument is capable of producing any melody. Anahata is a reference to the pure potential that is the force behind any creative act. Love is seen as the most creative thing of all, because it limits negativity and destruction.
We do creative things out of desire. It’s not always out of love. What’s the difference, and what’s the relationship between love and desire? The difference is that doing something out of love is doing it for the benefit of all. Recognising interdependence is an Anahata experience. For instance, with 7 billion or so people alive now, it’s no longer possible to treat the natural world as a set of resources. It’s becoming essential to participate in the life-supporting processes of the Earth, instead of just assuming they function regardless of what we do.
But desire is the access point. Through practice, we create the space to be with desires, rather than act them out. We get to understand our motives and the issues (real or imagined) that we’re trying to address. Acting out the desire is just one response: pausing for a moment means we might find a different response, such as a root-cause fix. In other words, we get beneath the wants to the real needs, we get from the mind’s desire to the heart’s desire.
Ultimately, love is usually the heart’s desire, and the actions borne out of love usually lead to the greater good.
People say that love is vulnerable. I tend to feel that love is courageous. It’s even possible that love doesn’t give a damn about anything except love! So, we can’t talk about love without talking about fear. Fear is the opposite of love in a lot of ways, because love includes and embraces, whereas fear excludes and repels.
Again, practice is the key because through practice, we create space to be with fear, and to go into it, rather than just run from it. Fear ends up being the guide, because it shows us where in our lives we’re not experiencing love. Like any seemingly intractable problem, it’s possible to do something about it once the areas of concern are identified.
That’s easy for me to say, of course. People in dangerous situations will be concerned about the outcomes of their actions, especially if they’re looking for a root-cause fix. I’m not denying that. But nobody can see the future, and as much as we are afraid of what might happen, we might also be excited about our new life once the root-cause fix is in place. Perhaps if a person can love themselves, then they can find the strength to go through the changes – again, love is usually the constructive answer, although not necessarily the easy answer.
One last thought. The Anahata response is the love-centred response, but it’s not a partial or biased response. It recognises that there are different forces at work, and charts the most constructive route through the changing tides of all these. It’s not an attempt to uproot or replace anything – although the person who hangs out in Anahata might find themselves more partial to a peaceful life, happy to remember the wild times, and letting go of grudges from the years gone by or even the day before.