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A Universal Heart Language

October 17, 2023

“There is an unspoken language. It comes from silence and can’t be heard by the ears, only by the heart.” – Baba Hari Dass

A deep longing to immerse myself in this “heart language” that Babaji references is the core of my path of self-inquiry. In the wake of my father’s death in January 2022, I experienced the terrifyingly profound presence of an entire universe between us and within me. I sought to investigate this feeling: an overwhelming awareness of his soul adhered to mine. His death was solely the loss of the body I had come to know; I realized that if I could lessen my attachment to his face and towering figure, my heart could dance with his soul, uninhibited by our physical separation. Noticing this great, fantastical infinity of no coming, no going, of manifestation and dissolution has been the clearest image of this heart language I have ever felt.

My arrival at Mount Madonna and the beginnings of my daily practice were born out of an effort to diminish suffering and achieve peace after my father’s death. While the true motivation for any spiritual practice comes from deep within the soul, it is important to recognize that it can be challenging to abide by consistent, daily rituals. I am fortunate to find myself surrounded by community members decades into their practices; through conversation with these guides, I have gained profound insight into my own mind and the wider, winding path of self-study.

In preparation for October’s Yoga, Service, and Community Forum, centered on establishing a daily practice, I spoke with this month’s forum speaker, Sarada Diffenbaugh, about her lifelong commitment to her spiritual path. Sarada is a founding member of Mount Madonna Center, Institute, and School and an educator with decades of experience in Yoga, particularly meditation and philosophy instruction. She has been a student of Baba Hari Dass for over fifty years, motivated by that heart language felt in both the collective community at Mount Madonna and in her lifelong intention to cultivate love, peace, and a sense of eternal awe.

The universal path that Sarada has chosen, to achieve peace, has the power to connect each of us in our simple humanity. Whether we are motivated by seismic shifts in our lives that put into question our understanding of permanence, such as the loss of a loved one, or we seek respite from the challenges of everyday life, managing the fluctuations of our mind and our attachments to these fluctuations brings us ever closer to our true nature, to direct dialogue with the unspoken language.

In the nearly two years following my father’s passing, my own journey of self-inquiry and my daily practice have morphed as I myself have changed; while I have grown accustomed to his absence in my life, I continue to meet his soul when I am able to cultivate daily moments of sustained presence and awareness. It is through this awareness that I see his form in everything on earth: the trembling summer foliage of the pear trees outside my window, the towering redwoods that line the winding roads of the mountain. Embarking on the path of self-inquiry through sustained daily spiritual practice focusing on attachment and permanence has lessened the burden of my suffering in ways that defy language, and I have encountered a profound sense of empowerment through allowing myself an opportunity each day to return to presence.

Do you have a deep longing to immerse yourself in this “heart language” to overcome suffering, and find deeper peace? Are you interested in starting or strengthening your daily practice? You are invited to join us at Mount Madonna for the Yoga, Service, and Community Forum and Retreat on October 27-29 for an enriching and stimulating engagement focusing on the twists, turns, and profound joys of daily spiritual practice.

The Author

  • Allie Wells

    Allie is a writer, artist, and former resident of Mount Madonna Center. She lives in San Francisco and spends her time reading, walking in Fort Mason, and drinking lots of coffee.

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