13 Jan 2007

Creating Heaven on Earth

Posted in Quotes for Thought, Regeneration, The Heart at 19:13 by Dr. Shue

I’ve been reading an inspiring little book called Seeking the Sacred: Leading a Spiritual Life in a Secular World. I was attracted to the book because it has essays by Romeo Dallaire and Stephen Lewis — 2 people I respect for their efforts to fight to make a difference to make the world a better place.

One of the essays in the book is by Martin Rutte (you may recognize his name as the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul). In it, he talks about a project he started called Project Heaven on Earth. I was impressed by his thoughts about what we can do to create our own Heaven on earth — and so much of what he says fits in with our recent conversations about positive heart coherence and influencing others around us just by being in a positive place ourselves. So let me share a few quotes from his essay (emphases added):

 “I’ve asked hundreds of people to tell me a time when they experienced Heaven on Earth. …People don’t hesitate or ask me what I mean; they immediately tell me about a moment when they experienced it. … People instinctively know what it is.

If Heaven on Earth is such an unattainable notion, why do people respond like this when asked to pinpoint a time in their lives when they’ve experienced it? I believe there already exists within us a template, a reference point, a built-in standard that tells us what Heaven on Earth is. We then search for those experiences in our lives that match it. Heaven on Earth, like love, peace, and joy, is hardwired into us, an eternal, innate truth.

Have you ever had Heaven on Earth moments, times when everything seemed perfect, when everything was just right? It may have been when you smelled a rose, when something you had been working on for a long time came to fruition, or when you were in love. What happened? How did it feel? How did you perceive the world? What was your experience of yourself, of others, of life?

If we take the time to truly notice the people in our lives who are expressing Heaven on Earth, we’ll most likely be surprised and delighted. Heaven on Earth is happening around us all the time. It’s just that we get so caught up in our busy lives that weforget to slow down, take a breather, be present with each moment. Once we begin noticing that Heaven on Earth is actually occurring, life changes, we change. What happens is that we transform Heaven, the noun, from an abstract concept of the afterlife to a transitive verb in the here and now: to Heaven. The Oxford English Dictionary lists “Heaven” as a verb, as in, we can go around Heavening all day. We can transform our relationship with people into a Heavenly one. We can transform our relationship with problems into a Heavenly one. We can transform our relationship with life itself into a Heavenly one. Imagine the feeling of Heavening. …

And going around Heavening can be as simple as smiling at everyone you meet. Or, you could decide to take on a large challenge, such as ending a suffering like poverty, war, or hunger. Whatever you choose, your contribution is what counts. All it takes is the willingness and commitment to begin playing your part and making your unique contribution.”

I love this idea of Heavening as a verb.

And the smaller in-the-moment acts of Heavening are exactly the same things we do to  create heart coherence.

So now matter where we go, or what we do, we have the opportunity to be Heavening.

I’m not going to work. I’m going Heavening at my workplace.

I’m not going grocery-shopping. I’m going Heavening at my grocery store.

Kind of changes your perspective, doesn’t it?

In fact, I’m inspired to call my heart coherence training courses Heaven on Earth training. What do you think?

For more ideas about how to Heaven and more articles etc. to read about it, do visit the Project Heaven on Earth website — it’s a lovely website full of more on Heavening.


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