What Causes the Heart to Open?
A short talk given by M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen from Questions of Life, Answers of Wisdom Volume 2.
Question: What is the open heart? Why does the heart have to be open? And what causes the heart to open?
M. R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen: Only when a rose blooms and opens will the fragrance come forth. Is that not so? Before it bloomed could you smell any fragrance? No, you could not. Could you see its beauty? No, it was only a bud. Only after it opened could its beauty and fragrance be perceived.
The innermost heart, or qalb, is like a flower. Even though it is there, as long as it remains a bud, you will not be able to experience its beauty, its color, or its fragrance. Only when this flower of the qalb blooms will you know the joy of smelling it and seeing it. Only then can its beauty, its fragrance, its truth, and the exaltedness of its state be known. These cannot be seen in the bud. That is why the qalb-that flower-must be opened. It has to bloom. A flower garden is kept locked so that animals cannot get in and destroy it. Therefore we have to unlock it, go into the garden, and take care of it. We have to water the plants, feed them with fertilizer, and protect them.
Like that, using the key of the wisdom of truth, we must open the flower garden of the heart and go inside. Once there, we must find out what needs to be added to help the bud grow and blossom. We must add the fertilizer of God’s qualities, God’s actions, His conduct, His virtuous nature, and His love. And we must water it with God’s qualities. These are the things we must give to the plant. As we continue to perform these duties, an exquisite form will begin to bloom, and we will be able to know its fragrance. That is the flower garden of the heart. And the Guardian for this garden is ‘My God!’ We will be able to see the Guardian and to experience the fragrance and beauty of the flowers there. This is how the flowers must be made to bloom. This is how we must do it.