Viveka — The Beauty of Knowing

(The twelve vrittis, or tendencies, of the Anahata/Heart Chakra are: asha, chinta, chesta, mamata, dambha, viikalata, ahangkara, viveka, lolata, kapatata, vitarka, and anutapa. It is my intention to explore these tendencies  as they relate to the practice of Love.)


Viveka may be the most important vritti of all. According to many traditions, the ability to understand the difference between real and not-real is the goal of our work. Viveka means “discrimination,” and more than that:

the power to differentiate true from false, real from unreal, essential from unessential, right from wrong, useful from useless, the first stage of jnana yoga

Now, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past couple of years it is that our lives are shaped by the colossal misconception that we are separate from Love/God/Source/MonkeyDrop and  also we are separate from one another.  This misunderstanding is at the core of our searching, our suffering, our confusion and even our joy. In terms of vrittis, it is called “Avidya” or  “Spiritual Ignorance,” and as far as I’m concerned everything boils down to this.

But let me get back to Viveka.

Veka (as I will affectionately call it as a nod to a friend with the same name*) seems to be the antidote to Avidya; it is a way of training the mind and the heart to see beyond the way things seem to be and know them as they are.

We seem to be human beings having spiritual experiences from time to time. We are Spiritual beings sharing the human experience.

We seem to be distinct, self-supporting entities that don’t need nothing from no one. We are completely dependent on one another, on mother earth, on the sun and every other known or unknown star and planet in the sky. If just one of these things did not exist as it is, then we would not exist as we are.

There is no separation so everything is God, everything is Love, everything is to be worshiped.  This includes the annoying coworker, the needlessly slow car in front of you, the crying baby on the airplane, the spilled gasoline on the jeans…and even when our loved ones pass away.

I can’t speak from experience on that last one, and normally I don’t write about things that I am not familiar with first hand…but my heart said to write it. 

Veka is not about the feeling of love, it is the knowing of love. There are a lot of things happening in this world that can easily move us away from feeling love…emotions are funny that way. One day you can love someone and a year later you find them repulsive. One day you can love a lifestyle and the next day you wonder how you ever lived in such a barbaric manner. You can love a pair of shoes and toss them to the side when you walk past a beautiful pair in the store window. Feeling love has it’s purpose and is a wonderful thing, but Knowing love will ground you. When you Know Love nothing can remove you from that center. When you Know Love is happening everywhere and at all times, then swallowing a bitter pill comes a little easier. Walking down a dark path is a little less frightening. You will find yourself jumping back a little less hysterically when a stray dog starts barking and running after you.

I am totally speaking from experience on that last one. 

Veka is the tendency of the heart to be beautiful by loving everything.

There Is No Separation….and to help us return to knowing this for ourselves, there is this little pinkish-green flower petal in our metaphysical heart that reminds us: wake up, wake up, wake up.


*here’s a picture of our friend Veka…she Loves Math..and Coach bags…and keeping to herself…