There are enlightenment traditions that focus awareness on the subject of consciousness . . . They essentially ask, who am I? . . . and their practice is to deepen this focus to the point of awakening. Classical Buddhism would be an example of that approach.
There are other traditions, more heart-oriented, where the engine of awakening is love. Witness the ecstatic heart-fire of a Rumi or Lalla or Ramakrishna.
In either case these paths come to fulfillment in the realization of satchitananda.
What characterizes the Heart-path, however, is that it is generated directly through the heart, rather than through a meditative or yogic technique.
But by ‘heart’ we do not exactly mean the pump in the chest cavity. That organ is involved, but this process is activated and driven by ‘the Heart’ of Existence . . . meaning that it depends upon a flow of Grace entering into and through the body.
We can use the term ‘Grace’, meaning that this comes somewhat mysteriously and as a gift, but it suggests that we are talking about an ‘it’.
This Shakti-force is certainly a ‘force of nature’. But we can also say this about a person, that they are like a ‘force of nature’.
The Goddess Shakti is the original ‘Force of Nature’.
She is the creative flow emanating from the Intelligent Heart of Existence. And she is as intimate as the blood in your veins. Once awakened, one’s life is never the same.
To walk this path requires heart-activation, after which the challenges of it unfold spontaneously.
And while taking up a path of meditation can be a cool endeavour the heart-path is a fire . . . an intelligent purificatory fire such as Rumi describes . . . but a fire nonetheless . . .
Sometimes it feels blissful, sometimes it feels hellish, but once activated it is alive, like a fire in the belly . . .