Week 3: Meditating in the Spiritual Heart

0613_39.jpgIf you think you have problems
With your mind,
Then immediately try to feel
The ready-made solutions
Inside your heart.

- Sri Chinmoy


Goals

In this third week you will:

  • Continue your regular, daily meditation practice at your shrine.
  • Learn about the paramount importance of your spiritual heart.
  • Learn techniques to help you enter into your spiritual heart.

Your True Home

During your concentration exercises last week, you discovered a higher awareness which is separate from your mind. We all know where our mental awareness lives—somewhere above and between our shoulders—but where does this higher awareness live?

Your highest awareness lives in the spiritual heart. But what and where is the spiritual heart? Let’s start with where. Close your eyes for a moment (after you finish this paragraph, that is). With your index finger, point to yourself while saying “me.” Do this several times. Where did your finger end up? On your spiritual heart. Now that you know where it is, let’s talk about what it is.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
What is essential is invisible to the eye.

- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
 


The Heart: An inner fountain

0713_79.jpgThroughout the Meditation book and in HomeStudy, you will read about the spiritual heart, or simply “the heart.” As you may have guessed, the spiritual heart has nothing to do with the muscle beating away inside your chest. But it has everything to do with the qualities we need to become happier, more fulfilled human beings.

What are the qualities of the heart? Intuitively, you already know. Take a look at the qualities being expressed in the following statements:

  • Oh, she’s so kind and caring. She has a heart of gold!
  • I love you with all my heart.
  • It absolutely breaks my heart to see her suffer like that.
  • It was so nice of our neighbors to help us in our hour of need.What kind-hearted people!
  • I don’t know what to say, except to say that I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
     

Kindness, caring, love, sympathy, oneness, compassion, self-giving and gratitude—these are the qualities of the spiritual heart.

Heart-Rose Exercise

excepted from Meditation: Man-Perfection in God-Satisfaction by Sri Chinmoy

Kindly imagine a flower inside your heart. Suppose you prefer a rose. Imagine that the rose is not fully blossomed; it is still a bud. After you have meditated for two or three minutes, please try to imagine that petal by petal the flower is blossoming. See and feel the flower blossoming petal by petal inside your heart. Then, after five minutes, try to feel that there is no heart at all; there is only a flower inside you called ‘heart’. You do not have a heart, but only a flower. The flower has become your heart or your heart has become a flower.

After seven or eight minutes, please feel that this flower–heart has covered your whole body. Your body is no longer here; from your head to your feet you can feel the fragrance of the rose. If you look at your feet, immediately you experience the fragrance of the rose. If you look at your knee, you experience the fragrance of the rose. If you look at your hand, you experience the fragrance of the rose. Everywhere the beauty, fragrance and purity of the rose have permeated your entire body."

- Sri Chinmoy


If you completed the above exercise, you will now see exactly why you are meditating on the heart. Your heart—the center of the circle—is an infinite inner fountain from which flows every positive quality you would like to have. If you walk into a dark room and light a candle, what happens? The light illumines the darkness. In exactly the same way, as your heart opens through meditation, the light of your soul will illumine more and more of your being.

We must not cease from exploration.
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we began
And to know the place
For the first time.

- T.S. Eliot