The Alchemy Of Inner Silence: Connecting With The Heart In Meditation
A wise man was asked: “What do you think of human life?” “Well…” he answered, “it seems to be full of pain and sorrow.” “Why do you say that?” the first man asked. “Because, when people come to this world their first act as a baby is to cry. And when they leave this world at the end of their life they also cry. And in the middle…they often cry too! So, life for most people seems to be endless crying in sorrow and pain.”
Pain and misfortune are part of life. We can’t avoid that. But sorrow, grief, and distress – emotions that have a negative connotation – are a choice we let happen inside of us. For as Gautama Buddha said: “Pain is real and inevitable. But your reaction is your choice.”
Heart Meditation is a method of achieving real inner peace, and silence by connecting our own soul to its origin. It is a path that is anchored in every spiritual tradition. However, inner silence doesn’t mean that life’s problems disappear. It simply means that a person becomes firmly anchored to their true origin. Therefore, you ride the waves of life instead of drowning in the turmoil.
A journey through consciousness
Heart Meditation is part of a syllabus of teachings from the path of the alchemy of inner silence, because it is with this inner silence that a person’s endless inner journey begins. As a certain spiritual master said about a thousand years ago: “The source of all our problems lies in us. But we are not aware of it. But the healing of that disease is also in us. And here, too, we are not aware of it.”
The solution lies in the journey through the different levels of our own consciousness – the journey to our inner essence and from there to its origins, which is the infinity or the infinite ocean of the universal consciousness. It is when the drop, the individual consciousness, connects to this ocean that one finally attains inner peace. As through this process, the drop receives all the essential answers to its questions it has, such as: “Where do I come from? What is the meaning of my existence?” And so on …
Substantial evolution of body and soul
The method to solve this problem of inner unrest is applicable for everybody, for anyone who wants to can tackle this step-by-step journey and answer all of these questions. The techniques explained in different spiritual paths and particularly in this path, are part of a substantial evolution of body and soul, i.e. body, soul, and mind are brought into harmony. This evolution includes theory accompanied by practical exercises, both of which are a necessity in this inner journey.
The deeper one travels, the more relative or outdated the old perspectives one once had will seem. Thus, the more relative one’s perspective becomes, the deeper experiences one gains, which in turn changes one’s perspective on life and the world.
This has been the goal of all spiritual seekers, and all spiritual masters since the onset of humanity. No matter what name we give to the method today. This path has a beginning but no end. It starts within us and ends within us. Moreover, a teacher on this path is only there to show a person how to walk the path and guide the seeker away from the hazards on the way. However, everyone travels the road by themselves!
Digging by hand or bulldozer?
One of the first important steps to achieve on this path is to quieten one’s thoughts – That is total emptiness. One needs to get to the point where one’s thoughts are silent. Now there are different levels of emptiness or silence:
As emptiness is determined by its duration and its depth. This process is analogous to one digging a hole with one’s hand… or through the use of a bulldozer! Ideally, this “digging” to create emptiness overtime must become permanent and deep.
There are several methods in various spiritual traditions used to create this emptiness:
- Breathing techniques
- Rhythms (which is perhaps the most effective method, especially at the beginning, thus one can say the rhythms are the bulldozers in the above analogy.)
In the path of the alchemy of inner silence, all of the above methods are used to create deeper, and deeper silence. Yet, the most prominent method is the use of rhythms, as other methods are employed to enhance the emptiness one has attained through rhythms.
The effectiveness of rhythms stem from the effect that music or rhythms have over our thoughts. These types of rhythms, because of the nature of emptiness they create within a person, are often referred to as ‘Sacred Rhythms’ and are present in most traditions. For example, in the ancient Hindu texts, the Bible, in the Gathas of the Zoroastrians, or in the mystical poetry of mystics like Rumi.
Using your innate mantra
A few hundred years ago, a certain group of spiritual masters developed these rhythms into a hierarchy or ladder that provides a person deeper and deeper inner silence. It is through this silence that the person is guided to become connected to their innate mantra – their heartbeat.
Such seekers soon discover that their heart is the most accurate measuring instrument of the absolute reality. For if one can create and perceive the baseline, the most natural rhythm of the heartbeat, then one can observe the vibrations around it more precisely. So, where our physical senses are easily fooled because our brains keep interpreting the signals it receives from the physical senses, a highly developed heart is subtle enough to detect and analyze, behind the vibrations all around us. In this way, slowly but surely, inner wisdom develops within the seeker. For example, if a person with a finely developed heart shakes someone’s hand, and picks up their vibrations, they immediately know what makes them tick, and whether they have good or bad intentions.
Natural rhythm and deep silence
Furthermore, as a result of the heart focus of a seeker, what also changes is the rhythm of the seeker’s own life. As the person turns from an outward-looking person into a heart-centered person, who follows their natural rhythm. This in turn means that the heart has a positive influence on the brain, which instead of adrenaline, and stress-related hormones, releases relaxation hormones, like serotonin. Which leads to the experience of deep silence and peace. This phenomenon has scientifically been proven, and various research on this topic can be found within scientific literature.
This method is a practical process that results in spiritual experiences, which require no preexisting faith or religious background, as it is the journey of self-discovery of the nature of each person’s consciousness. Moreover, the experiences a practitioner attains orients them gradually towards the all-encompassing truth that surrounds us, and is not relative, like the personal everyday experiences that we have. As a result, the practitioner can free themselves from the arrest of suffering, grief, and everything one deems negative, by connecting to one’s true origin. Thus, this process is ultimately a step-wise process to what certain masters have termed as spiritual enlightenment.
The ocean and the drop
In summary, this method consists of first creating an inner calm and silence, then connecting with your heart, and its natural rhythm. This connection changes the meditator’s worldview that is no longer fixated on externalities but on underlying realities within them. The more one removes the externalities, and obstacles that distract one from concentrating on their heart, the deeper the connection to the heart one is able to attain, and the more intimate the love for this connection becomes for the person. After a while, when one has removed all these obstacles blocking the flow of love – the person’s underlying discipline becomes joy and bliss for the practitioner. As Rumi says: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” This love is nothing more than the attraction of our essence to its source, and becoming once again united with it. So that the ocean begins to flow within the drop. As when this happens the drop is the ocean in manifestation, and thus in a state of love, and unity. While prior to this stage, the drop is merely a restless drop, while the ocean is always the ocean beckoning the drop towards union!
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