Seven Secrets of Meditation, Part 2: Effective Technique and the Spiritual Heart
Effective Technique and the Spiritual Heart
If the first secret of learning meditation correctly is the seekers sincerity – an indispensable commitment to regular practise and to creating a special place and time for this purpose, without which no effort to learn meditation is likely to survive – then the second secret is concerned with the most effective technique.
While most forms of meditation deal with the human mind, Sri Chinmoy's teachings place great emphasis on the importance of the heart. Secret number two: learn to meditate in the spiritual heart. This technique bypasses the mind altogether and shifts the focus of our meditation efforts into the centre of the chest. This is called Anahata, the heart chakra, and this centre houses many of our most powerful spiritual qualities and meditation capacities.
This from Sri Chinmoy's Meditation: Man Perfection in God-Satisfaction:
There is a specific place where the soul resides most of the time and that is in the heart. If you want illumination you have to get if from the soul, which is inside the heart. [...] Suppose you have the opportunity to work at two places. At one place [mind] you will earn two hundred dollars and at the other place [heart] five hundred dollars. If you are wise, you will not waste your time at the first place.
While the mind by it's very nature is restless, untranquil and usually uncooperative during attempts to bring stillness into our being (like the waves on the surface of the ocean) the heart is inherently peaceful and calm – the bottom of the ocean. The heart is an egoless, unhorizoned consciousness – Sri Chinmoy's description of just how vast it is, is absolutely startling, for the heart embodies the entire universe. His book The Summits of God-Life: Samadhi and Siddhi gives a tantalising and fascinating glimpse into these realms of consciousness that will unfold at some point in our development – within us extraordinary worlds lie waiting to be discovered!
Sri Chinmoy's vast literary legacy is filled with writings and reflections about the spiritual heart and it's capacity to solve all of the world's problems – for one of it's major qualities is oneness. If you can live 'in the heart' you are a part of all life and all life is a part of you – there is no separation between self and other. Out of this, oneness, concern, compassion, love and sympathy flower – the sufferings of others are your sufferings, their joys and triumphs are your own.
"The power of the heart centre is unbelievable. A seeker with mastery over the anahata centre has free access to both the visible and the invisible worlds. Time surrenders to him; space surrenders to him. In the anahata centre, one can enjoy the deepest bliss of oneness; one can have pure joy [...] The spiritual heart is larger than the largest. We always say that there cannot be anything superior to the Universal Consciousness, but this is a mistake. The spiritual heart houses the Universal Consciousness."
The ancient Greeks described four types of love and these include eros (physical love), agape (self-sacrificing love), caritas (charitable love) and divinitas. This last is the soul's love of God, and from our heart meditation practise, this wonderful gift with it's intuitive wisdom; it's expanding, unconditional and pure love; it's sweetness-delight; it's devotion to God will blossom. God love, eternal in the soul, flowering into a conscious feeling through the heart, becomes a personal experience.
"We have to start our journey in the heart. Inside the heart is the soul. The consciousness of the soul permeates the entire body, but the special dwelling place of the soul is inside the spiritual heart. If pure love, heart's love, soul's love, can permeate your entire being, it can purify and divinise your whole existence [...] All the centres have love, but the heart centre has more than any other centre. Love is the special province of the heart centre; other centres are for other spiritual and occult powers."
Speaking of divine love, the highest flowering of pure love, Sri Chinmoy comments:
"You can keep your heart's door wide open all the time if you can value the presence of God. You have to feel that without the conscious presence of God you cannot exist, not even for a fleeting moment [...] Cry for your Beloved Supreme the way a child cries for a doll, then you are bound to open your heart's door."
Sri Chinmoy's principle meditation guidebook, Meditation: Man Perfection in God-Satisfaction, contains innumerable guided heart meditations and commentaries on the significance of the heart centre and fast-tracking our progress. It describes the aspects of our humanity – body/vital/mind/heart/soul – as resembling sisters or brothers in a family. Each has it's role, with ascending levels of illumination and wisdom, the soul being pre-eminent. The soul and the spiritual heart must guide our self-discovery and the evolution of our planet – they hold the keys to both personal and world transformation.
"World peace, world harmony, world perfection will take place only when all the parts of the being accept the soul's light that flows through the heart [...] But mind-power and heart-power also need one another. Manifestation has to take place through mind-power. If the mind does not accept the light of the heart, the heart itself cannot reach fulfilment and will not be able to manifest the Consciousness of the Supreme on earth."
Sri Chinmoy describes his own path as 'the path of the heart' – a path of divine love, devotion and surrender to God.
"Human love means to bind and be bound. But divine love means to love God in the way God wants to be loved. When we love God, devote ourselves to God and surrender to Him unconditionally, our finite self grows into the Infinite in exactly the same way that a drop enters the ocean and becomes the ocean itself. When we become one with the infinite, and claim it as our very own, then we can truthfully say that we ourselves are infinite."