(please see Previous article, ABC’s of meditation, ch4, part 1: God, Supreme, Nature)
MEDITATION EXERCISE ON THE SPIRITUAL HEART
Sit up straight and breathe quietly through your nose. Relax every part of your body. Close your eyes. Take your hand and point to the place in the CENTRE of your chest where you feel your inner self is. This is the place that wells up with joy when something wonderful happens to you. When you have found your spot, keep your hand there and place all your concentration there.
Now imagine a beautiful garden right in that spot inside your heart. See all the beautiful flowers. Place all your favourite flowers there and even try to smell their fragrance. Now, imagine that there is someone in the garden, a beautiful child – the most beautiful child you’ve ever seen. He or she is perfect in every way. This child is you and you are enjoying the beauty and fragrance of the flowers in the garden.
The child-you is playing very happily in the garden, receiving joy from the perfection and scent of each flower. Stay in this beautiful garden for as long as you want to. Feel all the tremendous sweetness, purity, spontaneity, self-giving love and peace that a very young child has. This is your soul, your inner self. Identify with these special qualities and know that they are the real you. They are there to call upon whenever you need them.
When you feel ready, leave the garden, knowing that it is your own special place that that you can go to any time you want. You are safe and peaceful there, happy and contented. In your heart-garden you have no worries, no concerns; you are like an innocent little child enjoying the beauty and sweetness of life as it should be. Even when you open your eyes and return to this world, the peace you felt there in your heart-garden will remain with you.
USING POETRY FOR MEDITATION
Poetry is a means of expressing the inexpressible. Poetry touches the deepest part of the reader, especially if the poet has tapped his or her innermost self to express something that will inspire others. Sri Chinmoy, my meditation teacher, was one such poet who ‘received’ his poems while in a state of meditation and expressed very profound thoughts beautifully and concisely through the medium of his poetry. An entire Phd thesis has been written on the poetry of Sri Chinmoy by Dr. Vidagdha Bennett from Melbourne University in Australia.
To use poetry as a means of entering into meditation is very beneficial. I have chosen a few poems here written expressly about meditation on the heart. Take each one as a meditation technique. Allow the words to bring you into your deeper self. Meditate on as many or as few poems as you like at a time. They are also useful to memorize and repeat at a time during the day when you need to be reminded to enter into the heart. The link to the source of these poems is underneath each one.
My heart longs to be dissolved in wings of air
And fly in the unhorizoned sky.
I long to open up all my heart-doors
In the delight of my liberation-life.
May my life begin with the breath of a new hope.
Yonder I hear in the depth of my heart.
There shall be no problems.
No complications in my life anymore.
From now on I shall be the child of light
In the ocean of life,
And there my little boat is sailing,
Sailing with enormous delight.
My life is the game of hundreds of waves
In the great ocean of life. Sri Chinmoy, Pole-star promise-light, part 4, 1977
- The things I feel
To me, the things I see
With my human eyes
Can never be as important
As the things I feel
With my soulful heart. Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, part 39
- Your heart’s soft voice
Value the perfection
Of your heart’s soft voice
If you want
Your outer confusion-life
to be illumined and perfected. Ten Thousand Flower-Flames, part 63
As you read or listen to each poem, try to see yourself as the main participant, the one who is doing the action sand receiving the results. It is your heart Sri Chinmoy is speaking about in each poem. Each of us has a heart that in reality is connected to the Universal Heart which is the source of all, the Supreme.
(please see Next article, ABC’s of meditation, ch4, part 3: God, Supreme, Nature)