An Ancient Cure to Inner Unrest
Many of the problems we face today whether they be individual or social problems can be associated to the inner unrest that each of us feels at times. This inner unrest can often be linked to a type of misplaced identity that leads us to become alienated from our souls (the source of our consciousness). As a result of this alienation we often feel disconnected, which can then result in the division and discord we see in our society.
The solution to this type of alienation and discord can be found in the teachings of spiritual masters, as they lead us towards the path of recognizing the source of our awareness (our souls) and linking it to its origin. These teachings are often classified as gnostic teachings, as they unleash a type of inner (gnostic) wisdom for the practitioner.
It is with this in mind that the Heart Meditation1 group was set up over two decades ago, by Dr Seyed Azmayesh2, a scholar and a Sufi master, with the aim of using the teachings of spiritual masters, like Rumi, to create individual inner peace. Such masters viewed the heart as the gateway between the metaphysical and physical aspects of each person. Therefore, by meditating on the heart and unleashing its capacities, one can slowly become connected to one’s soul and then connect it to its source. This process is often referred to as enlightenment, as it connects each of us to the fountain of inner wisdom that exists within each of us, and brings each person an immense sense of peace and belonging. As through inner experiences, each person discovers for themselves their true identity, and the nature of their soul. Moreover, Heart Meditation is a method that is anchored in numerous spiritual traditions.
Heart Meditation is also 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 around a thousand years ago: “The source of all our problems lies within us. But we are not aware of it. But the healing of that malaise is also within 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 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 the questions it has, such as: “Where do I come from? What is the meaning of my existence?” And so on …
This method to solve the problem of inner unrest is applicable for everybody. The techniques explained in different spiritual paths and particularly in this path, are part of a substantial evolution of body, mind, and soul, i.e., body, mind, and soul are brought into harmony. This evolution includes theory accompanied with 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 perspectives become, the deeper experiences one gains, which in turn changes the person’s perspective on life and the world.
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.
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)
In this path 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 sacred texts, or in the mystical poetry of mystics like Rumi.
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 releasing adrenaline and stress related hormones, releases relaxation hormones, like serotonin. Which leads to the experience of a deep silence and peace. This phenomenon has been scientifically proven, and various research on the topic can be found within scientific literature.
The Heart Meditation method is a practical process that results in spiritual experiences that transcend religious beliefs, 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 their inner unrest.
Such a connection is perhaps best explained by the following ancient story3, full of allegory and symbolism, in which a man calls on a sage’s house wanting to borrow a rope.
The sage in response says, “You cannot have it!” The man, who happens to see the rope resting idly at the side of the sage’s garden asks in a baffled tone, “Why not?”
The sage smiles, and replies, “Because it is in use.” In response the man scratches his head, and in a puzzled tone retorts, “But I can see it just lying there, on the ground!” The sage grins, and counters, “That’s right: that’s its use!”
The man, stumped by the sage’s response, in a bewildered tone enquires, “How long will it stay in use like that?” The sage in response chuckles, “Until such a time as I feel that I want to lend it!”
The rope in this story, is the symbol for the connection which the sage has developed through years of spiritual discipline, to the Universal Consciousness. So it’s a personal connection that he cannot share with anyone, but instead can show another how to develop their own connection. Yet, as this connection has a metaphysical element, its use in the everyday life of the sage is not visible to another non-spiritual seeker. That is why the man wrongly assumes the rope is not in use. So even though the man is in search of such a connection, he wrongly assumed he could borrow another’s connection, and thus asks the wrong question from the sage. While, the right question would have been to ask the sage how he had come into the possession of such a rope. Therefore, one can surmise that in seeking such a connection, it is not enough for someone to simply seek it, but one needs to find a person who has developed such a connection for themselves, and is thus able to teach another the same process. 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!
Therefore, the spiritual discipline enables each student to reach their goal of self–awareness, by creating such a rope within themselves that ultimately leads to the evolution of the person’s mind, body and soul. For this rope is nothing more than a heart connection between an individual consciousness and the Universal Consciousness. Where the person’s spiritual and physical aptitudes become connected to this consciousness, and thus are empowered by this Reality, and are in service of this Reality, through serving humanity. Consequently, not only does each seeker attain true peace and empowerment through the connection they have developed to their origin, but they help to bring humanity one step closer to world peace, which can ultimately only be achieved by reaching a tipping point of those willing to undergo such an inner journey, one person at a time.