The heart speaks louder when something is unnatural. You might be desiring a very attractive person, but your heart is telling you that he is not the right person for you.
Unfortunately, and often because of events in our early childhood, we put a stone over the heart and let the prejudices and pre-conditioning of the mind take over. The heart remains the unfortunate witness; so even though we may like something, we are unable to do it because the mind has been influenced by the opinions we have accumulated from our parents, teachers and society. I am not suggesting that we don’t listen to what they have to say, only that we evaluate and consider their guidance in the light of our heart’s wisdom.
Many of us suffer because of the wrong decision made by our cluttered mind and not the heart. Whenever you are at crossroads, listen to your heart. It is very simple. How? Ask yourself a question and meditate for a few minutes before you go to sleep at night. In the morning you will have your answer — you will have clarity. If you are still confused, meditate again and ask yourself the question before going to sleep at bedtime on the second night, etc. If you get the same answer multiple times, then that is your decision.
Suppose you have to tell someone your name, and you say your name is Geoff Johnson, when your name is really Brian Jones. Your heart will immediately tell you that what you are saying is incorrect. When you lie, the heart immediately gives a signal. But when you say your correct name, will the heart alert you with ‘Congratulations, you have spoken correctly today, you have been very truthful today’? No! The heart doesn’t give you any such signals when you are truthful.
Here is another example: When you are seeing well with your eyes or hearing properly with your ears, does the heart congratulate you for good sight or good hearing? Again, no. But when your eyes start burning or your hearing is impaired, when something is wrong, the heart will immediately give you a signal — to go to the doctor, or that some prevention is required.
The heart speaks louder when something is unnatural. You might be desiring a very attractive person, but your heart is telling you that he is not the right person for you. Don’t put a stone over your heart and say, ‘I will never find a better person than him. He is so rich and he is so handsome.’ I don’t mean that you should marry an ugly penniless person, but please follow your heart. Now, imagine if teachers would share this knowledge of how to make a heart-based decision in life with their students. How would it change the lives of those students?
Now, how do we learn to listen to the heart? Through meditation on the heart, through removing all the emotional burdens and complexities from the heart, and by connecting deep within our hearts through prayer. These three simple Heartfulness practices help us to find the real source of our conscience from within.
The beginning of our meditation practice is very special. We start to know the difference between right and wrong, whether something is good for us or bad for us. When we meditate, we are able to recognize this. These days, we often complain about being stressed, anxious, or depressed. Once these states are already there, they become problems. So many people ask me how to control anger. Again, once the anger starts, it easily continues. If you try to give advice to your spouse or friend when they are stressed, they will find it difficult to listen to you, because these are all not easily soluble issues. So the idea when you start Heartfulness practices, is that it is like a vaccination, a preventative. We remove the heaviness from our system every day so that we don’t succumb to stress, anxiety and depression. We connect within, through prayer and meditation, to find our peaceful centre, from where we radiate love and joy.
In the field of spirituality, we also vaccinate ourselves with a proper attitude. We strive for a character of such an order that stress runs away from us! When we listen to the heart, we develop our character as the heart gives us the right guidance. Most of us do not have the courage to follow our hearts, because of what other people will say. Inculcate the courage somehow, through inspiration. The results will always be good.
When we meditate regularly, our hearts become our guiding light and the mind naturally becomes balanced and peaceful. If we remove the sweetness from a sweet, the intrinsic value of the sweet is lost. Likewise, if we remove the balanced state from the mind, our humanity is lost. And we can bring it back, not only in ourselves but also in others.
How many times have you found yourself at a crossroads in life? “What should I do after I finish school?” “Whom should I marry?” These are crucial decisions in life, and the heart will always guide you in the right direction.
— Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation