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Class 4 - The path of the heart (continued)

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Free Learn to Meditate - Meditation Society of Australia

Goals

In class 4 you will:

- Explore the Path of the Heart
- Meditate with music

Desire and Aspiration

Our path is a journey, and as is the case with any journey, certain preparation is necessary. If one is not prepared, there is always a risk of having to return before one has arrived at one’s destination. It is a path to freedom, and to start on this path one must begin to free oneself, there should be no attachment to pull one back, few desires or base pleasures to lure or hinder the seeker. It is the journey of life, as long as the distance from life to death, from the earthly to the divine.

Therefore the seeker will, in the travelling, gradually illumine his current darkness, slowly transform his present tension, anxieties and fears to peace, confidence and self-awareness.

It is a journey of the opening heart and the letting go of all that binds it.

For our journey a vehicle is necessary. This vehicle has four wheels and they need to be perfectly balanced. The wheels of our vehicle are our body, vital (emotions), mind and heart. The centre of our vehicle is rhythm for it gives our vehicle balance. The balance of head and heart, knowledge and wisdom, activity and repose. Our rhythm is created by the intuitive flow of divine energy to each of our wheels.

The object of the journey is simple. It is merely to enter the heart, to discover and explore our real nature. To be inundated, illumined by the kingdom of heaven within each of us. Inevitably, this discovery places us at the doorstep to the hearts of all. It makes us aware that all hearts are connected by love, and that this divine love is the nature of what we may refer to as the Supreme (or Universal love, or God, or you get the idea!). The highest nature in us all.

The joy of our path is in discovering the reality of the Supreme. For most people the Supreme is just a vague idea, but we can and, indeed must, develop a relationship just as normal and as natural as any other of this world. Then we shall find that in every situation the Supreme is there. When crushed by injustice; we will see the Supreme the perfection of equity; or orphaned, as mother and father; or simply journeying, our friend and compatriot, laughing and joyous as a three year old with all the truth and wisdom of an old sage.

To the one who makes the Supreme their friend, there is no greater gift, for to them all things are appealing. Their heart becomes awakened to all the beauty within and without. If they go to the forest or the ocean or a wilderness or a crowd, everywhere they see the Supreme.

When love comes to its fullness, then one looks at the friend with affection, on the enemy with forgiveness,

on the stranger with sympathy. Hazrat Inayat Khan – Sufi Master

By our path, we do not mean one that is in an opposite direction to the worldly life, but one that is made fuller by the experiences of the heart. Often, outwardly a seeker’s life will change little, but inwardly every moment gains significance, every instant an opportunity or a lesson. The Path of the Heart is a life directed toward perfection, the perfection of love, harmony and peace inside the individual and ultimately, manifested in the world.

Free Learn to Meditate - Meditation Society of Australia

To see a World in a grain of sand,
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.
- William Blake

Start here and now

“In order to become one with the Supreme, you have to consciously start your spiritual journey. Here and Now is the soul's motto. If you have not yet started, then your soul wants you to start your spiritual journey at this very moment. If you have doubt with regard to the Supreme’s existence, no harm. Doubt as much as you want to. Eventually, you will become tired of doubting the Supreme. If you doubt the existence of inner peace and bliss, doubt as long as you want to. Even if you have doubts with regard to the inner life or the Supreme’s reality, it is best to start your inner journey anyway.

Once a thief entered into a palace at midnight and overheard a conversation between the king and the queen. The king said to the queen, “I wish our youngest daughter to marry a holy man so that she will have some peace. All our other daughters have married Kings and generals, but their lives are miserable. The holy men have a very peaceful life, so if she marries one of them, her life will be full of peace. Tomorrow, early in the morning, I shall send my ministers to the banks of the Ganges, where many holy men meditate. I am sure that one of them will agree to marry our daughter.”

The thief overheard the conversation and thought: “My God, a poor monk will get the princess.” Let me go there and meditate with the monks. Who knows, perhaps I may be selected. Now I have to steal in order to get a little money. But if the princess is satisfied with me, then I will become rich overnight. I will be flooded with material prosperity.”

Early the nest morning, dressed in the garb of a holy man, the thief went to the Ganges and started meditating with the other monks. Soon the king’s ministers arrived and began going from one monk to the next seeking one who would marry the princess. The monks became furious. ‘We are crying for infinite light, infinite truth, infinite joy; and you want to bind us to this world again! We do not want the material life or material possessions!” they shouted. The poor ministers got rebukes and scoldings from all the monks. The monks cared not for the princess; they cared only for the highest Truth and inner wealth. One by one, the monks gave their refusals. Finally, when the ministers came to the thief, he agreed to accept the king's daughter. They went back to the king and narrated the whole story. On hearing that one monk had shown some interest in the princess, the king was overjoyed. “Tomorrow I shall bring my daughter to the banks of the Ganges where the holy men are praying and meditating,” he said.

Free Learn to Meditate - Meditation Society of Australia During the night, a divine thought entered into the mind of the thief. He thought to himself: “I am only pretending to be a holy man. Just by pretending, I am getting the princess and so much wealth and material prosperity. If I really and sincerely become a monk, I am sure that I will get infinite power, infinite light, infinite bliss, infinite peace, as these genuine monks will also eventually get from The Supreme. Why should I be attached to this finite material wealth when I have the opportunity to get infinite light, bliss and power from The Supreme's infinite wealth?” So the thief changed his mind during the night, and when the king approached him the following morning, he showed no respect for the king. He flared up and said, "O King, do not bind me to this material world. I want The Supreme and The Supreme alone. I do not need your daughter.” The poor king went back to his palace, and the thief became a sincere holy man.

This story makes it clear that at any moment we can start our spiritual journey. The thief began with imitation. But he received inspiration when he saw the real holy men crying sincerely for The Supreme and The Supreme alone. From inspiration he entered into aspiration. He was no longer satisfied with his desire to have money and material wealth, because he felt that there was something even more fulfilling to be gained.

If you still cherish doubt or curiosity, then start with doubt, start with curiosity. But start. Step-by-step, you will be able to march toward your goal. The Supreme is already eager to have you. You may not be eager to have The Supreme, but The Supreme the eternal Father, The Supreme the eternal Mother, is crying for you. You must make the decision that you want The Supreme. If you really want The Supreme, then start where you are – here and now. The goal of conscious oneness with The Supreme the infinite Light and infinite Truth shall be yours.”

– Sri Ramakrishna

This above all - to thine own self be true;
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
- William Shakespeare - Hamlet

Exercise 4 - Meditating with music

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Prepare for your meditation as usual

Music and meditation are inextricably linked. For many seekers music is the entrance to their meditation lifestyle and inescapably intertwined in the way they now regularly approach their higher self. Music may be considered the language of the soul. It is probably the easiest meditation technique to use for beginners.

There is a simple principle when readying oneself to meditate with music. a wide variety of music is available to us, but the most important characteristic of music for meditation, is that it is music of the heart.

Music is created and performed from differing elements of our human psyche. some music is very emotional, or dry and intellectual or even aggressive and physical.

Since the goal of our meditation lifestyle, the ‘Path of the Heart’, is to release our lower nature and expand into our divine nature, our heart, we should search out uplifting music for our meditations. This spiritual music should ideally be composed and performed whilst meditating.

So to begin our exercise play some music that will continue playing for at least 15 minutes. You can find free downloads on http://download.meditation.org.au or purchase a CD from our shop.

Please make yourself comfortable, but alert at your meditation place, and light your candle. You can begin your meditation by closing your eyes and taking seven or eight deep breaths, releasing all extraneous thoughts on your outward breath and positioning your awareness inside your heart.

Gently open your eyes and allow them to rest on the candle whilst placing all your attention on the music. Try to feel the music with your heart. Try not to analyse the music or judge or allow an internal dialog about the music. Just place your awareness on it and feel that you are connecting with it via your heart.

Then whenever you feel comfortable, remember this truth; that all creativity flows from within. Imagine that this music has been created from the heaven within the composer, which is the exact same heaven that is within you, so as you meditate on it, you could imagine that you are entering the exact same heavenly location where it was composed.

You might also imagine this same process with the performer(s).

The crucial part of this exercise is your connecting and expanding into the music. Feel that it is arising from your own heart and not from somewhere else.

You might be able to deepen the process even further, when you contemplate the idea of timelessness. Normally music is very time-bound – there is a introduction, verse(s), a chorus and a conclusion. We decide if we like a particular piece based on these components. But because our goal is to enter the timeless realms of the heart, where eternity and infinity exist together, spiritual music is best perceived in a moment. Contemplate the feeling you are getting from the music at a particular moment and expand and reflect upon those moments in the music that inspire you.

Listen quietly for any messages from your intuition. Focus and increase your determination to enact any revelations. Whenever you feel complete, end your meditation.

 

 

Summary

During this fourth class you will have;

  • Discovered and explored the Path of the Heart. Important principles to remember;

           *Letting go and opening up
           *Moments of the heart give our life meaning
           *The Path of the Heart is about our life's journey and requires preparation, balance and commitment.
           *Its goal is of discovering and developing our relationship with the Supreme, of growing and developing the fullness of love
           *Start here and now

  • Learned to meditate with music, using the important precepts of soulful music versus emotional, mental or physical music.

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