Friday, November 20, 2009

Life's most vital discovery

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Several people were on a walk with author and spiritual teacher Vernon Howard. While crossing a large paved parking lot, he called everyone’s attention to a little flower that had broken through. He pointed out its perfect relevance to our inner task. The seed’s yearning to express itself was so strong that a thick layer of concrete could not stop it.

People possess many different fears, but perhaps the largest one is unseen. It’s the fear that we’ll not be able to handle or contain the tremendous power of the awakened Heart. Therefore, we hold ourselves back. We live a life of reluctance. In this reduced state of energy all our problems “miraculously” appear.

Our inner difficulties are not what they appear to be. Worry, regret, fear, anger and loneliness are symptoms, not the cause. What is the real problem? It is a dormant Central Power Source. What is our purpose? To awaken this source and shatter the concrete of false beliefs and shallow thinking.

It is fascinating to discover that the location of the Central Power Source has been known for thousands of years. Throughout the Bible the power of the Heart is referenced more than 800 times. The dictionary defines Heart as: “The vital center and source of one’s being, emotions, and sensibilities, the central or innermost part of a place or region.” People often point to their physical heart as their spiritual heart, but ancient wisdom places this source in the region of our breath.

Different cultures have highlighted the Heart’s supreme value in life and spirituality, even health and well-being. The Japanese have long referred to this domain as Hara. The Chinese have named it Dan Tien. One of the Bible’s most interesting statements is in Proverbs 4:23, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Shakespeare chimes in, “Go to your bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know.” Buddha declares, “The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.”

At the turn of the century Russell Conwell wrote a great little book that illustrates this thought entitled Acres of Diamonds. The book opens with a story about a wealthy man who sold his farm and journeyed to foreign lands in search of diamonds. Some time later the richest diamond mine in history was discovered, and it was found right on the land he once owned! The good news for us is this domain is still entirely our own. We can rediscover the rich life we have in fact never lost.

Sufi mystic Al-Ghazzali declares the glowing Heart wisdom:

“The first step to self-knowledge is to know that thou art composed of an outward shape, called the body, and an inward entity called the heart, or soul. By “heart” I do not mean the piece of flesh situated in the left of our bodies, but that which uses all the other faculties as its instruments and servants. In truth it does not belong to the visible world, but to the invisible, and has come into this world as a traveler visits a foreign country for the sake of merchandise, and will presently return to its native land. It is the knowledge of this entity and its attributes which is the key to the knowledge of God.”

Excerpt from the site -