Mind and Heart
Meditation is often taught as an exercise of the mind and within the mind. However asking the mind to discipline itself is like asking a naughty child to discipline himself. But many are finding that there is a much easier place to meditate, which can help silence the mind, and that is the spiritual heart, as Sri Chinmoy describes:
“Separate yourself from the mind and observe the mind. You can read hundreds of pages or talk to hundreds of people, but you will not get illumination. So when you think of what the mind has given you, think at the same time of the thing that you really need most and you will see that the mind has not fulfilled this need. Since your mind has disappointed you, why should you concentrate there?
If you meditate in the mind, you will be able to meditate for perhaps five minutes, and out of that five minutes, for one minute you may meditate very powerfully. First you get joy and satisfaction, but then you will feel a barren desert.
If you meditate in the heart, a day will come when you start getting satisfaction. If you meditate in the heart, you are meditating where the soul is. True, the light, the consciousness of the soul permeates the whole body, but there is a specific place where the soul resides most of the time, and that is in the heart. I am not speaking of the human heart, the physical heart, which is just another organ. I am speaking of the pure heart, the spiritual heart. The spiritual heart is located in the centre of the chest, in the centre of our existence.
If you want illumination you will get that illumination from the soul, which is inside the heart.
When you are trying to make your mind calm and quiet, you are concentrating. When you are successful in chasing away all thoughts that disturb your mind sooner or later your inner self will automatically come to the fore and stand right in front of you like a blazing sun clearing away the veil of clouds. Right now the inner sun is overcast with clouds: thoughts, ideas, doubts, fears and so forth. Take the mind as a monkey or an unruly child. As many times as it comes to you, chase it away or deliberately place your conscious awareness on something else. If you allow it to distract you, it will gain strength and continue to torture you. During your meditation, your mind may resist and obstruct you, but you have to feel that you have something superior to the mind, and that is your heart, lust throw the mind and all its possessions into the heart.
As you concentrate on anything – a picture, a candle, a flame, any material object – so also can you concentrate on the heart. You cannot look physically at your spiritual heart, but you can focus all your attention on at. Then gradually, the power of your concentration enters into the heart and takes you completely out of the realm of the mind.”