By Dr. Stewart Bitkoff
Q: How to shut off the ramblings of the everyday mind and hear the whisperings of the heart?
Several weeks ago, independent of each other, 2 people mentioned they wished they could learn how to go inward; they were having a difficult time of it. Since much of the spiritual journey involves going inward- listening to inner perceptions- they wondered how this inner learning/awareness might be facilitated. They wanted to be instructed/shown how to do this.
For well over 3 weeks, I have been thinking about their request. During this period several thoughts occurred to me.
- Part of Everyone’s Education. At first I was surprised by this request since both of these people had spent much time traveling on spiritual paths and tried many different exercises. For both, I have supplied exercises and books with different instruction. Still they were having a difficult time. I wondered why this wasn’t part pf everyone’s basic education. Weren’t they taught in school, how to sit still, and turn-off the noise in their head and use their own basic capacity to create?
- Going Inward Part of Being Human. I remember Idris Shah talking about prayer. I am paraphrasing here, but basically he said, people can be given certain prayers to say, but cannot be taught how to pray. Prayer is basic communication between the seeker and that which is Most High. It is a natural expression of the seeker’s need in relation to the Source.
- Going Inward Can’t be Taught. In my view, going inward is much the same. People can be given spiritual exercises, told to go on long walks in the quite forest, meditate for hours and be told to simply sit quietly and listen to their thoughts. These are all devices to begin to the listen to the different streams of consciousness which arise in our head, heart and soul. And the quietest voice, hidden beneath all the others, is that of spiritual intuition- it is very much like a whisper. It comes forward when the rest of the consciousness is relatively still; and the listener must bravely go inward, pushing the other voices aside- often using a focus word- and wait until this inner knowing comes forward.
- Natural Ability. Also it seems to me some people may be better at this than others. What might come more easily to some might be a long, long slow tedious labor to others.
- Expectation Blocks The Door. One of the major road blocks in this inner journey is expectation. ‘Look I have been following this exercise, doing everything right, when is this thing going to happen?’ Usually it doesn’t happen under this circumstance. The consciousness must be in a neutral position where you are merely observing what is taking place and pushing aside thoughts which are not the goal, while another part of the consciousness is focused on the goal – using a device like a focus word. The seeker must be able to hold both sets of consciousness in their mind at the same time and await the emergence of this third stream.
- Diversity of Experience. To further complicate matters, there is any number of inner spiritual experiences and they manifest under different conditions. However, all of these generally occur when the everyday consciousness is in a neutral position and the seeker is listening to their own inner awareness.
- Everyone is Different. Seekers have many different spiritual capacities which they bring with them; these can be enhanced through training and spiritual work. They cannot be learned.
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