I once read that monks will go out into the freezing cold night and meditate themselves into warmth. The goal is not to demonstrate super powers or even necessarily to cultivate the discipline to be able to do such a thing; the goal is to notice that the heat, the light, comes from within oneself. There “it” has been all along, hiding in plain sight. My teacher says that you should, “focus on a small thumb sized light inside of a lotus flower right where your heart is.” Forget your mind and your body, become that light inside your heart, and know that it is the same light inside of all hearts. It is the same light inside of everything. He says that when you know that you are that light, when you feel it radiating from within you and in everything around you, at that point you know everything that is to be known. It sounds almost too simple.
As my practice evolves and progresses, exercises like the one mentioned above have become increasingly meaningful to my daily life. While it appears to be a relatively simple practice, I’ve found its implications to be profound. It is not the only practice that I do, but when combined with mantra, asana, and pranayama, it has felt like a portal toward an understanding beyond words. It has been like a portal to my Self. As Mahadeva says, my Self is not my body, my mind, or my emotions. My Self is the light of awareness that exists in the lotus flower in my heart. Everyday I take a little time to chant the names of God, to Aum, to remind myself that all my needs will always be met, and to focus all my awareness on the light in the lotus in my heart. It only takes about ten minutes per day, but these ten minutes work. I feel lighter.
As a human being who has spent much of his life struggling with being a human being, I’ve always been searching for my path to peace. I think that for some a sense of peace comes easily; I’ve always had to fight for mine. It sounds ironic, to have to fight for peace, but for much of my life, that’s what I had to do. I’m lucky now because I don’t have to fight so much anymore. It has taken years of trial and error and learning about myself to discover what works for me. I’ve been blessed with wonderful teachers and guides who have helped me evolve past the battle, and now I just want to pause in the light in the lotus of my heart. It works for me. I hope it works for you too.
Ayam Atma Brahma
Tat Tvam Asi