John used to meditate for about an hour every day. It was a must for him while his mother battled cancer, and was after her death, too. He felt meditation brought him closer to the awareness of love in his heart. When he accessed this unconditional love in himself, John was able to calm his mind and suffered less and less. He described what he felt on those days as total surrender to his heart’s reality—one where he knew his mother’s life (and his own) were but instants in the eternal breath of the divine, pieces of the infinitude of existence. John was in state of surrender to love.
Years went by. John became a successful businessman, and he lost the ability to access his heart’s reality through meditation. He wondered what had happened.
This was easy to answer.
He was now constantly occupied with a great number of responsibilities and was making a lot of money. When he tried to meditate, his mind could not stop giving him innovative ideas, smart strategies, and new ways of solving business problems. He felt really good about all his accomplishments in the external world, but he had also grown anxious and fearful. There was no quietude in his life, even at night when it was time to rest.
John asked his meditation teacher for an answer. This teacher said to him:
“You’ve fully immersed your life in your rational–analytic mind. It believes it is the master now. And it is doing a great job at it, but it is also keeping you awake a night and agitated during the day. To put it simply, your mind is using the total power you’ve given it. The more external gratification you receive, the more in control your mind becomes.
Your being can only serve one master, not two.
The mind thrives in knowledge, the heart in wisdom.
The wonderful thing about building your life from the truths of your spiritual heart is that you can still honor your physical and psychological existence without getting lost in fear and anxiety. Believing that we understand and control all aspects of our human existence is a strong sign that we have built our lives with our rational–analytic minds.
In this state, the heart can’t solve the problems of your life because it can’t find them.”
John was instructed to sit in meditation until his thoughts became as irrelevant as the hum of his refrigerator, or any other constant sound he wouldn’t normally give attention to. Through this, he was able to silence his thoughts with the noises around him and focus on his breathing. Doing this helped John find the foundation of his existence again: that peace and love are breaths within the Breath.