Sri Chinmoy, the author of The Jewels of Happiness, taught a path of meditation and spirituality which is often called The Path of the Heart. I have learnt that this also means the “path of happiness”! If we are in our heart—i.e the centre of our being inside our chest, where we can feel the core of our existence—then we are living in happiness, like a child. Young children are all the time in their heart. What does this mean? It means they are totally “in the moment” and at the same time filled with many other divine qualities.
The qualities of a young child
What are the qualities of a young child? Spontaneity, unconditional love, happiness and joy, purity and innocence, giving, smiling, free expression, dynamism and energy, beauty and radiance, fearless, open-hearted, goodness—just being who they are!
The list could go on and on. Well, guess what? These qualities of a child are also the divine qualities of your own heart! I have learnt that the true essence of each one of us is all of the above.
We are all beauty, love, joy, happiness and goodness. This is at the core of our very being. And we were all young children once too! So this reality, these good qualities are all still inside of us, waiting to be re-discovered and revealed through the power of stillness of thought, through your daily meditation practice.
Experience is my teacher
Sri Chinmoy has written a powerful aphorism and song as follows:
Experience is my teacher,
I love him and I love him.
Realisation is my tutor,
I love plus I need him. ((Sri Chinmoy, A Soulful Cry Versus A Fruitful Smile))
In our lives, we all learn through experience. We’ve been doing it since we were children. I have always been a strong believer that experience is my teacher, and as a result I have learned many lasting—and sometimes painful—lessons this way.
However, once you are on a spiritual path, you have a new and additional teacher. I have been a student of Sri Chinmoy, who has realised the highest states of meditative awareness, for over 17 years now. Instead of just learning through experience, I have been able to speed things up on the “auto-bahn” express of life.
Not banging my head against the wall
Previously, before I was meditating or living consciously, I learned my lessons primarily through having experiences with what’s known as the “head-banging” method. I’m sure you know what I mean… You go through something and try to learn from it by banging your head against a wall. Then, if you haven’t truly learned the lesson, you find yourself in a similar situation with new players in the game. So you bang your head again—trying to learn that first lesson.
It’s possible for some to live their whole lives using this method, just trying to learn one particular life-lesson. When living consciously, you can make progress so much faster—many lifetimes’ worth of lessons in a few short years! This can be accomplished through meditating and listening to your inner guide.
Realisation is my tutor
Now, look at the second line of the aphorism above: “Realisation is my tutor. I love plus I need him.” The difference between just experiencing something, and experiencing it with an increasing realisation or spiritual awareness is like the difference between having a teacher and having a private tutor. The teacher outwardly passes or fails you; the tutor inwardly works one on one with you and your circumstances—lovingly guiding, encouraging and inspiring you to do and be your best. You begin living with your eyes and your heart wide open, filled with the delight of being.
I know now which way I’d rather learn! 🙂