In the Heart you experience yourself as a bodiless Spirit, as Pure Consciousness.
You find yourself fully conscious but without a body or form of any sort. Some initial experiences of the state of Pure Consciousness are as follows:
- You are aware but without a shape.
- You are aware without a shape or a form, but realize a limited space around you which seems to have a definite size and location.
- You might feel yourself to be disembodied but existing in something resembling a circle or an ovoid shape, or in an aura, as in an electro-magnetic field.
When the experience is complete, the Heart becomes the All and includes the All. There will be no within and without, but only the All in All, without divisions, without parts, without shape, form or limitation of any kind. This is the experience of Truth. In this experience of Reality, the Self shines like Infinite Space, bright and luminous like the glory of a thousand Suns. In the Heart the Universal Presence is realized.
Through the process of birth, death and reincarnation we become disattuned from this Universal Presence. We become cut off from Primordial Awareness-Reality. We are cut off from God. In the Heart, this Awareness is restored. In the Heart, “I Am That I Am” is realized. The Creature is restored to the Creator.
Ramana Mahāṛṣi, the great Ṛṣi of India, a modern true Knower or Gnostic, taught that:
- The Self is the Heart, All Luminous. Illumination arises from the Heart and reaches the brain. The world is seen by the mind. You see the world by the reflected Light of the Self.
- The Self in its purity, your own real Nature, is experienced in the intervals between two thoughts, between two states [such as sleeping and waking], between two heartbeats.
- If one inquires “Kohaṁ” [Who am I?] in the Heart, in the Heart of such a one the Omnipresent God will shine as So-Haṁ. This is to “Know Thyself”. This is to become a Knower of the Self. A Gnostic.
- As one goes on repeating “Rāma” in the Heart, the “Ma” disappears and “Rā” alone remains, our Real Nature. This is Pure Consciousness. Thou Art That.
- God, the One Reality or Truth, may be experienced in the Heart by the Illumination of Divine Grace. The beginnings of this process are a centring in the Heart, in silence, undisturbed by worldly cares.
The first stage on this Path of the Heart, therefore, is the awakening of the Heart by an inner recollectedness, a dwelling within, an inner awareness, using breath-control or the Divine Name in the Heart. It is prayer within the Heart and with the Heart.
The importance of practising the Name of God in the Heart is born out by the many references in the Holy Bible to the idea of the Name of God and naming. This recollection of the Divine Presence through a Name of God in the Heart is called Prayer in the Heart.
According to the Philokalia (a collection of texts written between the fourth and the fifteenth centuries by spiritual masters of the Orthodox Christian tradition), every thought enters the Heart through imagining something sensory (originally perceived by the bodily senses). The Light of God begins to illumine the mind when it is freed of all interior representations of sense objects (when the mind is still and empty of all thoughtforms). This illumination manifests in the Heart when the Heart is pure, meaning free from all thoughts and imaginings.
Attention is unceasing Silence of the Heart, free of all thoughts.
When the mind unites with the Heart, it is filled with unspeakable delight and Bliss. Then comes the Realization that the Kingdom of God is within you. Then the Heart becomes radiant and the mind is full of Light.
Stage One of the Radiant Heart Way
First we must awaken the psychic Heart of the astral body into activity. Only at a later stage is the Spiritual Heart of the Soul awakened.
The primary techniques used initially are the Name of God and breath-awareness in the Heart. In the first stage of your practice, you sit still. Your attention is resting in your Heart by means of the Divine Name or breath-awareness. The Divine Name can be a mantra or prayer in your own native tongue or in any of the sacred languages, such as Sanskrit, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Arabic or Chinese.
The important point is that your attention must rest in the Heart. Your attention must sink into it. The physical heart is not made to work harder; in fact, it gradually sinks into rest.
The breath-prayer awakens the Heart into activity. Then the Heart takes over; the prayer or mantra becomes “remembered” and repeats itself automatically in the silence of the Heart. This is the stage which Saint Paul referred to as “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
From the beginning of this practice you will feel great peace and joy, and a lightness. This practice is the beginning of the mystical process which ends in Communion with the Divine.
There are many suitable Names of God in the Sanskrit and Hebrew languages which were used by the Yogī and the Mystical Kabbalists, as well as Arabic words used in the Koran and by the Sūfī.
Breath is the link between Man and the Spirit of God, the Breath of God.
The best way to practice Conscious Breathing is to take a Divine Name and consciously breathe it in and out of the Heart. Focus in the Heart Centre, and there invoke an intense Love and Devotion for God. Nothing matters but the Living God within your heart. Make your prayer very simple, in rhythm with your breath.
(In each of the five languages listed below the vowel “A” is pronounced as in ‘father’)
The Western Divine Name YESU (Latin:Saviour):
YE – SŪ
The Eastern Divine Name SŌHAṀ (Sanskrit:Spirit):
SŌ – HĀNG
The Arabic name HELA (Sounding-Light, the Living Word):
HE – LĀ
The Hebrew name SHALOM (God is Peace, God is Happiness, God is Perfection):
SHA – LŌM
The Chinese word TAO (God)
TA – Ō
Excerpt from Heaven and Hells of the Mind Vol 1 pages 447,452, 453, 1274 & 1275