8 Ways to Plant Spiritual Ideas Deep in Your Heart
The fundamental aim of spiritual study is to get facts and principles into the Heart’s
fertile ground. Ideas must get through habitual and familiar filters; otherwise,
the information is diverted from having its full power.
It’s not how much you read or hear that counts, but how much you take in and make
your own. How can you receive knowledge deep in your core so the principles work
for you in far higher ways? Here are eight proven methods that work wonders:
1. Write your own book of development. Gather pearls of wisdom as you read,
listen to audio programs or attend talks. More importantly, when YOU have an insight,
get it down! You’ll find as years go by that the notebook you’ve created is filled
with wisdom that has special resonance for YOU.
2. Contemplate. Picture yourself flying a glider. The tow plane lifts you.
Now it’s your time to soar. You pull the connection and you’re on your own. The
winds lift you higher and higher.
The glider is a perfect parallel to the art of contemplation. Focus on a single
word, sentence, illustration or experience that matters to you. Put the spotlight
of your attention on it. What’s in this idea that isn’t presently seen? What does
the experience REALLY mean?
Then, let go of the thought. Soar in the silence. It is the silence following the
focus that reveals the core. The silence takes you beyond what you already understand.
Transcend the word, concept or experience and move from theory to revelation. Soar
to a higher level of deep and rich understanding.
3. Read aloud. Read enthusiastically and with conviction. You may even wish
to stand and gesture freely. You can imagine that you are addressing a large and
attentive audience, like your own thoughts that now wish to change. Reading silently
exercises your intellect, while reading aloud combines both your intellect and your
power of speech.
4. Read with repetition. Take four or five pages from a good book, and read
these same pages every day for a week before going on to the next four or five pages.
Read them more than once, if you have the time, but at least once a day. Just before
going to sleep at night is an ideal time. Something marvelous happens when you do
this. Information seeps through old patterns.
I first learned of this method from Og Mandino in his classic book, “The Greatest
Salesman in the World. ”The benefits are enormous.
5. Be a metaphor hunter. This is wonderful fun. Simply be alert to daily
life experiences, historical examples or encounters with nature that have a resemblance
or connection to a spiritual principle.
For example, let’s say you’re on a hike. You observe an old tree that has fallen
into a stream. The tree is lodged but the flowing water gradually breaks it away
and takes it downstream. You think with delight how the flow of Truth clears away
old thinking that no longer serves your Heart.
Again, it all comes down to what you plant in your Heart. The same experience happens
to two people. One seizes the experience and plants the lesson deep within, the
other let’s it just bounce off the old and familiar mental patterns.
6. Express the knowledge you gather. See yourself as a conduit of information,
like a lake that stays pure by taking in fresh water on one side and releasing it
on the other. Refuse to be a stagnant pond! Find ways in harmony with your talents
and interests to live and express what you learn, even though you may sometimes
be criticized. Write, speak, paint, dance, start businesses, raise healthy children.
These are all ways to express spiritual knowledge in action.
7. Transform your automobile into a rolling cosmic university. So much good
information is now available on audio CD. Drive time on the less crowded open roads
is a great place to absorb these treasures. It doesn’t all have to be spiritually
focused material. Helpful ideas can be found in programs on efficiency and vocabulary,
for example. In all your listening, however, don’t forget the enlightening value
of a quiet drive as well.
8. Make the most of group meeting opportunities. A group where sincere men
and women meet to delve deeply into life’s great questions can be a powerful venue
for collecting more knowledge. Just be aware that not all spiritual and wisdom groups
are true and healthy, and some take dreadful wrong turns. More than a few foster
dependency to support the endless insecurities of the “leaders.”
For example, they pry into people’s affairs. Never forget that your privacy is your
sacred right and must never be sacrificed. Just because you participate in a group
activity does not mean that you owe them any explanations concerning your private
affairs. This prying is a sure sign of an unhealthy group.
With self-reliance, what is best and true for you has an amazing way of finding
you. Groups are temporary vehicles that can be valuable, but only if there is genuine
value in the group.
Use these eight methods and watch your secret garden start to bloom in your Heart.
You’ll feel joy and cheerfulness reach you at unexpected moments, and more frequently.
For Further Reading