The Sufi say; ‘The heart is the veil to the soul’. In observing this thought for many years, it is clearly true.
Our heart, that which is the centre of our feelings, has within it the scars and memories of all events, good and bad. It is the seat of our emotional life, as balanced or unbalanced as that may be.
This makes it clear that the heart is not the soul, since the soul should be a pure entity without negative feelings or regret, pain, revenge, fear and all the other negative emotions that our heart is filled with.
As the liver is the filter of toxins for the body, the heart filters our negative emotions. In order to keep the body in good health, cleansing the liver is a very useful process, although unpleasant. In the same way, we must cleanse our heart from time to time, in order to keep our soul pure, in a sense, so that it can function optimally in our life.
The question is; how can we clean our heart?
If you are going to clean your house, you first have to see the dirt. In the same way, we must reflect on the dirt in our heart, all the negative emotions.
Before taking a deep look, you must first decide that this principle is correct, that your heart is actually very polluted and that you want to cleanse it more than anything in the world, even if it means delving into the dirt that is there.
Given that you have accepted this difficult challenge, the method is intellectually simple, but as cleaning a blocked toilet is also simple to know now to do, it becomes difficult due to what you have to deal with.
We begin with the acceptance that our heart is a veil to the soul and it is the soul we want to discover and uncover. Next, that the heart is a filter filled with negative emotions and must be rinsed out like a dirty sponge in the clear water of a running stream in a pristine forest.
As the dirt is washed out of the sponge as you wring it dry, neither the dirt nor the clean water remains in the sponge, but the sponge is cleansed. The point is that filling the heart with loving pleasant thoughts does not wash out the dirt, it just loads more weight into the sponge, making it even heavier because the love and pain now share the same space.
We must wash out all thoughts from the heart, the good and bad, cleanse it and return it to the pure state of our birth, before any thoughts and feelings began to accumulate.
The exercise is a meditation, one you must do every minute of the day, as well as taking 20 minutes every day to sit silently alone.
We shall start with the sitting practice. Sit comfortably with your back straight. The point is so that you are not bending your torso in any way that your stomach is folded or restricting your breathing. Just relax in this sitting position and observe your breathing for a few minutes.
Now, put your awareness in the centre of your chest and sense any feelings, physical or emotional, that come to your mind. After a few minutes of doing this, imagine you are breathing through your heart, in the same way you observed how your chest or stomach was moving with your breath, allow that same inhale and exhale to go through your heart. This is all you do for the sitting period.
During the day, whenever you have any negative emotions or feelings, remind yourself that your heart is polluted with this dirt and that you want to cleanse it. Imagine the same idea as the sitting meditation, relaxing the tension in your chest and thinking of the running stream and your heart being a sponge that you are wringing out, gently of course, in the clear fresh running water.
Determine that you will do this for the rest of your life, it does not take much time out of your day, and that you want the sponge or veil to be spotlessly clean.
It may take a few weeks or months until you have any noticeable experiences, and as you do, feel free to contact me for advancing your practice.