A Japanese friend asked me: “what is heart? and what is soul?” If you got this question, what would be your answer? There are only two aspects of Human Being. The human and the being, the body and the soul, the physic and the spirit, physical and spiritual. Human refers to the body which is physical and Being refers to the soul which is spiritual. We can see the body, but we can not see the soul. We can not see our heart, our mind and our intellect.
Heart, mind, intellect…..all are in one, in the Being, in the soul. The 3 are in the soul, these are the faculties of the soul. Each one has different function. Mind creates thoughts. Mind works like a mirror, it reflects thoughts, it projects thoughts. The second faculty of the soul is intellect. It is called the eye of the soul, it has the ability to “see and understand”. It can see what is right and what is wrong. It has the ability to churn the thought deeply. It experiences the thought. It changes knowledge into wisdom. When the thought is transformed into an experience (a deeper understanding), then the heart does its work – it creates a feeling based on the experience. The stronger you hold one particular thought with your intellect, you think it deeply…..then your heart will create a feeling accordingly.
I remember when I started sharing some thoughts through short journals via WhatsApp to friends and contacts, very soon I started hearing from them a question why I did not start writing a book or creating a blog. This blog was not created at that time. Some said “Someone may copy your idea (story) if you just share it freely.” I thought what I had been writing and sharing to people were more about my personal experience. How could people copy a personal experience? I think it is not possible. In the beginning very often some people asked me if they could share it to their families and contacts or not. And I always said “Sure, you can.” I let them share it in whatever way the wanted to share it. My mission was to share it to as many people as possible. And my mission stays the same until this very day.
I have no worry if someone copies my thoughts. I believe that no one can ever copy an experience. Because an experience is always individual. It is never the same. In this way I free myself from any fear or worry.
What can you see in this picture?
Someone said : “I can see a little yellow plant in a glass filled with water.” Others said : ”a hope”, “growth”, “life“ etc. It is interesting. Each one has different answer. All of the answers are right. It depends on from which point they are speaking. If we see the picture with our physical eyes, we can see a little yellow plant but if we are using the eye behind those physical eyes we might see the beauty of it, something different, something more subtle. The beauty is always hidden behind the facades. It needs the ability to capture what is hidden. It is the inner eye that can capture the beauty. Some call this inner eye as awareness, consciousness, heart, the eye of wisdom, the soul or the spirit. In fact it refers to one and same thing.
The key to happiness in life is the ability to see the beauty in small things around you using this inner eye, not the physical eyes. The physical eye only captures the gross things, but the inner eye can capture the subtle things. Beauty is experienced by the heart. Not many big things happen in life. We might not experience big success so much in our life, but there are so many little things happening in each day. Start seeing the beauty or success in small things around you, do not wait till something big to happen to be happy. Open your inner eye and fill your heart with this.
Someone shared her thoughts on how to become creative. She said that we should learn from children to be creative. I notice that most children are very creative. Their spirits are free….to explore everything. They have no worries and no fears in their spirits. They are not aware of what fear is. Each one of us was very creative when we were so young. When we grew up, we suppressed this spirit. We started creating fears and worries of what people might think about us. We started creating fear of being rejected by others. We might then stop doing something because of this fear. At some point in our life we might miss that spirit in us.
I remember when I was in a retreat, I escaped from one of the morning sessions, I went to the garden in the corner of the campus instead. The garden was small, beautiful and quiet. It was really enjoyable to sit there especially in the morning hour. I also could enjoy little birds and squirrels. They were running around on the ground, jumping from one twig to another. Sometimes they went so close to my feet. I really enjoyed it.
That morning I had an appointment with David who stayed above the garden. David is an artist and a musician. He promised to teach me how to feed squirrel at 7 o’clock. I was so excited about it. My heart said “If I can touch and hold the squirrel with my hand, it would be an achievement for me”. We might think that this kind of thought belongs to a child, not an adult. I knew it was the spirit of a little child in me who had that thought. David was ready with bread crumbles in his hand. He then made a little sound to call the squirrels with his mouth. We sat there and maintained silence. We should not make any movement that would create a feeling of threat in the squirells. We created a feeling of love to the squirrels. I said in my mind that we were friends and we loved to meet and play. I held that thought and created a feeling of friendship. We waited patiently and after a while one squirrel came closer to us. It jumped onto David’s lap and started eating the bread. It was so cute. I took the video of it. I hope I can share the video next time here. Then David gave the bread crumbles to me. I held it in my hand and the squirrel came to my lap and started eating the bread. The spirit of a little child in me was so happy.
Nurture this spirit inside you and you will experience so much freedom and joy.
We had a little discussion on desire. Desire is always the cause of problem in human life. It seems desire is endless. One desire is fulfilled will be followed by another desire, then another desire. It is never ending. The heart will never experience contentment when it has any desire unfulfilled.
Supposed you just bought the latest model of gadget or camera that you really wanted to have. You were very excited. But how long does the excitement last? This feeling of being fulfilled won’t last very long, because soon after that you might already have another desire to be fulfilled. The heart won’t really become full by having this temporary fulfillment. The heart is not contented. A discontented heart won’t experience fullness (peace and happiness).
It says “conquer your desire if you want to have a peaceful and contented life”. Then someone asked ‘what does life look like by not having any desire?’ Someone might say that life without having any desire would be plain and not exciting. It is not called a life.
Not having desire is not similar to not having aim. An aim of life is usually much bigger than a desire. It is more a long term goal. Having aim in life makes you enthusiastic, it makes you feel excited, it makes your life even more alive. You have something to pursue. To have aim in life is to have a goal to achieve. You need to work on it. When you can achieve it it is called an achievement not a fulfillment. The feeling is different. The energy is different.
I remember when I was on a holiday, I was staying in a Greek-style hostel. It was small but very cozy. The living room was just great, It was an open space and very clean…… and the most important thing was it had no television. I really liked it. The staff was very nice and super friendly.
I found myself sitting on a cushion outdoor, enjoying the blue sky, the air and nature, relaxing and enjoying myself. Well, what is in your mind when you hear the word of holiday? no work, relaxed and having a happy time. Suddenly I realised that I had been doing nothing there except relaxing. I asked myself “Would I spend the whole holiday doing nothing and just relaxing?” I said no. I had to do something. I had to create something, not just passing the time.
I then got an idea to write journals during the rest of my holiday instead of just having a relaxing time. I thought writing journal is entertaining the mind, and also the heart. So it is a way of an internal relaxation as well. Probably we need internal relaxation more than just a relaxation for the body. I would call it as my holiday project. To give me a sense of a project, I put a number, 50 journals!
The next morning I woke up at 3 am and got shower then started writing. Morning time is the best time for writing for me. I switched off my mobile phone and kept the door and the window closed until about 9 am. I heard from my room other guests were talking out there, they might be having their breakfast. When I just switched on my mobile phone, I got a message from the reception. He wondered how I was. He reminded me to have my breakfast. I smiled. He might be thinking of me being unconscious in the room. He is really a kind-hearted person.
In the evening I was sitting on a cushion in front of my room, writing journals. Antonia from Germany who stayed next to my room came from rafting asked me “What are you doing?” then I shared to her how I had the project. She smiled and said “Good luck!”
It is said that knowledge is power. You might have heard this many times. But how do you experience this practically in your life? You might have read so many books with great advice to become a better person. You might have attended seminars, trainings and workshops and that you felt so inspired. You were inspired to make a change. You really wanted to make a change in you. But, do you experience that a change is easy? Is it to change yourself easy? I think a change is difficult. You might reflect on yourself after sometimes and ask yourself “have I changed? how much have I changed?” You might not see so much change in you. You wished to become a much better you, but it didn’t happen the way you wished to happen. Then, knowledge is not power yet. It doesn’t have power to change you.
Knowledge will become power when you use it to really make a change in you. To change means to change the mindset. To know is the first step and to change the mindset is the next step. Only when your mindset is changed by your new understanding, then you can say knowledge is power.