I’ve spent a good portion of this year immersed in study, reading for learning, attending training, and investigating life’s twists and turns to see their deeper meaning. Yoga places a strong value on knowledge, or jnana, which is correct knowing. The ancient wisdom of yoga goes deeper than knowing of things in the world, and even a studious mind can trick us at times into thinking we know everything there is to know. When we speak of wisdom in the yoga context we are referencing an inner knowing at the sweet abode of the heart.
The following Sufi parable has long been a favorite of mine, and has served as a teacher and reminder of how looking within our heart offers deeper wisdom and insight than over thinking a situation.
The Heart That No Longer Moves
One day the servant of a prosperous merchant came bursting through the master’s door.
“Master! Master!” he cried. “I have terrible news! Our ship carrying much merchandise was lost at sea! Our fortune is lost! We are ruined!”
The Master stood still, looked down at his heart. He replied “Thank you for this news,” and dismissed the servant.The servant went away, perplexed at his Master’s reaction.
The next day the servant returned excitedly, crying, “Master! Master! I have great news! It was a mistake! The ships wasn’t lost after all! It was someone else’s ship! We are saved! We still have all our wealth!”
The Master again, stood still, looked down at his heart and was about to send his servant away.
The servant looked at his Master strangely. “Master, I do not understand. Every time I say something, whether it is good or bad news, you just look down. What is that all about?”
“Ah,” the Master said. “Each time I was looking down at my heart to make sure that it did not move.”
There is a wisdom within our heart. A place that is always content, and when accessed reveals our deepest truth, we are luminous beings, we are love. Along the way we witness our ego and its ongoing battles to confuse us from seeing clearly who we are and why we’re here. When we are faced with any level of challenge or decision in our lives that gives us pause, it’s an opportunity for us to look within for understanding who we are and how we can move in the direction of service to the collective good for ourselves and others. Listen to your heart, and follow the direction of love.