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Look Into the Heart of Truth

Look Into the Heart of Truth

You are truth itself, and your grandeur is spread over all the earth.

—Psalm 57

Change is the spice of life, bringing us variety and delight. But too much change can be unsettling, upsetting our balance and fueling insecurity. How do we know what is true and lasting when everything is constantly changing? What can we hold on to for support as we navigate the rushing rapids of life?

The perennial wisdom of the world’s great philosophies advises us to look beyond life’s ephemeral phenomena to discover that which is real and lasting. The religions have said the same thing. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus cautions us against seeking security in material goods, in that which “moth and rust can corrupt.” He encourages us to seek first the awareness of God and divine order, promising us that whatever we need will then be provided by higher Consciousness. The teachings of the Buddha also advise: “All things arise and pass away. But the awakened awake forever.”

How many of us heed that advice? Instead, we idly dream of someday winning the lottery. Of striking it rich in business or through that timely inheritance. These hankerings represent our yearning to realize the soul’s riches, the untapped infinite potential within our own depths. If we realize these treasures now, we will cease dreaming about perishable things. This is the satisfaction of awakened ones through the ages, those who relinquished idle dreams to focus on the imperishable gold of Self-realization. “Everything is changing,” Saint Teresa of Avila writes. “God alone is changeless.”

If we look deeply into what we desire from life, we find that we want three things. We want to be happy and avoid suffering. We want to live and never die. And we want wisdom, the capacity to be aware and know. These three things the world promises us now, their voices proclaiming in unison, “Here! Here! Buy this! This will make you happy, healthy, wealthy and wise.” Because our attention is turned outward, we do not hear the voice of the soul whispering, “Here! Here! It is my nature you are seeking; my bliss you are craving. Seek it here!”

If we analyze our life, we see that most of what we think is “us” cannot be us. Is the body us? No. Because the body we have now is different from the one we had ten or even five years ago. Is the mind us? No. Because our thoughts are also changing, even more than the body is changing. What part of us, then, remains changeless? What was our “original face” before we were born? Contemplating this mystery leads to realization of the unchanging soul within, the truth of our real nature long forgotten in the dance with worldly desires.

Beholding the light of eternal existence shining through the shadow play of impermanence, we see through the ephemeral nature of things and circumstances. We are no longer fooled. This realization changes the course of our life. We now realize beyond a doubt that we are part of God and part of all that is. This discovery that we are, have been, and always will be, divine consciousness. Itself is not a thought; it is direct knowing through the faculty of intuition. It is soul knowledge. We may not be able to put it into words, but we know it as surely as we know our own breathing. We can say with the mystic poet Kabir: “Just throw away thoughts of imaginary things, and stand firm in that which you are.”

The happiness, security, and wisdom we look for in life are all qualities of the soul. The soul is an emanation of God—we are made in God’s image and likeness. Just as the ocean wave carries within it the qualities of the ocean, the soul contains the characteristics of its divine source. God’s omnipresence, omnipotence, and omniscience are reflected in each of us as existence, bliss, and awareness. These are the precious gems of unlimited potential within our own consciousness. Once we discover this secret, we are free from chasing after the shadows of the soul’s joy reflected in the world. We are free to enjoy what life brings without attachment and aversion. We are released from the constraints of fear and doubt and are free to live in love.

This divine awakening is the destiny of each person. Soul development is none other than the inherent urge of life itself. When we turn toward God with a willingness to learn, grace comes to help us. The door of the divine heart opens from within and whatever is needed for God-realization flows into our lives unheeded. Grace is the conscious intention of Spirit to support the flourishing and prospering of Its expression, the individual soul. In the one life that is God, nothing stands between the soul and its own good. As we cooperate with this truth, we find life conspiring to aid and guide us everywhere. New urges well up within us: What is God’s will? How can I serve?

With the opening of the heart also comes the spiritual teacher. The teacher is the archetype of the soul’s light of truth dwelling within our heart—a reflection of the inner teacher. God within is that teacher, the true Guru, the dispeller of the darkness of ignorance. Without opening the heart, no amount of outer search or entreaty will bring the teacher forth. But in the light of spiritual willingness, you will find the teacher standing before you. The outer teacher is the mirror by which we see the inner teacher, our own divinity. The love we long for is then ours to give away, as the flower girl at the wedding tosses rose petals before the bride.

Ellen Grace O'Brian
Ellen Grace O'Brian

Yogacharya Ellen Grace O'Brian is the Spiritual Director of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment (CSE) in San Jose, California. CSE is a ministry in the spiritual tradition of Kriya Yoga that serves people from all faith backgrounds who are seeking Self- and God-realization. Yogacharya O’Brian was ordained to teach in 1982 by Roy Eugene Davis, a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda. She is the author of several books on meditation and spiritual practice including Living the Eternal Way: Spiritual Meaning and Practice in Daily Life; the editor of Enlightenment Journal, a quarterly yoga magazine; and author of several CD lessons on the classic spiritual works including: The Gospel of Thomas, The Bhagavad Gita and The Upanishads. She hosts The Yoga Hour, a weekly program on the Unity Online Radio Network reaching over 122 countries with inspiration and practices from the yoga tradition. To contact Yogacharya O’Brian write <a href="mailto:info@CSEcenter.org">info@CSEcenter.org</a>.