Pick a path with a heart

Before you embark on any path, ask the question: Does this path have a heart? Sounds crazy? How can a path have a heart? Isn’t “the path” an inanimate object, to be trodden and then forgotten? Yet, this is the question a mystic called Don Juan would ask his disiples, says Carlos Castaneda, a sorcerer and writer from Peru.

So what path Don Juan is talking about? The path is surely psychological or spiritual, not geographical. The geographical path is well laid down, with road signs perfectly in place, with a map that tells you where to go and how to reach the desired destination. It is the spiritual path that is baffling and the psychological path which is confusing. It is hard to decide which path will lead to success and which path will throw you in the ditch of failure, or, which path brings happiness and which path brings sorrow. It is difficult to figure out at the beginning where a path is going to lead to.
Do you still think a path is a dead object? Think again!
So when the mystic asks, “Does your path have a heart?”, he means that you have to ask this question within your heart. How can you know about anybody’s heart unless you are in your own heart? The heart is intuitive so it receives the answer intuitively. If the answer is no, you will know it, and then you must choose another path. The problem is, nobody asks the question; and when we finally realise that we have taken a path without a heart, the path is ready to kill us. At that point very few people can stop to deliberate and decide to leave the path. A path without a heart is never enjoyable. You have to work hard even to take it. On the other hand, a path with a heart is easy; it does not make you work at liking it.
Castaneda cites a beautiful story about his master Don Juan. On a dark night, the master took him to a hill and said, “Start running with your eyes closed, relying on your internal guide!” It was dangerous. The hill was unknown, the thick forest was full of ditches. He could have fallen anywhere. And his master said, “Do not walk, run!” Castaneda thought it was akin to suicide. He couldn’t do it. But the master closed his eyes and ran like a wild animal and came back. Castaneda did not understand how he was running and how each time he came back to the same spot. Then gradually Castaneda mustered his courage. If the old man could run, why couldn’t he! He tried, and he felt an inner light was kindled in the heart. That was the light guiding his master.
The inner light is your innate intelligence, your wisdom. Everyone is born with it. You can pass through any danger if your inner guide is awake.
This inner guide is called Antarviveka in the Bhagavad Gita. While commenting on Bhagavad Gita, Osho said, “It seems so difficult to be in touch with the inner guide because we have trained the intellectual mind too much. Our schools, our colleges, our universities, our culture, civilisation, all stuff our brain. We have broken ties with the inner guide. We are all born with the Antarviveka, but do not allow it to function. It is crippled but it can be resurrected. To choose a path with a heart you must be free from fear and ambition. The desire to learn is not an ambition — on the contrary, when the ambition is dropped then alone can one learn. If you are bogged down by the fear of the unknown how can you know the reality? Stop thinking too much and start living in the heart”.

Amrit Sadhana is in the management team of Osho International Meditation Resort, Pune. She facilitates meditation workshops around the country and abroad.

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