I like this quote:
“The most important journey we will ever take is the 18 inches from our mind to our heart.”
Yea, the most important journey we will ever take is not an outer journey to some distant land (which I used to think so), but it is our inner journey from our mind to our heart. I think deep thinkers and philosophers such as Henri Nouwen and John O’Donohue are good at expounding on such inner journeys between the mind and the heart for readers to ponder and meditate upon. 🙂
I like what John O’Donohue wrote here in his book “Eternal Echoes” about our own individual prayer life too:
“You can only pray through the unique lens of your individuality. There is no need for you to be in any way guilty about your reluctance or inability to mimic the formal prayers of your religion or the pious prayer of others. If you listen to the deep voice of your heart, that voice is at one with the unique melody of your soul. Your deepest prayer is the prayer of your essence. When you move deeper into the inner world and enter the temple of your essence, your prayer will be of one pulse beat with the Divine Heart.”
Yea, our individual prayer is unique and beat with the Divine Heart in the deep recesses of our soul, and is at one with the unique melody of our soul.
Lately, I have been reflecting on how exciting our inner life of our soul is, and the outer life of the world pales in comparison. The writer of Ecclesiastes is a case in point – he wrote about how he had everything his heart desired yet at the end of the day he hated his life because he found his life meaningless, for the shallow things of the world cannot fully fill and satisfy the deep longings of his heart. We are made to have a sense of belonging, and the still, small voice of our intuitive mind knows we belong to the invisible realm from which we came.
I am reminded of a verse in 1 John 4 “Greater is he in you than he that is in the world”. Yes, Christ our true identity in us is greater than the spirit of religiosity in the world that puts people in bondage to fear and guilt. The deep in us affirms our belovedness and innocence whereas the shallow in the world tells us we must do something in order to become. Grace is deep; the law is shallow.
I am also reminded that John O’Donohue wrote that the human mind is in itself a world with huge mountains, deep valleys and forests of the unknown. So in a way, the physical terrain of the earth is mirrored in the metaphysical landscape of our inner self, except that there is so much more in ourselves. We can explore the highest mountains on earth – the Himalayas in Nepal, we can navigate the deepest part of the oceans – Marianas Trench in Pacific Ocean, we can ski to the furthest ends of the earth – the North Pole and South Pole, but we may never be able to fully plumb the depths of our being – the fountains of the deep from whom rivers of living waters flow, nor fully scale the heights of the unconditional love of Christ or our true self. This makes our inner journey exciting because there is much to discover and understand about ourselves in all our fullness – our humanity and our divinity.
Proverbs says that counsel in the heart of man is like deep waters, and a man of understanding will draw it out. It also says somewhere that the spirit of a man is the candle of the Lord (our true self) who searches the innermost depths of the heart. As a saying goes, still waters run deep. So I learn that whenever we take time to be still and meditate, the still, small voice of our heart will unfold the mysteries of our true identity and give us the wisdom and understanding that we need for our situations. He makes us lie down in green, fertile pastures and leads us beside still waters where we see ourselves in the mirror of our Beloved. Our soul is restored and our spirit is refreshed when we know we are beloved and experience the perfect love that casts out fear.