Doing the math
I’ve been learning about a biofeedback technique called HeartMathTM. It’s a biofeedback device and the science behind it is fascinating, but not the point of this post. There’s a little monitor that you attach to your earlobe or finger and an app on your iphone, your computer or, if you’d rather, a little black box with lights on it. You hook yourself up and try to make the little lights (or lines) stay out of the red and reach for the green. You do this with some breathing techniques that closely resemble meditation. Sounds easy, right? Well, once again, I’m reminded that simple and easy are not always synonyms.
Spirituality is another one of those simple but not easy things. I know, we make it complicated, but that’s more religion than spirituality in my mind. In our philosophy, we believe that we create our own reality based on our own thinking and beliefs and if we don’t like what we get we can change it. All we have to do is be in communication with the Divine within ourselves. Simple, right? And yet saints and sages across time and multiple cultures have found that it isn’t always easy.
One of the things I’m becoming more and more aware of is that, in the past, I would assume that each thing that happened in my life had a reason. I was right, but there’s more to it. Each situation might have several reasons, or as we say it here, each effect has multiple causes. I thought if I could just find the one thing that was causing my problems, I could fix it. Sometimes, it’s just not that simple. In many cases, I have to be content to see a correlation between two things, but not know which is causing which. Again, not as easy a “fix” as I thought. I can still shift one thing and see if the other also shifts, but I can’t be absolutely sure, usually. As H.L. Mencken wrote, “Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem — neat, plausible, and wrong.”
What I do know, is that it’s more important to keep trying and be gentle while I’m working on the spiritual journey. It’s far more important to stay on the journey, and in the question, than it is to come up with easy answers. I rejoiced the day I realized that as a minister, I don’t actually have to come up with answers. My job is to ask the hard questions and let you figure it out for yourself. The question, the mystery, is what’s important.
So while I won’t even try to explain the science behind HeartMathTM (please check out HeartMath.org), I can in good conscience, keep practicing and become more and more peaceful. I can’t explain why or how the Divine voice speaks in my heart, but I can trust that it is speaking. And, of course, so can you. No explanation needed.