Don Juan, the Shaman, in Carlos Castenada's book, The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge, tells Carlos to:

"Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question. The question is one that only a very old man asks. My benefactor told me about it once when I was young and my blood was too vigorous for me to understand it. Now I do understands it. I will tell you what it is: Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use."

Does this path of yours have a heart?

Does this path fulfill your purpose?

Does this path make your heart sing?

Would you be on this path even if no one paid you?

These questions are not something that others can answer for you. No one can tell you what to do. No one can make the choice for you.

In Jack Kornfield's book, A Path With Heart, he writes that after being a monk in Tibet and Thailand for years he returned to the U.S. and realized that while he thought he was to be living in the upper chakras of complete mindfulness, deep connection to the divine through chanting and meditation, and separating himself from his body, actually what was needed was not striving to be in spirituality but to be more rooted in spirituality, and 'being' necessitates living more deeply in the lower chakras.

To 'be' requires being more earthly. It is most beneficial when integrating the lower chakras of connection to source-earth, connection to oneself, and connection to others through oneself. Jack states, "...If any meditation was useful to them (them, being the ones who he visited in the mental hospital as they were typically living solely inside their heads-this is sometimes true for us), it would be one that was earthy and grounded: yoga, gardening, tai chi, active practices that could connect them to their bodies."Jack continues to explain that to move out of your head and into your heart with your body intact, you meditate by doing, you ground. And to move out of fear into your heart, you meditate.

Both are meditations, the former fusing body and mind so that the heart can open, the latter fusing heart and mind to that the body can feel the messages from the heart.

"To open deeply, as genuine spiritual life requires, we need tremendous courage and strength, a kind of warrior spirit. But the place for this warrior strength is in the heart. We need energy, commitment, and courage not to run from our life nor to cover it over with any philosophy-material or spiritual. We need a warrior's heart that let's us face our lives directly, our pains and limitations, our joys and possibilities. This courage allows us to include every aspect of life in our spiritual practice: our bodies, our families, our society, politics, the earth's ecology, art, education. Only then can spirituality be truly integrated into our lives." ~Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart

So it's time to ask yourself: "This path I'm on, does this path have a heart?"

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