Julian said, “This ritual must be performed daily for it to be effective. For the first few days, you will find it difficult to spend even five minutes in this exercise. Most of us live at such a frenetic pace that true stillness and silence is something foreign and uncomfortable. Most people hearing my words will say that they have no time to sit and stare at a flower. These are the same people that will tell you that they have no time to enjoy the laughter of children or to walk barefoot in the rain. These people say they are too busy to do such things. They don’t even have time to build friendships, for friendships also take time.”
“You know a lot about such people.”
“I was one of them,” said Julian. He then paused and sat still, his intense gaze riveted on the grandfather clock my grandmother had given Jenny and I as a housewarming present. “When I think of those who live their lives this way, I remember the words of an old British novelist whose work my father loved to read: ‘One must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind him to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle — and a mystery’.”
“Persist and spend longer and longer periods savouring the heart of the rose,” Julian continued in his throaty tone.
“After a week or two you should be able to perform the technique for 20 minutes without your mind wandering onto other subjects. This will be your first indication that you are taking back control of the fortress of your mind. It will then focus only on what you command it to focus on. It will then be a wonderful servant, able to do extraordinary things for you. Remember, either you control your mind or it controls you.”
“Practically speaking, you will notice that you will feel far calmer. You will have taken a significant step towards erasing the worry habit that plagues most of the population and you will enjoy more energy and optimism. Most importantly, you will also observe a sense of joyfulness entering your life along with an ability to appreciate the many gifts that surround you. Each day, no matter how busy you get and how many challenges you might face, return to the Heart of the Rose. It is your oasis. It is your silent retreat. It is your island of peace. Never forget that there is power in silence and stillness. Stillness is the stepping stone to connecting with the universal source of intelligence that throbs through every living thing.”
I was fascinated by what I had heard. Could it really be possible to profoundly improve the quality of my life with such a simple strategy?
“There must be more to the dramatic changes I see in you than the Heart of the Rose.” I wondered aloud.
“Yes. This is true. In fact, my transformation came about as a result of using a number of highly effective strategies in concert. Don’t worry, they are all just as simple as the exercise I have just shared with you — and equally as powerful. The key for you, John, is to open your mind to your potential for living a life rich with possibilities.”
Julian, ever the fountain of knowledge, continued to reveal what he had learned in Sivana.
He said, “Another particularly good technique for ridding the mind of worry and other negative, life-draining influences is based on what Yogi Raman called Opposition Thinking. I learned that under the grand laws of Nature, the mind can only hold one thought at any one time. Try it yourself John, you will see that it is true.” I did try it and it is true.
Excerpt from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma, www.robinsharma.com