Through the sincere effort to become a "pilgrim of the heart," we come to know our soul - to contact it and be guided by it. Prior to that, the major "communion" we have with the soul is through the "still small voice" of conscience. There may also be momentary, usually unexpected, contact wherein a meaningful fleeting experience of beauty, harmony, inspired thought, etc. impresses our consciousness. However, we are all too free, like Pinocchio, to ignore these small wisperings in our heart. In today's hectic pace of life, it seems all the more challenging to hear that voice deep within.
Yet, through simple and sincere practice, we can become more sensitive to our soul. (Try to regard the soul as a real entity, capable - even willing - to commune with us.) The soul responds to the quality of rhythm set up by the personality - a rhythm of endeavor at contact. Right meditation, regularly practiced, is the prime attractive rhythm for the soul. By right meditation, I mean aspirational meditation for non-materialistic purpose and intent. Ponder on that phrase. This is so simply because the soul is not interested in us individually as long as we are selfish and separative. The soul is one with all souls and does not foster separative attitudes and selfishness in the personality. It only becomes truly interested in the personality when that personality strives with sincerity, tension and rhythm to serve - not the personality but serve others, thus demonstrating waning selfishness and separativeness. Prior to becoming oriented toward selflessness, all the effort of the soul is to aid the personality in becoming reoriented to that ideal. It has been said that true service is the "spontaneous effect of soul contact."
Soul contact, by the way, is the true communion - the true yoga or union. Before we can know on higher levels, we become "at-one" with the soul. Put another way: in true communion/yoga, we become "yoked" to the soul in our daily waking. The goal is easily and simply defined. The process, however, involves right aspiration, intent and rhythm of regular effort.
Union/communion with the soul is a process, not a static state or achievment. Therefore, we can begin making simple steps, both to commence the journey and to "try out" the heart approach to the soul. Meditation with selfless intent is one important - probably the most important - step. We begin to be "pilgrims of the heart."
There is another practice to supplement meditation, or perhaps to use prior to starting a life of meditation. And it is to this second practice that the above quote from Heart applies, at least to a certain degree.
Prior to going to sleep, take a few moments to genuinely pose a selfless question to your soul. An example might be: How can I be of greater service to others? To my community? To humanity? As service is another fundamental quality of the soul, this is a vitally significant question to pose. (A later post on "What the Buddha Knew" will elaborate on service.) The best practice is to let the question be the thought held in your mind as you go to sleep. Then in the morning, briefly take a quiet moment to assume an attitude of receptivity to the answer. A simple attitude of assuming "as if" you are open to the answer.
Because the soul is most responsive to rhythm, it is the regularity of this effort that should prove effective of results.