We know that to meditate effectively, we must clear away all thoughts and distractions, which are as pervasive in our consciousness as sight and sound. To be rid of thoughts and distractions would appear an impossible task: can we be sure we would even exist in their absence? What about: “I think, therefore I am”?

It is said that the mind can be cleared through the power of concentration, which serves as an overture and gateway to meditation. Once concentration is mastered, thoughts will remain at bay and meditation flows of its own accord. We are instructed to focus our mind on one object, typically a candle, flower or image.

Yet how can we best summons the mind’s energies to such an effort? Our first instinct is to use the mind itself to clear the mind, to think about how to rid ourselves of thoughts. This process is self-defeating, and doomed: we might as well put a fly in charge of stopping flies from landing on us, or ask a bull to reconstruct the china shop. While concentrating, the mind keeps the object at a distance, employing its customary methods of perception – reason, analysis, description and classification. We find after a short while of such attempt, we develop a headache as the mind grapples with itself. The object remains apart, as thoughts tumble upon further thoughts, leading to frustration or exasperation.

There is another way to concentrate, using the power and method of our spiritual heart.

Just as the mind concentrates using its capacity of objective reason, so the heart concentrates using its inherent specialty – which is love, and the identification of oneness. Oneness-love is the fastest, truest way to knowledge, for here there is no separation between subject and object: they merge as one.