"I am convinced that, if the heart is troubled, the enemy is ever able to strike us, and as much as he wishes." - Dom Lorenzo Scupoli
How is your heart today? Is it calm and tranquil, ready to receive and perceive reality? Or is it tempestuous, raging and stormy? A warrior seeks tranquility of heart for many reasons but today I want to share with you perhaps a lesser known reason why striving to maintain peace of heart is important.
Let me begin by painting this picture: You are a fleeing enemy pursuers and you and your company have fled into the woods. You take refuge by a raging river – you are camping at the base of a very large waterfall. Camping here, you reason, is good because the noise of the falls will drown out your own noise so that your enemies cannot hear you.
However, the noise works both ways. For if your enemy does spy you camping by this waterfall, won’t the great rush and noise of the water conceal the sound of your enemy’s footfalls as he approaches you? The very noise you believed to be your friend, is now contributing to your demise.
Contrast this with camping next to a calm, tranquil lake or pond. The water is motionless – you could have mistaken it for a mirror that was laid on the forest floor. Though camping next to this pond will not conceal your speech or noises, it will also not conceal the noise of an approaching enemy. Thus, you may be alerted more quickly to the approach of an enemy and thus be able to prevent or combat the violence sooner.
I contend that it is so with your heart as well. If you heart is like a raging waterfall, you can drown your own noise in it. The noise of your heart will protect you from your own thoughts, voice and conscience, but it will allow the enemy to draw nigh to the gateways of your mind, body and soul before you are ever aware of the enemy’s presence. Whereas, if you keep your heart tranquil like that pond, a perfectly reflective mirror, you will be able to assess reality much more accurately which in turn allows you to prevent, deter and combat violence more effectively.
If your heart is troubled, honestly assess and face the cause of that troubling so that you may calm the waters of your heart. The rage inside your heart will prevent you from preventing and fighting the enemy because you will drown in your own turbulence. You will deafen your own ears to the sound of the approaching enemy footsteps. Keep your heart calm and tranquil so that you may hear your own voice as well as the voices and footsteps of evil men that would seek to do you and your loved ones harm.
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National Speaker, author, blogger, and life-long student of warrior arts and science.