(by Luciana Buchanan)
L: Why did you name your book “The Real You”?
I: The questions surrounding who we really are and why we are here have been the ultimate topic stirring many philosophers, spiritual seekers and theologists throughout different times and eras for as long as humans existed.
Many people devote their lives to searching for an answer, yet most seek using their mind, concepts and ideas, while it is only with the heart one can be shown the answer.
Fulfilling our true purpose of life begins by realizing who we really are, and that is why I named my book The Real You: Beyond Forms and Lives.
L: Why did you decide to write this book now?
I: I started sharing about opening the heart in workshops in 2000, and I am so grateful that the response has been so positive. We now have over 50,000 alumni from all over the world including UK, Ireland, Germany, Finland, South Africa, USA, South America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, and so on.
As more and more hearts are opened to True Source, I feel that people are more ready to know deeper truths, and now is the proper time to introduce and reveal the many secrets that exist beyond this human shell.
L: Is there anything you would like to share about your book that would be of interest to the readers of this magazine?
I: I had been spiritually seeking myself for many years, and there was a point in my life where a third of my salary just went into buying spiritual books and as soon as I returned from work, I would meditate for 4 -4½ hours per day.
I am so thankful to many guides and books that helped to open my mind, yet it was only when I was conscious as my true self that it was possible to understand in a way so deep, so clear and so completely that no books could ever explain. The deepest part of me started to remember who I really am, why I am here, the real purpose of life of every being – and the reason True Source has created everything that ever existed.
What I discuss and share in this book is not my theory, or an analysis of other people’s theories. It is a personal sharing of what I experienced in my highest, my deepest consciousness as my true self and also the experiences of thousands of our alumni who have since attained their true self consciousness.
L: How is what you are sharing different to other approaches to spiritual growth?
I: Putting aside all concepts and ideas, spiritual growth must be directly related to the spirit.
And it is only by opening your heart that you can begin your path of spiritual growth, as our spirit (true self) resides within our heart. And contrary to conventional theories that rely on effort and will from the self to achieve something, true spiritual growth can only be accepted as a blessing from True Source, The Creator.[span3]There are three important keys to opening your heart: relax, touch your heart, and smile. You see, many of us as we grow older, we start to think more, accumulate more burdens, and without realizing we are closing our hearts more and more. That is why you might notice that children smile and laugh more freely than adults, as their brains are not yet blocking their hearts.[/span3]
L: You mentioned the heart and putting what you share into practice. Could you explain what you mean by this?
I: Sure, there are three important keys to opening your heart: relax, touch your heart, and smile.
You see, many of us as we grow older, we start to think more, accumulate more burdens, and without realizing we are closing our hearts more and more. That is why you might notice that children smile and laugh more freely than adults, as their brains are not yet blocking their hearts.
You could try by firstly relaxing… close your eyes… touch the center of your upper chest lightly with your fingers, and smile sweetly and freely…
Keep on smiling sweetly and freely to your heart and let the Blessings help you to go into the peace and calmness… Enjoy…
Relaxing, touching your heart, and smiling sweetly and freely are the first steps to really rely on the Love from True Source. The key to spiritual growth is to move away from relying on us or our efforts and to start relying on the Unlimited Love from True Source.
You can read my other book, Smile to Your Heart Meditations, for further and detailed information on how to strengthen your heart and the wonderful feeling from your heart.
L:What you are saying is that the key to spiritual growth is learning how to rely on The Love from True Source instead of relying on ‘us’ or our efforts to do it.
I:That is correct. We are all limited beings with so many weaknesses. How can an imperfect being reach something perfect? As best a limited being can do, it will always be limited. True Source Love is the perfect one; True Source Love is Unlimited; and this Divine Love has been given to every single one of us, so completely, so unconditionally. Only True Source and True Source Love can give true spiritual growth; and of course, help us fulfill our ultimate destiny that is to return to True Source completely.
L:You have many students that you have taught all over the world. Are there any common obstacles that you find limit our spiritual growth development?
I:Every obstacle is simply a beautiful reminder to rely more on True Source and True Source Love for us. Sometimes people forget that the key really is to just relax, touch their hearts, and smile sweetly and freely to their hearts. They are so used to doing so much, putting in so much effort, and some people still believe that determination and intensity are required for spiritual growth when actually there is a simple and natural way to strengthen the heart, which is the key to spiritual growth.
L:What have you found that helps people break through personal limitations in order to grow spiritually?
I:The heart is a special Gift of Love from True Source to every single being, and it is the perfect tool to help each and every one of us to ‘break through’ our limitations.
However, it is not the heart itself that does it; rather, the Love helps our heart to accept all beautiful things from True Source. True Source Love is the true and only solution for any obstacle we might encounter.
L:What you are sharing is very different to the approach of mindfulness that emphasizes becoming the mindful observer or witness. You are saying that identifying with the “observer” is a limitation to true spiritual growth.
I: Yes, in many spiritual traditions, awareness and mindfulness are encouraged. When we stay as an observer, our brain is still in charge, we are still holding the rein. The moment we mind ourselves and focus on what we do, we actually limit the Love. We don’t want to be a mere witness to what is taking place; we want to let the Love work completely and continuously on our spirit/true self without any limitations at all.
L: You mentioned that soul development is not the same as spiritual development. Can you share anything else about this and how it relates to The Real You: Beyond Forms and Lives?
I: Yes, many people equate the soul with the spirit when actually they are two completely different consciousnesses. The spirit is our true self while the soul is the mediator between our spirit (true self) and our physical consciousness. It is good to develop our souls. However it is not our highest consciousness. Developing the soul will not fulfill us or our true purpose, because good things that happen to our soul do not automatically happen to our spirit as well. As an example, if we take a bath to cleanse our physical body, it does not make our soul cleaner. The true self is within our heart; our heart is the key; and only the Love from True Source can do good things to our heart and our true self. I speak of the differences between these two consciousnesses in The Real You: Beyond Forms and Lives. Detailed information about the soul is in the Soul Consciousness book which will be published in English soon.
L: What do you see as other obstacles or challenges related to opening our spiritual heart or living our life with an open heart?
I: One of the challenges is that many people think they already use their hearts. When invited to open their hearts, they think they know what the heart is; and they also believe that their hearts are already open. Knowing that you have to use your heart does not mean that you already use your heart. Wanting to use your heart also does not mean you already use your heart. You have to use your heart properly.
The other challenge is that after they are willing to learn more about the heart and open their heart, people sometimes forget that the key really is to just relax, touch their hearts, and smile sweetly and freely to their hearts. They forget that doing less is the key; they still believe that determination and intensity are required for spiritual growth when actually they block the Love through their reliance on themselves.
L: So what you are saying is that a big obstacle is thinking that ‘we already know’ or ‘we can only grow spiritually by our effort and determination’.
I: Yes. With regards to ‘effort’, Open Heart spirituality is very simple and effortless, yet it is very deep, precisely because we step back and take a break from our own effort and determination to start to rely on the Unlimited Love from True Source that is helping us beyond any of our limitations.
L: What are the benefits of living our lives with an open heart?
I: Our heart is the key to our connection to True Source and the spiritual hub that connects our spirit (true self), soul and brain. As you open your heart to True Source, you will be able to accept all the most beautiful and wonderful blessings from True Source for every aspect of your life, including feeling calmer, less negative, happier, and improving your physical, mental and emotional health. Your relationships with others will also improve. Many of our alumni also share that they are more creative and productive at school and at work.
L: You mentioned we are living in a special time. Why is it so special?
I: This is the time to open our heart to True Source. This is the time to have direct Love connection with True Source. For so long, so many books and beings talked about the heart, but something was still missing back then. Now, there is a detailed explanation on how to open and use our heart and our Inner Heart, and it is not just theory. So many people have experienced opening their hearts to True Source, improving their connection with True Source in a real way. It’s available to us now.
L: Do you have any final thoughts that might be spiritually beneficial for the readers of this magazine?
I: So many people recognize that having a connection with someone important, be it a political figure, a spiritual figure, a wealthy person, a celebrity, and so on is significant. Now is a beautiful opportunity to be directly connected to the Source of True Love and Light, the Source of our own and every other being’s true self, and our only destiny. What does that really mean to you and your heart?
Meet The Author: Since 1998, Irmansyah (“Irman”) Effendi has been teaching workshops to help others use their hearts and Inner Hearts as well as reach their soul consciousness and spirit/true self consciousness by relying on and surrendering to the Divine Source. His 14 books (four have been translated into English), along with workshops, healing clinics, non-profit and business training programs are devoted to help others use their hearts. Workshops are regularly conducted in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, and South America. Website: www.padmacahaya.org