PURIFYING THE HEART by John Goldthwait, PhD.
In 1982, the author, a transpersonal psychologist, had an experience of the true Self, which he feels was brought about by Sri Sathya Sai Baba. “Purifying the Heart” presents a spiritual practice based on Baba’s teachings for removing the impurities that close the heart and separate a person from his or her true Self. Based in quotes from Sai Baba, the book combines Western psychology with Vedanta and gives practical instructions in how to turn everything in one’s experience into a teacher of love. It is designed to bring the realization that “the world and everything that you think is separate from you is actually your reflection, a mirror perfectly designed to show you the way to God.” By practicing with “whatever is present NOW,” the exercises involve watching the heart to see whether it is open or closed and observing what triggers each condition (closing the heart comes from attachment to the false self; non-attachment brings about the opening of the heart and the experience of love). By practicing non-attachment, one can develop the ability to witness one’s thoughts without identifying with them. The author gives examples from his own journey in reducing his attachments, such as attachment to “fairness,” “to avoiding sadness,” to” condemning others,” etc. He also instructs the reader in how to apply the practice to dreams, disease, pain, fear and relationships. As the author states on page 22, “The problem we have with our made-up realities is that we like parts of them and dislike others. The solution is to love them all, which is what “Purifying the Heart” shows us how to do.” The second edition includes added guidance in particular difficulties experienced by many people, new practice exercises, and more recent pertinent quotes from Sai Baba. Softcover, 166 pages, 1 color plate. 2005.