When we apply our consciousness to learn about ourselves, it is as if our thoughts and feelings are separate. When we meditate on the heart, we feel one with nature and develop intuitive understanding,” says Joshua Pollock, co-author of the recently published book The Heartfulness Way. He was speaking at the Pune launch of the book, primarily authored by Kamlesh Patel, a Heartfulness practitioner, popularly known as Daaji.
“Meditation heals and transforms us,” says Pollock, adding, “Regular practice of meditation improves the quality of life, relieves stress and gives you better quality of sleep. It also helps the stimulation of the immune system, greater concentration and more.” The only requirement to practise daily meditation is your willingness to try it out. You set your own pace and it is your experiences that will show you the way, he stresses.
The Heartfulness Way, unveiled by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind, guides you with the techniques and principles penned down by Patel, who is the fourth global guide of Heartfulness, and his student Pollock, who is himself a Heartfulness practitioner and trainer. The book helps those who are interested in meditation and helps them transform their day-to-day lives.
Commenting on the book, Daaji says, “Knowledge is good, but experience is better. This book contains a practical approach by which anyone can personally experience the refined states of being that we normally associate with the great personalities from the past.”
Pollock further says, “With over a million practitioners worldwide, Heartfulness meditation is a set of practices for self-development that help us find inner calm and stillness in our extremely fast-paced world. The easily adopted practices are appropriate for people from all walks of life, cultures, religious beliefs, and economic status.”
It is also called the Raja Yoga system of meditation — the ‘Sahaj Marg’ or the ‘Natural Path’, Pollock adds. It originated at the turn of the 20th century and was formalised with the founding of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission in 1945 in India.
Around 5,000 Heartfulness centres, known as HeartSpots, help you practise it through their certified volunteer trainers in 130 countries. “As we manoeuvre the many demands of relationships, career, property and health, we often sense a void, a feeling of alienation from our true selves. We have many centres in our lives, yet where is the true centre, the deepest centre that lies at the core of every heart,” insists Pollock.
“You can simply deepen your experience and appreciation of life through this simple daily practice of Heartfulness. Just find a place where you won’t be disturbed. Turn off your phones, televisions, radios and any other sources of distraction. Relax, sit comfortably, gently close your eyes and suppose that a Divine Light is illuminating your heart from within. Rather than trying to visualise it, simply tune in to your heart and be open to any experience that you may have. Do this for 30 minutes. If your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your heart. Once you feel yourself naturally coming out of the meditation, spend a few minutes writing down what you observed in a journal. Keeping a journal of your observations is highly recommended,” he explains.
“From reflecting on the essence of prayer and yogic transmission to demystifying the act of meditation through practical tips, this book enables you to live beyond the filters of sensory limitations and discover unity within yourself.
Heartfulness helps you seek the essence beyond the form,” adds Pollock, who is an accomplished Western classical violinist and has performed and taught throughout the world, and his violin solos can be heard in numerous A R Rahman original soundtracks.
How do you juggle music and meditation? “While music itself is a form of meditation, you do not need to quit your careers to practise Heartfulness,” he answers.
Heartfulness meditation is a practical technique that you can use in parallel to any other spiritual approach, he says. “It has no boundaries of religion. Meditating with someone who has the capacity of yogic transmission can help you explore the Heartfulness practice more deeply,” he concludes.