I have meditated in the past, but I found this book extremely illuminating, fascinating, and it gave me much food for thought. I read the book from cover to cover and I wanted to read it from page to page, which is indeed an indication of a good read and speaks volumes of the authors, and the way in which the book has been written.
Mr. Kamlesh D. Patel is of Indian origin and Mr. Joshua Pollock is a renowned musician from America, which proves that the practice of meditation knows no boundaries and has appeal throughout the world.
The book has three parts and takes the reader step by step through a journey to attain a better understanding of “The Heartfulness Way.” To appreciate and benefit from the book, we need to read the book thoroughly and imbibe the contents.
The book also describes “yogic transmission,” which I found to be fruitful, as I am always reminded that the Bhagavad Gita states that yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.
I have noted down points and paragraphs which I have extracted from the book, and in order not to interfere with the message, I have to a certain extent, paraphrased and taken quotations from the book itself. I hope that the authors will not mind it, but I feel that by doing so, I will be amplifying the powerful messages and not contaminating the pearls of wisdom included therein.
I would begin by saying that mediation is a daily source of clarity, lightness, inspiration, and palpable inner joy. One can of course meditate at any time, and in between political and business meetings, I sometimes sit quietly and close my eyes to attain tranquility and recharge my batteries. This has indeed worked for me, as I believe that you have to be mentally in tune in order to fully participate in any important meeting. Having read the book, I now clearly understand that it is best to meditate daily, at a fixed time, and in the same place in order to achieve the best results. If we discipline ourselves, meditation would be second nature. Meditation
provides insight into realities of what is happening in one’s life, and one must therefore find time for it.
The best time to meditate, as I understood by reading the book, is before sunrise, but the time can be whatever suits the person. Through meditation, we can move from the complexity of mind to the simplicity of heart. Everything starts from the heart, and when the heart is at peace, the mind shall be at rest. The heart therefore regulates the mind.
The book, which consists of three parts, is crafted in a logical manner. Part 1 examines why Heartfulness, which includes the spirituality of Hearftulness and the demystification of meditation. Part 2 looks into the practise of Heartfulness via meditation, cleaning, and prayer. Part 3 examines the role of the guru.
In Part 1, I was very interested to read about the eight steps: yama (good conduct), niyama (regularity, observances), asana (posture), pranayama (breath), pratyahara (inner withdrawal), dharana (mental focus), dhyana (continued attention and samadhi (original condition, balance).
In the state of samadhi, we enter in a state of union with the Source. From the Source, we also draw subtle current of energy, and I learned that if we sit on something made from non-conductive material at the time of meditation, it helps us to preserve that energy.
It also helps to relax the parts of one’s body, from the toes to the head. The book contains explanations as to how to achieve this complete relaxation and how best to meditate. I have now understood that we must meditate regularly, until it becomes a habit. We will then feel that one’s day is not complete until one does meditate.
Let us now discuss cleaning, also known as inner hygiene, which is a core practice of Heartfulness. The purpose of cleaning is to free us from patterns of thinking, emotional activities and behavioral tendencies.
The book provides guidance as to how we can undertake cleaning. Notably, both meditation and cleaning should be undertaken in order to be beneficial to a person.
I was absolutely fascinated to learn about points A, B, C, and D in one’s chest. These four points determine the exact effect that our own emotional reactions have on us. The four points are closely connected with the heart, and the heart is responsible for all mental and emotional states.
The third element of Heartfulness is the practice of prayer. Prayer is spirituality’s beating heart. In fact, it is the inner cry of the heart.
As a Muslim, I am required to pray namaz and I was indeed enthralled to find that prayer is an essential part of the Heartfulness way. The book describes the desires that we
aim to fulfill, which are of four specific varieties. In the yogic tradition, these four aims are known as artha, kama, dharma and moksha. These aims are also associated with points A, B, C and D, which we spoke about previously in the context of cleaning.
As someone who has been brought up to be compassionate and to care about humanity, I was very interested to read about compassion, generosity and care for others in the book.
The book also reflects my upbringing. As my mother taught me, you need to pray for others. I therefore agreed when the books states that we must have a giving heart and we must also have an open heart, and that this heart must be humble at all times. I would also like to quote what my august father always used to say to me: “be humble and exercise humility at all times.” He also used to say that when a tree bears fruit, its branches droop down and if you look at a scale, you will find that it is the heavier side that always comes down. I have also been brought up to believe that one must pray before going to bed and the book enforces this.
In Part 3, the role of the guru is elaborated upon. I am sorry to say I have met gurus that I do not believe are true gurus. I agree with the book when it states that a guru should not be seeking reverence. He should not be saying, “follow me.” His thinking at all times should be encouraging you to achieve more and seeing how much you can achieve.
Moreover, I also agree with the book when it mentions that we all must clear our minds, as when the mind is clear, the heart will reveal its secrets. In order for us to be calm, we need to be clean and we must maintain an inner attitude of prayerfulness and humility.
I will finish by saying that this was a fascinating and illuminating book and I have learned a lot by studying it. I will keep this book and read it from time to time. It was indeed a pleasure to read the book and I would certainly recommend others to do so.
It is my hope that many more people can take advantage of this wonderful resource, and learn these simple yet powerful techniques through The Heartfulness Way.”
Through a process of question and answer with seeker Joshua Pollock, Daaji brilliantly addresses the tension that exists between our internal operating system that is ego driven and our internal operating system that is a manifestation of Divine Energy. These two orientations are presented as needing to be in balance rather than seen as a binary choice. The implicit and underlying message of the book is that Harmony is possible. The peace and union we seek is within us and accessible with correct practice.
The Heartfulness Way assumes that we all practice and we all meditate. Using simple and easy to understand examples, Daaji illustrates movement through the typical stages of human development and what matters in each stage. He addresses how to orient oneself and how orientation impacts awareness. He speaks to the importance of addressing with awareness and choice what appear as conflicts in our everyday lives. Union, cohesion, harmony and peace emerge from healthy orientation and resolution of choices. The body, mind and spirit, according to Daaji, is self-correcting when there is balance and connection to the Source.
This book is a must read for individuals interested in enriching their meditation practice and their experience of living life.
to make a big difference in the lives of so many people across the globe.”
Meditation is an age-old practice, and a successful one. This is perhaps the only way a person can face their own self and set themselves free. Put together from a series of conversations between teacher and student, the authors of this book have created something so powerful and profound that it makes me wonder how many lives it will potentially change.
I find immense pride in my association with Kamlesh D. Patel, and this book fills me with utmost respect for its two authors, who have embarked on the holy path of spiritual transformation. It is rare in today’s age to see people share their insight and teach from their experiences. Om Namah Shivay.”
While the West has become vastly more receptive to, and knowledgeable about, meditation, one of the remaining gaps in understanding that begs to be corrected is that all forms of meditation are pretty much the same. This is patently untrue, and those who perpetuate the error are doing the public a great disservice. Meditation has discernible, even quantifiable, effects on the mind, body, and spirit. But there are numerous types of meditation practice, some of them thousands of years old and others invented yesterday. To assume that different methods will yield precisely the same results defies logic. They may all calm the practitioner down, for example, but not to the same degree, and perhaps not in the same way. The same can be said of all the other outcomes touted by meditation advocates: Different action, different results, even if the differences are subtle and cannot be measured by scientific instruments.
All of which is to say that the form of meditation described in this book, “heartfulness,” should be seen as an addition to the inventory of more familiar meditation methods. No one should assume that it is, in its results, identical to all of the others, or any of them. It should be experienced on its own by individual practitioners, and evaluated by qualified researchers. I will say this: at a time when the term “mindfulness” is used interchangeably with “meditation,” even though they may be drastically different practices, and when various techniques that go by both of those names are conflated with one another, anything called “heartfulness” is welcome. Meditation is not just for the mind.
The book mirrors the classic Vedic format of guru-disciple dialogue. This is advantageous. As exemplified in the Upanishads, such a structure provides readers with a perspective, and a voice, similar to their own – one of an inquisitive seeker of wisdom. Many have pondered questions like to the ones asked by the disciple in the book, Joshua Pollock, who contributes sharp, well-informed inquiries. The guru, Kamlesh D. Patel, aka Daaji, responds with knowledgeable, down-to-earth, often witty replies that are consistent with the rational, pragmatic, experience-based discourses that are the hallmark of the Vedic tradition.
All in all, The Heartfulness Way is a worthy addition to the burgeoning library of English-language texts that have made India’s vast and diverse spiritual treasures accessible to eager Western seekers.
Daaji, in his book titled The Heartfulness Way: Heart-Based Meditations for Spiritual Transformation, has in his own inimitable way, demystified spirituality and helped all of us to live “beyond the filters of our sensory limitations and discover unity within ourselves.” Heartfulness meditation finds its roots planted firmly in the core of one’s heart and is sourced by “divine” inspiration, instead of the desire to conquer and control. It has, at its core, values that promote love and harmony in fostering a spirit of global cooperation. We are truly not separate from one another. A tremendous inter-dependency exists, not only amongst all of us, but also between the departments of any organization, and among the nations of the world. It will ensure the future health and well being of humanity as a whole, by placing human dignity and environmental sensitivity in balance with the “rational” view.
More and more people across the globe are turning to Heartfulness Meditation, realizing that in order to reach our full potential as complete, balanced human beings, our inner spiritual longings must be addressed along with the material demands of daily life. Sustained practice of meditation allows us to feel a deep and abiding connection with our inner selves, and in turn gives a lasting direction and meaning to our lives. A balanced state develops in which we are less affected by the ups and downs of everyday life. Our natural capacity for wisdom and right action begins to manifest, allowing us to better prioritize the conflicting demands of life. As Daaji succinctly puts it, “Heartfulness meditation shifts consciousness to a state of poise and stillness that is responsive from the heart rather than reactive from mind.” Yes, our heart knows all the answers and one must learn to hear our inner voice as it is often stated that “one who looks outside, dreams; while one who looks inside, awakens.” Very often, the best answers come from within you-from your heart. Profound joy, unlike fleeting pleasures, is spiritual in nature. It is based on love, compassion, empathy, bonding and a caring and nurturing attitude. As per Daaji, it is “the subtle body that evolves so that we can design our destiny. It changes according to how we purify and simplify it, so that the joy of the soul shines and radiates from within, and through this process we find the evolution of consciousness.” This is presumably the essence of “spiritual transformation,” which Daaji refers to in his writings and talks.