“Listening to the voice of the heart”
Kamlesh Patel, lovingly known as Daaji, is the fourth global teacher of ‘Heartfulness’, a simple set of heart-focused meditation practices to suit the busy lifestyle of today. He brings forth the essence of yogic spiritual practices in a scientific way to help regulate emotions and elevate consciousness to the highest possible level. Born in Gujarat, India, Kamlesh D. Patel showed an early interest in meditation and spiritual growth. In 1976, as a pharmacy student in Ahmedabad, he met his Guide, Shri Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur (Babuji), the founder and first President of Shri Ram Chandra Mission. After graduating with honours in 1980, he moved to the US and practiced pharmacy in New York City, while also continuing the Raja Yoga system of Sahaj Marg, with great devotion. He continues to excel in both his material career and spiritual life .In an interview by Madhuri Shukla, Communication Professional explains why meditation is necessary for everyone leadinga stressful life today and how to do it.
Q1. What is Heartfulness Meditation and how did it originate? Is it affiliated to any religion or spiritual practice?
When we manage to tune into our feelings and capture the inspirations that come from our heart, making them the guiding source of our decisions, it is called listening to the voice of the heart. This kind of shifting from analytical thinking to deeper levels of feeling, intuition, and consciousness is possible through meditation on the heart known as Heartfulness Meditation.
Ram Chandra of Fatehgarh, affectionately known as Lalaji, was the Adi-Guru (the first spiritual teacher) of the Heartfulness way of meditation. In 1945, one of his disciples, coincidentally also named Ram Chandra and fondly addressed as Babuji, founded Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM) in memory of his teacher, Lalaji. It is a non-profit organization created for the purpose of bringing spiritual upliftment to people all over the world (SRCM Worldwide). The spiritual practices offered by the organization, including meditation on the heart, are today known as Heartfulness all over the world.
Q2. How do you start Heartfulness Meditation?
You may start meditation in any of the following ways. Whatever you decide, you are about to embark on a delightful journey:
● Connect with a Heartfulness trainer on a one-on-one basis: https://heartfulness.org/en/connect-with-us/
● Attend Daaji’s masterclasses: https://heartfulness.org/en/masterclass/
● Download and log in to the Heartfulness App:
You may access all the Heartfulness offerings at the following link: https://heartfulness.org/en/heartfulness-offerings.
Q3. With a basket of wellness programs already available, why should one choose Heartfulness Meditation?
The process of Heartfulness Meditation has its foundation in the heart, where feelings and emotions reside. The unique aspect of Heartfulness is to meditate with the aid of yogic Transmission, or Pranahuti, and such training is imparted by the Heartfulness Guide or trainers. Meditating on the heart improves emotional intelligence, sensitivity, and intuition.
Another distinguishing aspect of Heartfulness is the rejuvenation technique, called Cleaning, which removes emotional baggage of the past. Heartfulness Cleaning addresses emotions such as discontentment, restlessness, anxiety, anger, fear, confusion, and negativity, helping you feel light and rejuvenated.
The greatest benefit of Heartfulness is personal transformation through the expansion of consciousness. The growth and changes that you experience are purely individual and a distinctive yardstick – you need to experience it to believe it. By practicing and experiencing Heartfulness techniques, you will be able to gauge their effectiveness and see for yourself the unique solutions they bring to your life.
Q4. How long does one need to practice Heartfulness Meditation to feel the effect/judge the efficacy?
For some people, the first meditation session is a game changer; they feel the effect and are able to tell the difference immediately. But, of course, like any other practice, one has to try it regularly and sincerely for a period of 6 to 12 weeks to observe specific visible changes in their inner and outer environment. For example, only when you work out regularly for a couple of months in the gym can you see changes in your body. A mind or heart gym is no different.
Heartfulness Meditation is a lifelong process. Even after so many decades, every single day brings new and unique growth. Our perspectives shift, our vision broadens, we forgive ourselves and others, we become more and more resilient and perform better, and so on. Just when we think we have reached the pinnacle of perfection, we realize we can do much better, and the journey continues. Isn’t that what we require in life? The best version of ourselves that we see today is better than yesterday’s best. So, efficacy is a lifelong process.
Q5. In today’s hectic lifestyle, how can we find the time to meditate?
Especially when we think we do not have time to meditate, is the time when we need to meditate more and more. Can you see the logic in that?
Meditation is the most important and relevant time-management tool in our life. It helps us regulate our emotions. After all, what is time management if not emotional management? We need physical energy to do things, but, more importantly, we need mental and emotional resilience to manage multiple things in life. Meditating for an hour every morning helps us stay focused, align our priorities, and become emotionally resilient. That is the secret to time management. So, ‘hectic’ does not exist in our lifestyle; meditation does.
Q6. Is there any fee or donation required to learn or practice Heartfulness?
All good things are available bountifully in nature and free of cost. Do we pay for clean air, water, and love? Meditation is one of the noblest way to create peace. It is free of cost – a tradition that Heartfulness will always continue.
Today Heartfulness has spread to 160 countries. The organization is constantly growing and, consequently, there is an increase in administrative and organizational costs. We also undertake a lot of community-based activities like developing and preserving the green canopy of our planet, water conservation projects, caring for and enriching mental health, supporting COVID warriors and patients, and so on. For all these activities at the community and administrative level, we greatly rely on donations from generous hearts.
If you feel you have benefited and your heart moves you to contribute, please pay-it-forward by helping someone else benefit from the Heartfulness practices and community offerings. Who knows – someone else’s generosity might have enabled you to experience Heartfulness in the first place!
Q7. Is it recognized by the government or any international bodies?
In the most recent news, Heartfulness collaborated with UNESCO-MGIEP and AICTE to bring together 15000 youth to the at the headquarters in Kanha Shanti Vanam for a unique, conference, ‘Rising with Kindness’, to commemorate the International Day of Youth, and celebrate 75 glorious years of Indian independence (Azadika Amrit Mahotsav). Heartfulness has partnered with AICTE in other ways too, to equip students with the practice of meditation. Many state governments and ministries across India have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the Heartfulness Institute to offer meditative practices in schools and colleges, for students. Heartfulness, in collaboration with the United Nations Information Center for India and Bhutan, launches the Heartfulness Essay Event every year. This is one of our most long-standing events, spanning over decades. Every day, new MOUs are signed with numerous national and international organizations and government bodies to continue facilitating the sharing of heartfulness practices. All of Heartfulness Yoga programs are certified by Ministry of Ayush of Govt of India.
Q8. Does practicing Heartfulness require us to change our lifestyle? Is it compatible with normal family and work life?
Heartfulness strengthens our life for the better. We do not have to change anything. It helps us mold our lives to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. It helps us balance and regulate our lifestyle. We build emotional resilience and hence perform better at work. We improve our discretion and discernment, allowing us to make better decisions both personally and professionally.
Heartfulness is not merely compatible with but rather improves our family and professional lives. From being ‘normal’, we become better. It supercharges our life with what we need the most.
Q9. Does Heartfulness work on medical ailments? If yes, which ones?
If you have any medical ailments, please visit a professionally trained medical expert or a doctor.
Recent research and work done by the Heartfulness Institute have proven that Heartfulness Meditation alleviates burnout and is extremely effective in increasing productivity, emotional wellness, and even telomere length, as published in arecent study. Apart from these proven medical and health-related benefits, Heartfulness techniques give a sense of joy, peace, and well-being to begin with. When we live a balanced life, many issues related to our lifestyle are resolved. We live in contentment, and the impact of the disease or ailment is reduced or removed from our life. So while Heartfulness does not claim to cure diseases, it can certainly prevent lifestyle-related medical challenges.
Q10. Who and why should one visit Kanha Shanti Vanam?
This is something you will answer for yourself when you visit Kanha Shanti Vanam! But to help you make the trip, let me give you a few insider’s tips: Do you want to meditate in the world’s largest meditation center?
Would you like to visit a green haven, home to the ‘Green Kanha’ and ‘Forests by Heartfulness’ initiatives?
How about an experience of rainforests in the middle of a bustling city like Hyderabad?
If you said yes to any of the questions, pack your bags now!
Kanha Shanti Vanam is home to many of the fast-disappearing indigenous and endangered species of plants. We adopt the latest technologies with scientific planning to create an ex-situ conservation center, replete with resplendent green spaces.
I do not want to give away too many things, but rather would like you to have the experience first-hand. You are welcome to Kanha, explore it for yourself, meditate here, and share your observations and experiences.
I would love to hear your experience of Heartfulness Meditation. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.