Simplicity is the very essence or quintessence of the Ultimate
We have lost our naturalness, which we have to restore, and it is the Heartfulness/Sahaj Marg system which can restore in us the original condition. Meditation is something waiting for our originality, and transmission is the central force which is giving that thing.
(Babuji The Philosophy of Sahaj Marg)
Let it be soft, as no force is needed during meditation.
I really want to welcome everyone here – both new to Heartfulness and perhaps more long time practitioners – and be glad that we are connecting together in this way and perhaps I can invite us all to take a moment to imagine that we are now quite softly meeting with our hearts..
Alka has kindly invited me to participate in this series of workshops and for this one, the topic is meditation. We are blessed with a great unfolding collection of resources from our current guide Daaji about meditation and how to approach it. We also have much written in our books including the Heartfulness Way and Designing Destiny.
So rather than adding more words or complexity I felt to focus on the very source and very essence of this approach, which is always what deeply appealed to me because of its emphasis on simplicity, on naturalness, on the original pristine state of creation and being in us..it is really what always inspires me and keeps me going with it on wet and grey mornings.. But how to keep alert and not go into automatic pilot sometimes?
If I go back to the beginning in my own experience of this way of meditating, I can only go back to a very simple small feeling inside my heart, that I felt as I was introduced by the trainer, but more wonderfully, this very small soft feeling inside me could go on being felt by me in my office the next day and the days that followed. It was REAL.
For some reason as a rather ungrounded and fanciful person of 26, I took this very small simple experience much more seriously than all the other fantastic experiences on offer all around in the 1970’s..and I connected it with the apparent source as I was told, who was Babuji, just a dim black and white photo on a rather battered book cover that I was shown..but also conveyed in the vivid accounts that my trainer told me about this extraordinary and moving human being..These have remained really as the basic ground of Heartfulness and what I trust, no matter what I have read or come to ‘know’ since.
I am going to say a bit more about these 4 aspects from the quotations -Simplicity, Naturalness, Originality, and Softness. To me, these capture the essence of the goal, of the means and the relationship with our source in all dimensions and there is a great beauty in the integration of all aspects of the process, the philosophy and attitude reflecting and expressing the same principles. Babuji suggested that if God is simple, the means must be simple.
One tendency we have, and our culture has, is to make things out of experiences and journalists are good at doing this: as children we are immersed in experiencing without language but as adults we get more and more skilled in labelling everything not as an experience, not even as a process of activity, but as a noun – a thing we do! We do coffee, we do chilling out, we do exercise, parenting, socialising, well being, we even try to do sleep! and it all makes it sound like we are in control of life!! That I am always in charge of what I do or experience.. I can simply acquire one app or many apps to solve most problems and needs!! So then how can I fall back into simply being immersed in the moment.. simply feeling what is? This is what is being asked of us in meditation. How do I fall into a sense of connectedness where I can lose this relentless sense of me being separate?
And then the word ‘meditation’ can also seem like more and more of a thing and a complicated thing to do whether you are new to Heartfulness or long practised, sometimes it can be hard to avoid approaching it from a mental, or intellectual point of view.. this is what I am supposed to focus on etc. this is what I have just read or received in instructions by Daaji, or seen on youtube, this is what research tells us etc..
It can be hard to avoid our expectations for what we want to happen when we meditate or what we think should happen when we meditate- which is all natural because we want to do it right!! And I have found how unawarely and often I want to replicate the same experience as before in a mechanical way ( like a thing I do) and miss something new that could be unfolding..
1.We have lost our naturalness which we have to restore.
Babuji used the absurd analogy that it is as if we are trying to pick up a pin with a crane to try and wake us up to how much we create our own complexities for ourselves..in tackling meditation and spirituality
But supposing we presume that what is known as meditation is just an ordinary human faculty like singing or listening and that some rishis and seers and saints several thousand years ago just fell into it sitting by the river bank or under a tree or in a cave more or less naturally before there was a name for it..so why not we could also. But naturalness here is also a more profound idea I think of a pristine quality, the presence of the divine everywhere and within at all times..
2.Meditation is something waiting for our originality.
Meditation is something waiting for our originality.. ( take a moment just to allow the idea of this to evoke a feeling or an image or atmosphere of what this might mean?)
I see this as our pure state of being before all the layers and complexities got built up.. The original ground before the big bang, this pristine origin is still within us just as the atoms of our bodies emanate from this..
In order to be open to something unknown, or pure or original, it can be that I have to be willing to face a kind of emptiness or space or even aloneness as I simply wait with the suggestion that the divine presence is there? So we do not have to fill up the space..
I once ever was given the special opportunity to sit with Babuji in his courtyard. In my rather overwhelmed awkwardness, I told myself “ I must think of God” and Babuji straightaway said “ Who is thinking that thought!”… ( an interesting question)
Simplicity is the very essence or quintessence of the Ultimate.. ( who knows what this really means, but it could be worth allowing the words to touch us and be open to receive some feeling or image or intimation that might come to us?)
Babuji suggests if the goal is simple, then the means should be simple.. What happens if we just open ourselves to feel what this might be like..?
If we really want to sustain our interest and enthusiasm, then it is helpful at all times I think, to adopt an attitude that ‘I do not know anything at all, but I can wait to discover something new that I have never felt before’.. Invite this possibility, with humility and even before you sleep or before you start the meditation. I recognise how much I have not allowed the dynamic process of Heartfulness meditation really be felt because I put myself on automatic and mechanical pilot too often..
4.Softness no force
Can I be as simple as possible in how I approach meditating? – no expectations, no force, no pressure just softness and a welcoming heart space to receive?
What we are approaching is not clear edged, it is out of focus..It is a kind of softness so we have to approach it like a delicate or vulnerable plant, child, adult or work of art.. we have to feel our way towards it..
Softness has come to me many times as the best word to touch the feeling of love and the meaning of love too..
If I want to sustain interest and longing each day, then I need to cultivate a feeling of precious relationship with my inner heart source each moment as I go through the day and night as well as when I meditate..it is our deepest place of meaning, of being moved, of being inspired, of feeling love as well as grief. Sadly, too often, it is not as immediate as I would wish, and I lose connection. Yet it is this source within that has got us to this point! and we need to keep the sense of it alive and intense so as to feed our restlessness, our longing to be reconnected.. and also to let it show us the way..
Each time we meditate, and even when we are not, we are simply waiting to feel this inner divine presence/source of love deep within our hearts. This is the essence!
The transmission guides us to feel it.
Finally, there is often a fear about meditation, that it will lead us into an isolated and cut-off kind of state, and that it will increase our sense of individual separateness.
It seems to be the opposite in reality. Meditating is always about connecting with our shared oneness rather than being separate..We do not need to fear being lost, being rejected, being insufficient or wanting. We are present with our divine source as best we can be.
When we reach out our hand another will always reach back..