We asked two Heartfulness meditators to reflect on what they gain from practising Heartfulness. Bhupinder Pal Singh began Heartfulness meditation in 2000, and Alka Patel in 2006.
Why do you meditate?
Bhupinder: When I started meditation, my aim was to improve my interpersonal skills… now the reason is totally different. The main reason to meditate now is that it gives me more insight and clarity about the things which I am about to undertake, and the best time for me is the morning time as I can plan my whole day to the best of my abilities. With the peaceful state of meditation which has transpired, it becomes even easier.
Alka: If I do not meditate, I definitely feel different, imbalanced and unfocused. It helps me to have a better day as I use it throughout my work, family life and with friends. It helps me to feel connected and see from within. This helps me gain clarity, make better decisions and be more empathetic and compassionate towards others.
What changes have you noticed in yourself from practising Heartfulness?
Bhupinder: Immense changes. I feel I am on the path to become a better human being. There is lot to improve but the tides of change can be felt.
Alka: One of the biggest changes I have seen is that I reflect more and make decisions from my silent space. I also feel able to connect with all sorts of people with different difficulties and needs.
Do you do the evening Cleaning process? If so, what benefits do you notice from doing it?
Bhupinder: Yes, I regularly do the evening cleaning. The benefits – I get recharged by it, and a feeling of lightness is felt. It’s like my evening boost, the first boost being the morning meditation. It keeps my momentum going.
Alka: The evening cleaning for me is the most important part of the practice, as it’s a way of detoxing and removing any negative or positive tendencies. It also keeps me connected to my inner self.
How does your Heartfulness practice affect your work life? How about your family life?
Bhupinder: It has immensely benefited my work life. In the most difficult situations, especially involving decision-making activity, I am able to calm myself with ease and put forward my point without expecting that it will be taken. This was never the case with me. It has improved me as I’ve become an ‘easy-going person’.
As far as family life is concerned, I am able to concentrate more on improving relations with my family members. Meditation has helped me to reduce the ‘Mr. Right’ attitude which I believe is the main hurdle to a prosperous relationship.
Alka: It gives me the clarity to reflect and make better decisions which help me to work more efficiently. This really helps because as a teacher we have 10 million things to do, in one day! My decisions have a better effect on both me and others.
I feel it really helps me keep work life, home life and social life balanced.
Right now during this Covid-19 pandemic and unusual situation, this method has really helped me to stay on top of things and be positive about the changes in my life situation. It has encouraged me to help others and to create harmony and community.
Do you feel your ability to cope with difficult situations has improved?
Bhupinder: Yes certainly. My ability to pause and wait is certainly improving, which helps in dealing with these situations.
Alka: As I mentioned before it has helped me a lot to deal with troublesome situations; I react differently now than in the past. I’m much calmer. In negative situations I notice how my heart feels and don’t always react now. I tend to reflect and think about what the other person is feeling or going through. I sometimes rehearse what I’m going to say but this can change and I’m always looking for direction from within. I find this when I am meditating a lot. Over time I have trusted this more and more, and it’s definitely my inner self that is guiding me.
What part of the practice do you find particularly helpful when times are tough?
Bhupinder: I feel it’s the whole meditative practice of heartfulness which helps me collectively. I couldn’t leave one for the other. Night-time connection helps to develop the right attitude for meditation in the morning. The morning meditation brings the inner calmness and the opportunity for deeper insight at various dimensions, which helps me connect with subtle feelings. Evening cleaning practice gives me the opportunity to shed whatever has been accumulated during the day.
Tough times are a good field of action I believe, as it gives a chance to take meditative practice to another level.
Alka: The cleaning practice is very important as it helps you to clear away any foggy feeling that is in you. This helps to clear any emotional tendencies that block the flow. It helps me to make decisions which are more in line with reality, and will hopefully be delivered without any negative impact to the other.
When the situation is difficult, a natural process occurs where I go quiet and silent, go within myself and feel that naturally I’m waiting for direction. I’m always in gratitude and always filled with this inner joy.
Do you feel that being a part of Heartfulness, you feel like a part of a community?
Bhupinder: I feel Heartfulness and its practice bring about much needed joy and solace and when we sense the same inner joy in others, we feel connected naturally.
Alka: When you start feeling the deeper layers of your consciousness you start feeling the connection amongst others, a sense of being with the community and linking with humanity. It’s a natural process where you start to feel good about yourself.