The last two months have been surreal, with ninety per cent of the human population under lockdown. We as humans are not used to remaining confined within our homes. This has led to varied emotions in response to these restrictions. Most of these emotions are negative and quite counter-intuitive to the logic – that this is a temporary situation, and that we must make best use of the time. These negative emotions are our usual reaction to any adverse situations causing major upheaval in our lives. Daaji, global guide of Heartfulness, recommends that we should try to respond rather than react, be it to a situation, a conversation or an action. While responding, there is a time lapse which helps us go within, to our inner Self and assess our emotions, words, actions, before the response. Having been a Heartfulness practitioner for close to five years, I tried to apply its various principles in practice. Has it helped me during this time of crisis? Like everyone I was taken aback by the proceedings. I had a flight back to India from UK at the end of March and was occupied with preparations and was upbeat at the thought of meeting my family, all this while remaining oblivious of the fact that my trip would be cancelled, and I would be under lockdown in a single room in temporary accommodation! This certainly had quite a few emotions flowing within me, creating an imbalance in my inner state, but I accepted the situation as a divine blessing.
I had been quite erratic with my practice for six to eight months prior to the lockdown, though I had been reading a lot of mission literature at home. In my leisure time at the office I shared my learning during casual conversation with colleagues. As we entered March, the time for me to return to India was nearing and some of my colleagues hinted that they would like to experience heartfulness meditation before I left. It was the first weekend of March, we met with a trainer in Rubgy who gave us three introductory sittings. The experience was a revelation for me, as it was my first proper meditation for a while. Little did I know that through this encounter I was being prepared to brace for the future adverse times – ‘The Lockdown’.
This meditative encounter had opened my heart to the practice and its various aspects to such an extent that I started adopting a number of elements of Heartfulness meditation which I had seldom followed. I would like to outline some of these,
- Diary writing: I was offered a small diary by the trainers and it was recommended that I start writing my observations post meditation. I had never maintained a diary, but as I was alone, I had to express myself and so started writing in the diary. The effect of this was phenomenal as it made me observe my condition better, savour my condition longer and helped me recollect meditation experiences vividly.
- Pre-dawn meditation: We are always recommended to sit before sunrise for meditation, but I did not quite comply, as I meditated at various time post sunrise. The trainer encouraged me to take 4:30 am group meditation with Daaji every Sunday as he had seen immense impact in his inner condition. Dubious of the benefits, I thought of trying it out once and voilà the experience was blissful as I was in tune with nature, in a serene atmosphere, with bubbling energy (pre-dawn the energy flows inward) and clear consciousness.
- Moderation of thoughts/ emotions: During the lockdown, we started virtual classes every Friday, which were conducted by our trainer with a dedicated topic each week. During one session the topic was the ‘heart region’. The trainer explained its dual nature, and how moderating our thoughts and emotions can help us overcome it. Not quite sure if I would be able to achieve it, I started with a simple technique of remaining in touch with my inner self and not letting any of my emotions and thoughts unbalance my inner state, If they did I would bring myself back. Being alone with less human interference had additionally helped me maintain my meditative state for longer times
- Attitude during meditation: It was always said by our Heartfulness Guides that ninety per cent of our meditation outcome is due to the attitude with which we sit. While I never sat for meditation in an angry mood, neither did I sit in a joyous mood either. I made it a point to sit in a happy and joyful mood. The meditative outcome was beautiful.
There were quite a few other elements of the practice I adopted and corrected during these last two months, thanks to virtual classes conducted by our trainer, sessions conducted by Daaji and Doctor Adizes as part of the ‘Managing with the Heart’ series and special sessions by Daaji demystifying Truth Eternal. In these episodes, one thing I realized is that if we open up our heart and accept miseries as coming from the Divine, it will provide us with a realm of opportunities.
by ANJANI BHUPAT KUMAR – Leamington Spa, UK