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Bulletin No: 2015.118 – Saturday October 31, 2015

Update on Heartfulness, October 23rd 2015

Content of this update

  1. Greetings
  2. Preparing ourselves
  3. Public-facing events
  4. Self-service
  5. Nurturing newcomers
  6. Creating an inclusive environment
  7. Ideas are welcome
  8. Volunteering makes them happen
  9. Additional information

Dearest sisters and brothers,

We thought we would give you all an update. Please take your time to read it as it is long. It signifies all of your participation, contribution and commitment.

We all now understand the need to approach Sahaj Marg as a movement. It is needed for ourselves as well as for the Masters’ vision of a transformed humanity.

When we look into the new scientific research and theories on meditation and wellbeing, it is evident how meditation contributes to emotional intelligence, collective coherence, the heart’s influence on relationships, and brain functions. One is able to improve one’s empathy, compassion, focus and balance. Meditation contributes to active and healthy frontal lobes of the brain. The frontal lobes carry out higher mental processes related to thinking, decision-making, and planning. In other words, it is the closest organ connected with consciousness.

So, in this landscape where meditation has become a mainstream activity, devoid of its religious connotations, how do we differentiate ourselves? It becomes critical to clearly communicate the significance of transmission, cleaning, the Ten Maxims, the attitude of prayer and suggestions. We have to approach them scientifically and, most importantly, experientially. This is very important especially in the urban and western worlds.

Also note that, in this environment, the Masters are giving us unprecedented spiritual transmission, leading to absorption even during relaxation. Introductions have taken a new meaning and greater possibilities for reaching out to fellow humans have opened up. With 15-year-olds now allowed to meditate and villages opening up via V-Connect, we are able to touch all sections of humanity.

Preparing Ourselves

If we are inspired to participate in the movement, we must become truly service-oriented. There is no need for permissions or approval, no hierarchy and reporting, and also no room for squabbles or complaints. No one can be evaluated in this movement and there is no risk of doing anything wrong. Communication is open and frequent. All volunteers are welcome to learn, to improve, and to aid in this great enterprise.

What is needed is a constant vigil on our own self – our practice, our behavior and our unwavering interest in the real Goal of human life – and a genuine interest. While we as individuals grow, using all that Sahaj Marg offers, we are also genuinely interested in the wellbeing of others.

It is vital to prepare as many hearts as possible that are open to receiving transmission. Everyone can participate in that, as the transmission will automatically flow from the Master’s heart to the heart of an open receiver.

All of us can train ourselves on how to conduct a workshop of 45 minutes – 1.5 hours:

  1. Give handouts, such as the 3-fold flyers with the tear-off for contact details, that include information on Heartfulness, relaxation and meditation scripts and follow-up steps.
  2. Give a short, personal introduction, including how meditation helps, some guidelines for the session, and inform participants about the sittings over the next two days. For example, give interest cards if the second and third sittings will be done remotely to ensure that participants sit at home for their introductory sittings at the specified times.
  3. Here is the suggested steps for a workshop, where you will draw out the significance of transmission:
    1. Introduction, including distributing paper or a diary for participants to write their experiences after each activity (5-10 minutes),
    2. Meditation without yogic transmission, followed by inner observation and writing of experience (10-15 minutes),
    3. Relaxation and first introductory meditation with yogic transmission, followed by inner observation and writing of experience (25-45 minutes, depending on time allotted),
    4. Testimonials from participants about their experience, no Q&A (5 minutes)
    5. Summary and next steps. Collect name and email of each participant for follow up (10 minutes).
  4. Always follow the same steps of conducting meditation without transmission first, as this provides a scientific comparison with the later meditation with transmission, and thus an experiential introduction to Sahaj Marg practice and transmission.
  5. Become conversant and comfortable in guiding the practices of relaxation, meditation, cleaning and prayer. Practice the guided relaxation by yourself, and then with family and friends. You will see the benefit in personally delivering this relaxation technique with confidence.
  6. Discussing transmission does not need to be complex. Here is one of Master’s responses to the question, “What is transmission?”

    “Transmission is a loosely translated word from the Sanskrit word pranahuti. Pranahuti is nothing but an essence of our prana, pranasya pranaha [life of life], which is utilised by a yogi. This force is transmitted. I use the word 'force', but it really has no force in it. There is no other better word to describe this, so that is why I use the word ‘force’, but it is a forceless thing. It has to be experienced, and somehow it touches our hearts almost like the sunlight touching our skin, and makes us feel warm. Like that, when pranahuti touches your heart it really makes you feel very special inside.”

    In India, pranahuti may be understood and hence a more traditional explanation may be offered, but keep it brief and towards experience. It is easier to experience than to describe.
  7. Heartfulness has a large Social Media presence, so you may draw the attention of participants and also add the following links to any printed handouts.

    Facebook: http://facebook.com/practiceheartfulness
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/heartful_ness
    Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Heartfulness/posts
    YouTube: http://youtube.com/c/Heartfulness
    LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/grp/home?gid=8274156
    Instagram: http://instagram.com/practiceheartfulness
  8. Collect the participants’ information via interest cards, feedback cards or tear-off sheets and add them to the excel sheet to be sent to introductions@heartfulness.org and/or subscriptions@heartfulness.org. Respect all the privacy laws of the country and be proactive.
  9. If mobile apps are ready, issue a url or qr code on how to download them.
  10. Most importantly, plan on making a sustainable program possible, with weekly group meditations and simple topics of importance to nurture the newcomers. For this, the ‘Staging of Practice’ material is available at content.heartfulness.org.

In this effort to prepare ourselves, we have conducted several webinars and on-site training programs. These will be on-going and we will also offer regional and local training upon request.

Public-facing Events

We have several tools and opportunities for connecting with people to share Heartfulness on two levels: local and global.


Online Meetup sites have been used effectively as open invitations to events or ongoing classes.

Weekly group meditations have become public-facing events as centers have opened them to interested locals and develop ways to welcome and guide visitors. The Welcome Desk is an important means to create a suitable atmosphere for newcomers in our ashrams and centers.

We have found that connecting to organizations that have their own internal means of informing and inviting their members, such as yoga studios, churches or temples, is most conducive.

We also offer yoga and other classes in our ashrams, especially in the West, to improve the usage of the ashram and interaction with the community.

For corporate initiatives (C-Connect) we have a full range of programs from multi-session courses to introductory 50-minute workshops. We have had success from a grass roots perspective with abhyasis reaching out to their management or HR and Wellness teams.


The Heartfulness Institute (HI) is planning to have four occasions each year to interact with people cohesively on a global scale:

January 1 – New Year’s Day
April 30 – Will be celebrated as ‘One World, One Humanity’ Day
June 21 – UN International Yoga Day
September 21 – UN World Peace Day


Whether you want to organize an introductory Heartfulness session in your community or make Heartfulness information available at your center, the Content page at http://content.heartfulness.org is a helpful resource. There you will find a large and continually growing library of materials, including editable posters, rack cards, information sheets, brochures, Logos, T-Shirt designs etc. that can be downloaded and printed.

If your event needs special materials that you can’t find in the repository, you can request custom content. Write to info@heartfulness.org for a request form. The content team will work with you to create your specific requests. The team has prepared custom slide presentations, research papers, brochures and handouts. It is recommended that you give the team a couple of weeks to fill the request before your deadline.

We also enable self-service for seekers, wellness champions and mentors. The guided practices can all be performed by the seekers on their own with the aid of audio and video downloads, and the online Stages of Practice articles and videos are also available as self-service.

Nurturing newcomers

Introducing Heartfulness meditation to people is not simply an event, but a process. It starts with determining what is in place to sustain people after introduction, then planning the introductory event follows, and then support continues for as long as the new seekers need it to develop and deepen their practice. Please be patient with respect to introducing stages of practice. As trust is built, engagement can grow.

For introductions done with groups at organizations (corporations, universities and government institutions):

  • Schedule a weekly group meditation within the working hours of the organization. Regular weekly group meditations are almost a necessity in these campuses, to sustain and nurture new aspirants,
  • Appoint campus/class coordinators or mentors,
  • Add people’s names to email lists for welcome letters and inspiring newsletters.
  • Introduce participants to the Heartfulness You Tube site, where they can enjoy inspirational videos or use the relaxation video to practice at their leisure.

For seekers becoming more established in the practice, introduce them to the mobile apps such as Sahaj Connect and the Heartfulness Mobile App, to help them develop a regular practice.

We hope to have TV and Podcast media available very soon.

Creating an Inclusive Environment

As newcomers and visitors attend group meditation and gatherings, we will become increasingly sensitive to the ways in which we interact and present ourselves during all gatherings, including weekly group meditation. This may include rethinking venue setup and choices of readings and other shared materials. We may need to use inclusive language, minimizing foreign terms that are unnecessary while local translations are appropriate.

The Welcome Desk will play a big role in engaging with interested people on a local basis, and materials and training are being developed to support these very important meeting points with the public.

For each one of us, an overall attitude of care and commitment toward newcomers can do as much as any other outreach effort. Making a personal connection with someone new, so they feel welcome and noticed, may give people all the encouragement and sense of belonging they need in the beginning. At the same time, while helping and guiding newcomers, we need to develop great patience with them, allowing them to grow at the pace that’s right for them.

Creating a welcoming atmosphere includes harmony in the center. Unity is strength. A yielding heart fosters this unity and represents good culture. A bit of organization is needed to avoid confusion, promote communication, ensuring trust and transparency.

Ideas Are Welcome

Heartfulness is an expanding movement, and we can’t always see the horizons that await discovering. What will Heartfulness look like as it unfolds? Many of its possibilities will be envisioned by us individually. Share your ideas at info@heartfulness.org

And Volunteering Makes Them Happen

While ideas come from all of us, we also each have something to offer that can help turn them into reality. We are looking for volunteers with a wide range of skills or aptitudes. For this we have set up a few volunteer databases. If you have already given your name previously, you don’t have to add it again. Time commitment is flexible.

Here are the links for our Talent Search:

India – Non-technical, e.g. Teaching, Training, Social Media, Writers etc: http://goo.gl/forms/Qs8zSFbqf4

India – Technical, e.g. Graphic Design, Software, Information Technology: http://goo.gl/forms/CTUKkTptpt

Outside India – Non-technical: http://goo.gl/forms/y9EIbelZ7V

Outside India – Technical: http://goo.gl/forms/awmCNy6kLQ

Thought Leadership

HI is embarking upon a thought leadership (TL) initiative, seeking partnerships around the globe for higher studies and research in the field of Spirituality, Consciousness and Human Welfare.

The objectives are to:

  1. Develop a substantive literature review on concepts and ideas that are central to Sahaj Marg,
  2. Formulate a team to constitute an internal peer review board,
  3. Offer themes and hypotheses for research, and
  4. Improve the quality of research for international acceptance.

The anticipated output would take the form of academic peer-reviewed publications, including monographs and articles in journals of international standing.

Volunteers with experience in authoring peer-reviewed articles and research guides are needed in addition to researchers with experience of peer-review.

Brother Anthony Cullen, PhD, from the UK is leading this initiative. He can be reached at anthony.cullen@heartfulness.org.

If you are interested, please click on the following link and fill out as much information as possible: http://goo.gl/forms/9Bm3sLtvcy

Experienced Public Speakers Needed

HI is seeking professional and accomplished public speakers, professors and industry experts to participate in speaking engagements for C-Connect, U-Connect, the Omega Science and Spirituality Clubs, and others. If you are an experienced public speaker and would like to volunteer, please click here: http://goo.gl/forms/7wIDKqYIqB

Additional Information

HI has embarked upon several research initiatives that are clinical and also psychometric.

In addition, CREST is applying for government grants for yoga related research.

We are working on content that would itemize specific benefits of each of our practice elements.

The Heartfulness Magazine, both in digital and printed versions, will be published monthly from November.

All newcomers are receiving welcome letters and monthly newsletters. If you receive and reference letters and testimonials, please send them to info@heartfulness.org.

Let us stay inspired, prepared and become wider conduits for His love, transmission and generosity.

If we can assist you in any way, please email support@heartfulness.org

Thanks, and affectionate regards,
Heartfulness Team