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(by revered Kamlesh D. Patel, June 5, 2015, Toronto, Canada)

Good morning everyone.

How Heartfulness Arose

I would like to brief you on how this Heartfulness programme evolved over the last few months. Actually the first interesting thing that we started in India was in a university in Maliba, near Surat in Gujarat. The administration of this college had been inviting us for the last four or five years, requesting us to please teach their students how to lead a model life. It took us more than two years before we could say, “Okay, let's get going.” So we started a very loose programme, a course over a period of twelve weeks or so, and each week, we would take up one subject, starting with values. Then we would take up religion, and then some spiritual systems and philosophy. Then we would take up the concepts of contemplation, reflection, meditation and so on.

At the same time, in parallel rather, we would request them to pay more attention to their individual practice at home. Whatever they had been doing, whatever the family had taught the child, we would ask them, “Okay, please do this for one week.” Then the second week, we requested them, “Okay, now ask your neighbours or your friends or your family, and see if they can show you another method, another way of doing something, whatever it may be. Do it very diligently and write your own experiences.” Then we proposed to them that there are so many spiritual systems in India, we gave them a few names, and told them to pick up any system they like and meditate as per their methodology. So this kept them busy for a few weeks, and they would narrate their own experiences in their diaries.

Then three or four weeks before the end of the programme, we brought in the Sahaj Marg perspective. We taught them the method and we let them meditate as per our method without any introduction, without those three to four sittings that we give. And then two weeks before the end, we gave them three introductory sittings and said, “Compare your experiences, and you judge. Even though you have been practising this system, it was useless without the transmission, without that proper introduction.”

So Heartfulness is the essence, drawing upon what we have been able to make out of this.

We have been running this programme in so many countries now, but something profound has emerged during all these discussions and now we are ready to systematically apply this approach to all U-Connect programmes, meaning only the programme for students in the university set up. Then the same programme can be taken to various corporations, and the business world. It can also be utilised during open houses where we invite our friends and family members and say, “Okay, here is the Sahaj Marg system. This is how we meditate.”

But it is not enough. How can we present our system so that people can understand the impact of it in a very scientific way? In science, all the results are reproducible. In Sahaj Marg, through this meditation, the results are also reproducible and that is what we want to show to the world.

Heartfulness Workshop

This is how we do it. Any time we start the programme, we say, “Look, you all must have been meditating or you must have heard about meditation. That is why you are here – you would like to try. So I will not bore you with the theoretical aspect of what meditation can do or cannot do. Let’s do it, since you are here to experiment with it. To all those who have been meditating for a number of years with your own system, we are happy that you have been doing it. So now you have the experience of an existing system already with you. Those who are not meditating or have never meditated in your life, and have not adopted any spiritual system, we would like to give you this method.” To those who practise, also, we give them the method. So, both become eligible for this method of meditating on the presence of the Divine Light or the Source of Light in the heart. So all will be meditating for ten or fifteen minutes and you say, “That’s all,” and let them write their experience.

Now you tell them, “Okay, let’s begin. The next step is relaxation.” You walk them through so that they are properly relaxed before starting the meditation. Because the prerequisite to meditation is that you must calm your system. You must relax before you focus. So, relaxation helps to focus. It is not the goal of meditation, but to plunge into meditation you need some sort of calmness and a relaxed state of mind. Now, after they have relaxed, you say, “That’s all,” and you ask a question: “Are you all ready for the meditation that you did before, but now you will be doing this meditation with the help of pranahuti or transmission?” And you give them the first sitting.

Whatever you would do in a first sitting, you do in that sitting. As a preceptor, you clean them and clean them and clean them in the first sitting. Preceptors know what to do. Once they like the system, you ask them, “Write your experience.” Now you ask them, “Compare it with your own notes that you had written earlier.” That’s all.

You tell them, “If you would like to continue with this, we will meditate again tomorrow.” Designate a time. If they cannot come at that time, you ask them, “What time would be more convenient and suitable for you? If you cannot come, we will give you a sitting wherever you are. We can give a long-distance sitting.” That will be the second sitting, and then you can conduct the third sitting and fourth sitting, as needed.

During all these programmes, we should ideally collect everyone’s email addresses, so that we can communicate properly.

In those days we had the luxury of one-to-one association with the preceptors, but I think soon it will become more and more difficult. It is not that it will be impossible, but it will become more and more difficult. Imagine when three hundred students start meditation, how can you explain to everyone one-by-one, that this is how you meditate, this is how you do your cleaning, this is how you do your prayer, this is how you have constant remembrance.

Staging Of The Practice

But with all these features that we have, we should not overwhelm them all of a sudden. Take it easy. They have just started walking. Let them settle down with this practice of meditation. In a few days or a week’s time, or immediately if you see the person is ready for embracing the cleaning also, tell them how to do this cleaning. But if they are not ready for it, tell them, “Next week we will show you the way to deepen your experience of meditation, and this can happen through cleaning.” So now you are slowly introducing the aspect of cleaning. Then you communicate to them again that, “So far so good. Let us know how you are feeling. If you would like to further deepen your experiences of meditation,” offer them prayer. Then, or simultaneously, you can say the gist of one or two maxims in your own words, for example, “This will help you when you partake of your meals. Think of divinity, remain absorbed and then partake of your meals.” This helps a lot. For those who are ready for te prayerful suggestion that “Everything around me is absorbed in Godly remembrance,” this will also help some newcomers. It will deepen their experiences in meditation.

Then introduce the aspect of individual sittings and then group sittings. If ever we find that it is going to break them, tell them, “Take it at your pace.” We don’t have to start running from day one. And never ask the question, “Why are you not coming?” or some negative questions like this.

If I may say something more on this Heartfulness, it is all about heart. We cannot push anyone. You yourself have to be so flexible with the whole thing. We have to work around them. It is like when a child is not ready to take breakfast in the morning, what do we do? Do we send them hungry to school? No. We make sure somehow it happens. When a person has come in front of us, there is a reason: that person wants something from us. So take the opportunity and release the information as per the capacity of that abhyasi, that new seeker. Give them the first sitting and take the appointment for the second. If there is resistance, and they say, “Oh, I cannot come for the second sitting,” fine. Everyone has their own circumstances. The person is new, he may not know about the second sitting and he has not prepared his schedule thinking that, “I will have to take a second sitting, and a third sitting, a fourth sitting.” Who knows how many sittings?

So, preceptors should welcome such people and not say, “Oh, no, since you cannot come for the second sitting, I will not start you.” You should not become like that. Don’t be tough on them. The Sahaj Marg system is the most beautiful and the sweetest system that exists today. In fact, at times, I am even tempted to challenge all the spiritual systems in the world, those who have been practising for so many years, “Just do this meditation for ten minutes and see for yourself.” I feel like inviting them. Not like a playground game, but as an actual comparative experiment. And we know that transmission can do so many things.

Approach To Heartfulness

With Heartfulness, there should be joy in it. Preceptors must reflect that joy when a person comes. Where is your heart in this Heartfulness? I often give the example of sugar-coated medicine. Why do they sugar-coat it? Because it is so bitter. Even after you drink a glass or two full of water, or even two spoonfuls of sugar, still that bitter taste lingers on if there was no sugar-coating on the tablet. It is to mask the bitterness. Unfortunately, sometimes I am sorry to say, we bitter-coat the sweet transmission with our behaviour, the way we speak to people or we don’t speak, we avoid them somehow: “Oh, this guy, I would like to avoid him.” Why?

So don’t bitter-coat our sweet system please. If you cannot work as a preceptor, please resign and move on. We have many abhyasis ready to take on this job. Don’t be a burden to the system and make it drag. Imagine if Google had transmission, or companies like Reliance in India had transmission. We would be out of business! Sahaj Marg would not exist the next day. We would be wiped out because the service element would come into the picture.

So we must reflect the heart in Heartfulness through a cheerful approach, through joy. When a person comes, how joyful we must become. After two years when your son returns home, you don’t say, “What the hell, he is back home again!” You don’t do that, do you? You are jumping out of your chair: “Oh, you didn’t even call me and you are here,” and you are so surprised you go on bragging to your friends, that, “My son surprised me today.” But when an abhyasi surprises you for a sitting: “Oh, no, you should have called me.”

In short, this Heartfulness programme is there to make things happen, and to be more flexible from our side to accommodate others. In the beginning, they do not know what is expected of them. So, slowly we start teaching them.

I am telling you, there was one family from South Africa who visited India. In their first visit they took three sittings. The preceptor told them, “You close your eyes and focus on your heart.” That’s all – no Divine Light, no relaxation, no Babuji, no Master, nothing. So that family meditated and went back home to South Africa. And what they did, they bought two or three photographs of Babuji and one of Lalaji and placed these photographs in the little temple they had in their house. Then they would put the deepam and they would do the aarthi and all that. It went on for a year and then they went to Shahjahanpur. They said, “Babuji Maharaj, we do like this, we worship you every morning. We light the candle in front of your photograph and we do all these things.” Babuji was laughing, “Who told you all these things?” “But we like it Babuji, we love you for that.”

The idea is to create love in the heart towards the one who guides us. If meditation has not been successful in creating it, I think you are doing it wrongly. The wrong thing was able to provoke love in their hearts, so how it is that love is not manifesting even after ten years of meditation? That means something is wrong. It has nothing to do with the process. It has everything to do with our attitude. Even with the wrong attitude, with the wrong process, we adopt this system of meditation, but if you have the humility to accept the guidance of a Master, it is that humility that attracts transmission, not the prayer, not your thought that “Divine light is glowing in my heart.” Does it glow? Is it radiating? Have you ever felt it?

So really, truly what works is this: the vacuum, the inner cry from the heart within that, “My Lord, I like to feel your presence.” Now when we say, “Oh, my Lord,” whom are we addressing? We don’t know; certainly not the Masters that we have. But they respond on behalf of the Lord and transmit.

Cleaning also: imagine, those people didn’t do cleaning for the whole year, and when they left Shahjahanpur for the first time, two of the family members were made preceptors! I am not saying that you should start doing aarthi and puja and all that. I am only trying to say to take the essence, that craze for God-Realisation: “Yes, this thing can make it happen.”

I will give another very profound example, even better than this one. In 2008 I received a message from our medium via the brother who is translating the messages. He approached me: “Kamlesh, there is a message from your family member.” I asked, “What is the name?” So he gave some name and I said, “I don’t know anyone with that name in my family. You had better check with her.” So he said, “She spells her name like this, Uma, U-m-a, and she dresses in a funny way, in a maroon brown sari.” I said, “I don’t know anyone by that name.” So there is another communication from her: “You ask your mother, and she will tell you who she is.” So I asked my mother, “Who is this Uma lady?” She said, “That is my mother.” That means my grandmother.

In India, in some families especially, like mine, we don’t interact much with maternal grandmothers except in childhood. And in my childhood I was so far away in schools. She would come and go and I would never realise that she had visited our home. But she knew all about my life and she pinpointed in that message that in my childhood I was like this, and I was like that. So I asked my mother, “Is this medium just playing rookie with me or is she being real?” “No, no, everything she said is correct.” Otherwise how would she know her name and her dress description?

Now, the most amazing part is that she is in the Brighter World. That was a big surprise to me. How could she make it to the Brighter World? She never meditated; she never met Babuji Maharaj even once. And she passed on sometime in 1980. Then I learnt from my mother that she used to take a flower every morning from a plant that grew in front of her house and put it on Babuji’s photo. Every morning she would pick a fresh flower and put it on the frame. Then I said, “My God.”

I told this to Master, so he said, “What do you learn from this?” I said, “Master, perhaps it is the faith.” “Yes, it is faith that works, not the process.” We can be meditating, but nothing may happen without faith. And faith is a matter of attitude again. If you listen to Master’s talk that he gave in San Francisco at an open house, he said, “Ninety-five percent of success depends on our attitude; five percent – even that too is too much to attribute to your practice.

So when a newcomer comes, don’t be so harsh on them: “Oh, you must stop this thing. You must accept Sahaj Marg exclusively for three months and you must not do anything else.” No, that is going too far, I think. They will not even try it. Those who are doing something else, why would they quit it? Even though they want to quit, even though they know that they are not finding any benefit from what they have been doing, the very fact that you are asking will prevent them from quitting it. In fact, encourage them, “Do it ten times, if you are doing it only once.” Encourage them and tell them, “But make sure you do this as well.” And slowly what has to remain will remain. That also we don’t have to tell them. Don’t scare them.

They will think, “Oh, this guy is so confident that I am going to drop my other things.” We don’t give ideas at all. Let their heart follow whatever they want to do. We have the freedom of following our own hearts, why can’t give we give that freedom to others? And when we have such confidence in our system – so many magical things can happen with this transmission and our Master’s help is there – why are we afraid? “Oh, no, you had better stop that and do only this.” We must have confidence in our system and give it with courage and conviction that “Yes, they will feel it.”

Some preceptors say, “Oh, how can I give three abhyasis an introductory sitting at the same time?” You can give a sitting to three hundred, and you can give it to three thousand also. Try it and see for yourself also – in their presence or in absentia, it has to work. If it fails, you yourself don’t have conviction. And this conviction is not a gradual thing. If you don’t have it now, you can’t say, “It will increase ten per cent tomorrow and fifteen percent later.” Conviction is not like that. Either you have it or you don’t have it. If you don’t have it, please resign. I am requesting you, please resign if you don’t have such conviction. The Masters will be very happy.

Questions and Answers

Okay, do you have any questions on Heartfulness?

Q: When you say that after each meditation session we should suggest to the participants to write their experiences, are there any guidelines for preceptors or for people conducting the Heartfulness session to convey to the participants what they should be observing during the meditation?

KDP: Okay, let’s say there are fifty new seekers here and you ask them to meditate as per our methodology – just the method, fifteen minutes and you say, “That’s all.” You give them a few minutes to write their experience. Give them time and then, when they have all finished, move on to the relaxation and then the first introductory sitting. And then, after that also, let them write their experience. That’s all. And you say, “Now you compare it yourself. You don’t have to say anything to us. You compare it yourself.”

Q: I have noticed in the Heartfulness programme, that you have this way of slowing down time, of making sure that this is a priority and nothing else is clouding your judgement or you are not disturbed by anything else. And that is a problem for a lot of us. We get carried away with our work and we forget the importance of the programme. How do you do that? What suggestions do you have?

KDP: Oh, this is a problem of all abhyasis; I mean, we all go through this. This is nothing to do with Heartfulness; this is a problem we all face – preceptors, abhyasis, everyone. What to do with it?

It is very easy to say that meditation is all about feeling or thinking of the presence of Divine Light in the heart. We begin with the idea that, “The Divine Light is present in my heart.” We begin with this thought, and slowly what happens? That thought is gone. Other thoughts may come, but at that time we remind ourselves that we are meditating. Then slowly a time comes when we are absolutely gone and there is a unique feeling to that. Now from that thought we have started feeling something. And when this feeling is there for a longer period, we try to make it even longer and longer, through practice. What helps in this process is constant remembrance. Constant remembrance is nothing but retaining this feeling for the longest period.

It is like this: when your grandchild or child gives you a flower, and in your rush to go to the office you leave it on the table, by the time you come in the evening, it is all dried up. And when the child sees this dried up flower on the table, and says, “Dad, you didn’t even take this flower,” what do you think the child will think of you? So what happens now? When we don’t appreciate gifts, the gift-giver is hurt in the process.

When we do not appreciate the spiritual gifts that we receive through meditation, do you think that the gift-giver will be upset? He is not just upset like a child; He really cries his heart out actually. “I gave this condition, and this is lost.” He really cries, literally from within his heart. But there are some who appreciate such gifts. They go to the office and say, “Look at this! My daughter (or son) gave me this flower,” and they put it on the table and take a picture and send it to the daughter (or son). How to cherish that gift?

Every one of you has to find your own ways of doing it. It is easy for people to say, “Remain connected with Master”, “Remain connected with your experience”, “Remain connected with your feelings”, or “Each time you do your work, connect yourself with the Master, thinking that He is doing it.” Somewhere along, we have to start as per our own idiosyncrasy. And I assure you that whenever we start something, Their help is ten times greater than our single efforts. It will make our process even easier. This activity must become a reflex kind of an activity.

You will understand what I mean by reflex when I give this example of cycling. When a little child two or three years old learns how to cycle, we give them a cycle with four wheels. Then slowly it comes to three wheels, and then there are two big wheels and trainer wheels on the sides. The child starts cycling in a very confident way. Of course, we have to support them in the beginning, and then we remove the trainer wheels and hold their hands, and they start pedalling and they go for block after block on their own, with their friends. And a time comes when they have their school bag on their back, their friends with them, going away cycling. Now what do you think here? Is cycling the main thing, or gossiping with friends or singing with friends or going to school? Here everything is so important to a child. The child has now forgotten how to peddle, yet nevertheless the child is still pedalling the cycle. It becomes a subconscious activity. Of course, in the beginning, the child fell so many times and bruised their ankles and knees.

Meditation, and retaining the spiritual condition, is also like this – something like cycling. Initially, there is some disconnect now and then, but we patch it up again if interest is there. The key thing is interest. Interest will find the ways and means to make it happen. If you don’t have interest, no amount of teaching, no amount of methodologies, techniques or transmission – nothing will work. Do you have interest? If you have it, you will find your way.

The Source of Light in the Heart

Q: I read somewhere recently, or there was some discussion about the ‘Source of Light’ attracting one’s attention. Can you talk a little bit about that as part of Heartfulness, where we meditate and we suggest to the aspirants to be attracted to the Source of Light within?

KDP: Well, this is from one of the letters of Babuji Maharaj to an abhyasi. He wrote how to meditate. He said, “Meditate on the presence of the Light which is already there in your heart. Think that it is attracting your attention towards itself.” That letter was written to an abhyasi sometime in 1948.

So the idea that it is attracting is itself a new phenomenon, actually. Now you are not focusing, you are pulled by that attraction. The idea is there that it is attracting now. What is it that is attracting me? We don’t know.

None of us know Divine Light, but it is an assumption, it is a supposition, that “Divine Light is present in my heart.” Or there is the conviction that it is already there, and I am praying that, “May I have the experience of this presence.” And we are open to it. We pray to the Lord and say, “My Lord, whatever be, let me experience your presence, however it might be.”

My conditions are not such that it has to be like this, or it has to be like that, or I should be in a thoughtless state, or I should be in a Samadhi state, or I should be a zombie. No. If there are millions of thoughts coming even after praying this way, let it be. Go through that process. If you are in a thoughtless condition, well, anyway, you are not going to fight it because you have no thoughts to fight with it. So we have to accept everything – thoughts and thoughtlessness.

The Heartfulness Logo

KDP: When the artist sent me this particular logo, instantly it clicked with my heart and I said, “Yes, this is it.” There is a heart there that is our heart. And there is another heart, another person, and a third heart, another person. So there are many hearts and they come together, and that triggers the egregore and the waves are created in the world. Those waves are depicted at the bottom.

So that is also what Babuji has been saying from the Brighter World, telling us, “My dear abhyasis, I need your help. I need the help of every abhyasi.” For what? Please practice the way it is described. When you do this, you will attain a certain level of consciousness. When the consciousness of everyone is creating this ripple, an egregore will set in. This egregore, once it reaches its tipping point, will trigger the much-needed mutation. That is when humanity will take a quantum leap. This is the road map. I like this logo because the aspect of egregore is there. Many hearts come together and create that ripple – that I think is Heartfulness.

Q: You talked about sittings at a distance. In the Heartfulness programme we introduce people, ask them to meditate, then do the relaxation, and then the first sittings. Then they do the second and the third and the fourth sittings. Do you suggest that we set up a pre-established time if they are not present? For example, “Sit at nine o’clock at night, and we will give you a sitting at nine o’ clock,” or suggest some system for that.

KDP: Well, that will have to be one-to-one only in the sense that the person has to sit at a specified time. Right? But as a preceptor, you could be giving a sitting to one fellow in New York City, another in San Francisco and the third person may be in Austin. You gave them a time, 9 p.m. for all three at the same time. You know they can adjust their time as per their zone.

Q: So you can be continuing to work on them while they may not know.

KDP: No, for these sittings they will have to know that they are receiving a sitting.

Q: You also mentioned something about introducing them to the maxims, which are our foundation. At what point do you suggest that we introduce them to the maxims – in the first session itself or down the road?

KDP: Down the road. Even to the most dedicated abhyasis, who show so much sign of devotion, we don’t reveal the maxims to them. It is not that anything is secret with these Ten Maxims, not at all, but we reveal the maxims to them when they are ready for them.

Q: I have a question about assuming the Divine Light. I was thinking that when we assume and we practise on the Divine Light, at some point we will see the Divine Light. So, don’t we see the Divine Light?

KDP: You will never see it, Sir. It is not a thing to be seen. To be seeing is a sensual thing – with senses.

Q: But with the inner eye, can we see from the inner eye?

KDP: That is a different thing. Now you are talking about experiencing the Divine Light. But even when we experience something, three things are involved: the experience itself, the person who is experiencing, and the entity being experienced – the experience, the devotee and God. Now, when the devotee has completely experienced the Godly presence, what we call ‘merger’, the devotee is dissolved himself into God. Where is the devotee? Who is going to talk about it? When the drop of water falls into the ocean, it becomes the ocean. Where is the drop to talk about the ocean? So it is a very beautiful concept. The day you experience the highest, from that day onwards you will be silent. Zip, zap, zoop. You won’t be able to speak anything.

So often when people say, “I have experienced God, and I can make you experience it,” be careful. Ipso facto that person has not. How can you still remain when you experience God? You should have been consumed long back in that love.

Introducing the Master

Q: In Heartfulness, we often invite people who know nothing about Sahaj Marg and the importance of the Master in Sahaj Marg. Now when they come into our centres, they have contradictory feelings seeing pictures of three persons and very often we don’t see them the second time. Now do you recommend some changes in the interior of our centres to invite Heartfulness visitors?

KDP: I think we should have a welcome desk for our visitors in larger centres, where we can have good interactions with them.

Now I will take up this aspect of the help of Masters in my subsequent talks – how Masters come into the picture. Their role is paramount. Though we focus in the beginning on Heartfulness through the practice, the practice cannot exist without the Master. Remove the Master from the equation and the whole thing will collapse. Though God is there, without Master that thing cannot become dynamic. Without transmission you cannot make it dynamic. So it is a catch-22 situation. Well, if a person is interested you can say, “He is the one who transmits to us, who helps us feel that transmission – they are the ones.” And it is up to us now to ensure that they don’t worship the photograph.

We have the reverse situation in India where they want photographs all over, like wallpaper. If they don’t see the photograph, they say, “What is wrong with these people? They don’t even honour or respect their Masters.” So we are caught between too many cultures, not just one but many cultures.

It is the same thing if an individual comes as a seeker in the Heartfulness programme. We tell them, “Look, he is the one who transmits, whose transmission you just now felt. Otherwise if the method were everything, you would have felt it in the first fifteen-minute meditation. But no, you felt differently after transmission. And transmission is from this group.”

Q: Kamlesh bhai, when we give only fifteen minutes in the beginning to experience simple meditation, and then when we do sittings we give thirty minutes, they may think that the experience is different because of the difference between the times. Isn’t it so?

KDP: I don’t think so, because even that fifteen minutes to them will look like one hour and the half-hour will look like five minutes.

Q: Thank you.

KDP: Yes?

Q: I will give an example. Some of our colleagues in the office who are not abhyasis wanted to learn about Heartfulness and I asked them to meditate like you said in the first session. It was about twenty or twenty-five minutes they felt it was very long. They said, “Oh, this is too much. After fifteen minutes I was very restless.” In the next session, I transmitted to them, and they said, “Oh, it was very short. It felt as if it was very short.” So I think it is a very practical demonstration of what you said. When we do it, we will feel it.

KDP: And we have to emphasise this aspect: “Look, I am trying to prove to you what transmission can do – fifteen minutes of the method, and then fifteen minutes of the same method with transmission.” Of course, we will not be transmitting in the first sitting. Preceptors know what to do with the whole thing, but the idea is this: to differentiate the system, the method itself, as a placebo and the method with medicament.

So what do you think of this approach? It is one hour, maybe forty-five minutes – ten to fifteen minutes of placebo meditation without transmission, then two to three minutes of relaxation, and then actual meditation. Do you all agree? Does anyone have any doubt about the approach? Okay, thank you. Because earlier, we were doing something where we told them, “You meditate for a week and write your experience,” and then we would give them the method and they would meditate for another week with transmission. It was taking too long. So, I think this should help.

So we will roll out the programme like this now to all U-connect courses in universities, and C-connect in corporations.

Heartfulness Guided Relaxation

What else is there? I will tell you something. Through Heartfulness, a few things are evolving. A sister asked me how did we come up with the relaxation thing, and I said that it was invented for children who are below eighteen or seventeen and cannot meditate. They asked for something, so to play with them we started the relaxation. You relax and then you feel. But it turned out to be so profound. It is also one of the yoga sutras of Patanjali, but instead of sitting they lie down and adopt the same process, from the toes all the way to the crown chakra and then bringing the attention back to the heart. This is for relaxation, but if you want to sleep then change the word from relaxation to sleep and it will be perfect. You will go to sleep very fast.

This is for all abhyasis, whether you are a preceptor or not. If you want to help a person relax in your office, ask them to sit in front of you and then walk them through the whole process. It will take two or three minutes, and once they are sure, then they say: “Wow.” Then you say, “This is only at a physical level. If you would like to go beyond the physical, and go to the emotional level and the spiritual level, we have meditation.” Invite them that way.

A beautiful thing about children is that when they learn this in the beginning of class they are so calm and so perceptive, and they have the ability to learn things. At the end of the day they do the same thing, but then they not only scan the body but also through the entire day’s cycle of what they learnt – what was difficult, what they learnt the most – and then go home.

Children are also advised: “If your parents want to relax, go to their bedroom and touch their feet – in the sense, hold their toe or hold their feet like this, not in the Indian classical way of touching their feet – and then go through this process of relaxation.” In fact, this itself will put parents to sleep and children are very happy with this: “Now my mom is relaxed, she is not shouting anymore.”

So I think such things have a far-reaching effect. Unfortunately, we receive responses only from children of our abhyasis, because we don’t have any way of assessing these impacts on the outside world.

Q: I am wondering, when we want to do this relaxation, before starting can we ask people, “Whoever likes to experience the method of our meditation, please stay back after relaxation. Because when they do relaxation, they really relax and stay in the heart, and then we interrupt them and bring them out, and again try to get them into meditation. What do you think?

KDP: So do all the talking business in the beginning: “We will have three sessions. One will be meditation with this method without transmission. We will say, ‘That’s all.’ That’s when you write down your experience.”

Q: Can we explain to them?

KDP: No, no explanation. Everything is done in silence. Then they go into relaxation for which we give commands. Then after a few minutes, you may say: “Now you focus your mind on the heart, thinking that Divine Light is already present,” and that’s it. No more talking – meditation.

Q: So my question is not directly related to Heartfulness, but is related to Sahaj Marg practice and Reiki.

KDP: Sahaj Marg is Heartfulness.

Q: Yes, Heartfulness, I mean as we are talking today. As you said, we know we all focus on our hearts, and in Reiki they talk about all the chakras and the heart is one of them. So my question is: how are they interrelated? Is there a relation, because in Reiki they talk about universal energy?

KDP: I would not compare Reiki with Sahaj Marg, but I will compare the chakras and the heart. Is this the question?

Q: Yes, this is my question.

KDP: All the chakras are connected with the heart – all of them. So, when we meditate on the heart, automatically all the chakras are balanced out. When we do the cleaning – when the preceptors, Masters, or when we ourselves sit for cleaning – to the extent the heart is clean, to that extent other places will be also cleaned.

Q: Thank you.

KDP: You are welcome. Okay, see you later.