Apr 4, 2019

Book Review: The Heartfulness Way

Things happen for a reason - I'm starting to believe this idea more and more these days. The people you meet on a random day can bring in new ideas or change of perspectives. This incident narrated below happened last October. I was traveling in a BMTC bus with my daughter D. An elderly lady was sitting next to us. She was reading a magazine titled "Heartfulness" and I was peeping to see what it was all about. Let me admit, I have this uncontrollable urge to find out what book/magazine someone is reading while at a public place (Anyone else does this?). Then she started talking and was telling me about a form of meditation and a book that has been translated into multiple languages. She also told me that there is a discount going on in Amazon for this book if I'm interested. As she was getting down at her stop, she turned to me and said, "We were meant to meet and I'm happy to have introduced this concept of meditation to you".

She didn't try to persuade me to buy this book. The conversation didn't sound sales-y. It felt genuine and I could sense a calmness around her. After we reached home that evening, I checked in Amazon and bought this book at a discounted price. The book arrived a few days later but I didn't start reading it immediately. It was happily lying on my bookshelf for a few months. 

Last Thursday, as we were about to leave for our Kerala mini-vacation, I quickly grabbed this book without a second thought and dumped it in my handbag, hoping I could read a few pages during the travel times. Little did I know that I would get so hooked to it that I ended up finishing the book in 2 days. 

The book "The Heartfulness Way" talks about a 3-step process that lets us connect within and feel the divine source through meditation. The 3-step process prescribed maps to the 8 stages of Ashtanga Yoga and I really liked the explanation given for each of these stages. I'm not going to elaborate on this process but what worked for me in this book is that there were many lines and passages that felt like they were written for me personally. Some of the lines were so relatable, that I was literally nodding my head, taking a pause, looking at the beautiful scenery all around me and absorbing the message.

A few lines that I really loved:

"Everything starts with the heart. When the heart is at peace, the mind is at rest. When the heart is content, the mind gains insight, clarity and wisdom. We often think that the heart and mind are two distinct entitities that are often in conflict with one another. In heartfulness meditation, we use the heart to regulate the mind, thus bringing them both into alignment."

"Meditation is not concentration. Concentration is forceful, while meditation is effortless, involving no force at all"

"Our thoughts, emotions and activities leave traces in the atmosphere. When entering any place, we resonate with what we feel there"

"If you spend your money wisely, then why would you need so much of it? When you truly value a resource, you want to make the very most of it. You conserve it"

"Sight is the most prominent sense. We tend to focus upon whatever we see, so closing the gate of sight helps us reorient our awareness inward"

"The greater a thought's emotional intensity, the stronger its subconscious influence"

"As we become more receptive to the voice of the conscience, we find that it holds us accountable for smaller and smaller matters. Even at the subtlest hint of a wrong thought, we find that the conscience pricks."
In today's world, we are reacting to each and every external stimulus. This has taken us so far away from realizing the divine source within. This book prescribes a spiritual process to look inward, that not only helps us to dive deep into our inner consciousness but also helps us to tackle the challenges of the external world. I loved reading it and am planning to incorporate the meditation process in my routine.

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