In these stressful times, to remain poised amid chaos and to attain that ever-elusive inner stillness is the most pressing need. “It is about learning to be non-reactive to the many stresses of daily life,” says Joshua Pollock, whose book, The Heartfulness Way, was released recently. Dwelling on a heart-based technique of meditation, the book is Pollock’s conversation with Kamlesh D Patel, a guru in the Heartfulness tradition.
Explaining what Heartfulness is, the book gives practical tips on the act of meditation. Heartfulness has found followers all over the world. It has volunteer-trainers in over 130 countries and is being practised in corporations and companies the world over.
Pollock, who is from the US, has been a Heartfulness practitioner and trainer. Indians however, know him through his violin solos in Ghajini, Delhi 6, Raavan, Yuvvraaj, Blue, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa and Raavanan. A Western classical violinist, who has been playing for over 30 years, he has worked with AR Rahman.
Excerpts from an interview with Joshua Pollock.
How did you become a Heartfulness practitioner? How did the book come about?
I had been trying to meditate and was finding it difficult. I used to feel drained at the end of my attempts. Once in the US, when I was walking to a store, I bumped into somebody who spoke to me about Heartfulness. That was the starting point. I have been meditating for 15 years now.
The book was not planned. Daaji (Kamlesh D Patel) asked me to write a book on meditation and I thought he should write it; he has meditated for four decades. I started asking him questions and he answered, thus the book came together organically.
What is the Heartfulness way?
It is nothing but meditation with the heart. The heart can sense and feel. When you experience something, it lasts longer with you. Experience is greater than knowledge. It is a practical way for you to discover yourself. With this sort of meditation, the effects remain for a longer time.
You are a musician. Isn’t music a kind of meditation in itself?
Very broadly, it is. As long as your mind gets stable, where your mind is able to settle, that is meditation. The mind always seeks an object to focus on. In that stability, you find happiness, but when that experience ends, you feel dissatisfied. Any experience that way can be meditative. But when the object of meditation allows the mind to settle permanently, that is what we call true meditation.
Do you need the help of a trainer to practise this kind of meditation?
Traditionally, there is something called the “yogic transmission”—where a facilitator is required for you to be able to understand the technique well. All the Heartfulness trainers are volunteers. They don’t charge a fee.
How relevant is this form of meditation today?
Extremely relevant. For instance, there is something called “Cleaning” in this form of meditation. It is about internal cleansing. About removing every emotional residue accumulated during the day. This would help you be in the present moment, respond to situations as they are. It would bring you closer to reality.