Heartfulness Magazine January 2018


Presentation Description

In this issue, Daaji sheds a new light on the relevance of Ashtanga Yoga in today’s world, including how these eight practices changes our world for the better and Charles Eisentein shares is reasons for hope, especially with the younger generations. In an exclusive interview, Dr Monicka Singh presents her visionary holistic approach to conception, pregnancy, childbirth and parenting, and Prashanth Vasu share some tips to transform organizations in the corporate world. There is plenty of scope in the issue for hope, change and celebrating human potential in the New Year.


Presentation Transcript

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Simply living ASht Ang A Yog A Daaji sheds new light thE hoPE PARADo X Charles Eisenstein on hope and the human condition CoMPASSIon Our relationship with the animal kingdom January 2018

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Creative Team Editorial Team – Meghana Anand Sylvie Berti Rossi Genia Catala Elizabeth Denley Emma Ivaturi Design Team – Hélène Camilleri Emma Ivaturi Uma Maheswari Rike Michaelsen Nehal Tantia Photography – Brendan Church Talia Cohen Geneviève Dallaire Dan Grinwis Om Hellenkamp Tomas Lambert Yves Leresche Stephen Lustig Philippe Matsas Rike Michaelsen Evan McDougall Chiên Pham Steven Ramon Lewis Roberts Jon Tyson Roopa Upadhyaya Art – Elisabeth Endresen Henry Ottmann Jasmee Rathod Yulia Veresk Writers – Meghana Anand Charles Eisenstein Elisabeth Endresen Alanda Greene Durga Natarajan Kamlesh Patel Judith Polston Dr Nandini Shekhar Chiara Townley Dorit Vaarning Prashanth Vasu Ravi Venkatesan Interviewees – Monique Atlan Roger-Pol Droit Parthasarathi Rajagopalachari Monicka Singh Sandeh von Tucher ISSN 2455-7684 Contributions – letters to the editors and guidelines contributionsheartfulnessmagazine.com Advertising – advertisingheartfulnessmagazine.com Subscriptions – subscriptionsheartfulnessmagazine.com www.heartfulnessmagazine.com/subscriptions Printed by – Sunil Kumar Kala Jyothi Process Pvt. Limited 1-1-60/5 RT C Cross Roads Musheerabad Hyderabad-500 020 Telangana Publisher – Sunil Kumar representing Spiritual Hierarchy Publication Trust on behalf of Sahaj MargSpirituality Foundation Chennai. © 2015 Sahaj Marg Spirituality Foundation Printing publishing distribution salessponsorship and revenue collection rights vests with the Publisher alone. Editor – Rishabh Kothari www.heartfulnessmagazine.com All rights reserved. ‘Heartfulness’ ‘HeartfulnessRelaxation’ ‘Heartfulness Meditation’ ‘Sahaj Marg Spirituality Foundation’ ‘SMSF’ ‘www.Heartfulness.org’ the ‘Learn to Meditate’ logo the ‘Heartfulness’ logo are registered ServiceMarks and/or Trademarks of Sahaj Marg Spirituality Foundation. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission from the Publisher. The views expressed in the contributions in this publication do not always reflect those of the editors the Heartfulness Institute or the Sahaj Marg Spirituality Foundation. Heartfulness

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Contributors Known to many as Daaji Kamlesh Patel is the fourth guide in the Heartfulness tradition of meditation. Embracing the many roles of a modern-day teacher he has that rare capacity that allows him to dive deep into the center of his existence in the heart and simultaneously have a scientifc approach to original research in the feld of meditation spirituality and human evolution. He is a prolifc speaker and writer and you can read his latest series on the evolution of consciousness. To learn more about Daaji go to www.daaji.org. Kamlesh Patel Roger-Pol Droit is a philosopher and writer. After having a career as a Professor of Philosophy he then focused on research at the National Center for Scientifc Research in Paris and he is now a prominent columnist and the author of many stories and books. Monique Atlan is a journalist and editor-in-chief of the France 2 television channel. Together they have authored the book Does Hope Have a Future Roger-Pol Droit and Monique Atlan Charles Eisenstein is a speaker and writer focusing on themes of human culture and identity. He is the author of several books most recently Sacred Economics and Te More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale a decade in Taiwan as a translator and stints as a college instructor a yoga teacher and a construction worker. He currently writes and speaks full-time. He lives in Asheville North Carolina with his wife and four children. Charles Eisenstein

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Celebrating the Dawn Te New Year of 2018 is here. What would you say our hope meter should be for the coming year If you read the news you may think it is at an all time low but there is de- fnitely truth to the old adage that the darkest night is just before the dawn. In fact it is even better than that – the dawn already exists within the depths of darkness and if we observe humanity today we fnd that the dawn has been emerging for some time slowly quietly but surely. How to remain hopeful in the midst of nuclear threats terrorism si- gnifcant movements of refugees around the world climate change and the breakdown of structures traditions and the old How to also focus on the beautiful and wonderful things that are happening in the world Energy fows where our attention goes so what do we choose: disillusionment or hope Do we see the problems that abound as a cata- lyst for change propelling us upwards towards a higher vibration As a species with the consciousness mental capacity willpower and intelligence to bring about change we are able to weave our destiny and move in the direction we want to go. In this issue Charles Eisentein shares his reasons for hope especially with the younger generations and Daaji sheds new light on the relevance of Ashtanga Yoga in today’s world including how these eight practices change our world for the better. In an exclusive interview Dr Monicka Singh presents her visionary holistic approach to conception pregnancy childbirth and parenting and Prashanth Vasu share some tips on how to transform organizations in the corporate world. Tere is plenty of scope in this issue for hope change and celebrating human potential. In the words of George Harrison of the Beatles “Here comes the sun.” Wishing you all the very best for 2018 Te Editors Writer Editor – Elizabeth Denley right Editor – Sylvie Berti Rossi bottom left Content Design – Emma Ivaturi left Design Art – Rike Michaelsen bottom right 5 Hear tfulne ss January 2018

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20 focus Paradox By their fruits ye shall know them Charles Eisenstein explores hope and despair in todays world 34 Everyday perspectives o n hope 08 Interview h as hope a future Roger-Pol Droit and Monique Atlan: for hope we must think beyond ourselves. 38 32 thought in action Corporate world h ow to transform organizations 22 t raining t he h eartful Presenter part 7 26 Wisdom o ne who only gives 28 it changes everything Attitude Poise is the ultimate cool How balance leads to excellence. 12 Animals Compassion for other creatures 14 A touching memory Seeds of hope 17 t ips Coping with turmoil 18 10

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taste of life h ealth Matcha tea 72 Subconscious o n dreams snakes and opening doors 76 Art Essay t o wonder and be surprised 78 Lessons from the garden Compost 82 t radition Ancient practises– new perspectives 86 70 be inspired 54 Up 90 Science of spirituality Ashtanga Y oga - Y ama Te fve vows of a seeker: Daaji on the frst rung of Yoga. 56 Inner search A terrible longing in the heart Why do we search for something higher 64 Inspiration Eyes of the heart 69 interview Conscious Parenting Monicka Singh: the journey from conception to parenting. 46 44

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Scarlet Hope becomes important when life is hard. Te beauty of hope and the difculty too is that we have to have hope in the face of failure hope after destruction hope in the face of trauma after a loss hope when facing danger we must hope even in the face of despair. So hope is an art really an art where we create an alternative reality to what is now. Even if that reality is only within us for the moment. Te power of hope is that our hope can become a reality outside of ourselves. Tus hope is the fundament of change. Having hope today is vitally important. When I see the state of the world – how humans are committing every crime imaginable against each other against animals against nature – I have to hope. In myself I have to create a world that is better with all my being I must hope that it will manifest. What gives me hope is when I witness acts of kindness and compassion. It shows me that other people are hoping too. Toulon France alicia I remember my Guide talking about hope and he said “Without hope there is no life. Hope is life.” I feel very in tune with that. Hope is like an engine driving me the fuel of my life. Its a permanent conviction that everything and everyone can improve and transform themself for the better. Hope is like a powerful alchemist which permit us even in the worst situations to stand up again and feel that the next second will be better. Hope is a recall that life is in motion. Its an attitude we can perceive and feel the beauty and the feld of possibility in each person and each thing. Now I can say that hope is faith in the Divine. Its superconsciousness in which we consider the Divine in all. It is the breath of life his essence … I work with young people and in the art world. Recently my Guide told us “Our work is to give hope.” Its a challenge but I love it and hope to transmit also this art of living. Mulhouse France Davi D Hope is the feeling in my feet and the warmth in my heart as I walk my path knowing that each joyful step brings growth and light. Hope is knowing as the sun sets on a glorious day the dark night will yield to a new dawn. As the frst rays breach the darkness a fre is kindled in my heart. Tat radiant orange ember I call hope. Hope grows into a burning passion that inspires and lights my way. Hope is eclipsed but remains. In the depths of sorrow and grief hope is the glimmer that replaces fear. And in the absence of certainty our minds are free to speculate on the fantastic future that awaits.  If you fnd yourself spiraling downwards in the clutches of fear consider throwing away the risk assessment listening to your heart and reaching for the light of hope. Edinburgh Scotland On hOpe We have posed 3 questions about hope to our readers. What gives you hope  What does it mean to have hope today  What is the color of hope Heartfulness Everyday perspectives

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GreGOry Hope comes from Faith. Faith is the foundation without which it is impossible to realize Hope. To have hope today is to strengthen the spiritual connection with the inner Self and not to stop the process of evolution. Here and Now. Hope has no universal coloring it is individual and depends on many reasons. In my opinion there is no color but there is colorless magnetic radiance. Minsk Belarus l uSine Hope gives me the inner feeling to live and to love life and people around me Or vice versa the inner feeling to live and to love life and people around me gives me hope. Just opening my eyes in the morning I have hope to live the day today. Te color of my hope is bright and sunny with raindrops of course Minsk Belarus Kim For me its about seeing the beauty in each moment. Its about steadiness of mind not wandering into negativity. Its about choosing to look in the direction of joy happiness faith and not being willing to tread down the path of doubt fear and thinking thinking thinking. Its the moment- to-moment meditation of life with eyes open and heart wide open. It has no color shape or form. Its lightness and love. As one so very dear used to say where theres life theres hope. I feel hope is an attitude a state a condition a being. Alertness and practice lead me to choose hope in every instant. It makes a pathway to Love. Not an action but rather a state of being in the heart. Tats what hope means to me at this moment Toronto Canada e lizabeth Hope has coloured my world and been my constant companion for the last 18 months since my startling diagnosis of a terminal illness in May 2016. Although a shock my experience during this whole rather rocky journey has been one of extraordinary caring understanding support and love from those around me My spiritual guide fellow meditators friends and family have been there for me at every moment and I can’t be more grateful for this. Tey have opened their hearts given of themselves and given and given and given to meet my every need. Tis outpouring of love and care has been one of the main factors that kept hope alive. Hope for me personally in terms of a return to health in all facets spiritually emotionally and physically. I believe we need to remain on this planet as long as we can in order to realize our greatest potential. As well as hope for the planet at large. Sometimes the news is so bleak in this crazy disconnected world and it can be hard to keep clutching to the hope that things can turn around. Our spiritual guides and trainers emphasize the importance of changing ourselves and in so doing the world around changes. My belief is that our hope lies in the love that forms our link in our oneness … the love that has kept my hope alive on this journey back to health. Sydney Australia January 2018

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IT CHANGES EVERYTHING And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom Anais Nin

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IS thE UL tIMA tE CooL Te other day I was reading about poise – that state of consciousness where everything is in perfect balance. Te word poise is synonymous with balance equilibrium control grace and presence. As a coach and mindfulness practitioner I became immensely interested in poise as to me it represented the epitome of perfection – what I have always been seeking – the perfect balance of the material and spiritual lives. Tat sacred space where everything is as it should be. Poise is an issue in every arena where relationships impact the quality of collaboration partnership and creativity. When we lose our poise in predictable patterns we are stuck unable to tap tour limitless powers. Ten anger irritation impatience self-pity and victimhood pose considerable problems for colleagues partners spouses or supervisors but even more so for us. According to Gary Stokes the author of Poise: A Warrior’s Guide modern organizations require men and women who have enough self- awareness to sustain balance composure and equanimity in the face of extr a or dinar y c hal leng es. Stokes says that when poised we are fully present in our environment glad to be alive. Balanced and composed we are able to draw all that is pleasurable from any situation. Poised we are able to be connected grateful creative and light- hearted no matter what is happening. In other words poise is the ultimate cool attractive and sane. Stokes also examines the great costs to us when we lose our poise: we make PoISE DR NANDINI SHEKHAR reviews the 2011 book Poise: A Warrior’s Guide by Gary Stokes and is inspired to follow his guidance in her day-to-day life. Heartfulness 12 Change your attitude

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mistakes our judgment is distorted and we make bad decisions. Our enjoyment of life is diminished and our potential evaporates temporarily or even permanently as we lose access to our love. Failing to sustain poise we remain trapped in a limited life circling in an eddy going nowhere stuck in a universal pattern of negative thinking and behavior. Te most impactful statement for me is that the universal cause of lost poise is self-pity. Self-pity is often our response when something happens that we don’t like. We become a victim in order to explain why we feel bad. We blame someone else: “Someone is doing this to me” We tell sympathetic people our victim story and they oblige by saying “Oh you poor thing” or something similar. Ten we obsess and hope that divine justice or our own acts of revenge will bring our adversaries down. As long as we feel sorry for ourselves we will lose our poise. Our potential will be blocked and our lives will remain trapped in an eddy as we go round and round feeling as if we’re on the move but actually going nowhere. Living a life of poise implies that we are able to deal with everything that comes to us. We use every challenge thrown at us and everything is a source of learning. Stokes uses a Poise Checklist to get back to poise when we are upset in any way. Here’s his list: • Am I in the present right now • Am I connected to others with love and am I connected with my values my mission and myself • Am I grateful right now • Do I have access to my creativity improvising refusing to be trapped • Is my heart light unburdened by my own heaviness and self-absorption We may still lose our poise once in a while but we know what to do – get back into the present reconnect give thanks improvise and laugh at ourselves. No matter what is happening poise is the ultimate cool. 13 January 2018

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JUDIth PoLS ton is a member of Mercy for Animals. She gives us a broader and encompassing vision of compassion and asks some challenging questions. Is Compassion onLY FoR hUMAnS 14 Heartfulness Expand compassion

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Compassion is when we have sympathy and concern about another’s sufering and misfortunes. When we feel heartbroken by another person’s misery we may instantly want to act to relieve their pain. And compassion is about ‘action’ it is not just being empathetic. How do we really know if we have real compassion What comes frst – love or compassion How are they intertwined One of my spiritual Guides gives a hint when he says: “Love has to be compassionate. It cannot have joy at somebody else’s sufering. Love compassion and mercy are not three diferent things. Love in action is mercy and compassion.” Spiritual growth brings us to our original state which is pure love and in this state compassion and mercy are automatically felt for the suferings of others. And this extends to animals as well as humans. Animals have souls and need our protection. Any dog or cat owner will tell you with conviction that their animals have feelings and connect with them on a soul level. Scientifc studies show that elephants birds chimpanzees girafes cows and sheep mourn their dead and feel sufering. Te paradox is: we love our pets yet we eat other animals. Due to the worldwide practices of factory farming animals are sometimes raised in torturous conditions only to meet violent deaths to feed humans. In 2001 the United States Department of Agriculture USDA stated that 45 billion animals were slaughtered worldwide for human consumption. Tis fgure has risen to 55 billion in 2017 and it does not include the tons of fsh that are killed for the same purpose each year. Some of these animals don’t even make it to the slaughterhouse as they die prematurely from stress disease handling transportation and deprivation. While many of us are vegetarian dairy foods and eggs are still often part of our diet. Cows are artifcially impregnated All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt What harm can you do He who seeks happiness By hurting those who seek happiness Will never find happiness. For your brother is like you. He wants to be happy. Never harm him And when you leave this life You too will find happiness. Dhammapada 129-130 translated by Thomas Byrom 15 January 2018 Hear tfulne ss

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many times in their shortened lifespan just to give milk. We human beings are the only species that consume the milk of another species. Te calves are not only deprived of milk but they are taken away from their mothers within one to three days after birth to be slaughtered for veal. Chickens and pigs live in terrible environments and die painful deaths for us to have bacon and eggs in the morning. Tis information while hard to hear is important to know in order to change our eating habits and lifestyle. An ancient Vedic teaching Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam meaning ‘One World One Family’ tells us to love and respect all human beings animals trees rivers and mountains as one. Ahimsa non-violence is an important virtue: to avoid harming all living creatures. So are we really compassionate merciful human beings As we evolve are we sensitive enough to the killing of other beings Tese are the questions we need to ask ourselves. Animals like us are living souls. They are not things. They are not objects. Neither are they human. Yet they mourn. They love. They dance. They suffer. They know the peaks and chasms of being. Gary Kowalski References: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service Animal Aid http:/ /www.vegnews.com/articles/page.dojsessionid B43CBA0870DEE9DEB97C2983484B17D1pageId 10079catId5 16 Heartfulness

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In my childhood days I used to spend a lot of time with my maternal grandfather who stayed in a farmhouse on a beautiful farm. Tere were cows chickens and the entire place was lively with a refreshing atmosphere. One day when I was walking with my grandfather I noticed a sugarcane farm on fre. Initially I thought it was due to an accident but when grandfather explained that the farmer had intentionally lit the fre I was shocked. Why would somebody do that intentionally Grandfather explained that the jaggery prices were too low that year and there were no buyers for sugarcane. Te farmer couldn’t cover his costs of manufacturing jaggery and could not aford to lose money in doing so. Instead he allowed the cane to dry out and set it on fre. When I asked my grandfather “What will he do for his living” he didn’t have an answer but his expression said everything. A few months later I saw the farmer planting sugarcane in the same feld he had burnt a few months back. Tis incident happened 15 to 20 years ago but it keeps popping up in my mind every now and then. Was the farmer’s action a refection of perseverance or hope At some point I even thought he was foolish to commit the same mistake by planting the same crop but then another perspective arose in my mind which created a great respect for farmers in me. I felt that his perseverance in the face of life’s unpredictability was possible only because of hope. A farmer’s life is full of gambles. For one thing crop prices are not fxed. Another is that nature is not always kind to farmers. Tey are not only dependent on the rains and climatic conditions but even the insects animals and birds all have an impact on the successful yield of the crop. Despite all the possible extremes farmers continue to sow their seeds with hope and they feed humanity. PAR th AS AR A th I n AR AYA n A is inspired by a childhood memory to value hope and perseverance. Seeds of HoPE

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inner turmoil RISING Abo VE DURGA NATARAJAN shares her favorite tips on how she handles inner turmoil and regains a sense of well-being. Many times I fnd that we cope with stress anxiety and inner restlessness by indulging in things outside ourselves. Te other day after work a friend of mine had come home to chat about some issues she was going through. As I was showering I heard her singing a melancholy Hindi flm song downstairs. Her voice grew louder or softer depending on the thoughts in her mind and I felt heavy in the heart listening to her singing. I could feel that she was trying to keep her mind from wandering into the 18 Heartfulness Positive attitude

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multitude of family and career issues she had on her plate. Retail therapy is another well-known way that we try to forget about problems but again how well does it work Tese behaviors are just symptoms of our inner disturbance our way of trying to cope with feeling uncomfortable so how to treat the underlying cause Our inner apparatus goes through a lot of wear and tear just like our bodies and often needs attention from us. When inner turmoil strikes here are some things that have worked for me: • Relax and calm yourself down. • Sit quietly and connect with your inner self. • For some time of the day dont indulge in any activity. Just be in the moment. • When you feel a little better get up and analyze the situation. Its not always as bad as it seems. Acceptance changes the situation a lot as you start feeling it can be dealt with. • Find out the pros and cons and what can be done in the present moment. • Listen to your heart’s guidance on what to do and follow it. In a nutshell treat it internally. It will take you a long way. 19 January 2018

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If your actions inspire others to dream more learn more do more and become more you are a leader. John Quincy Adams in action THoUGHT

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how to transform PRASHANTH VASU explains the value of meditation in the corporate world and outlines specifc ways it can transform organizations by transforming individuals who work for them. On the one hand corporate life is a redeeming force as it helps raise the standard of living of human beings by facilitating job creation at scale. Economic growth has become the yardstick for measuring progress and the corporate world is a vital vehicle to enable this. Te second and third order benefts of economic progress are also well researched and understood. However the fip side is becoming more evident in what is now called the VUCA world – volatile uncertain complex ambiguous. Long and late hours are now routine. With the rise in global trade working and traveling across cultures and time zones have become the order of the day. Tanks to the forces of technology and urbanization the need for organizations and employees to rapidly and continuously change has become permanent. Tese are not ordinary disruptions and the sheer intensity of professional life places an acute strain on individuals. So loss of balance is a threatening counterweight to the benefts oRg AnIzA tIonS we enjoy through our professional life. Associated lifestyle disorders and the growth in chronic diseases are natural corollaries and the very benefts of wealth health and education that economic progress brings are being eroded away. When individuals are thus de-centered an organization’s performance sufers. Can we stife economic progress or slow down the pace of corporate life It’s difcult to imagine. Instead we need to look at changing our ability to cope with increasing demands and in fact drive peak performance in this VUCA setting. Tis requires implementing practices that restore balance in individuals and thereby enable organizational performance. Meditation is an age-old tool that does restore this sense of balance. Its benefts on the physical intellectual emotional and spiritual levels are becoming increasingly evident through scientifc research. Progressively it is moving from a mystical practice that is The need for a NEW WAY 22 Heartfulness Corporate life

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to be undertaken in seclusion with the aim of achieving a spiritual goal to a practical tool that can be integrated into daily life with the aim of helping us lead a productive purposeful and joyful life. Heartfulness Meditation is a unique method that helps us acquire and operate from a deep sense of centeredness. Practitioners of Heartfulness actually experience an inner balance even while being intensely active. We are able to perform closer to our real potential. We witness the continuous change in our own consciousness and are therefore able to better adapt to the demands of the world. When individuals in an organization embrace meditation the organization at large benefts – it is also able to perform and transform simultaneously. Here are some specifc ways in which the benefts of Heartfulness Meditation can manifest individually and organizationally. Clarity and PRoDUCTIVITY Te frst beneft is the clarity of thought of a mind that is well-regulated through meditation. Tis in turn positively afects our productivity and efciency. Uncluttered by the trafc of thoughts through meditation the mind becomes focused and is able to attend to one topic or issue at a time giving it full attention. Signifcant time is saved in avoiding distractions and we are able to accomplish a lot more with this clarifed mind than we would otherwise. Tis capacity is a vital 23 January 2018

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asset especially for senior executives who often have diverse tasks to manage on a daily basis. Intuition and DECISIoN MAKING Te second beneft is the intuitive capacity of an intellect that is fne-tuned by meditation. Tis in turn positively impacts the quality of decision-making. Often times sub-optimal decisions on important matters such as stafng key roles and go or no-go decisions on key business choices are taken in reaction to external pressures or on the basis of past prejudices. Such decisions by senior executives can have drastic efects on an organization. With an intellect that is refned through meditation the basis of decision-making shifts from reactive to intellectual logical and data-based to intuitive also perception and wisdom-based. Imagine the benefts of this capacity in our VUCA world where the velocity of decision-making is very high – it can shape an organization’s destiny Empathy and CollAboRATIoN Te third beneft is the capacity to feel and empathize that develops out of a heart-based meditation. Tis in turn makes a dramatic diference to collaboration and coordination in an organization. Most business processes require multiple functions to work in a coordinated manner. Often these processes are sub-optimal due to the strain in interpersonal relationships between people in diferent functions such as manufacturing and sales product development and manufacturing etc. When our hearts’ intentions are purifed through a heart-based meditation we can progressively learn to see the connectedness in the world to trust and to place the interest of the organization over that of our specifc function and in turn over our personal beneft. A more empathetic and non-judgmental approach starts pervading our interactions and we become more profcient in wielding the magic instrument of feeling beyond only rational thinking. As a corollary win-win solutions naturally emerge to challenges. Organizations with a good proportion of emotionally intelligent 24 Heartfulness

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individuals lose minimum energy in internal friction and are therefore fully available to serve their clients and stakeholders. Joy and PURPo SE Te fourth beneft is a sense of lightness and joy that emerges when our consciousness itself evolves through meditation. Tis positive energy helps create a purposeful organization that is both given to continuous improvement and resilient to shocks in the external world. A heart-based meditative practice creates unconditional joy and flls our lives with positive energy. As we learn to be meditatively active even intense work starts energizing rather than draining us. We are thus able to better balance professional and personal life. An organization with a healthy proportion of such joy-flled individuals is better positioned to continuously improve and renew. Such organizations are purposed for excellence. An organization as a HUMAN CollECTIVE Just as in individual has a physical and subtle existence we can very well consider an organization to have a physical and a subtle existence too. Te physical existence of the organization comprises its hard assets and infrastructure while the subtle existence is its collective mind intellect identity and consciousness created by its people. Te hard assets are easily replicable. So truly distinguished organizations diferentiate themselves based on their subtle existence or soft assets which is essentially their people. When organizations have a healthy proportion of heartful professionals they can simultaneously perform and transform in this rapidly evolving world. Heartfulness Meditation is a simple practice that allows us to acquire and operate from a state of balance. Trough the unique method of Yogic Transmission the time and efort required to acquire such states is substantially reduced. Heartfulness regulates the mind fne-tunes the intellect purifes the heart and as a result our consciousness evolves. We can perform closer to our true potential and also transform to suit the needs of the hour. Tere is an old saying that perfection of the whole happens through perfection of the parts. Given the time we all spend in our corporate life in this day and age organizations will beneft by supporting employees through the personal process of realizing their inner potential. 25 January 2018

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Impact is what you leave with your audience. It is the result of your communication and is how it will be remembered. Many times speakers deliver excellent content have several important messages in their talk make a lot of great points and even make a really good connection with the audience. Even still the audience leaves without much impact. How can we ensure that this doesn’t happen to us Tere are 5 Cs that will ensure that you have an impact on your audience every single time : Te 1 complaint about most talks is that they are too long. Work hard to make your messages concise. Cut out all redundant words. Use statistics and anecdotes to make your message compelling. Speak to “What is in it for me” Co n CISE Co MPREh En SIv E Co MPELLIn g CREAt Iv E Co n v In CIn g Be creative with visual aids personal stories and analogies. Make it relatable. Let your conviction in the topic come across naturally. Don’t try to convince explicitly. Summarize the takeaways that you want them to remember. Complete the conversation and provide them a way to move forward. thE hEAR tFUL PRE SEntER PART 7 In the last 6 articles RAVI VENKATESAN has shared ideas about the reasons public speakers fail the 26 Cs of good communication body language and voice modulation the ‘power of pause’ and the need for presence and empathy. In this fnal article of the series he explores the Impact we can make as speakers. Heartfulness 26 Corporate training

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Assume that you’ve just talked about the importance of improving the city’s public parks and play areas. You’ve covered many points and made many arguments. Now summarize everything in terms of 3 key takeaways and 1 most important thing to remember. Tis summary should take less than a minute. Assume that you’ve conducted an introductory workshop on Relaxation and Meditation. You’ve also talked about the benefts of incorporating these practices in day- to-day life. Summarize the two top benefts and remind your audience of the next steps they should take. For example “When you get home today please take advantage of this opportunity and register for a free one-on-one session with an instructor via our website.” Practice delivering a punchline after setting it up at the beginning of your talk. For example at the beginning you might say “We are going to dive into what infation and life expectancy increase are doing to retirement plans. I promise to share a solution with you today.” After covering everything you can refer back to this promise and deliver a unique idea or suggestion for example “As promised I want to leave you with a solution. By adding 3 to your retirement savings now while you are in your 20s you will be covered for an extra 15 years of retirement.” Here are a few exercises to sharpen your ability to deliver the right impact : 27 January 2018

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One Who DoRIT VAARNING frst traveled to India to meet Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur in 1978. She shares some of her experiences of being with this humble insignifcant being who is known to many as babuji. onLY gIvE S 28

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I t is a bit difcult to tell stories about Babuji because I have the feeling that my stories tell more about myself than about him. For after all who is he What I could see was only what I was capable of realizing and what he permitted me to see. Te second time I visited him his head became transparent to me and inside I saw planets moving following their courses according to the cosmic law. It was like looking into a watch. And though this vision was limited to the inside of his head I was gazing like through a window into the unlimited universe itself. Te following time I came to Babuji I saw his head like an open bowl in which there was nothing. I remember one day he was sitting in his chair with a big fock of people around him flling the terrace. I came late and since the only place left was at his feet I was ordered to sit there. Ten we started to ask questions. I asked “What is love” Babuji created a beautiful image for us: “Love is what is alive when a fower blooms and will never come again when the fower closes.” Te second part of this defnition disturbed me deeply so I asked “But does love have to go away Can it also stay” Babuji looked down at me tenderly and said softly “Yes it can come and stay forever.” Ten Babuji gave his fnal defnition: “Love is craving for Reality. Opening yourself to Reality and Divinity is love.” After some time I asked “What is grace” Again those soft tender eyes met mine and he said with a smile “Grace is sweetness of mind.” My heart melted in the love of his eyes and I could only sigh. Babuji seemed to think over it again and confrmed “Yes it is correct.” Ten another question came to me: “Babuji what is passion” He answered as if making a rhyme “Excitement in fashion is passion.” Ten he put on a doubtful face “It’s not correct” he said. But then he came back to the same idea. “Babuji what is sin” “Improper adjustment of things.” Babuji was the most original poetic and humorously meaningful person one can imagine. Love is craving for Reality. Opening yourself to Reality and Divinity is love. 29 January 2018 Inner wisdom

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Once in Munich in 1980 I asked him “Babuji what about divine intoxication” And he answered “Well I may not say anything against it since I myself am a smoker” Ten after a while he asked me suddenly “Why don’t you just jump into the infnite ocean” One evening in Copenhagen also in 1980 people had gathered in his bedroom to spend those cozy evening hours with him when generally he would be in the mood to talk. Tat evening he was sitting up in bed in front of everyone totally ready for a conversation full of wisdom and laughter. But no word was being spoken. Babuji looked here and there obviously up to something but kept quiet. 30 Heartfulness

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After some time he looked around with an apologetic look: “No thought coming” he exclaimed. Silence again all over. Suddenly he rose up as if some event had happened. “Tat was a thought” he exclaimed and stared at something invisible like gazing at a shooting star. Tis went on for a while Babuji being in quite a humorous mood. Finally he remarked with the most humble timid look you can imagine “A thought is a vibration from the Divine not from such a low being like me.” And very small with a shy smile he lay down in his pillows. During Babuji’s visit to South Africa in 1981 someone asked : “What is the correct behavior after one has hurt somebody ” I asked him what saintliness was. He replied “Gentlemanliness humility. One who only gives and never asks for anything in return.” Excerpt from ‘All Was Drowned in Divinity’ from the book T ears Laughter : Encounters With a Spiritual Master 1 st edition 1990 edited by A.J. Born Shri Ram Chandra Mission India. He answered : “To be in yourself. Tat is something within.” “Should we avoid hurting others at all costs ” “Medium moderation. Avoid giving trouble to others. Tat is a divine dictate. Not to hurt others is the greatest religion. I am not like a wasp that if somebody steps on it will sting. If somebody steps on me I’ll be crushed and die. … you should never hurt the feelings of other hearts. You should play the defensive part not the ofensive one. When self is involved defense is right.” During those last hours with him in South Africa I asked him what saintliness was. He replied “Gentlemanliness humility. One who only gives and never asks for anything in return.”

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Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles leaps fences penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope. Maya Angelou hoPE FoCUS

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Hope in todays world Heartfulness It takes going to a music festival t o inspire CHARlES EISENSTEIN to explore the paradox of hope and despair that confronts global human civilization today. He shares what he does to honor both perspectives to explore the way forward for our species. by their ye shall know them fruits

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35 January 2018 I ’m dealing with massive cognitive dissonance right now. Multiple contradictory beliefs and perceptions inhabit my mind each compelling on its own terms. How do I choose I’ll share two of the most contradictory. Last weekend I spoke at a wonderful music festival near Asheville called Kinnection Campout. I’ve not yet been to a festival with such a positive friendly gentle atmosphere. Te entrance booth staf were jovial the security personnel solicitous and I didn’t see any of the aggression bad drug trips or drinking that is often an undercurrent though usually not dominant at such festivals. It occurred to me that this event was a feld generator for a ‘new normal’ of compassion and sharing on Earth. What fed my optimism the most however were the astonishing conversations I had with young people there about topics like subtle activism social permaculture regenerative politics indigeneity and so forth – conversations that basically did not exist when I was in my 20s. They embodied understandings that took me decades to develop and that I still inhabit most tenuously. What will they accomplish from this place that they are seemingly born into or reach with just a single activating experience Nor to address the skeptics among you were these people weekend philosophers who play with these ideas in between workweeks. They had little buy-in to the rewards and promises of the system little ambition in the conventional sense. For them the old story is finished. Even if they are yet a minority among their age cohort they provide ample proof that the consciousness behind ecocide and injustice is changing. My second input has come in the days since the festival as I’ve immersed myself in my book research. I’m looking at some of the direst predictions of climate change which in case you weren’t aware basically entail the near-term extinction of most species on Earth humanity with them. Of course I’ve been aware of this narrative for a long time but actually engaging the data about the various positive feedback loops is driving it deeper into me. Earth has already passed the tipping point into catastrophic climate change. Even if we eliminated all fossil fuels right now that wouldn’t be enough to arrest runaway warming. Te IPCC’s position is extremely conservative and even its recommendations are politically unfeasible. In the face of the facts any optimism I might feel from the festival is a delusion. Yet then I return to the still-vivid memory of those beautiful alive faces the clear eyes shining with the light of deep intelligence and I know deep within my being that somehow the logic of despair is a false logic. I cannot muster any convincing evidence of its falsity but I know it nonetheless. Am I to trust that feeling I am calling ‘knowing’ In fact I can construct a rational narrative – highly implausible though it may strike the conventional mind – in which we can avert civilization-destroying ecological catastrophe. It comes from the understanding that the modern worldview which is at the root

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of the ecological crisis also generates our understanding of what is possible and how to efect change in the world. Stepping outside of it as so many of those young people have done opens up wider domains of the possible and the real. We can see the lineaments in everything we call holistic or alternative: technologies or modes of technology that produce impossible results. Tis will be of small comfort if you wholly embrace the modern worldview and dismiss everything that deviates from it. But if you have experienced what we’ve been told is impossible then the impossibility of humanity making the transition is no longer so clear. If someone can recover from incurable stage 4 pancreatic cancer what else is possible What is the correlate of that on the level of politics or ecology Tis is a question many of these young people are beginning to explore. Tat is one thread of my narrative of optimism tenuous though it may seem to you. I won’t go into the others because my point is that the feeling I got from the festival is not wholly at odds with reason. Nor however does it constitute proof. Each of these two narratives stands in self-sufcient wholeness a reality unto itself. Which then shall I believe Tere is a saying from the Bible: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Each of these beliefs bears diferent fruits in me each corresponds to a state of being. I fnd the near- term extinction narrative to be paralyzing. It demotivates anything I might do to serve healing in the world on any level. What issue that I care about matters in the face of it Te other narrative which I’ll call ‘the evolution of consciousness that will save the world’ confers on me an enthusiasm to serve that evolution in all its manifestations and practical applications. Tis narrative is not without its pitfalls: self-righteousness spiritual elitism and escapism are among them particularly when it is ignorant of the very real facts on the ground. Te horror and sufering on this planet extend far beyond 36 Heartfulness

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climate change. In fact I believe climate change is a symptom of a deeper illness that will continue to generate crises even if it turns out to be less of a threat than we think. To bypass the planet’s hurts and perils and to deny their accompanying grief through spiritual bromides like “It’s all happening for a reason” or “Te shift in consciousness will save us” is to divert the expanded creative and healing powers of the new story away from their necessary purpose. Te illness seeks the medicine. Te multiple crises that we face are precisely commensurate with the capacities they will draw forth from us. Tat is why both narratives I have voiced above are necessary. We must apprehend the illness or the medicine will remain inaccessible stunted an embarrassing secret in the cultural closet called ‘alternative’. Gazing into the most hopeless and horrifying phenomena on the planet our own hidden wounds and unprocessed grief surface for clearing and we discover that each form of denial – the outer circumstances and the inner wounds – mirror each other. For our optimism to be genuine as well as efective it must countenance what is actually so. I am fond of saying that no optimism can be authentic that has not visited the depths of despair. But today I have realized a corollary: no despair is authentic that has not fully let in the joy. Festivals like Kinnection exercise a powerful practical function by obviating the logic of despair and bestowing enthusiasm and motivation to serve the birthing of a more beautiful world. It is not that an internal inconsistency in the logic is revealed it simply becomes somehow less relevant less dominating and less captivating. Without at frst reasonable cause for hope we fnd we no longer need reasons. Experiences of play joy and communion insinuate an unreasonable knowledge of expanded possibilities. Without these the gloom-monger is missing an important data point. Few will listen to him because they will intuit that his despair is a joy defcit disguised as objective reasoning. Whatever he is missing the young people I met at Kinnection and the event itself seemed to radiate. So if you want to be efective in spreading alarm go to some festivals or other places of your greatest joy. And if you want to be efective in spreading joy visit your places of greatest grief. I am of course aware of the political critique of festivals like this one: that they are diversions for the privileged that make our unjust and ecocidal world a little more tolerable. But I hope I have shown that they are also the opposite: they make that world less tolerable. Tey give us a glimpse of the world as it could be and they nourish us with the inner resources and outer connections to serve that world. There is a saying from the Bible: “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Each of these beliefs bears different fruits in me each corresponds to a state of being. 37 January 2018

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Mon I q UE At LA n and R og ER - P o L DR o I t share a very European perspective on the need to revive hope in the 21st century despite the many reasons why people have given up hoping for a better future. Q A a future Photographe Philippe Matsas 38 Heartfulness

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h ope is supposedly a very simple and familiar concept. Yet your survey has shown that it is far more complex than it seems as throughout the course of history hope has often been obscured and belittled. Could you please tell us more about it It is actually very simple. Hope is a human strength par excellence. It is what makes us move forward act progress etc. even in the worst of circumstances So it is wrong to believe that hope is at odds with action. In fact there is no action without the hope that it will succeed and yet to expect success the action must have already started. Nevertheless it remains difcult to precisely defne what hope is. It is at the same time a wish a desire and an expectation of something better but it’s not only these things. Being the matrix of our lives and of our individual existence as well as of our collective challenges hope cannot be framed within a rigid concept. Hope is fraught with ambiguity plurality and it is always impure that is it is woven from conficting feelings illusory beliefs magical thoughts and dreams as well as reasoning and probabilities. Hope is both a call-to-action and at the same time it is based on emotional thinking. Our research into the history – particularly in ancient Greece in Jewish sources and in Christian thinking – shows that hope is always two-sided and ambiguous: individual and collective earthly and heavenly fuctuating and unchanging etc. If you imagine that it is only for good things bound to have a positive outcome you would be quite wrong: terrorists also hope for the maximum number of casualties. Of course there have always been highlights when the collective hope was positive. Te Age of Enlightenment and the social movements for emancipation in the nineteenth century are good examples as people believed that human progress would follow. More knowledge and accessible education a greater number of tools and methods and freedom and ethics were all supposed to follow. Such was the great hope that progress represented – a continuous and triumphant hope. But as the 20th century showed culture and progress do not safeguard us from barbaric acts science can also bring destruction and better tomorrows can lead to totalitarianism and terror. So we now have a tendency to shun hope and most of the time we’d rather live without it. Can we possibly live without hope Of course not Hope is a constituent of the human condition. Our primary question has been: How is it that collective hope should break down whereas individuals go on having 39 January 2018

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1 Philosophical presentism is the view that neither the future nor the past exist. personal hope and plans for themselves and for their relatives All the polls and surveys show that the very people who claim that they are pessimistic about the future of their country or of humanity also claim that they are rather optimistic as far as their personal situations are concerned. In other words hope is indeed what the psychologist Guy Lavallée calls an ‘energy matrix’ the source of our plans and actions even though collective expectations have currently lost momentum. If we are each imbued with such a deep sense of hope how is it that we no longer dream of a future that reflects our inner hopes Tat is what we have tried to diagnose through what we call a ‘philosophical un-blocking’ in order to rekindle it. We know that we cannot force hope on anyone so our challenge is to revive the process by giving it the consideration it deserves and by better understanding its limits and mechanisms. Te current eclipse of our collective hope is above all due to the disasters of the last century to our having lost our sense of history to a weakening of the awareness we have of inheriting from the past and of needing to build a future and to the triumph of presentism 1 and immediacy. But there are also more profound and ancient causes which are to be found in our European culture. We have seen through the ages that any universal feeling of hope has not been loved by our philosophers at least most of them. Terefore as far as hope is concerned the failure has also been in our thinking. Starting with the ancients and the stoics and moving forward to our contemporary philosophers practically no one has given particular and prominent attention to hope. Either they ignore it avoid dealing with it express a lack of confdence or reject it outright. Te rationale they use is always the same: to reject hope in order to avoid all the risks and discomforts due to the fear of unfulflled hope. Tey then attach value to the present only to living in the moment in order to guard against all the uncertainties and expectations that hope brings. Here are a few examples : “Dont hope and you will be fearless” the stoic philosopher Hecaton of Rhodes used to say as quoted by Seneca. Montaigne added “Fear desire and hope impel us towards the future they rob us of feelings and concern for what now is in order to have us spend time over what will be – even when we ourselves shall be no more.” As for Spinoza the greatest hope fghter he wanted to chase away all sadness in order to reach the wisdom that could be drawn from It is actually very simple. Hope is a human strength par excellence. It is what makes us move forward act progress etc. even in the worst of circumstances So it is wrong to believe that hope is at odds with action. 40 Heartfulness

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philosophical joy. He concluded by saying “In proportion as we endeavor to live according to the guidance of reason shall we strive as much as possible to depend less on hope.” We could also quote Schopenhauer Heidegger Camus Comte-Sponville and many others. In spite of their diferent philosophies they all agreed that hope is a harmful illusion and we must rid ourselves of it. Te fear of being disappointed made them throw the baby out with the bathwater because hope implies taking a risk You said “hope should be the main instrument for building a new future.” But how is it possible in a world where we have lost all our illusions It is possible provided we stop confusing hope and illusion. Losing our illusions does not mean losing hope. On the contrary hope is a means to practice gaining insight. Our gross desires and our scattered aspirations need to be carefully refned. Tey must be sifted channeled rid of their superfuities and fantasies and adjusted to reality. If that is wanting hope remains a mere mechanical repetition of the same formulas and therefore it is totally useless. It is worth working on hope and worth tempering it. 41 January 2018

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What can we hope for nowadays No period in history even the darkest has ever seen hope disappear completely. Its fame lingers even when everything seems to want to blow it out. Tat is why at the heart of the great tragedies of the 20th century Ernst Bloch and Hans Jonas embraced the idea of a world that constantly needs constructing a world where the central dimension of life dwells in the future. Here comes the most important lesson to remember: hope requires thinking beyond oneself. So we appeal for a total inversion of the western philosophical software. Instead of being essentially focused on the individual’s thought at the moment of death we need to think beyond ourselves about all living creatures and about what we have to transmit to future generations. As long as we remain focused on the individual alone and facing death the world and time will appear absurd. But if we accept the idea of human beings carrying on then we place ourselves in an unfnished project one that is always open and under development. So hope can be shared right Te philosopher Catherine Chalier pointed out that “Hope is always to be shared.” Sharing it is the essential dimension as hope can never Heartfulness 42 Heartfulness

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be lived by one person alone. As Erri de Luca wrote in his book Alzaïa the Hebrew word tiqva simultaneously means hope a rope and a climbing team. It is the rope that binds prisoners to each other but it also keeps human beings together and gives them some freedom just as alpinists secure each other. Hope is never a solo race. It binds us and we pull together when we share that hope. What would you like to say about hope to the youth of today We have no ready answer and no unfailing know- how. Te issue is for us to understand and then to help them understand. We must tell the youth about the past about the depth of our history and about those who defended our civil liberties all through the course of history. We must explain to them that immediate gratifcation cannot be the only prevailing value and that the super heroes in Star Wars and the Avengers who fght of evil fail to refect the full picture of the world. Finally we must relentlessly draw the line To explore these ideas further read their book Lespoir a-t-il un avenir published by Flammarion in 2016. between a virtual and a real world since confusing them only leads to unrealistic expectations. We do not hold the keys to the future. It is up to the youth to forge these keys provided that we the adults are fully aware that the world doesn’t end with us and that transmitting to future generations will reopen the horizon and hope. As a matter of fact there can only be hope if and when we accept that the world does not end with us and that we need to build it over and over again all together. Hope is what makes us act due to the shared conviction that the game is still ongoing that the world is not yet complete and that the story continues. Yet if we want to advance we do still need the story. Hope must be formulated and it must be told put in words myths and stories. We must talk about it transmit it and live it. It also requires imagination and vision. Such tales are actually missing and they must be created and restored so that hope has a foundation the ground on which to stand. And for you personally what gives you hope Te fact that the unexpected does exist and that it endures. Let the story remain unfnished. Remember that the inscription above Dante’s Gate of Hell reads “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” What defnes hell is that it is a confned space with no possible openings or dreams. Conversely in our world human dignity consists in constantly maintaining aspirations for a better world. Ernst Bloch in his book Te Hope Principle showed that he well understood that our being aware of the future was an engine for all human beings. He stated that “So far hope has remained as unexplored as Antarctica.” We do think it’s high time for hope to be explored. 43 Hear tfulne ss January 2018

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It is not the time or place but the attitude of the couple that matters. At the moment of conception based on the vibratory level of those two the soul with that corresponding vibratory level will descend into the womb that has the specifc vibratory level. It matches. Kamlesh Patel

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M on ICKA SI ngh is full of life In this interview she shares some of the ways that she helps couples with conscious conception pregnancy birthing and parenting. I just sat thinking “Let it be today whatever is meant to happen.” It was a good one and a half hours of waiting sitting with my eyes closed. When I opened them I saw my husband walking into the park. Te doctors had said that he would not be able to walk beyond 200 meters but he had actually walked down three fights of stairs then 900 meters to the entrance of the park and he came walking all the way to where I was and sat there. Ten we started coming back again. Within a month and a half his entire disease had vanished all the fuid in all the layers of his body had gone his heart was beating normally he had shed ffteen to twenty kilos of weight and was full of vigor. Te doctors said “It’s a miracle ” It was not actually a miracle. We had tapped into the power of the subconscious mind and reprogrammed it. We shifted our belief system and we came back to life. So then I understood that this is the way of life. At that time I had no knowledge of the subconscious mind. I was only involved with my children and family. We had been living in Delhi where my husband was running a multi-specialty hospital. But after all this we shifted our base Y ou are passionate about your work h ow did you get into this field which is so tied to human evolution Tere is always a story that triggers and motivates us to our path. In 2007 I experienced something very profound when my husband contracted a viral infection. He is a pediatrician and had picked it up from one of his patients. When children are infected by this virus it is usually okay but when it is an adult it can be fatal. So he had developed fuid retention in his entire body especially in the pericardium the wall of the heart and he almost left us. He was in bed for around eight months when he was about to be taken for surgery to remove the pericardium. His life would have been that of a vegetable. Both of us had very vivid colorful dreams for the future and this was not in sync with what we thought our life would be. So we were struggling and life was chaotic. One day in the autumn of 2007 something happened to me. At the time my husband was not allowed to walk more than 150 meters in case he became breathless. I went to a park which was around 900 meters from our home and sat there praying. Ten I called him and said “ You come to this park and take me home otherwise I am not coming home. And please come alone.” 47 January 2018 Parenting

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to a rural area near Dehra Dun an area with no medical facilities where we set up our hospital and started working with conviction and faith. It is a beautiful area in the foothills of the Himalayas. Tere this landed I used to have vivid dreams and visions and I was guided to understand that life does not start after the birth it doesn’t even start during those nine months of pregnancy or at the time of conception. Instead our life starts when our parents think about us. So when parents think about becoming parents the child’s journey begins. And whatever they are thinking is already afecting the child’s subconscious mind. At the time a child is delivered more than 70 of his or her subconscious mind is already blueprinted and these are the codes on which his or her future lies. So this has been my journey and how I was inspired. Ten I did research on my patients and now we are getting wonderful results in our hospital. tell us about the work you do with families. Our entire program is called ‘Awakening in Womb’ and we start right from the very beginning. So our work supports : • Consciously conceiving the baby. • Consciously carrying and nurturing the baby. • Consciously delivering the baby. • Consciously raising the newborn baby. So in the Cosmic Conception program we help parents to be conscious of their thoughts and emotions. They know they are invoking a soul who is going to begin a journey on Earth. Heartfulness

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We have also started a program called ‘Cosmic Conception’ where our would- be parents experience a rise in vibrations through diferent modalities to help attract a higher vibrational soul into their lives. Tey understand that they are receiving a gift in this soul this baby. h ow do you work with parents to bring about conscious conception In the realm of energy like attracts like so you will often hear parents saying “Tis child is just like me.” Why do they say that Te energy with which they conceive a child the emotions that they hold at that particular moment are totally transferred to the baby. So the baby will initiate his or her journey with that coloring that intention that energy. So in the Cosmic Conception program we help parents to be conscious of their thoughts and emotions. Tey know they are invoking a soul who is going to begin a journey on Earth. Tey have to be aware of what they are starting with. We help them address and embrace any non-serving attitudes they may have like their fears their anger. Tey don’t have to overcome anger or fear. It is better to accept it and embrace it and be good with it to the point that it no longer matters and they feel well about it. Teir hearts become hopeful with compassion and love so everything fnds its own position and this is when conception happens. Te child will also begin the journey with compassion and love. We have done our part. Wonderful What about during pregnancy how do you support parents so they can nurture their babies in the best possible way We have two ways. Te frst is with people who have conceived consciously as they have already started from a particular level. But most of the couples coming to our hospital do not know about Cosmic Conception so with this second group we work on the principle that ‘your unborn child is your spiritual guru’. In other words whenever a couple has conceived a baby that soul is there in their life as a guiding force. Essentially pregnancy is a time of great transformation and a great leap in the journey of evolution of the souls who are parents. Pregnancy accelerates the journey. So all the programs patterns and social conditionings rise to the surface and that is why we say that the mother has a turbulent phase of ups and downs of emotions because things pop up from the subconscious mind. So we work with pregnant women in classes identifying what is manifesting in their lives right now. We help them to accept what emotions are surfacing rise above them and move with the vibration. It is all about acceptance. Tey do it with a lot of love and consciousness. Of course the programs are structured – we give them dos and don’ts some practices meditation etc. – both face- to-face in our hospital and online. Tere is a full nine months program that they follow. Te mothers help themselves by doing the practices and become very conscious of their pregnancy. 49 January 2018

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Are the fathers involved as well Te fathers are very involved because the father is impacting the mother who is impacting the baby. I always say that a family with a strong father is a thriving family. Te father has a huge role because the mother’s emotions and mental strength are somehow directly connected with those of her husband. Te father’s support is very important in this entire program. I am sure you are aware of the Epigenetic studies on this so can we say that you are working to help create the environment so that the physiology of the mother is most conducive It is all about that. Epigenetics is mainstream now. Research has shown that every single gene can express itself in more than 20000 diferent ways depending upon the environment so it is all about creating the environment for the baby to grow. Tis baby starts with two cells and becomes a trillion-celled body and this construction is happening inside the mother’s womb. Tis is not just the construction of the child it is also the awakening of the mother. Tat is why we call the program ‘Awakening in Womb’. Both mother and child are awakening. Te construction material is important : food is very important but not just food. Te water a mother drinks the air she is breathing the thoughts she is having and her energy levels are all accumulating and constructing the child’s body. I am not just talking about the physical body – all the bodies. So the construction of the entire blueprint is happening right there inside the womb. It is amazing Let’s move on now. h ow do you work with mothers through the birthing process Tis is my favorite part During the birthing process I call these mothers divine goddesses. Tey are the chosen ones as they are bringing about life and the way they bring life into the world is extremely important. When we as women can turn that pain into pleasure is when we are able to do everything. As doctors I think we have a great role to play. First of all there is a lot of fear surrounding a delivery. Te people attending are not sure how it is going to happen if it going to be a normal delivery a forceps delivery a Caesarian section etc. Te frst thing that we as doctors can do is to erase that fear around the birthing process by telling mothers that this is the most natural process to happen in nature that she will be guided and that her entire body is working and everything is automated. Did she Every single gene can express itself in more than 20000 different ways depending upon the environment. 50 Heartfulness

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conceive by asking a sperm and an egg to get together and make a body No it just happened. Similarly giving birth is an automatic process. She simply has to remove the thinking brain and everything happens on its own. When there is fear then a mother may more easily attract a lot of unpleasant things and difculties during the birth. So in our hospital we try to ease the mothers completely removing any fears around the birth by reminding them of that deep faith that everything has been taken care of. Ten there is a structure that we follow using music positive afrmations and meditation. Tis way during the birthing process the mother is relaxed and able to communicate with the baby. Tat is so important because it is the baby who is making his or her way through that birthing canal. So imagine if she is able to communicate with the baby reassuring him or her that “Tis is a beautiful world a world of peace and compassion. I welcome you here my child with all my heart. Please come I am waiting for you.” Ten the baby has a better chance to come out naturally because he or she is secure. Tis is it. Lovely After the birth there is another level of transition in family life for both parents. So please can you tell us about conscious parenting What support do you offer new parents Conscious parenting starts with the birth. Te moment the baby is out he or she is put directly to the mother’s heart as the sound of her heartbeat is familiar. Tis reduces any fear the baby may have in this new environment because he or she is received with love into the world and feels secure. After that we hand the baby over to the father who sits cuddling and caressing his newborn. In contrast if a baby is born in a very mechanical manner and then put in a nursery separated from the parents which is unavoidable if it is a traumatic birth imagine the amount of fear 51 January 2018

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To contact Monicka you can write to dr.monickasinghgmail.com the baby has. Tey will experience all the alien sounds the alien light and many strange voices. Tey become fearful. So the frst impression the frst imprint after delivery is that of fear. Today so many babies experience such an imprint in hospitals around the world and as a result they constantly live with fear even as adults because it is the frst impression they have of the world outside. So what happens to the child in the frst few hours after the birth is very very important. Tat is the base the foundation. When the frst impression is that of love that becomes the foundation from where life goes on. Such children are generally compassionate loving and settled children. Tey are not anxious babies they cry less and they demand less because they are secure. Babies often cry and demand a lot when there is some insecurity some fear which parents don’t always understand and the baby can’t explain. By the time the child is older and can express how they feel they have already accepted this fear as a normal way of life. Tis is how we are as individuals. As conscious parents we can help our children be what they are supposed to be by understanding that they are not ‘ours’ but instead they are other individuals coming through us. Whatever thoughts belief systems and conditioning we may have do not need to be transferred to our babies. Tey do not deserve that. Tey will do better with neutrality so that they can build their own belief systems. A lot of people reading this will want more information. not everyone can travel to Uttarakhand so how are you reaching out to others We have a website called Miracle Medical Mission – www.miraclemedicalmission.com we do online workshops and then we have the handholding program for the nine months of pregnancy which we also do online. Would you also be willing to train medical personnel from other parts of the world if they could come to your hospital Yes defnitely because this is the way of life ahead. It has to be a train the trainer approach. We all have to come together and work as one force. We also have a Facebook group and we are trying to reach out to as many people as possible. Can you tell us about your two books My frst book was co-authored and is called Miracle Mission in which I have written about my own journey. My second book is called Awakening in Womb in which I have written all about conscious conception pregnancy birthing and parenting. I also discuss infertility issues and especially what can be done before resorting to IVF and surrogacy. We have an ‘Accepting Your Fertility’ program so that couples can learn to accept their own fertility. It is a beautiful 45 days to 2 months program and again it is a very structured program. It is working because people are having their babies INTERVIEW BY ELIZABETH DENLEY 52 Heartfulness

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53 January 2018 Heartfulness Yoga integrates body mind and soul in the true spirit of Ashtanga Yoga. Heartfulness is a unique technique of Raja Yoga adapted for modern day life. Experience asanas pranayama relaxation and heart-based meditation with yogic transmission. Learn to teach the eight limbs of yoga. Merge the traditional art of yoga with a modern professional approach. Meditation with a Heartfulness trainer Download on Android or iOS Chennai – 1st to 28 February 2018 Hyderabad – 3rd to 31st May 2018 Registration at http:/ /heartfulness.org/yoga-trainers/ Write to us: in.wellnessheartfulness.org Toll free number: India 1 800 103 7726 PG Diploma in Advanced Yoga accredited from Anamalai University Deemed to be University under section 3 of the UGC Act 1956 Upcoming courses Heartfulness Yoga Teacher Training Course Post Graduate Diploma in Advanced Yoga

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Today the evolution theory of the ancient Yogis will be better understood in the light of modern research. Swami Vivekananda inspired b E

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What if someone told you there was a simple set of practices that could help you manage every aspect of your daily life and at the same time take you to a level of human potential beyond your wildest imagination Would you be interested Most people would at least be curious. That is in fact an accurate explanation of the practices of Y oga but most people don’t realize it. Yoga includes a holistic set of practices for overall self-development and the well-being of the body mind and soul. A few thousand years back the great sage Patanjali compiled the current yogic practices of that time into a simple framework consisting of eight parts or limbs and that framework is still used today. It is known as Ashtanga Y oga. but the practices of Y oga have evolved since Patanjali was alive in response to the needs of the time and especially during the last 150 years. So in this series DAAJI explores each limb of Y oga in the light of the modern day yogic practices of Heartfulness. He shows us how to integrate inner spiritual practices with living in the world and refning our personality so as to create that true state of Y oga – skill in action and integration of the spiritual and worldly as aspects of life. Ashtanga yoga Y AMA Good conduct ASANA Posture NIY AMA Regularity Observation PRANA Y AMA Breath Regulation PRA TY AHARA Inner Withdrawal DHARANA Mental Focus DHY ANA Meditation SAMADHI Original Condition Balance Science of spirituality 56 Heartfulness

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YAMA the fve vows of the seeker W hy does behavior matter so much in the spiritual feld And does it matter only in the spiritual feld Human beings have always valued nobility of character kindness generosity and humility. We have also always venerated the people throughout history who embody those values or principles. When you remember the meaning of the word ‘Yoga’ it becomes clearer. Yoga means union integration oneness including the integration of our inner and outer states of being. We cannot be saintly on the inside and also greedy arrogant or angry in behavior – that would be a lack of integrity. Tat lack of integration is not natural and leads to personality disorders it is the opposite of holistic. Ultimately there is no inside and outside but one fuid state of being. So if we are going to embark on a spiritual journey our character must go with us. In today’s world this aspect of Yoga is not well-understood by Hatha Yoga practitioners and meditators alike who are often happy just to do their practices. Why Maybe because it means looking in the psychological mirror in order to change. Spirituality is not a path for the faint hearted. Swami Vivekananda once said “I need lions not sheep.” Have you ever wondered why such a great being said this It is because every single moment we must work on ourselves to refne our lifestyle if we wish our consciousness to blossom. While meditation with Yogic Transmission transforms us swiftly from the inside melting away obstacles to progress stripping away our limitations at the very root life demands something more of us. Our inner world may be expanding and evolving but if our personality and lifestyle lag behind then we will remain spinning like those little mice in their running wheels. We will not be able to move forward on the journey. Y ama is the first of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yogic practice. DAAJI expounds on this very first rung of Ashtanga Y oga and explores its importance in self-development and the path of enlightenment. 57 January 2018 Hear tfulne ss

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1 Complete Works of Ram Chandra of Fatehgarh Vol. 2 2013 Shri Ram Chandra Mission India So what sort of a lifestyle is demanded of a seeker of the light When Patanjali formulated his Ashtanga Yoga some thousands of years ago he naturally included the refnement of personality and lifestyle as part of yogic practice and he did so in the two limbs known as Yama and Niyama. Here we will explore those fundamental qualities espoused by Patanjali in this frst limb Yama. I like to describe them as the fve oaths of a seeker. Te word ‘Yama’ has diferent meanings. In Sanskrit it means ‘regulation’ or ‘self-discipline’. Ram Chandra of Fatehgarh wrote 1 “Giving up untrue feelings and untrue thought is Yama. Yama means to give up. Yama is the giving up of unwanted things from the heart.” So Yam a is the removal of everything that is unnecessary for our spiritual journey. In Hindu mythology the God of Death is also called Yama. How to reconcile this idea of death being intertwined with the refnement of lifestyle One answer lies in the right understanding of life itself. Physical life begins with conception and ends with the withdrawal of the soul. Tis does not mean suicide. Te real secret is to ‘die’ while still alive transcending ‘I’-ness to become universal. Meditation is also the process of consciously transcending the individual self so that we can merge with the universal consciousness. Another way of saying it is: live as if you are going to die the next moment. Tis constant reminder of Yama as death may on the surface sound morbid but there is tremendous wisdom in this idea which is to transcend the ‘I’-ness of the ego with love. Te ego can be a very restrictive force – it doesn’t let life blossom – but when this transcendence happens the ego becomes our ally and evolutionary in its purpose. Te willpower of the ego moves from being self-centered in individual consciousness to being in tune with universal consciousness. 58 Heartfulness

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Where we go wrong is in thinking that this is all about physical death. Here death is not of the physical body but of our self-created accumulated identity in the subtle body – the layers of our persona. Transcendence means such refnement of the subtle body that it becomes pure and expansive without individual heaviness. Tere are basically two aspects to this refnement. Te frst is the removal of all the heaviness from the subtle body – the impressions we have accumulated from our own past – so that it becomes so light that consciousness can soar higher and higher. Tese impressions are called samskaras in Yoga. Tis process leads to the death of our own individual network of complexities – beliefs emotions fears habits and desires. Many people try to let go of the past through psychoanalysis and personal therapy from the mental level whereas in Heartfulness the practice of Yogic Cleaning removes the very root of the problem the samskaras by directly cleaning the subtle bodies. Tis process is so efective that the impressions from one lifetime can be removed in one meditation session with a trainer. But if we don’t also then work on removing the behaviors that are the outer manifestation of those impressions we end up re-creating the same heaviness again. Like the mice on the wheel we go round and round removing re- creating removing re-creating. It is a never- ending cycle unless we make behavioral and lifestyle changes. Te second aspect is the further refnement of the four main functions of the subtle body – consciousness the thinking mind the intellect and the ego: With meditation on the heart the mind deepens from thinking to feeling to simply being and then fnally to unbecoming or unknowing towards nothingness. It refnes towards the subtlest state possible. Te intellect deepens to intelligence to intuition to wisdom and also fnally to a higher state beyond wisdom known as unknowing or higher ignorance – again it zeroes out. Guidance henceforth will descend from beyond. Te ego moves from a selfsh focus on ‘I’ gradually refnes to selfessness and generosity of heart then absolute humility and acceptance and fnally only the fnest state of identity remains. As these three subtle bodies are refned consciousness is untethered and is able to expand into its infnite state merging with the universal consciousness. If this could be achieved only through spiritual practice everyone would reach the destination in no time at all. But does the ego easily move from selfshness to generosity of heart Not without a fght Do we easily trust the wisdom of our hearts happily residing in a state of unknowing dependent totally on something higher Tat would mean ignoring the pros and cons of the rational mind that are dictated by our own principles and constructs. It takes time to let go of all this and let consciousness soar into universality. It is a process that requires Yama and Niyama side by side with practice. 59 January 2018

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Yet with this transcendence we experience real aliveness for the frst time. What is aliveness It means to live life with the heart a life that is now connected to the eternal and the immortal a life where there is neither bliss nor sorrow neither pleasure nor pain. With such a transformation comes the wisdom to conduct life with self-discipline or Yama. Tat is why in Heartfulness we start with the last three limbs of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga – dharana and dhyana culminating in samadhi – so that we develop the inner capacity and aliveness to then develop self-discipline and nobility. Inner transformation is the catalyst for bringing outer change. Te other fve limbs are then naturally supported by the newly cultivated balanced tendencies of the mind. Tis sequence is more practical than trying to refne character from the outer perspective of changing the persona because behavioral change is most possible in someone with a well-developed manomaya kosha or mind sheath. It is certainly not possible for anyone who still has a heart full of the samskaras of desire worry anger fear or guilt. It cannot be imposed artifcially from the outside and be real. Tis state that Yama brings of self-discipline is beautifully described in the yogic literature Ahimsa Non-violence Satya Be Truthful Asteya Honesty Brahmacharya Moderation of Senses Aparigraha Attitude of non- possessiveness YAMA Heartfulness

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These five qualities form our spiritual foundation. In fact no spirituality is possible without them. Becoming or imbibing these qualities prepares us for better and nobler experiences. as being in this world but not of this world symbolized by the lotus that lives in the mud but is not polluted by it instead radiating purity and beauty. So these fve vows of a seeker are for living life bravely and not straying away from a noble life. Let’s explore them in more detail. Te purpose of embracing truthfulness non- possessiveness moderation honesty and non- violence is to allow peace to prevail within. Peace is always there. It is our nature. It is only when we embrace lies dishonesty cruelty violence and selfshness to possess things that we lose peace. Moreover if the peace becomes a means to achieve something else then that very act will become a hindrance to our evolution. Non-violence: Ahimsa Te frst Yama begins with love. Te fundamental divine law that governs life is “Love all”. If the idea of hurting anyone or anything remains in the heart we fail at the frst step itself. People who intend to hurt others can easily become demons when they develop capacity so it is important to love selfessly unconditionally and joyfully. Tis is the essence of ahimsa. But I feel that there is something more to ahimsa. Practiced ahimsa may not permit you to hurt which is fne but there is a greater need to be compassionate taking action so that the other is not only not hurt but out of compassion the other is comforted. It is a simple matter to understand that liking someone ultimately culminates in love. When we love all where is the question of being violent or hurting others When we love we are ready to sacrifce our comforts our possessions and ultimately ourselves. Is this not compassion It is sad that under the spell of hatred people destroy each other. Be truthful: Satya Te second Yama is to be true to yourself. We all know the famous statement by William Shakespeare: “Tis above all: to thine own self be true.” Be genuine original and authentic. Say what you mean and mean what you say. No hidden agendas. No masks. No hiding faults and no camoufages. Tere is childlike innocence purity and simplicity in truthfulness. Being truthful while at the same time ensuring that the truth never hurts the heart of another person is only possible if ahimsa becomes a part of us. When we do not follow the heart we will sometimes follow wrong guidance. We sufer from an untruthful heart and the coercions that result from it. Tis leads to a lack of authenticity. Ten our inner environment is messed up and wrong habits develop. Hence 61 January 2018

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always be truthful and nurture the purity within. When we do hurt others even unintentionally guilt often develops and the removal of guilt is an important aspect of Yama. It cannot be done through meditation or cleaning but can be done through a genuine prayerful state of repentance and letting go at bedtime. Tis is one important aspect of being truthful – to accept our own failings with humility and genuinely ofer them in a prayerful state. It purifes our system of guilty feelings which are the hardest impressions to remove. Honesty not stealing: Asteya When we have love in the heart and tread the path of truth honesty then radiates in our existence. Our existence in thought word and deed will be a manifestation of honesty. Ten our very presence will give an impetus to the moral compass of everyone around us. Honesty is the result of a life led with non-violence ahimsa and nurtured by truth satya. In particular we have no interest in coveting or stealing anything that belongs to anyone else. At least minimally we should not take from others or hurt them. If we could be compassionate and do much more than just not taking and hurting maybe others would feel more at ease and comforted. Is it enough that we do not snatch away food from the hungry Surely we can be compassionate enough to ensure that the hungry receive what they need. Moderation of the senses: Brahmacharya Brahmacharya has been narrowly understood to mean celibacy whereas it really means a state of moderation across all our faculties. Te term is composed of Brahm + charya. ‘ Charya’ means to dwell so ‘one who dwells in Brahm’ is aptly called a brahmacharya. To pretend to be a brahmacharya by imposing rules from outside is like putting the cart before the horse it is artifcial. We achieve moderation as a result of purifying the inner condition through the Heartfulness Way and bringing a state of balance and moderation. When we dwell in that state all our actions and thoughts naturally have the quality of Brahman. Such a state of moderation is achieved through the practice of regular meditation on point A and cleaning of point B in Heartfulness practice. For such a person procreation is a natural and sacred act. Procreation is beautiful as long as our desires do not become a slave to it. Attitude of non-possessiveness towards worldly things: Aparigraha Te ffth Yama is non-possessiveness. It is the culmination of the other four: love truthfulness honesty and moderation. We start to exist as if we are in the world but not of the world like a lotus. It simply means that even if you have something in you you are not possessed by it or afected by either its presence or its absence. Imagine the arrogance and pride of a sannyasi who seems to have renounced all desires and possessions but is proud of his renunciation He may have renounced but he possesses a lot of pride and arrogance. He is now possessed Tis ego will be fatal. Such an ego will be unproductive and will turn out to be invalid currency in the Higher dimension. Imagine the emotional gap created by the two diferent ideas of belonging versus possessing. When one has the sense of belonging there is pride. When there is a sense of being possessed there is a tremendous gap Let us visit the daily 62 Heartfulness

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scenario where our mother makes meals for us and serves us with so much love. Now think of the other scenario where our mother has gone somewhere and we may have to dine out at some friend’s place. We become so grateful to our friend’s mother. Take another scenario: it is raining and you fnd shelter under the canopy of someone’s roof. You are so grateful to the house owner. Do we express such gratitude towards our mother or our home Mostly no. Why Is it because we take them for granted as we have the sense that they are ours. Possessiveness somehow creates a distance. Belongingness brings us closer. We naturally develop an awareness of our duties not in an enforced way but because we put others frst as the result of an inner generosity of heart. Te natural etiquette of caring and putting others frst emerges in our behavior as our thoughts and actions are no longer based on personal desires. We are no longer pulled by likes and dislikes for people places or things. We simply live our life with devotion developing an unattached state naturally and spontaneously. It is not that we are detached but that we love everyone and everything without discrimination universally . In Heartfulness practice meditation on point A helps develop this virtue. Tese fve qualities depend on love. A loving cheerful and contented heart creates the environment for the blossoming of life itself without any force or pretense. A spiritual seeker who fulflls the fve attributes of Yama will not be burdened by egoism. Be it exhibiting miracles or showing of possessions he or she will not be self-centered covetous or greedy. And when do we become so interested in these fve qualities that it is a joy to pursue them When we realize their essential role in preparing our heart for one purpose only: the purifcation of consciousness. Tese fve qualities form our spiritual foundation. In fact no spirituality is possible without them and they prepare us for better and nobler experiences. Only when we want nothing from anybody including God do the doors open. It is very much like a bank. When you are in dire need of money banks generally will not help you whereas when you have absolutely no need of money the bank will solicit your business. Likewise when God fnds a contented soul He gives more. Heavenly gifts descend on those who renounce power itself. If we ask for it then it is denied. Nature is similar: powers descend automatically on one who says “I do not need it.” If you feel daunted by the call of these fve vows I leave you with the lines of the poet H.W. Longfellow who said Not enjoyment and not sorrow Is our destined end or way But to act that each to-morrow Find us farther than to-day. 63 January 2018

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RAMA DEVAGUPTA interviewed PARTHASARATHI RAJAGoPAlACHARI on a bright sunny afternoon in f remont California about the inner search for enlightenment. A t errible Longing What impulse moves us to search What influences our search Te impulse is a terrible longing in the heart which says “I must know the truth” – truth in terms of spiritual values. If your material circumstances are too good too comfortable too glamorous they take you away from your search. When you are overprotected you lose sight of the search. However if your interest in the search is burning in your heart you will eventually break out of it – like the chick breaking out of the shell. Are there different ways of conducting a spiritual search At the beginning you are guided more by the strength of your inner longing. But that longing may not be intense enough. Te confusion between what you are seeking 64 Heartfulness

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and what you fnd can lead you astray unless the inner search is so powerful that it can say “Not this Not this” You may become momentarily trapped into situations which seem to fulfll your search – like drugs alcohol even sex. If that fulflls you and you stop there it means that your seeking was not intense enough nor was your goal defned. You may stop with sensory or social fulfllment at a particular level but the longing will lie dormant and something may spark it of again. When the search is a real search the fight toward the goal becomes very direct what we call the Shuka path. Shuka is the Sanskrit name for the parrot which fies straight like an arrow – no meandering here and there. Te Shuka path depends on your strength of purpose your ability to reject temporary goals to withstand the temptation to experiment with temporary goals thinking “Suppose this is it” In the true seeker’s path there isn’t any “suppose this is it” Tere may be a pause for a day or two but then you move on whereas others get lost in a jungle of possibilities for years. Does the search have a direct relation to the level of attainment of the seeker No no it only relates to the strength of purpose. Te moment you are satisfed with a temporary goal say “Stop.” For example consider the migration of birds. A truly migrating bird fies thousands of miles often from one continent to another. Many are lost in the ocean caught in a storm not able to fy and fall into the sea. But an enormous number of them do make it so it is possible. Now birds have the power of ‘instinct’ to guide them. At the human level we have the instrument of the intellect but unless we cultivate wisdom intellect doesn’t take us anywhere except in the pursuit of material goals – scientifc artistic commercial economic – but not spiritual. Is it necessary to have a teacher Yes. A teacher is one who shows the way. What is the place of practice and technique Everything is a practice if it is used in the right way. Even a man who becomes a drinker thinking that it will fulfll his dream of Nirvana can beneft from it. If he is able to get out of it quickly it will have had its place and it will no longer attract him. If he is satisfed and says “Tis is it” however he is lost. Your inner fre must tell you what it is and what it is not. What is the role of spiritual literature and sacred texts Spiritual literature gives you intellectual satisfaction and it is easy to be satisfed intellectually. You may read about something and feel you know what it is but spiritual values have to be felt not known about. Knowledge of that kind has no place in spiritual life. Many people are easily 65 January 2018 Inner search

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satisfed – they read a lot of literature and say “I know all about Nirvana. I have read about 68 diferent varieties of Nirvana in Buddhism Hinduism Taoism and Sufsm.” Te question is: Have they ever felt anything Is it necessary to be part of a spiritual school What is a school It is something that ofers you an education. We have the school called ‘life’ and what you learn in life depends on what you are seeking. So we come back to the seeker: you look for mundane satisfaction you will fnd it you want sensory pleasure you can fnd it you want to become a millionaire you can become one. Life ofers everything. h ow does a teacher decide if a seeker is genuine or not Te teacher must assume that everybody who comes to him or her is a genuine seeker. Time itself will select the true seeker from the false. Tose who are there for fun drop of. Tose who are true remain. Tey may drop of at various stages depending on their inner fre and how far it will take them. “Seek and you shall fnd” doesn’t mean “Seek and it shall be found immediately.” When you fnd it and where you fnd it depends on the integrity of your search and the power behind that search. You may discover it just where you are or you may go around the universe and come back to the place where you started and fnd it just there. Tat is why the spiritual search always begins and ends within your self. So a genuine teacher would accept everybody He has to Because he doesn’t know I had a vision once between the waking and sleeping states. In the vision I am looking at a packet of seeds in a shop trying to pick out the good seeds for planting. Ten something tells me “How do you know that the seed that looks good is going to germinate and the seed that you are throwing away will not” So we don’t know the inner life potential that is in the seed: apparently weak it may be strong on the inside the other one is apparently strong but weak on the inside. Te Guide lets his students evolve and helps them according to his own ability to do so at the right time. But the Guide can never judge. He must not judge. Does the seeker change and evolve in the search Naturally. If you put your hand in the fre will it not get roasted A spiritual seeker is said to be something like a metal which is put into the fre to be melted and purifed The spiritual practice of Heartfulness says that you must fly with two wings like the seagull – the wing of spirituality and the wing of materiality. Heartfulness 66

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so that all the dross is burnt away. Like the purifcation of gold. Must one renounce the world to become a seeker Te spiritual practice of Heartfulness says that you must fy with two wings like the seagull – the wing of spirituality and the wing of materiality. Tere is no question of renouncing anything except obstructions to achieving the goal. When did you become aware that you were a seeker I don’t think I was ever a conscious seeker. Perhaps it began in a past life. I never looked for a teacher I found him. Tere must have been some inner preparation but it seems that I must have wasted several lives searching for what I could have found in one life. My Guide once told me that I had been associated with him in an earlier life. The teacher’s task is to continue to teach and help others evolve. He may come life after life highly achieved but with a duty to come back to teach us whereas the seeker comes only to seek and to find. In a sense the teacher’s search is to find seekers – having finished his search himself and found what he sought. Is finding the teacher the beginning of our journey or is it the end of our quest If a bird lays an egg it has given the possibility of a new life. But it all depends on the bird within the egg – whether it is able to break out of the shell. Tat fnal purpose has to come from the chick in the egg pecking it from inside and breaking the shell to come out. 67 January 2018

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Republished from Parabola Vol. 24 No. 3 Fall 2004 pp. 28-32 with permission. So there is an element of fulfllment when you fnd your Guide it is a big part of your journey. But what is left My Guide once told a very senior advanced disciple “Now your journey is very short.” Ten he laughingly said “It may be very long too.” Another disciple who was present with him became puzzled. “How can short become long” he asked. My Guide replied “One percent of infnity is still infnity and if you stumble there you can go back all the way – to the point where you started.” What pitfalls might a seeker face Everything is a pitfall for the unwary and the faithless. And nothing is a pitfall for the courageous seeker who just shakes it of like a bear. h aving found a spiritual technique a g uide and having become established in the practice how can a seeker assess his progress What criteria should he use A seeker can never assess his own progress. Even my Guide used to say “What I am and where I am only my Guide knows.” Tis is going back to that Heisenberg principle in physics “If you know its location you won’t know its velocity. If you know its velocity then you won’t know its location.” Tis principle applies much more profoundly and truthfully to spiritual matters. We are so used to assessing our progress at school or at work. Tere it is assessable. But here we cannot. When you fy you need an altimeter to tell the height. If you are out in space you need ground control because there is no barometric pressure to tell you the altitude. You are in a vacuum. So you rely on another source. Ground control tracks you and your obedience must be total. In spiritual matters the more you grow the more you rely on your Guide’s wisdom. It is a matter of survival. Does the spiritual seeker ever reach a stage where he can consider that he has reached the goal Tere is no such thing as a fxed goal in spirituality. It is ever changing. Learn to love and do not seek love for yourself. Tings break down when you want everything for yourself and you are not concerned for others – whether it is an individual or a country or the whole world. “I want to be powerful.” “I want to be rich.” “I want to be wealthy”. Where there is ‘I’ there is always destruction. Never be diverted away from your course by the enticements of life whether they are material mental or even apparently spiritual. Te so-called spiritual world is full of enticements. All has to be renounced because spirituality is ultimately becoming nothing where ‘nothingness’ is what matters. Heartfulness 68 Heartfulness

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Heartfulness Benedicte Hervy A heart full of vacuity is what meditating on the heart brings to me. Earlier my heart was full of the burden of the past but little by little meditation has freed me and I feel lighter every day. I fnd myself open to what the present has to ofer open to all those I meet. When I was young I read poetry and one sentence awoke in my heart the nostalgia of a forgotten state of being: I would like to be a simple puddle of water to refect the sky. To get back to simplicity and transparency would allow infnity to refect itself in me. Tat aspiration was there. Meditation awoke in me the longing to become a simple and humble being yet rich with the immensity of the universe. Tat spiritual longing is there in every one of us. Te awakened state is not only for the Buddha it is for every one of us if we let ourselves be fascinated by the beauty of our inner world. In today’s world we tend to look outside seeing people in two dimensions: he is happy she is sad he is fat she is thin. We don’t see the other dimensions the depth of the person because this can only be seen with the eyes of the heart. And if we don’t see our own depth how can we see depth in anyone else By meditating I regain awareness of my depth and the many other dimensions awaiting me. As children of our creator isn’t it possible that we may have inherited a small part of his infnity January 2018

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Lord the air smells good today straight from the mysteries within the inner courts of God. A grace like new clothes thrown across the garden free medicine for everybody. Te trees in their prayer the birds in praise the frst blue violets kneeling. Whatever came from Being is caught up in being drunkenly forgetting the way back. Rumi

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72 Heartfulness Matcha tea has become increasingly popular over the past few years. t hey say it was once the tea of zen Masters in Japan. Is this true Matcha actually comes from China as does all tea culture. In China tea was frst regarded as a medicinal plant and was pulverized steeped in hot water and then whisked with a bamboo whisk. But that was from normal non-shaded tea plants which had a somewhat bitter medicinal taste and contained a lot of catechins. Ten in the twelfth century Zen Master Eisai brought the tea tradition to Japan. He experimented with the tea in his monastery in Kyoto and was the frst to draw up a set of rules for the preparation of tea. Tese rules can already be regarded as the precursors to the Japanese tea ceremony. And the monks took advantage of the efect of the tea to meditate more intensely and for longer periods of time. Trough connections between monks samurai and shoguns tea spread to other circles of society. But initially tea drinking was an elite afair reserved for the wealthy. Matcha The story of matcha tea tells how tea drinking became a meditation. ToM MICHAEl SEN interviews SANDEH VoN TUCHER who runs the T ushita T eahouse in Munich about matcha. Plants of the world

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73 January 2018 What is the basis of the effect of matcha tea In order to improve upon the tea’s taste the tea plants were shaded which caused more amino acids to be produced giving the tea a sweeter taste. So initially it was only a question of taste. Only later did it become apparent that these amino acids were responsible for the soothing efect. And it’s the combination of amino acids and catechins that make up matcha tea’s soul. Tis harmonious balance of the mixture fnally determines the quality and the price of high-grade matcha. Te amino acids have the soothing efect and the catechins are simultaneously somewhat stimulating. Can the benefits offered by match green tea be destroyed by preparing it the wrong way Yes if the water is too hot. Tis destroys some of the chlorophyll and extracts more catechins from the tea. From the point of view of traditional Chinese medicine catechins have astringent and ‘lowering’ properties. But at the same time there are substances in the tea that have quite a stimulating efect and what is important is the right balance. Terefore it is really essential for the water temperature to be at around 70° C or 158° F and that is also the temperature of the water used in a traditional tea ceremony: • Pour some hot water into the tea bowl to warm the bowl and the whisk empty the water after a few minutes. • Place 2 g matcha green tea powder in the bowl and steep it in 60 ml of hot water at 70°C. • Press the whisk gently against the bottom of the bowl and whisk using at frst a circular and then a zigzag motion to achieve a frothy brew. Is it true that certain ingredients in matcha tea are more effective if they do not come into contact with hot water but are used in a smoothie for example and not heated at all With a smoothie it’s like this: there are many efective ingredients you can use which act in diferent ways. For example if you use

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74 Heartfulness fruit you’ll have a higher fructose content if you use rocket it will have a diferent efect than spinach. When you mix a smoothie you have many diferent active ingredients to deal with. Isn’t matcha tea’s antioxidant activity above all due to the fact that the tea leaf is very finely ground and also that you drink the whole leaf Exactly we drink the whole leaf. And the shading is also important. Good matcha tea is fuorescent green. Tat’s the chlorophyll. What’s important is the combination of catechins chlorophyll and drinking the whole leaf. Do I really need a bamboo whisk to prepare matcha tea or will an electric milk frother do as well Well it’s really quite helpful to use a bamboo whisk. Bamboo whisks are very easy to use and clean. Of course it’s also possible to use an electric milk frother but it would be kind of a pity. I fnd that you can’t really separate preparing matcha tea from drinking it. And if you take half a minute or a minute to prepare it then you actually get much more out of it than if you do it with an electric frother. Because you simply feel what kind of condition you’re in. If you’re feeling strong you also whisk it forcefully. If you are centered your froth will be nice. What kind of thoughts are you thinking Tere are actually quite a few aspects that come together in this short time it takes to prepare matcha tea. You also give the tea some of your Chi. Which only means you take this bit of time you center yourself you breathe into your belly below your navel and then you begin to whisk this tea with your body not just with your wrist but with your whole body. And the simple fact that you are doing this does something to the tea. Some people find traditional matcha tea bitter and prefer to drink it with milk as matcha latte. Does this alter the effect of matcha tea It certainly does. Matcha has this ‘lowering’ and clarifying efect. Te fog that sometimes surrounds us is gathered and sinks down. And the milk especially if it is cow’s milk has great moistening capacity and therefore has an almost contrary efect. You could instead add a plant milk such as unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened rice or soy milk. Tese also have a fuid-enhancing quality but they do not promote mucous formation. Because that’s what matcha also does it can transform fuids that are unclean and expel them. Together with a plant milk would be perfectly all right but with cow’s milk it would really be a pity. h ow do you know if it’s good matcha Matcha is not really a trademarked product but you can tell by the colour. It all depends on the colour. Of course we also have diferent kinds of matcha at Tushita. Te matcha we use for smoothies is also green but of course it is not as green as the matcha I use when I want to drink pure matcha and which I prepare in my Japanese tea bowl. Tat’s much greener. Tere are more catechins in the matcha used for smoothies which contains the coarser leaves that sometimes have been exposed to a bit of sunlight. It simply shows in the

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75 January 2018 colour and you can tell by its efect. So high-grade matcha stimulates the senses and simultaneously soothes the heart. Tat means that when you meditate for example it refreshes your spirit and at the same time your body is nice and relaxed. You can simply observe your thoughts or your breath with good matcha tea whereas if it’s lower grade matcha the system is simply in turmoil. Lower grade matcha doesn’t contain as much chlorophyll or as many amino acids and it contains more catechins so your system becomes excited and then it is very very difcult to really observe your mind. Unless you put in a bit of vegetable or something similar then the calming efect might come about through other substances. Is there something else we should be aware of Perhaps we should take a look at how the matcha has been packaged. And where it was packaged. Was it packaged on site in Japan or was it packaged here in Europe Tat also makes a diference because the extremely fnely ground matcha powder is so sensitive. It oxidizes very quickly when it is exposed to air and especially the chlorophyll is very sensitive. Tus matcha loses Chi very quickly which means it loses energy and freshness. h ow long can you keep an open packet of matcha tea at home If you really want to have the matcha tea energy then about four weeks. What else is necessary to brew traditional matcha tea Te right kind of tea-making equipment. Tere are these wonderful ceramic tea bowls that have to be a little wider at the bottom so that one can really whisk nicely. Tere are bowls that are used in winter that are a little taller to hold the warmth better and a summer bowl with a wider mouth that lets the tea cool more quickly. Ten there is the long bamboo spoon used in Japan to measure out the tea – two measures of matcha powder for one cup of tea. Te tradition is to frst warm the cup with hot water and then dry it again. Water quality is important too. If you are drinking high- quality matcha you should use water with low calcium content – it simply tastes better.

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Heartfulness 76 Heartfulness on dreams s n a k e s and opening doors CHIARA To WNlEY explores the depth of meaning that dreams can bring to unlocking the subconscious mind.

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77 Hear tfulne ss January 2018 It happens to many of us that we wake up restless in the morning after a crazy dream. But what if our dreams are actually delivering important messages to us Some people say they have prophetic dreams. When we dream during our sleep we have the power to tap into the subconscious and discover deeper truths about ourselves. How to develop this skill After reading Autobiography of a Yogi I started to consider the idea of writing a journal to keep track of my dreams. In this book Yogananda explains that enlightened spiritual beings can steer their dreams in the direction they want. He also mentions that once you are aware of dreaming in your dreams it means that you are developing spiritually. After reading this revealing book I desired to develop an inner connection with my dreams. I was going through some changes in my life – a new city new house new professional life – and I wasn’t able to fnd a clear vision of what to do next. I don’t remember the setting of one dream but I do recall that I was wondering about the ‘snakes’ in my life. I don’t think the word was referring necessarily to people maybe it was referring to the anxious thoughts I was developing in that stressful moment. I repeated the word ‘snakes’ several times during the dream and kept on asking the Universe about the meaning of them. Suddenly the reply came: “Change skin.” In the dream I remember repeating those words several times aloud and when I woke up I knew that that the Universe had delivered a message to me. I believe that reading about spirituality and practicing meditation can open the door to enchanting realities hidden behind the veil of the rational world in front of our eyes. Once that door opens even a tiny bit we have the chance to take spiritual development to the next level. Tis doesn’t mean that the answers to our questions will come through a dream but that if you stay open and receptive you will fnd messages everywhere on your path. After my ‘snake’ dream I didn’t know what to think or how to change my skin but at least I knew that I had found part of a secret code to communicate with my dreams. After a couple of weeks during a fight to Europe I was listening to a podcast by the spiritual leader Tara Brach. She mentioned a metaphor about a snake changing skin – there it was again the same message in a diferent form. I don’t know what ‘changing skin’ means in my life but I certainly know that the Universe is telling me to change something deep within me. I will keep looking for more clues on my path and push that door until it is wide open. Every one of us has a spiritual path waiting to be discovered and if we are diligent and consistent in our search I guarantee we can all fnd it. be open to change

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Heartfulness Top. land of Joy. l et the joy of Creation fill the heart. l eft flowers. flowers bring warmth to the heart. Right flowers. Joy. What joy it is to watch flowers.

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79 January 2018 Hear tfulne ss To wonder and be surprised by the wonders of nature. This is the core of my existence. I stood by the Norwegian coast high up north. Te weather had been mild sunny and pleasant not too cold. Te sky was clear blue. We were a little group building an old-style boat inspired by a Viking ship. In a break we looked out on the ocean view and the wonderful northern Norwegian landscape with high and impressive mountains surrounded by narrow strips of land. Here humans had survived under harsh living conditions in a cold climate. Suddenly there was a chilly breeze and clouds of diferent dark gray-blue tones got closer. Surprisingly quickly the sky grew visibly darker and before we could withdraw there was a violent storm of thunder and lightning. I stood completely fascinated feeling this marvelous power of the elements of nature. It was a demonstration of magnifcent energy and variation of colors. Te sky was all kinds of blue. Some parts were clear blue sky others were dark gray-blue turning almost black. An art essay by BE nt E ELIS ABE th E n DRE SE n surprised to wonder be Art and environment

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80 Heartfulness I was completely happy thankful to be experiencing a spectacular show of nature. The main inspiration for most of my paintings is the Nordic and Arctic environment. My upbringing in northern Norway and many years in Greenland had such a strong impact on me. I paint the elements – earth water air and fre and the ffth element the Cosmos. Closeness to nature has resulted in an everlasting wonder about Creation – from the tiniest seed turning into a perfect tree to a total fascination with the Cosmos. An ongoing theme of my paintings is Creation and I am deeply fascinated by the questions that are studied in an attempt to understand more about the Cosmos. Living close to the Arctic has led me to raise awareness of the changes in climate we are now experiencing. Tey are so visible in the Arctic region where nature is so vulnerable to the disturbances of pollution and temperature change. Glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. Flora and fauna are changing as their living conditions change. Te ocean is flled with plastic pollution. Sea birds are found with up to 40 of plastic in their stomach. Whales die from eating plastic. In cooperation with artists and scientists I have curated exhibitions concerts talks and workshops to help people observe and understand the efects of climate change. I am now in contact with dedicated people concerned with aspects of sustainability all in many diferent occupations. We meet regularly to discuss the UN’s 17 Pathways to Peace and Justice and how we can play a positive role in raising awareness and spreading knowledge of solutions. One way is through art. Along with the outer path of my life there is an inner path and when I paint I go into a room of my own a space where I can be in contact with the paintings coming out of stillness. Tere are a lot of images waiting to be painted. My part is to be a channel and not stand in the way for the impulses that come. To encourage these impulses I meditate listen to creation music and read myths that cultivate the atmosphere I want to express in the paintings. Back in northern Norway in wintertime I travel inland to a camp where the indigenous Lapp people of the north live. In the darkness of the 24-hour Arctic winter’s night we set of sledging with reindeer across the snow and ice. Te wind can be noisy but on a clear night the stars shine very brightly arching across the sky in absolute silence. We are hoping to see another silent wonder of nature the Northern Lights – the Aurora Borealis. And the wonder happens. Te sky is flled with green light that fits and dances between the silhouetted mountaintops. T op. Arctic. Arctic is water element in all forms snow ice water clouds flled with water. Bottom left. Light in Arctic. The sky in the Arctic is high and clear and produces a special uplifting light. Right. Water element in motion. The fascinating transformation of water in all forms.

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81 January 2018

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ALA n D A g REE n E on the wealth and continuity of life in the process of composting and the power of death transformation and rebirth. LE SSonS FRoM thE g ARDEn 82 Heartfulness

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Today I feel wealthy. Knee-deep in richness. Standing in the compost moving aside the top layer to access loamy dark material underneath. Over and over I fll two large buckets carry them to the garden pour them over cabbage leaves and carrot fronds. Ten back to the bin with empty buckets do it again. Dig a trench through the rotted fermented transformed vegetation shovel the top level of the compost beside it into the trench dig again into this body of digested leavings. Full disclosure: I don’t compost the expert way that many do. I don’t pay attention to the layers to the timing to the turning these are processes which produce enough heat to cook any weed seeds left in the material and to transform everything to an incredibly fertile ground. But every forkful I lift teems with worms incredibly abundant chewing on all that vegetable matter digesting it and casting it out. If I do the ‘proper’ compost method the heat is too much for the worms. Tey are such amazing little wiggly gardeners their poop is fantastically fertile and I just really like them in the garden. I just like them period. So my compost doesn’t process as well as it could it still will have weed seeds but it has a lot of helpful worms and in fact I have a much easier time with the composting process. My method is to just take stuf – radish leaves and chickweed parsley stems and dandelions – from the garden to the bin throw it in include lots of roots with soil on them now and then toss a bit around and mix up some of the more processed compost with the less. Tanks to the eforts of worms and digesters like sowbugs I get rich fertile ground to support the next round of garden vegetables. Te bin we have is large built on a hillside and the material gets thrown in on top and is pulled out on the downhill side looking like dark rich loam. I take it from the bottom in spring and summer but by autumn it’s time to get right into the bin and move it around methodically and move it out with more gusto and quantity. Hence today I’m knee-deep in its richness. Tis process has been going on for years. Such a cycle such wealth. Can you imagine anything more fundamentally rich and proftable than fertile productive soil compost. 83 January 2018 Natural cycles

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84 Heartfulness Our house was constructed on a hillside that was originally forested. We cleared enough for a garden and home and the forest soil was depleted light buf and dusty. When I began working with a grub hoe to clean out the gravel and stones there was little left but a hole when I fnished. Te soil that is now deep black full of organic material and very productive was built up year after year. Te vegetables grew and the compost grew. For all that is taken out it seems like more comes back in. It’s like this with a life. It can be. Building up experience skills knowledge wisdom through years of engaging with work and learning. My teacher repeatedly said “Work is worship.” True confession: I really didn’t get this early on when I was getting going with building a life. So much to do to learn to discover. Work often felt like an annoying necessity that got in the way of doing the really good stuf. First Nations teachings include the wisdom: learning takes patience and time. After more time than patience but having the patience to persevere learning indeed has come in ways not anticipated. So I’ve become a fan of many forms of perseverance and efort. Lifting another forkful of compost seeing the lacework of red lines that are worms fnding small oval and many- legged sowbugs scurrying to escape the disruption I ask myself: what if worms and bugs quit doing their continual work of breaking down this material into a once- again usable form better than ever My part in this is insignifcant compared to their transformational magic. I just get the stuf to the bin. A bit later I’m rich. Rich in fertile compost rich in hard-working worms and other digesters. What if they decided not to make the efort When I frst learned about the Hindu trinity of Brahma Vishnu Shiva – Creator Preserver Destroyer – I was not a big fan of Shiva. Te Destroyer felt like the one responsible for my dog being hit by a car and killed for a friend gone in a car crash Compost is a teeming living reminder of the power of death transformation rebirth.

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85 January 2018 for so much pain in the lives around me that seemed caused by this destructive force. Why did Shiva have to do that Tankfully my concepts about the destroying power have expanded and deepened and my understanding of Shiva has done the same. What would have happened if my adolescent concepts had not been destroyed for new learning And of more import as I stand in this bin of material in various stages of decomposition what would have happened if all this compost material had not been destroyed and transformed into something else Rumi so long ago reminded us: I died as a mineral and was born as a plant I died as a plant and was born as an animal I died as an animal and was born as a human …. When have I ever been less by dying Compost is a teeming living reminder of the power of death transformation rebirth. A couple of days ago I listened to a young man who recently returned to school after living two years in a spiritual community. He talked about his own learning and about how grateful he was that his teachers had themselves gone through a lot of learning in order to be able to transfer it to others. What he understood now whether it was yoga or woodwork was that these teachers had made the efort to acquire knowledge skill and wisdom in order to teach others. His aim was to give the time needed the perseverance and efort in order to be able to pass on his own learning to others. It’s like the compost process: an enrichment over time a lot gained from growth and then all of the material becomes transformed into fertile new ground that goes back to the garden to support more growth. True wealth.

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Ev Ol vING traditions Old memories cherished. New resolutions made. It’s the start of another year that brings in its tide changes that we may look forward to with hope in our hearts. Welcoming the New Year is a popular tradition and a quick search on the Internet will reveal to you the diversity of celebrations all over the world. Te origin of this tradition can be traced back to ancient Babylon and over time diferent regions and communities adapted it adding new zeal and favor. Tat’s how most traditions evolve. Nobody can make a tradition it takes a century to make it. Nathaniel Hawthorne Traditions are probably as old as humans. Today New Year happens on 1 January an arbitrary day in the Gregorian calendar with no cosmic signifcance but it refects the need for a renewal of life in the darkest part of the year in the northern hemisphere. Te reference to this tradition introduces the concept of the roots of various beliefs and practices that have been handed down from generation to generation. How do these age-old rituals and ceremonies refect the culture and upbringing of a particular group of people What was their purpose ME gh A n A A n A n D explores the intentions behind time-honored traditions and rituals. BonnE AnnéE FRohES nEUES J AhR XīnnIán KU àILè SAAL MUBARAK hAPPY nEW YEAR 86 Heartfulness Traditions rituals

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Over time many traditions and rituals have lost their original meaning. Delving into that signifcance reveals much about bygone eras and the knowledge of the people who developed them. Keeping the essence alive in present times may radically contribute towards the making of a better tomorrow. As we as a species evolve so do our beliefs and practices. Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh in their international bestseller Te Path give a very innovative perspective on the simple activity of playing hide-and-seek with a four- year-old: “When you play this game – when you crouch with your foot sticking out of a closet door so that she can fnd you easily when she laughs with glee upon discovering you and when you enthusiastically repeat the game with her again and again – you are not just engaging in lighthearted play. Te two of you are participating in a ritual by taking on roles that diverge from your usual ones – a ritual that allows you to construct a new reality. “… We tend to think of ritual as something that tells us what to do not as something transformative.” For the rational human being of today ‘tradition’ may be synonymous with superstition. So we need a spirit of inquiry to delve into the original purpose of any tradition. For example why does a meal in most traditions end with a sweet dish What is the rationale behind fasting on specifc days of the month Why do people of some cultures bow some bring their hands together and some others shake hands with each other as a form of greeting Why is the drumbeat an integral part of African rituals How did the tea-drinking ceremonies evolve in oriental countries What is the relevance of ancient Indian and Native American rituals in today’s times Te spiritual and scientifc purpose behind many of them if not all can be quite fascinating. It opens our minds to the beneft of these traditional practices in our daily lives. And not only do they impact our lives as individuals but they have a broader efect on the society at large. Today many scholars are conducting research in the feld of indigenous science traditional knowledge and the study of nature. Rosalyn R. LaPier a Research Associate from Harvard University states “Let us remember that long before western science came to these shores there were scientists here…. Western science is a powerful approach but it is not the only one. Indigenous science provides a wealth of knowledge and a powerful alternative paradigm.” Do you have a longstanding tradition or custom followed in your family or community If you would like to share it with our readers please write to us at contributionsheartfulnessmagazine.com. References Puett M. C. Gross-Loh. 2016. The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life p. 23 Simon Schuster New York. https:/ /theconversation.com/why-native- americans-do-not-separate-religion-from-science 87 January 2018

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Yoga. It means to join. Its ultimate aim is to unite the self with the universal consciousness. In October I decided to do the Heartfulness Yoga Teachers Training. As soon as I set foot in the Babuji Memorial Ashram Manapakkam in Chennai it felt like home Te atmosphere at the ashram was one of serenity and tranquility. We were a batch of 38 people from diferent corners of the world blended together. Our days began early with Yoga followed by discussions and lessons ranging from the body and mind to the soul. A lot of emphasis was laid on Karma Yoga learning through Wh A t WE v E BEE n UP t o Heartfulness In the f ield experience and not merely theoretical knowledge and most importantly on light- heartedness We had group meditation every day with a senior Heartfulness trainer. I can not emphasise enough the benefts of Heartfulness meditation. I have experienced immense transformation in myself. I lost my fears my anger my restlessness my confusion my worries and all that was unwanted. It has given me a sense of higher purpose and enthused me with the will to make a change in myself.

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Heartfulness events are ongoing across the UK and Ireland. We have made forays into new arenas such as the crown courts in London. In a few other corporate settings e.g. Peterborough and Bradford new participants are coming together on a regular basis to deepen their experience. Groups are also ongoing in hospital settings in Shropshire and West Yorkshire. A Heartfulness Meditation society has been set up by one of our students at Middlesex University with 160 members. A Heartfulness stall set up during Freshers week attracted a lot of attention and plans for regular events are being put into action and links have been made with the Psychology and Nursing Departments. Following Freshers week at Derby University a number of sessions are planned to take place in the Multifaith centre in 2018. Events in schools are ongoing. In Ireland and Scotland trainers have been invited back into schools to develop the work already undertaken with the children. A whole primary school experienced Heartfulness in Wales with plans to develop Heartfulness audios in the Welsh language. Te head teacher was very open to us with a deep concern for the childrens emotional well being. JannicK a baSSiS Join us for a webinar on New Year New Possibilities: Keeping Resolutions Aspirations and Inspiration Alive… Key takeaways: • Preparation to take action in the New Year. • Working to overcome stumbling blocks and achieve ones New Y ear Resolutions. • Decision making for new aspirations new resolutions in career personal life goals. • Tips to keep the inspiration alive. • Mold your living to achieve your aspirations. • An experiential session of Heartfulness Relaxation and meditation. Saturday 27th January Saturday 7 PM IST 8:30 AM US Eastern Time 1:30 PM GMT Register at http://webinar.heartfulness.org/ new-year-new-possibilities/ Jo I n on LI n E

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Up More Magazine Please To order copies online - single 12 months subscription and 24 months subscription - please go to: www.heartfulnessmagazine.com subscriptions heartfulnessmagazine.com Printed copies will be available at selected stores airports and newsstands and at Heartfulness Centers and Ashrams. Himalayan Retreat Have a rejuvenating spiritual retreat with your friends and family at Satkhol – our beautiful ashram in the Himalayas. We extend our wholehearted invitation to you for a unique experience in the quietude of our ashram environment while you take in the beauty and serenity of the snow-capped and majestic Himalayas. We look forward to welcoming you at the Babuji Nilayam your home during your stay in Satkhol. www.sahajmarg.org/smww/satkhol/ RE t REA t 3 masterclasses Learn Te Heartfulness Way in 3 free meditation masterclasses taught by our global guide Daaji. In these online masterclasses Daaji will teach you the practical benefts of daily meditation. Masterclasses will be available online each day after you sign up and accessible throughout the day. Each class runs between 35 and 45 minutes. http://en.heartfulness.org/masterclass M AS t ERI ng B EI ng E n J o Y 90 Heartfulness Things to do

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Evolve it Up In this video series you’ll learn tools that help you live a happy and fulflling life: Meditation and the Evolution of Consciousness - A Heartfulness and Udemy Video Series. Register today. daaji.org/udemy/ Limited - time ofer: 50 discount Te Heartfulness Way In this uncommon text you will discover a special collection of meditations and an exceedingly rare feature known as yogic transmission. Together they awaken the depths of human potential and initiate a mystical inner journey. In this process the heart becomes a perennial source of wisdom and guidance to help you navigate life’s twists and turns and lead a life more connected to yourself and others. www.theheartfulnessway.com hAPP Y READI ng S t UD Y U P MEDI t At E Feel the Vibes Meditate with a Heartfulness trainer anywhere anytime. www.heartfulness.org Download on Android or iOS letsmeditateheartfulness.org 91 January 2018

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