Heartfulness Meditation for Millennials has become inevitable – Joshua Pollock
Meditation has been in discussion for a while to enhance the mind, but, the Heart can’t be ignored either. The terminology ‘Mental Stress’ is no more a taboo that one fears to share and even more amongst the urban natives. Families and Corporates are in some way or the other implementing engagement sessions that help the employees or family members address the cause and take necessary steps to resolve it.
Scroll Droll in a recent conversation with Joshua Pollock, an accomplished western classical violinist who has been a part of AR Rehman’s team and Co-author, The Heartfulness Way finds out his journey from a musician to a spiritual practitioner and how Heartfulness Meditation is a simple way to bring inner balance.
It’s inevitable to keep the soul pure when you are in the field of music and you have been excelling in the field for a long time, how do you feel the difference after joining Heartfulness Institute and how you came to know about it?
I came to know about Heartfulness through word of mouth, which is how people typically find out about it.I was a student then and was reading a lot of spiritual literature –Kabir and Rumi, especially. I had already tried many methods of meditation, but none of them really worked for me. I thought that I just needed more practice, but then I tried Heartfulness meditation and it produced immediate results, which showed me the great efficacy of the method.
Heartfulness originated in India, a very long time ago, and since 1945, the Shri RamChandra Mission has offered the method to interested seekers, free of charge. I discovered it in the United States – my home country – where Heartfulness has been present for nearly 50 years!
What changes as a professional you have witnessed by practicing the Heartfulness meditation?
We all know that a lack of focus destroys productivity; but did you know that it is responsible for destroying your happiness? Recently, a researcher named Matt Killingsworth studied 15,000 people across 80 countries and discovered that 47% of their wakeful moments were spent either brooding over the past or thinking about the future. An even more interesting find from the study is that the more distracted his subjects were, the less happiness they reported!
These days, our attention is constantly being hacked by so many distractions – calls, emails, social media – and at the end of the day, people distract themselves for recreation, lying in bed in the dark, staring at a screen and scrolling. This prevents the body from releasing melatonin, the sleep hormone. As a result, they lie there sleepless, mind racing. Studies on the circadian rhythm, our inner body clock, show that we age faster when we do not align our sleep timings with the natural cycle of daylight and darkness.
The first thing meditation teaches us is to screen our thoughts, urges, and emotions – just as we screen our phone calls. When irrelevant or negative thoughts or feelings arise, we can simply put them aside and focus on something more positive and appropriate to the present moment. Meditation has also been shown to effectively reverse sleep disorders. As my teacher Daaji says in my book, The Heartfulness Way, meditation “creates naturalness. As you proceed towards naturalness, that which is unnatural in you starts to disappear. There may be a thousand varieties of unnaturalness, but there is only one naturalness. Attaining that, we resolve a thousand complaints.”
Do you feel Millennials are aware yet about the right forms of meditation? What’s your perspective about the awareness and measures to spread it?
I feel that millennials would prefer to decide for themselves what the “right” spiritual path is, rather than being told by anyone else. When I was writing The Heartfulness Way, I interacted a lot with my teacher, Daaji. He does not recommend blindly accepting the beliefs of others. He feels that the essence of spirituality lies in actually experiencing the truth for oneself. Through my own meditation, I have found this to be one hundred percent correct. Meditation does allow you to have your own experience! It is the way at our disposal to personally validate those eternal spiritual truths.
Do you often visit India to preach the practice and your connection with the country?
The concept meditation still being at early stages to be considered as a proper exercise practice, do you feel the engagement will increase basis virtual education
I have lived in India for eight years of my life, for various reasons. Sometimes I think that because I have so few quantifiableties to the U.S.– no property there, no family there, no job there –they’d definitely reject my visa if I weren’t already a citizen! In any case, I love both countries and no matter where I am, I meditate – and, if there are others who want to learn to meditation, then I teach them too!
To learn to meditate, you need proper guidance, and the great thing is that you can learn Heartfulness wherever you are. There is a free mobile app called Heartsapp, which connects you to a trainer, virtually. It’s also possible to connect with one of our 14000 trainers worldwide by visiting https://heartspots.heartfulness.org.
Please elaborate on the concept of enhancing heart and mind together with Heartfulness?
The basic purpose of meditation is to regulate the mind and its thinking. To do this, we have to know from where our thoughts arise; and with a little practice, it we see that it is our hearts’ intentions which drive our thoughts. That is why, in order to regulate our minds, we begin with the heart. Soon, the intense storms of thought and emotion start to die down and we realize that we have a kind of inner radar system which has been trying to guide our lives all along, but was simply drowned out by so much mental and emotional noise. No longer! Now that inner radar assumes prominence and all we need to sail through life is to follow its signals.
How do you foresee to take your learnings with Heartfulness from here?
A true spiritual path has no end. Perhaps it has no beginning! As you move forward, you first crawl, then you learn to walk (stumbling many times), then to run, and then you start tofly – now exploring other dimensions of the path. But no matter what, you still moving on the same path. Slowly, you discover that there is some etiquette to follow. You learn to be gracious and generouswith your fellowtravellers, your fellow human beings with whom you affectionately share this lifetime and its burdens. I certainly have a lot more to learn on the path of Heartfulness, and I look forward to it!