Monday, April 16, 2018

The Heartfulness Way

Joshua Pollock is co-author of "The Heartfulness Way," and a Heartfulness practitioner and trainer from the United States. An accomplished Western classical violinist, he has performed and taught throughout the world, including multiple collaborations with composer A.R. Rahman. He is a dedicated spiritual aspirant, and is enthusiastic about sharing his passion for meditation, frequently lecturing at private seminars, holding practical demonstrations in corporate, educational and governmental settings, and providing ongoing individual support to local seekers. Pollock holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree from Indiana University and two master’s degrees from Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Here is his story. 

My journey
I am from Maine, the most North-Eastern point in the whole country. I grew up in a simple setting. We didn't have hot boiling water until I was fourteen. We didn't have indoor toilets until I was nine or ten. We ate what we grew. We used wood stoves to heat the house, so we had to cut the wood. That wasn't totally usual for the area. It was just us. My family seemed to lead a pseudo-19th Century lifestyle.

I started playing the violin at age four and a half. I've been doing that for most of my life. I went to school when I was nine, and was home-schooled before that. Since my mother was a teacher, she took over. I started travelling to do concerts when I was twelve. I went to boarding school soon after, and went to two art schools. I graduated and went to music conservatory and did two Masters degrees in the UK. 

In 2002, I came across Heartfulness meditation. I had done other forms of meditation before - Buddhist meditations and some other things. Immediately, I realized that Heartfulness meditation would take me in the direction I wanted to go and I've been practicing it ever since. I became a Heartfulness trainer in 2007. Heartfulness trainers are all volunteers. They have other professions in life. This is because spirituality can't be sold. As my guide and co-author Daaji puts it in the book, 'God is not for sale. He has no price. If He did, and you could afford to pay it, then why would you need Him?' Therefore, we offer training free of charge. Being a trainer doesn't mean that you are somehow more spiritually  'evolved' or anything like that - you just need willingness, dedication, a basic knowledge of the Heartfulness approach, and the time to dedicate to it. 

Spreading the message

It's easy to speak about The Heartfulness Way, but I prefer to give people a practical experience of Heartfulness. That way they don't have to take my word for it. When you experience something or yourself, you don't need belief or faith! I don't think that people who believe and people who disbelieve are very different from one another. Belief arises out of doubt. It is a result of doubt. For instance, when you have doubt and can't accept that you have a doubt, because of whatever socialization or conditioning, then you tend to repress that doubt. You cover it over, and whitewash it with belief. The stronger one's belief, the stronger the doubt that underlies it. There are two ways to handle such a situation. The first is to stop repressing these doubts and to face them. Instead of being afraid of the results of your analysis of this issue, face it with a spirit of inquiry and curiosity, and be enthusiastic to discover the answer. That feeling of childlike wonder helps you. But the best way is through personal experience. Experience makes belief redundant, actually. For example, I don't need to believe in the stars, the sun, the sky or the ocean - and why not? Because I can see, feel, and experience them. Belief is for things you have never experienced, and therefore, you either believe them or you doubt them. So what about peoples' belief in God? Have they experienced that presence? How to have that experience for oneself and move beyond mere belief? That is the role of spirituality, which is the way of personal experience. Heartfulness meditation is extremely effective in this regard because of a feature known as 'yogic transmission.' What is yogic transmission? I'll share an example. Air is all around us, but we only feel it when there is a breeze. Similarly, people say that God is everywhere. Do we feel this? Yogic transmission is that breeze by which the divine force becomes palpable. We actually feel it, for the first time in our lives, perhaps. And with what do we feel it? We feel it with the heart, which is the organ of feeling, after all. That is why we meditate on the heart. We can experience yogic transmission by meditating along with a Heartfulness trainer. But the best approach is to meditate first on your own, without a trainer, and then to meditate along with a trainer. This will allow you to compare the two experiences and form your own conclusion. Then you will not have to be stuck in belief or disbelief, but instead, move on into the realm of experience. 

Peace within to Peace without

If I am filled with violence inside myself, against myself, if I don't like myself or accept myself, then I am fighting with myself all the time. A person who has no peace and is eternally reactive within is also reactive on the outside. If we have so many people who are reactive at the smaller level, how can there be peace in the world?