KOCHI: As author Joshua Pollock enters the Crossword book store in Kochi, on a weekday afternoon, he looks a trifle tired. That is because for the past few weeks he has been travelling all over India, going to places like Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad and holding events to publicise his book, ‘The Heartfulness Way – Heart-based Meditations For Spiritual Transformation’. This has been written by Joshua, along with his guru Kamlesh D. Patel, who is otherwise known as ‘Daaji’.
And all this hard work has paid off. The book, published by Westland, has reached No 1 on Amazon and the Hindustan Times/Nielsen Non-Fiction Bestseller list. “It is very gratifying,” he says. It helped that the President of India Ram Nath Kovind released the book. In Jaipur, it was Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje who did the honours and immediately tweeted a photo of herself and Joshua. And this is what she wrote: ‘The Heartfulness Way’ offers interesting insights into the spiritual way of living by and from the heart.’
Joshua seems an unlikely person to lead a spiritual life. A classical violinist who grew up in the USA, he played for several film-based songs of double Oscar winner AR Rahman. “But there was an emptiness within,” he says. A chance meeting with a woman while standing outside a shop in the US led him to the Heartfulness way of meditation which is propagated by Daaji, the fourth guru in the Heartfulness lineage, who lived and worked in New York for many years.
What attracted Joshua to heartfulness was the many parallels with music. “The heart always has to be the leader, especially when you are a musician,” he says. “It does not matter how technically perfect it is, the music will fall flat. It is the sincerity that is most important. That is not just for music. It is true for everything that we do in life.”
In the book, Joshua elaborates on three topics: meditation, cleaning and prayer.
“What do we do in meditation?” Daaji says to Joshua. “We go within. We move towards the core of our being. In deep meditation, we come into contact with our Source. Dissolving in it, mingling in it, and merging in it, we become one with it.”
But it does not come easily. “You have to wait, but not impatiently, as if you are pacing back and forth waiting for a bus,” says Daaji.
“It is a relaxed kind of waiting. You are at ease. You are comfortable. Everything happens in its own time. For example, you cannot cut open a butterfly’s cocoon before it is fully matured. That would kill the butterfly. Similarly, we cannot expect spiritual states to bloom before their time.”
Apart from meditation, cleaning is very important. This is how it is done. “Sit in a comfortable pose,” says Joshua. “The aim is to remove all the impressions you have accumulated during the day. Close your eyes. Imagine that all the complexities and impurities are leaving your entire system. Feel that they are leaving you in the form of smoke and vapour.”
Continue this process for approximately twenty minutes. “You will know it is finished when you start feeling a subtle lightness in your heart,” says Joshua. “You have now returned to a simpler, purer and more balanced state. Every cell of your body is emanating simplicity, lightness and purity.”
This cleaning is the unique aspect of the Heartfulness way. “It is all about inner hygiene,” says Joshua. “It makes your consciousness crystal clear.”
As for the third aspect, prayer, it remains an essential way to connect with something higher than ourselves, says Joshua.
“However, a prayer offered by rote is only a husk of a feeling. As such, it remains hollow,” says Daaji. “An efficacious prayer is one in which the words reverberate with the heart’s feeling. Yet, when the heart reverberates with feeling, is there any need for words? It is only through silence that we commune with the inner Being. In such silence, even our thoughts are mute.”
So, there are many nuggets of wisdom, as well as tips in this well-written book, that, if followed diligently, will enable one to reach the inner core of divinity within us.