Modern-day Heartfulness simplifies and expedites the old path of Yoga. There is no longer any need to take up the different steps of Ashtanga Yoga separately, one at a time.
Second, Heartfulness cleaning removes those impressions from our subtle bodies that fuel our desires and activate the senses. In previous articles, we have spoken about all the emotional pulls that we feel due to the impressions we accumulate from our past. Until they are removed, how can inward focus be natural? That is why cleaning is so important. Through these two Heartfulness practices, Pratyahara is facilitated, as both the deepening inward focus and the removal of obstacles are speeded up. While we still witness the vagaries of the mind during meditation, we simply ignore the thoughts that surface as they are being removed. Third, the Heartfulness Prayer is a direct practice of Pratyahara. It contains an acknowledgment, “We are yet but slaves of wishes putting bar to our advancement,” and then gives us the solution to take us beyond that limitation, by focusing on a stage of existence beyond the senses. Prayer naturally takes us to the center of ourselves where the senses are not needed in our witnessing. Instead, we are in osmosis with a higher dimension of existence through the heart.
There are also other Heartfulness practices that support Pratyahara, including a scientific technique that was developed by Ram Chandra of Shahjahanpur. While observing the flow of thought energy, he discovered how it descends from the ‘lake of consciousness’–known in Yoga as the chit lake–which is associated with the prefrontal cortex of the brain and the Brahmanda Mandal or the Cosmic Region in spiritual anatomy. Thought energy descends from the chit lake towards the chest area and in most people it diverts to the left side, to the first chakra of the heart. From there it flows outwards into worldly thoughts and activities. Then he observed that if the chit lake is first cleaned and a portion of the flow of thought energy is gently diverted towards the right side of the chest, to point two, the point of the soul, then the seeker will be relieved from disturbing thoughts. By bringing the attention to the soul rather than to desires, the senses are naturally drawn inward. Pratyahara and Vairagya go hand-in-hand, and a great hurdle is overcome in such a simple way.
Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He is a role model for students of spirituality who seek that perfect blend of eastern heart and western mind. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today.
To be continued
— Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual Guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He is a role model for students of spirituality who seek that perfect blend of eastern heart and western mind. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today