By Kamlesh D Patel and Joshua Pollock; Westland; `299
By Kamlesh D Patel and Joshua Pollock; Westland; `299

Debut authors Kamlesh D Patel and Joshua Pollock have done a meticulously spirited job with their forthwith points of view that give a rational understanding of meditation in ‘The Heartfulness Way’. Belonging to the field, they are sort of endowed with the finer aspects of meditation and hence make for authoritative narrators while dwelling deep about the blissful benefits of the practice that has seemingly originated in India. Today, there is a major thrust on meditation, which implies that the book has been timed to perfection.  

Patel, also known as Daaji, the fourth guru in the ‘heartfulness’ lineage and Pollock offer experimental meditation practices, which when practised, yields the desired results and one that every individual longs for, particularly in the hugely competitive and stress-ridden times. The book offers insights that will help the reader to tackle myriad problems of life in the eternal quest for achieving nirvana.

By bringing in practical relevance by way of life experiences, Patel dispels the notion that it is the nature of one’s mind to be perennially restless. He emphasises on the mind’s scientific streak. By using contemporary examples, there is a vivid explanation that faith or belief should be based on personal experiences as no two individuals can experience similar experiences despite their closeness to one another.

What becomes clear during the reading is that Daaji is not against acquiring knowledge, while one seeks spiritual liberation. In fact, he asserts that it is ‘invaluable’ with his contention that knowledge without experience cannot transform a person’s mindset nor impact his persona, one way or the other.

There is a difference to the way the book has been conceptualised. The content is essentially the gist of a series of conversations between the co-authors over a period of time on topics that revolve around a multitude of life’s aspects in all their myriad forms, including the crisscross unpredictability of life’s journey.

It sounds more like the orthodox Gurukul style of imparting knowledge whereupon the master orally passes on the messages of life as a means to share knowledge and propagate it to the future generations. In this case, the guru, Daaji, explains to Pollock the practice and benefits of meditation and the numerous ways it makes life meaningful.

In a way, ‘The Heartfulness Way’, can trace its origins to Swami Vivekananda’s “In a conflict between the heart and the brain, follow your heart”. The authors, dwelling deep into the subject, reaffirm that heart has the ability to guide us whenever we are in need.

Daaji underscores the profound impact of the whys and wherefores of meditation; cleansing of the mind and the importance of guru in the practice. He describes prayer as an essential tool to connect ourselves with something that is higher and in the realm of the unknown.

Elements from Patanjali yoga sutras have been touched to decode that the eighth and the final step of Astanga yoga (samadhi) is just the beginning of the seeker’s spiritual journey. The book classifies yoga as a hugely diverse system that blends the best of many schools and philosophies. Daaji says that although the paths of yoga (Karma, gynana and bakthi) are different, they are not separate from one another. He explicitly describes that they are three aspects of one single path, the Raja Yoga.

Joshua Pollock, drenched in the heartfulness way for 15 years, opines that restlessness comes in response to a silent inner calling in the form of a question whose answer remains elusive: “Are you what you ought to be?” Without such questions, there cannot be evolution. He says transformation is in our hands and how we go about this will have a bearing on the individual’s approach to life.

There is no room for doubt that ‘The Heartfulness Way’ can be a guide for those who want to practice meditation. It will be equally effective for those who already know the ABCs of meditation as it can reinforce beliefs and the determination to cleanse oneself in body and mind, which is symbolic of life in its purest form.

By: Naveen Yandapalli