In the Mindfulness Series: What is Mindfulness?, we learned that mindfulness is simply being present in that moment and using your five senses to be. Heartfulness is a continuation of this being. It is a way of going deeper into it. Heartfulness is going beyond the body, mind, and feelings and looking at your heart. No, not your physical heart, but that heart where you have stillness and silence, an inner peace within. Just as with mindfulness, this look at inner peace can be rejuvenating.
Depending on how we manage the heart-mind field, it can either be turbulent and complex, like a roaring ocean during a storm, or it can be like a still pond where even a feather landing on the surface creates ripples. This is where a spiritual practice has a vital role to play, as it gives us the techniques to regulate and simplify this field, bringing clarity, focus, stillness and peace.
-Kamlesh D. Patel
Heartfulness is a secular practice of heart-centered self-development that helps tune the heart-mind field. It offers a simple set of breathing, relaxation, heartful-silence, and rejuvenation techniques — dynamic and effective tools for personal growth and mind management.
It is through heartfulness that you can learn to push aside thoughts and enjoy a state of consciousness and stillness that is refreshing for the mind, body, and spirit. When your mind is relaxed and clear, you are able to be more effective in your actions with happiness and a sense of fulfillment. Heartfulness allows you to be a scientific project all on your own – the scientist, the object being experimented on, and, of course, the end result of the experiment. It incorporates your personal experience and observations to help you find these answers. So often, intellect is not as controlling in our personal interactions and decision-making. We ‘refer to the heart’ when deciding matters of a more personal nature – including matters that are moral or spiritual – rather than the mind.
Finding your Heartfulness
Finding heartfulness takes practice. Purposefully having kind thoughts or wishing happiness for yourself or others can contribute to it. In some sense, exercising heartfulness makes us into happiness generators. Whether we are wishing happiness for ourselves or for a stranger, it is our own internal experience of happiness and kindness that ripples out to effect those around us. Let’s give heartfulness a try:
- Bring someone to mind whom you see every day and whom you like, care about or really love. It may be someone you live with, or someone at work, or a family member, or maybe even a pet. See if you can imagine or feel the person or animal doing the things that make them smile. Simply take the first image that comes to your mind. We’re not going for perfection. Maybe it’s petting your neighbor’s dog on your walk this morning or waving across the lawn at a neighbor. It’s fine!
- Now pay attention to what you are feeling in your heart. Sometimes this can be challenging, and if it is, the first suggestion is to relax.
We are going to send kind wishes to the person you selected. You can do this using a really calm internal or external voice. Say the wishes slowly and think of your person in relation to the wish prior to moving to the next wish. Let your eyes close between each wish if that’s comfortable. Let’s begin with the wishes:
I wish for you to be healthy.
I wish for you to be happy.
I wish for you to be peaceful.
I wish for you to have joy in your life.
Imagine the person can feel your wishes. You can also imagine your wishes are like texts able to reach your person instantly. They begin to get happier and happier. Also, notice your own heart and what you are feeling.
Gently let the image of the person drop away. Finish this practice by taking a deep breath in and a deep breath out bringing your attention to only your breath. This is basic heartfulness. As a result of noticing your emotions through all of this, you can build your strengths in Reactions and Responses and it can also help you to build Awareness and Intelligence with Emotions. If you wish to share this heartfulness activity with someone else, feel free to print this Heartfulness Script Fact Sheet to help you.