Joshua Pollock, co-author of The Heartfulness Way, wonders why people throughout history have tried to mystify subjects of spirituality, yoga and meditation. In association with Kamlesh D. Patel, or the fourth Daaji, the spiritual guide of Heartfulness (a branch of meditation), Joshua set out to clear out unnecessary complexity regarding meditation for his readers.
“One of the gurus in our tradition, Babuji Maharaj, said that God is simple, so the way to reach him must also be simple. We tend to think that this journey requires something more from us than we’re able to give. It’s because the subject has been endlessly ornamented and glamourised. It’s time to come back to its essence, and that’s what we’re trying to do here with the book,” smiles Joshua.
However, he admits that the knowledge contained in this book is not enough in the path towards spirituality. “The main message of the book is that experience is greater than knowledge. We’ve provided practical instructions in heartfulness methods, through which you can have your experience and derive your knowledge from it. And that’s the truest knowledge,” he says.
Meditation is intrinsically linked to spirituality. “Meditation makes us whole by awakening us to that essential presence within us — our soul. It brings vitality to our lives. This inner presence also becomes our inner radar system, guiding us in all aspects of our lives,” he says, refuting the common misconception that meditation is synonymous with concentration, when it comes to spirituality. “Most people confuse the two. While meditation does lead to a state of focus, it happens without any effort to do so,” Joshua says, recollecting an example. “When you smell the scent of a rose, your mind settles on the object, and the experience. You’re not trying to concentrate; yet you’re focused. That’s what meditation is like. In the Heartfulness approach, we meditate with something called yogic transmission, which attracts our attention in the same way that the rose does. Therefore, meditation becomes effortless and restful.”
It’s curious that as an American, Joshua has delved into an ancient Indian spiritual journey with such vigour. He laughs, explaining that the spiritual urge is a universal one, and has been with him for as long as he remembers. “I first came to India because of meditation. On that first trip, I felt so comfortable, I realised I would like to spend more time here,” Joshua smiles. “I also met my wife in India, while she’s also American. Now, this great land is our second home.”