How is Heartfulness different from Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is derived from Buddhism. It is an extremely positive and effective program. It is also humanistic in its core. It espouses inner strength, balance and compassion to create a harmonious and effective state of existence, individually and hence collectively. Mindfulness is related to harnessing and improving the power of the mind. It deals scientifically with the anatomical changes to the brain due to meditation, and the psychological benefits including the expansion of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness. It tries to extend its reach to awareness, intuition and consciousness. It even explores the impact on our genetic wellbeing. It is also a way of life, derived from Buddhism, which is primarily atheistic in its core philosophy. Hence God does not appear anywhere in mindfulness. But the ultimate goal of Buddhist meditation is enlightenment.
Does enlightenment include love – self love and universal love? When one has this quality of unconditional love, do we call it divine love or Godly love?
Does one have to believe in the existence of God to meditate mindfully or heartfully? Heck no! Does one need God? It may not be a relevant question at all. What difference does it make?
“All of the mindfulness buzz reveals a deep truth of our existence: we are spiritual beings. We desire peace, calm, and love. But where do these desires come from?” (Fr. Michael Najim) I believe they come from wherever our Source is, which may be called God or the Original Home.
Coming to Heartfulness, it is centered in the heart and is for everyone, independent of religions and religious beliefs. The heart is the center of feeling. Hence the heart is often qualified by an adjective, such as kind heart, cold heart, generous heart etc. Heartfulness includes being mindful of what we do.
Heartfulness is the next evolutionary step in the expansion of consciousness from Mindfulness. While incorporating all the benefits of Mindfulness, it takes us even deeper into the realm of the center of our human existence – the Heart.
So, what exactly is Heartfulness?
It is everything, as the heart is the center of our existence.
The heart is what holds things together. It is what holds people together. It is in the beauty of everything. It is in the effectiveness and simplicity of our work, relationships and movements. Heartfulness is the life of life (transmission), the cause of life (the soul), the source of life ( the Ultimate soul, or Paramatma) and the goal of life (Union with that Ultimate state). It is in the spirit of things, in activity or manifestation.
It is what makes you pause, think, feel and love what you do and how you do it. It is in the care you have for people, things and nature around you. It is what makes you love and care for yourself. It eliminates darkness, ignorance, imbalance and unrest.
It is an art and science of existence, movement and transcendence. It is the bridge between individuality and unity, diversity and integrity, humanity and divinity.
It is in the mechanics of movement, conversation and communication. It is in the design of things that move, converse and communicate. It is in the expression of the design and mechanics of things that move, converse and communicate.
It is in the barking of a dog and the mooing of a cow. It can be felt in the sounds of rock and roll music and in the jungles of the Amazon. It is in cooking and helping children do their homework. It is in our conversation with the middle child as much as with the first or the last or the stillborn. It can be in our request to crows to clear a hall as much as in requesting students to be quiet. It must be inside for us to see it outside.
It is everything and it shall be everything, because it is the cause of everything, and can be cultivated in all things man made. It is the invisible container that holds the content, its fragrance and its application.
It is a way of life; a way to inner life and a way towards the ultimate life!
How do we practice Heartfulness ?
By properly utilizing all the tools we are given in Heartfulness, we learn to relax, meditate, become pure by cleaning, pray, and reach our full potential as human beings.