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The Heartfulness Institute is a global organisation that operates in over 130 countries, with thousands of volunteer trainers. Their mission is to promote universal peace and harmony through the practice of yoga and meditation, known as Heartfulness. Recognised by the United Nations for their global presence, Heartfulness is an initiative of Sahaj Marg Spirituality Foundation licensed by Dubai Economic Department since 2004. The Heartfulness Centre at JLT was inaugurated in January 2011 by the then global guide Rev Chariji and has also been recognised by the Government of Dubai to promote wellness through activities such as yoga, relaxation, and Heartfulness meditation.
“Heartfulness is all about feelings of joy, happiness and lightness in the heart. Heartfulness meditation is all about integrating the mind with the heart through meditating on the heart. When we listen to the heart and are guided by it, we are able to master our lives,” says B. R. Subramanian, who’s been practising Heartfulness for over 30 years and is the country coordinator for the organisation.
So, how does one meditate on the heart? “We gently close our eyes, divert our minds towards the heart, giving a very subtle suggestion that the source of light is present in our heart and is attracting our attention inwards,” he adds. “When your mind is absorbed in your heart, it gets regulated. When your mind gets regulated, you have clarity and when you have clarity, you are able to execute things in a much better manner on the material plane,” says Subramanian, a private banker by profession. “We also have a Heartfulness app called Heartsapp, available on both iPhone and Android. It guides one with their daily practice and can also connect people with Heartfulness trainers for a meditation session.”
The Heartfulness Meditation Centre, which spans approximately 3,500 square feet, is located in Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai, drawing individuals from diverse nationalities, backgrounds and faiths every week for group meditations, training sessions, and other events that promote the values of unity. “We consider service as one of the most important practices of Heartfulness. Opening this centre for the UAE residents is part of service. Through such initiatives, we aim to take the message of meditation as far and wide as possible,” says Sanjay Meherish, regional director for the Middle East and North Africa region (Mena) for Heartfulness Foundation. “The satisfaction and joy which I get in serving people and seeing their experience with mediation at this centre is priceless for me,” he adds.
“Hundreds of people join us for meditation at this centre every Saturday and Sunday at 8am. Before that, we also have a yoga session, which is facilitated by professional yoga trainers. We want people in this part of the world to come and experience it. As they say, ‘The taste of the pudding is in the eating’,” says Meherish. “Services are offered for free and the only requisite is the willingness to give it a try.”
Brinda Mani, who’s been practising Heartfulness at the centre for the last 25 years, says she started this journey because she was searching for a place where she could find peace. “At the time, there was a big jolt in the family. So, we wanted some place where we could find calmness, not outside but inside,” says Brinda. “Another benefit I’ve experienced is that my self-confidence and self-esteem have also improved tremendously and there’s easier acceptance of all situations in life, with the conviction that it’s for my highest good, both materially as well as spiritually,” she adds.
For Savita Vaidya, who’s also a meditation practitioner and trainer at the Heartfulness Institute, meditation has become a way of life over the years. “If I can just give you one small example, one day, when my son was visiting from university, he came and gave me a tight hug. I asked what it was for and he said, ‘You don’t get angry as you used to when I was younger’. That was a huge eye-opener for me that there have been some visible changes in my personality due to meditation,” says Savita.
Moreover, if one wishes to get a more wholesome and immersive experience of Heartfulness meditation, they can whisk off to the Heartfulness retreat centre, Kanha Shanti Vanam, situated on the outskirts of Hyderabad, Telangana, in India. Honoured with ‘The Pride of Telangana’ award in 2019, Kanha Shanti Vanam serves as the global headquarters of the Heartfulness Institute. The ashram is a serene and eco-friendly haven that offers a spiritual retreat, allowing visitors to embrace a simple lifestyle in harmony with both their inner selves and the natural world.
For more information, visit www.heartfulnessmena.org
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