DAAJI explores the 5Cs of the heart, and describes how a meditative practice can support emotional wisdom and well-being.
Wise people from the most ancient times till today have valued the qualities of loving kindness, compassion, resilience in times of hardship and suffering, peace, and wisdom. In fact, these are all qualities associated with the heart.
Most of us wish to improve our emotional well-being, along with our ability to communicate with others, develop healthy relationships and lasting friendships, share and support others in our communities, contribute to society at large, and overcome prejudice and judgments. These basic life skills are a gauge of our emotional and social wisdom, and they require heart. It is the heart that brings us this level of happiness.
Our mental capacities also need refining, so that we better handle mental challenges, but science has shown us that this will only happen once we have reached some level of emotional balance where the brain can function in creative, problem-solving ways. We reach a state of integrated flow in which the mental functions are guided by the wisdom of the heart.
Tragedy arises when we separate the heart and mind. For example, when a child is taught at school to a very high academic level, but has poor emotional and social skills, they can then use their mental abilities for all the wrong reasons, such as criminal activities. This happens when the mental is developed without the support of the emotional and social. When we read about the lives of people known for their great minds, like Ashtavakra, Patanjali, Plato, Aristotle, da Vinci, Newton, Swami Vivekananda, Ramanujan, Einstein, and Bohm, we find that they have paid attention to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of living.
These basic life skills are a gauge
of our emotional and social wisdom,
and they require heart.
It is the heart that brings us
this level of happiness.
The foundation for mental, emotional, and social intelligence lies in the spiritual realm, and when we don’t nurture it, the other three cannot develop so well. Spiritual wisdom is a function of our level of awareness, our perception, and our responses, according to the degree of expansion of our consciousness. Is it closed, narrow, limited, and rigid, or is it open, expansive, unlimited, and flexible? The more open and expansive, the greater the spiritual intelligence.
What determines whether it is narrow and rigid or expansive and flexible? Essentially there are two things:
1. The first is the amount of mental and emotional baggage we are carrying from the past. The heaviness that accumulates creates filters that distort perception and limit the flexibility of our mental processes. We stay stuck in past repetitive patterns and associated emotions. When this heaviness is removed, then perception and mental processes are untethered from the past restrictions.
2. The second is the focus of our attention. Are we only focused externally on material existence, or do we also give some time in our daily schedule to the inner world? Our emotions are inside us, our social skills are inside us. If we are only looking outside, how will we develop EQ and SoQ?
The purpose of a spiritual practice is both – to remove mental and emotional baggage and also to take us to the Center of our being, the source of our spiritual intelligence, the soul. In yoga, we speak about the three bodies – the physical body, the subtle body, and the causal body or soul.
In a spiritual practice, we work from the inside out, from the root cause of both the problems and the solutions. That means we work with consciousness.
Heartfulness practices take us on an inner journey, and that journey starts in the heart. Here we develop the 5 Cs of Contentment, Calm, Compassion, Courage, and Clarity, which are the foundation of our mental, emotional, and social intelligence.
The first step is to awaken an inner interest, otherwise why would we do these practices in the first place? What stimulates this inner interest? Generally, it is the need for self-care and self-improvement. We are not satisfied with our level of well-being. We feel the need to change, so we look for a method to help.
The second step is to take up a meditative practice, and in Heartfulness the journey starts at Chakra 1 of the Heart, on the lower left side of the chest area. As the heaviness is removed from this chakra and our inner focus takes us deeper, the outcome is Contentment.
How is this possible? With the letting go of past patterns in our consciousness, the layers of heaviness associated with desires, wishes, disappointments, shame, guilt, worry, resentment, etc. are removed layer by layer. We become balanced and content, light and carefree. We are able to release our expectations and demands. We are no longer slaves to our desires and wishes. This is the first step.
The second step happens when the journey moves to Chakra 2 of the Heart, also known as the soul chakra, which is located at the lower right side of the chest. Here we explore a different inner world, leading us from restlessness and anxiety to peace. It is here that we master the art of Calm, as we explore the soul’s influence on our lives. Meditation moves us deeper into that realm where we feel connected with everything in the universe. We develop a strong sense of belonging and community, and we feel so peaceful.
With the letting go of past patterns
in our consciousness, the layers
of heaviness associated with
desires, wishes, disappointments, shame,
guilt, worry, resentment, etc.
are removed layer by layer.
We become balanced and content,
light and carefree.
Then the journey moves to Chakra 3 of the Heart, also known as the fire chakra, which is located at the upper left side of the chest. Here the inner work leads us from anger and hatred to love, from self-centered passion to Compassion. We learn to master the fiery emotions that propel us forward.
At the fourth step, the journey moves to Chakra 4 of the Heart, also known as the water chakra, which is located at the upper right side of the chest. Here the inner work leads us from fear to Courage and resilience – the ability to bounce back no matter what life throws at us.
The next step is the integration of these four stages. Because of the Contentment, Calm, Compassion, and Courage that have developed at Chakras 1 to 4, we move from confusion to Clarity at Chakra 5 of the Heart, also known as the air chakra, at the throat area. Our heart becomes our guiding helm, and we are able to listen to its wisdom.
Now the intelligence of the Heart is active, and we develop confidence and trust in our abilities. Our creativity blossoms with the continuing expansion of our consciousness through this heart journey. The result is emotional wisdom, which is a boon in any life.
Kamlesh Patel is known to many as Daaji. He is the Heartfulness Guide in a tradition of Yoga meditation that is over 100 years old, overseeing 14,000 certified Heartfulness trainers and many volunteers in over 130 countries. He is an innovator and researcher, equally at home in the fields of spirituality and science, blending the... Read more