A personal journey – part 2
Spirit Matters Podcast is a very popular site showcasing an eclectic mix of talks about contemporary spirituality. The hosts are DENNIS RAIMONDI and PHILIP GOLDBERG. On 1 July 2018, together they interviewed DAAJI about his life, spirituality and book, The Heartfulness Way. Here we highlight excerpts from the interview. You can listen to the whole interview on the Spirit Matters Podcast website at http://spiritmatterstalk.com/daaji.
DR: I’m actually looking at your website now; you have a great website! And I’m looking at the HeartSpots. You really are worldwide.
I have one question about the meditation: When you instruct somebody, how much time do you tell them to spend a day in meditation? And if somebody wants to really go deep when they come to your ashram, can they spend many more hours in meditation? So what’s the balance of meditation and activity that you recommend?
DAAJI: Well, to begin with we recommend to meditate for about 20 minutes or half an hour in the morning, and then let this effect of meditation, which becomes a meditative state, continue throughout the day during all your daily activities.
DR: And are there instructions for how to do that second part?
DAAJI: It happens very naturally. When you like something and when the experience is so profound you remain glued to it, and even if you want to shake it off it’s not easy for you to shake it off, because it is such a profound stillness you feel within that you would like to remain connected with it. So I think a method is unnecessary. Just sit for half an hour in the morning or 20 minutes, and savor that meditation experience, and allow that stillness or calmness that was a result of meditation to continue.
And if per chance you want to repeat it again and maybe make it more intense – I am working in a pharmacy for example and suddenly there’s something that upsets me for a moment, so I am away from the meditative state. What do I do then? I go to the bathroom, I just stand quietly in one corner and recollect the previous meditative state. And I’m back again. It’s like when you’re driving and you make a mistake by taking a wrong exit, you take a u-turn and come back to the main highway.
“Condition yourself like a lotus in water,
which is not affected by the dirty pond”;
it remains unaffected. Besides protecting our consciousness,
the art of meditation, the spiritual purpose is to make it expand.
So consciousness is like that; consciousness is not like traveling a big distance. Instantly you can be in a superconscious state or you can be in your normal state, with which you can interact. And the whole idea is to play with this consciousness actually. How wonderfully we can play with this consciousness in such a way that we don’t gather impressions.
Let me explain to you a little bit about these impressions or samskaras or the impact of our thoughts, attitudes and actions. Let’s say you are seated in a flight and you are in row number 13 or 14, and you are seeing passengers coming one by one, and the airhostess serving people. Though quiet, and seated doing nothing at that moment, you may continue to analyze people: “Oh, this person looks all right,” and a second person enters, “Oh, this person looks angry and disturbed,” or, “This airhostess, I think she serves well.” And you have some reaction to all these things. “Oh, this lady is carrying so many bags! Doesn’t she understand how to travel light?” These likes and dislikes we go on filtering in our heart, and we react to it.
In the business world also, the decisions that we make and the things that affect us, everything percolates to likes and dislikes: “I wish I had this; I wish I didn’t have this.” All these likes and dislikes affect our heart. And this effect on the heart changes our consciousness. When you’re so happy, your consciousness simply expands. When you’re angry and upset, your consciousness somehow gravitates into a small compact thing. You dislike it, and it can happen that you might get a migraine or a headache and you don’t feel like talking to anyone at that moment. Our consciousness goes on playing and it gets affected. Phil and Dennis, if you are exposed to meditation, you know there’s an expression, “Condition yourself like a lotus in water, which is not affected by the dirty pond”; it remains unaffected. Besides protecting our consciousness, the art of meditation, the spiritual purpose is to make it expand. It is not just to maintain and remain unaffected by the things around us, but to allow it to expand.
Once a person is initiated into this Heartfulness Way,
which happens through Transmission,
there is a heart-to–heart connection made with the Source,
and the seeker goes on absorbing from the Source all the time.
We work with what little consciousness or awareness we have. It is like a thin layer of consciousness above which there is a superconscious ocean and below which there is a subconscious ocean. So the available consciousness we usually play with is a very thin layer. And in spiritual practice, the intention is to allow this thin layer of consciousness to soar higher into the superconscious sky and allow it percolate into our subconscious ocean. Once you get the knack of this, I think you have mastered your life.
PG: Daaji, I’d like to come back to this notion of Yogic Transmission. Now we know that traditional deeksha forms of initiation often entail transmission. We know the concept of darshan, when with a highly evolved spiritual being something is transmitted. When a person learns your Heartfulness Meditation practice, what is the nature of that Transmission and when a person subsequently practices on his or her own, how does Transmission occur at that time, or does it?
DAAJI: Oh, it does. It does all the time. Once a person is initiated into this Heartfulness Way, which happens through Transmission, there is a heart-to-heart connection made with the Source, and the seeker goes on absorbing from the Source all the time. When you feel like meditating and you close your eyes and you connect with the Source through a prayer, automatically the Transmission will start descending into your heart.
PG: Okay. In that instance you are not referring to a transmission directly from teacher to student, but a larger sense of Transmission from the spiritual Source.
DAAJI: It is always from the spiritual Source, even when we are with the Guide or Guru, who is the one who triggers it. The Source is within our heart itself.
DR: Right. Daaji, I wanted to ask you, in addition to teaching meditation, do you or members of your organization have programs where you train people to become teachers? And if so, what does that entail?
DAAJI: Well, it’s very simple actually. You cannot help but start transmitting at some level of consciousness. When a person is evolved to a certain level, or is interested in learning this art of transmitting, he can come to one of our ashrams and submit that, “I would like to train others also, and make sure they all benefit, my family members benefit and my community benefits from what services I can provide later on in life.”
So the minimum requirement is the willingness to serve. Second, it becomes my responsibility to train them in all the intricacies involved in Transmission, because you cannot transmit unless and until you are able to do the Cleaning. Cleaning here does not mean that the other person is dirty. It only means that we need to remove unwanted things from the heart of the other individual and then transmit.
The third thing is to make this person capable so that he is able to connect the seeker to his own Source. And the fourth thing is to make sure that this trainer has moved to a certain level of consciousness, meaning he should at least have moved beyond the Ajna Chakra, meaning he should be in the Brahmanda Mandala, the Cosmic Region. You understand this I hope.
PG: Yes, very good.
It is like a thin layer of consciousness above
which there is a superconscious ocean
and below which there is a subconscious ocean.
So the available consciousness
we usually play with is a very thin layer.
And in spiritual practice,
the intention is to allow this thin layer of consciousness
to soar higher into the superconscious sky
and allow it percolate into our subconscious ocean.
Once you get the knack of this,
I think you have mastered your life.
DAAJI: So we go beyond the Ajna Chakra in order to train someone: “Okay, you’ve gone beyond Mooladhara, you’ve gone beyond Swadhisthan, you’ve gone beyond the Heart Chakra and the Atma Chakra, and the fire point and the water point and the air point.” And you go beyond this Ajna Chakra and tap into this source of energy, where your sankalpa or your suggestive ability becomes subtler and very refined.
PG: Very good. So Daaji, you became – I don’t know what the proper term is – the leader of a particular lineage. Are you still involved in business or is your whole attention only on the Heartfulness Way?
DAAJI: Well, fortunately, even during my active days in the business world in New York, I had a very peculiar way of doing business actually. All the help that I had, I had trained them to run the pharmacy as if it was their own, and sooner or later they became business partners, the actual business people – even the employees – and they were able to run the business as if it was their own business. And right now the same way it’s going on, where they don’t require my presence actually. They literally own it as business partners.
DR: I want to thank you for taking the time; we’re going to wrap it up now. But if there is any other final questions you have, Phil, or any final points, Daaji, that you would like to make to our listeners?
DAAJI: Well, I would like all spiritual seekers to please try this Transmission at least once and see for yourself. Experience it and see how it can make a difference in your state of consciousness. Nothing much is needed, just log in to contact one of our trainers at our HeartSpots and receive this Transmission and compare it with your meditation experience. Continue with your own guru; there is no need to change your guru or system to see how this benefits us.
PG: Thanks for being with us. I hope our paths cross in India or the US.
DAAJI: Definitely! I look forward actively to meeting you one day.
PG: I do hope we can do that.
DR: Thank you so much.
DAAJI: I am very grateful. Thank you.
You can listen to the full interview on the Spirit Matters website at https://soundcloud.com/spirit-matters-talk/daajiinterview.
Interviewed by DENNIS RAIMONDI and PHILIP GOLDBERG
July 30, 2019
June 30, 2019
May 31, 2019