The heartful strategist – part 5

The heartful strategist - part 5
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In the earlier articles of this series, RAVI VENKATESAN introduced the Heartful Strategist framework. He covered how consciousness is limited by certain vicious cycles of negative emotions. He also looked at examples of shifts that can be made to allow consciousness to expand through broadening our perspective and “thinking” for the benefit of broader and broader circles of influence. In this article he explores tendencies and thought patterns, and how specific practices can help with shifting these. As background, you can read parts 3 and 4 of this series again.


In part 3, we looked at how consciousness has an active part and an unconscious part, that in turn can be viewed as two parts, subconsciousness and superconsciousness. What is interesting is that while we focus on the active consciousness, a lot of what influences us is in the subconsciousness. To understand this better, think about the tendencies that we observe in ourselves, our family, our colleagues etc. Given the same situation and inputs, people respond very differently.

Take, for example, the current COVID-19 crisis, and the responses of world and regional leaders. They range from leaders who are optimistic and do not take extreme measures to lock things down, to leaders that are locking everything down for as long as they can. The decisions made by these leaders, given the same inputs, should not be puzzling. Whether it is the CEO of a company or a parent, everyone responds to situations based on their tendencies. These tendencies have their source in our thought patterns. Here is an exercise to assess your own thought patterns:


At the end of the day, sit calmly in a quiet location with your eyes closed. Let the day replay in front of you, from morning till now. Make yourself an “outside” impartial witness of your own reactions and responses through the day, not in terms of actions you took, but in terms of the thoughts that you had, which in many cases would have preceded your actions.

Check if these thoughts were driven by fear, envy, anger, compassion, altruism, ambition, love etc. Also assess if your mind generated a multiplicity of thoughts that built one on top of the other, creating stories about what might happen, and eventually none of those imagined events actually happened.


The more hyperactive your mind, the more complex and interwoven the network of such thoughts. Some are responses to external stimuli, but many come from within. What is the source of how we respond to external stimuli, as well as these thoughts and ideas that come from within? What is the source of our thought patterns? Why do the tendencies of one person’s mind differ from another?



To understand the mystery of thought patterns, let’s take a day-in-the-life view. We wake up and start interacting with the world primarily through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. We are like a video camera that is recording everything all the time, except that while a camera only records through sight and sound, we record through smell, taste, and touch as well. What happens to all this information? It is stored in us as memories and impressions. The difference is that memories are simply factual information. For example, if I have a meeting with my boss to discuss a promotion, the facts related to this meeting are recorded as a memory. This initially goes into my short-term memory and later moves to long-term memory. If I have an argument with my boss during this meeting, then it with leave a strong impression on me. This emotional aspect of the interaction is stored in my mind, or more precisely my heart-mind vibrational field as an impression. You can think of these impressions literally like impressions in the sand. Look at the two pictures below. One shows a beach with a lot of impressions made on the sand, and another that has been combed clean.


The more hyperactive your mind, the more complex
and interwoven the network of such thoughts.


Over time these impressions become heavier and sink into the subconscious. The store of these past impressions is the source of our thought patterns, emotional reactions, and behavioral tendencies. So, to change our thought patterns, we need to eliminate these past impressions and feed positive suggestions to our subconscious mind that can shift these patterns.


Deep within our subconscious is a store of all past impressions

When conducive circumstances arise, these impressions lead to thought patterns that precede actions

To make a shift in our thought patterns we can feed suggestions to our subconscious

There is a very powerful Heartfulness meditative technique that is specifically geared towards removing these past impressions. It is called Heartfulness Cleaning, and you can learn how to do it by listening to the guided practice and following along.For the next few weeks, try doing this practice every evening. Also, repeat the exercise in this article to observe your thought patterns every night. Observe any changes and note them down. In subsequent articles we’ll introduce a couple of other practices that are specifically geared towards expansion of consciousness. Over time, these practices can create a powerful shift in thought patterns and our overall consciousness.


Article by RAVI VENKATESAN


Ravi Venkatesan

About Ravi Venkatesan

Ravi lives in Atlanta, Georgia, and is currently Head of Innovation at Bakkt. He is also a regular public speaker and public speaking coach. He has been a Heartfulness meditator for over 20 years and is passionate about applying meditation lessons to improve workplace relationships and productivity.


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