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Bulletin No: 2016.55 - Friday, 1 July 2016

Report on Daaji’s visit to the USA, for the Heartfulness Conferences, Part 3 – Southern California, 8th to 13th of June 2016.

Wednesday, 8th June 2016, Camarillo

In the evening, around 7:45 p.m., Daaji conducted satsangh for about 30 minutes, and after dinner he sat with visitors and explained to them about Sahaj Marg philosophy and the nature of spiritual points.Late in the evening, he went out for a short walk and rested by midnight.

Thursday, 9th June 2016, Camarillo

Daaji was up early in the morning. He shared an insight about consciousness :

“All light bulbs receive the same electric current and yet they emit varying intensities of light. Likewise, depending on its refinement, consciousness manifests itself in varying intensities in life. This refinement, or lack of it, affects the level of consciousness.

“Depending on the conductivity of the filament, the bulb emits light. Likewise, consciousness allows itself to manifest, although the soul that backs consciousness is of equal potency in everyone. What differentiates individuals is the baggage of impressions of good and bad, that we all carry in the form of samskaras.”

He conducted satsangh at 6:30 a.m. for about 45 minutes and later worked on emails. The breakfast session was filled with many ideas and discussions about how to fulfil the needs of enthusiastic new seekers. One of our highly enthusiastic Heartfulness volunteers narrated many interesting experiences with new seekers, including the following:

On vacation, how can we get meditation sittings?

She shared her experience: “I recently started giving sittings to a friend, who I met at the gym. She was leaving for a long family vacation to Spain at the same time I was leaving for the Heartfulness conference in Los Angeles, and she wanted to make sure that she got an individual sitting before she left.

“We met for the sitting a few hours before we both left for our respective trips. After the sitting was over, she told me that she had felt something during the sitting. She was so happy that she had that experience, and said that she had really noticed a change in her condition since the time she started her practice. She gave the example of her annual family trip: usually around this time she would experience anxiety due to the trip, worried about packing properly and making sure that everything was in order for smooth travel, etc. This year, she was calm, inwardly she was content, and she had the feeling that all would work out as it needed to.

“She expressed the desire to attend group meditation while she was in Spain, but due to family obligations she didn’t think it would be possible. Instead, she made sure to download the SahajConnect app before she left my home so that she could receive individual sittings while she was travelling.”

My gym coach calls me a meditation coach

“I have been training with a coach at my gym for some time. I have spoken about Heartfulness to him on many occasions, telling him that he helps me so much with my wellness and I would like to return the favour. One day after our training session, he mumbled something to me and then walked off. I followed him, thinking that we were going to do an exercise in another room. Instead of walking into a room with equipment, he walked into the mind-body studio, an empty room usually used for Yoga. When he pulled out a blanket and sat on the floor, it occurred to me that he might want to meditate. I asked him and he said, ‘Well, yeah, what did you think we were doing?’ Before we started, he asked if we could wait for his wife to join us, because he felt that this would be a helpful practice for her. Later when she arrived, she decided not to join us.

“I proceeded to give my trainer the experience of Heartfulness and start him in the practice. Several weeks later I spoke to his wife again, and she told me that she had some life experiences that were weighing her down. When I explained to her the benefits of meditation in her situation, she decided to take her first sitting. Slowly she has come around to the idea of meditation, and become more receptive to the transformative nature of the practice. Now my gym trainer calls me meditation coach!”

The day was busy with meetings about Heartfulness, and in particular how best to present Heartfulness to the general public, through written publications and media. To further this, he met with some new local abhyasis who are helping our movement in this regard. The meetings were very productive and inspiring. He spoke a lot about the topics and concepts he would like to offer to others.

Receptivity

Later in the day, Daaji shared another insight about receptivity and being a receptacle:

“To develop some talent one has to work for it. If you want to be receptive you have to develop receptivity: the greater the receptivity, the greater the ability to receive. When we try to invite the Lord, Infinity, the receptivity and the receptacle have to be infinite. To the extent our presence occupies the receptacle, will determine our ability to receive. In order to receive Infinity, we have to empty ourselves infinitely. Receiving infinitely means emptying completely.”

At 10:20 a.m. Daaji conducted a sitting for about 20 minutes and later attended to Heartfulness matters.

Pain and suffering

Q: What is the difference between pain and suffering?

Daaji: Pain, physical or mental, is sometimes inevitable. What is suffering then? Is it dwelling or brooding over pain again and again? Is suffering avoidable? What happens when we accept those painful situations? Perhaps pain remains but the suffering dissolves? When our dear ones at home have stomach ache, no doubt they go through pain and suffering, so we too in the process go through ‘suffering’ without the stomach ache.

After lunch, Daaji sat outside with a group. Here are some snippets from the informal session:

Refinement of ego

“Ego can be used to improve ourselves rather than in hurting others.”

“Ego has many shades, for example, pride, self-esteem, arrogance.”

“Anger can be good if you can use it to improve yourself and not on others. Anger can be utilised as a corrective measure upon oneself.”

“As you progress there is less and less of yourself.”

“As you become less and less there is no impetus to progress. That is why you need a spiritual Guide.”

“To have Infinity in oneself, one needs to be infinitely empty.”

In the early evening, Daaji went to Point Mugu and spent some time at the beach in silence. While coming back, he mentioned that God will help a sincere seeker to go beyond God himself.

On his return, he was greeted by a local TV personality, who had done an interview segment on TV about Heartfulness that evening with a couple of abhyasis. Daaji graciously spent time with him, invited him for dinner, and this brother spoke a lot about the social problems of addiction that are evident among the youth of LA. Daaji said, “It is necessary to explore the reasons why these young people everywhere are becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs. It is not simply enough to treat them.”

Friday, 10th June 2016, Camarillo

Daaji was up early in the morning and worked on emails. Later in the morning, he left Ventura County for Norwalk in Los Angeles, to prepare for the first satsangh of the convention at the Sanatan Dharma temple that evening.

Meanwhile, from the local team of volunteers.

The preparation for both events in Los Angeles had started way before the convention dates. Deciding the venues, the program plan and execution had all happened seamlessly. Behind the scenes everyone worked and contributed in their own way. Children had started making hearts for the temple event on the 30th of April and they filled these hearts with so much love, kindness and creativity, which radiated during the convention.

A shift of consciousness happened during the conference, as all of us became hosts and welcomed the new seekers with so much care and affection. We realised that we are building a bigger Heartfulness family.

The tents were up, the tables were set, the walls were decorated and as we arrived we saw the transformation of the Sanatan Dharma temple, which had been cleaned and transformed from the inside out. Not only was the ambiance transformed but also the atmosphere: we could feel the love and light. Whoever arrived picked up the work where it had left off. The registration tables were ready, the welcome desk was up and running, the stage was decorated, the bookstore was alive, and the children’s centre was full of momentum. New seekers were attracted to this setup.

The festive atmosphere filled our hearts with hope and brotherhood. The convention started with Daaji’s first group meditation at 5:30 p.m. His presence filled us all with peace and tranquility. Our experiences grew beyond any expression. We all had dinner and cleaned and secured the place before leaving in preparation for the following day.

Saturday, 11th June 2016, Los Angeles

Daaji reached the Sanatan Dharma temple by 7:00 a.m. At 7:30 a.m. he conducted group meditation for 40 minutes for the more than 600 abhyasis who had gathered from various centres of the Pacific Coast and beyond. All newcomers were also invited to sit for meditation.

The second satsangh of the day was conducted at 11:30 a.m. Many new seekers continued to arrive at the temple to learn about Heartfulness.

Later in the day, the main program for newcomers was held at the temple from 4 to 7 p.m. On the way to the temple, an abhyasi asked, “Daaji, did you get enough rest today?”

Daaji said, “No rest is ever enough till the final rest!”

Shashank performed a flute recital and Daaji introduced Heartfulness, and conducted the Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation. Approximately 200 to 300 new seekers had gathered in the hall.

He gave a brief talk about meditation, inviting new seekers to try meditation as a mental exercise and see what it can do. He suggested that the presence of Divine Light in the heart should be taken up as an hypothesis to be tested. Then by the practice of meditation one can test the hypothesis, to know if it is true or not. He mentioned that Heartfulness Meditation is special because of transmission. How can one describe transmission, which does not have any qualities to describe? It is best experienced.

While talking about meditation he said, “Through spiritual practice we transcend dogmas and rituals into the realm of experience and beyond.”

The meditation session went on for about 40 minutes. After this Daaji answered a number of questions raised by participants. While answering one question, he said, “Instead of loving, or the giving and taking of love, it is better to become love.”

He thanked all the participants for making this a wonderful evening.

Sunday, 12th June 2016 – Los Angeles

Daaji was up early in the morning. At 7:30 a.m., he conducted group meditation at the temple for 35 minutes, including another introductory session for newcomers. He also completed and permitted a group of 27 candidates to work as preceptors.

In an informal conversation, he spoke about surrender, saying that in the present one has to work. What needs to be surrendered? Surrender the past and the future, especially the anxiety of the future and the burden of the past. The present is always about doing our best.

Meditation conference at USC

Around 12:00 p.m., Daaji left from his hotel to the campus of the University of Southern California. This public gathering promised to be one of a kind for the Heartfulness movement, as the Dean of Religious Life at USC, Dr Varun Soni, was to be hosting Daaji.

The session started at 2:00 p.m., with more than 800 participants attending the event in the Bovard Auditorium on this beautiful campus. Daaji was introduced to the audience by Dr Soni, who then engaged him in a profound conversation about Heartfulness and many aspects of philosophy, for about 30 minutes. This conversation can be viewed at
http://conference.heartfulnessinstitute.org/los-angeles/

Dr Soni asked, “What is Heartfulness?”

During his response, Daaji said, “Heartfulness is about following the voice of the heart.”

While sharing some insights about meditation, he said, “Thinking about love is not meditation; the feeling of love is meditation.”

Daaji also explained about evolution from the Heartfulness perspective, and what happens to the mind, ego, intellect and consciousness through this evolution.

Time flew and soon Daaji was invited to guide the introductory relaxation and meditation. The deep meditation session went for about 30 minutes.

After Daaji’s session, the well-known local keynote speaker and comedian, Kyle Cease, gave a very humorous talk mainly focused on meditation and how it frees us from our own creations. The audience enjoyed the hilarious touch to a serious topic.

Following this, Gopi Kallayil from Google spoke about meditation, based on his personal experience and his book The Internet to the Inner-net. The short and engaging meditation conference ended before 5 p.m.

As Daaji was leaving the hall, two new local seekers met him and expressed their gratitude for the opportunity provided and the experience of meditation. They said they felt Divinity in this session.

After this, speaking about communication, Daaji said, “To be effective, you need confidence and faith in your own words.”

In these last two days, more than 600 people experienced firsthand the Heartfulness Relaxation and Meditation with Yogic Transmission in the LA area. The Sanatan Dharma temple will soon start regular Heartfulness sessions in their House of Peace Hall. It will be open for all.

Monday, 13th June 2016 – Los Angeles

Daaji rose very early in the morning and finished his email work. He then headed to New York for the next Heartfulness meditation conference in New Jersey, reaching New York by late evening.