Table of Contents
- Individual Sittings
- Introductory Sittings
- Conducting Heartfulness Workshops
When you begin any sitting, the most important thing is that you think that the Master is sitting in your place, and that he is giving the sitting. Then…
- Make a suggestion at the very beginning of each sitting with the thought that the job is half done.
- Make the suggestion that Master’s work is already complete.
- Be drowned in Master so much that there is complete oneness. Then the sitting becomes a potent sitting, pregnant with so many possibilities.
- Bring about joy in your heart. That will attract Grace…. one fraction of Grace can achieve what hundreds of transmissions cannot achieve. How to allow the Grace to descend…. That is possible only with a cheerful heart.
- It is good to start the sitting by doing a two-minute cleaning on yourself first before you start the work. Say ‘Please start’, and you start cleaning yourself.
- Close your eyes and prepare yourself.
- Think that in your presence the great Master is seated.
- Go to the depth of your heart and connect with the Master.
- Do personal cleaning for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pray for the person’s spiritual growth.
- Once you connect yourself to the Master, connect your heart with that of the abhyasi.
- Very gently, very softly transmit as if the Master himself is transmitting to this abhyasi.
- Think that this transmission is spread across the entire system of the abhyasi.
- Pause this transmission, taper it slowly.
- With this pause, try to read the abhyasi’s condition.
- This is the moment where we read whatever we need to read: position, approach, condition.
- Whether you have read the condition or not, divide the chest area of the abhyasi into left and right halves, vertically.
- Start cleaning the abhyasi’s left side, the abhyasi’s heart side.
- If you think the abhyasi’s condition needs to be improved, make a prayerful suggestion that any unwanted tendencies, including impressions, are being removed from the left side.
- As you clean the left side you will feel that, yes, the left side is now feeling lighter than before. And in comparison, on the right side, you will feel that there is an imbalance between left side and right side. The right side will be slightly heavier than the left side.
- Slowly change the side.
- You will get the hint from inside yourself that, “Okay, now this is the time I need to shift the attention from the right side to the left side,” or the left side to the right side, in a very gentle way, until you find both sides are equally balanced.
- When sufficient cleaning is done, or when you are about to change the area of work, while you are doing the cleaning, a bit of transmission will not hurt. You can always transmit prayerfully in between now and then to study accurately where lightness is felt or where heaviness is felt.
- When the sitting is close to an end, before that I wish you would transmit a lot of love, which descends from Master. From our heart we transmit that to the abhyasis for five minutes or so. And while this is happening ensure that no work is left out.
- When the sitting is about to end, suggest that in the next two to three minutes this work will be completed. Pray to our Master, “My lord please help me finish this work during the remaining two minutes,
- When that is done you say, “That’s all.”
- Finally, and this is very important… before the sitting is over give the suggenstion that any excess transmission is going back to the source. [BGP p 65]
- After the stting you can ask the abhyasi what he or she felt. But do not comment on the condition of the abhyasi. [BGP p 65]
For anger and stress, the Left Nostril Breathing [Nadi breathing] technique is helpful. [p 84 of Simple Heartfulness Practices].
Also, the Ocean of Peace Cleaning [P 76 of SHP].
Group Individual Sittings
It is exactly the same as when you give a sitting to one. Transmit to all at the same time. You can clean all at the same time also. When you want to study a case, do it one by one. It does not take long. The reading must come right away, otherwise you are fabricating the reading process.
Each time you want to give a sitting to twenty or thirty, what should you do? You gather the strength as if you are going to give twenty sittings, one-by-one. That strength you preserve and put it into one sitting. Can you imagine that scenario? How to sharpen your awareness, three-hundred-and-sixty degrees, on twenty people at the same time? It will be wonderful. How to give an individual sitting to thousands at the same time? It is the same process, with the suggestion that all are receiving an individual sitting. You will know some familiar faces, even though you may not know their names. Pick up those half-a-dozen, dozen, twenty or thirty people and focus on them, and then let that process expand to all of them.
It adds, not replaces.
It depends on the work. It does not need to be longer than an individual sitting.
Remote Individual Sittings
There are times, out of necessity, when we may have to conduct sittings remotely. This is because of things like distance, illness, weather conditions, scarcity of preceptors or during Heartfulness workshops when abhyasis conducting the programs ask us to give the sitting remotely etc. Also under unusual and unexpected circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic where for obvious reasons only remote/distance sittings are possible.
Abhyasis physically go out of their own cities and take sittings from another preceptor because they cannot get along with their local preceptor. Do you understand the problem? Let us say, you have two preceptors in your centre and for whatever reason you don't get along with them. You end up travelling to another centre and say, “I need a sitting”, and you badmouth those two preceptors. And the other preceptor starts feeling: “I am a better preceptor. I am better than those two, so that is why he is coming here to take sittings.” That is one problem.
“The person to whom I am giving sittings does not like so-and-so preceptor, so I myself have started giving sittings, so that she does not miss out.” You are fuelling that relationship. You are creating turbulence in another centre.
So when we start using this method, and someone comes from another centre and says, “I would like to have a sitting from you, brother”, or sister, you say, “I can't give you a sitting. You go to your preceptor for a sitting, not to me.” They are very smart, I tell you: “Oh, that person is not well, he is sick.” Ask them to write to Master or write to your zonal facilitators, or regional facilitators. Don't entertain such problems.
Individual remote sittings are after making an appointment. If a prior appointment has been made, before starting the sitting, you call that person and say, “I am going to give you a sitting now.” If this arrangement has to be made, both should be in sync. Confirm that he or she is sitting is sitting for meditation.
If a practising abhyasi drops off, you can give absentia sittings without his knowledge. Will it bring him back? That is in Master’s hands, and in the abhyasi's hands. We do our best to serve Master sincerely. You may also want to contact this abhyasi, to ask how he is doing, visit him or invite him for tea, without any pressure to have a sitting. Often, when abhyasis drop off, it is because of the difficulty they experience with the movements associated with their spiritual yatra. Some reassurance and support from a preceptor, and understanding of the challenges along the path, can help a lot in bringing them back.
First introduction session: the participants are invited to meditate on the Source of Divine light in the heart on their own for 10 minutes. Then the trainer guides them through the Heartfulness relaxation followed by the first introductory sitting, that is, meditation on the Source of Divine light in the heart with transmission… The first sitting is to be dedicated entirely to cleaning.
In the second session, the participants are introduced to the process of the cleaning and experience a guided cleaning followed by the second introductory sitting…In the second sitting, after the cleaning is completed, the spiritual light of the Master is introduced into the heart of the abhyasi with a very subtle, prayerful suggestion.
In the third session, the participants are introduced to the practice of prayer, and are guided to experience the prayer before having the third introductory sitting… After the process of cleaning is completed in the third sitting, it is followed at the end by transmission. With this transmission a subtle prayerful suggestion is made that the abhyasi’s heart is getting more and more illuminated and is connected to the heart of the Master.
Distance or Remote Introductory Sittings
Some of our friends or relatives may be in another town or city. As a part of our persuasion with them, if we have to give them a distance sitting to allow them to experience our system, can we do it? Subsequently, can we introduce them by distance? Because, if we ask them to visit a preceptor in that city or town, they may perhaps procrastinate or even avoid it.
Regarding starting your relatives, if you can start them when you visit them, and take them to meet the local preceptor, that would be ideal. Please make sure that they are interested to start Heartfulness before giving them the sittings. All of us want our relatives to start the practice, but it is their decision, not ours. The suggestions given by Master on the 30th and 31st January 2015 can be beneficial to all humanity, including your relatives.
Similarly, there may be some old abhyasis known to us or some relatives or friends who became abhyasis in the past but left sadhana for whatever reasons. If we open up the topic of Sahaj Marg with such persons and as part of persuasion efforts if we are required to give them a few sittings, can we do so even if the person concerned is in another town or city?
For those who have dropped off from the practice, you can give absentia sittings without their knowledge. If you are visiting their place, you could reintroduce them and take them to meet the local preceptor. The main thing is to work in harmony with the interests and willingness of others, and also to encourage them to go to their local preceptors for sittings, so as not to disturb the harmony in that centre.
When giving introductory sittings, yes you can give two face-to-face and the following sitting(s) remotely. When you do this, please make sure you are in contact with the seekers, so that you can confirm that they will sit at the same time as you for the sittings, and that they receive as many sittings as they require to get started.
You cannot do practice for others. You can encourage them to sit with you when you do your own practice, without force, so that they will develop regularity. You can also give them absentia sittings, and include them in the general suggestions that Master has given us for the benefit of all humanity. This we should do for everyone, not just our own families.
Group Introductory Sittings
This has to be handled subtly. Since the first sitting involves only cleaning, you can make a gentle announcement and ask people on medication for anxiety / depression / mental illness etc. to contact a preceptor in person and decide what is to be done next.
If someone is already an abhyasi, and develops mental depression, you may ask them to meditate with you. Do not exclude them or leave them on their own. Clean them during sittings, and have them do their own prayer and cleaning, until the period of depression has lifted. They can also practise the Heartfulness Guided Relaxation every day and come to the local centre or ashram to help with volunteer work. [from BGP, p 49]
If it is the case of newcomers wanting to attend a satsangh, then please invite them to join, and follow up afterwards with the introductory sittings as required. What is important is the follow up to make sure they are introduced properly. It should not be a flippant thing that relatives or friends join the sitting just because of curiosity, with no intention of starting the practice.
(See also next question)
If it is the case of newcomers wanting to attend a satsangh, then please invite them to join, and follow up afterwards with the introductory sittings as required. Introductory sittings are essentially individual sittings. During introductory sittings do cleaning on day one. Continue the cleaning and introduce the Divine Light on the second day. Continue cleaning and then transmit when the abhyasi is ready, connecting their heart with the Master’s heart on the third, fourth or fifth day, depending on the condition. Whereas, during individual sittings, we clean and transmit in one sitting. If you feel it is absolutely essential to combine the two sittings, then the above aspects have to be considered. But it is recommended to do individual and introductory sittings separately, as much as possible.
Yes, a sub-centre can be included during satsangh at the main centre. Ask the abhyasis to sit for satsangh as per the local scheduled time. Let them start the meditation with a thought that Master is giving the sitting and they are in his physical presence. Gently bring those abhyasis into your vision and make a suggestion that whatever work to be done as per his will is already completed. You can also encourage those abhyasis to regularly sit for the Friday 9 p.m. direct sittings from Master. Encourage them to visit the ashram or the main centre whenever they can. The preceptor is recommended to visit the nearby centre for conducting satsangh.
Conducting Heartfulness Workshops
When you speak in Heartfulness Workshops or one-to-one with interested seekers, expose our strength. Don't go into the philosophy of Sahaj Marg, don't go into the history of Shri Ram Chandra Mission, and don't go into how this system is so unique. It is unnecessary.
Generally nowadays, newcomers are introduced through Heartfulness workshops and programs. These workshops are often done for large groups, and during the three introductory sessions the participants are introduced in a guided way to relaxation, meditation, cleaning and prayer.