Interview with Chris MacManus from Heartfulness Meditation

How did you first get into meditation?  
One day during my freshman philosophy class in Junior College, our class was reading over the “Allegory of the Cave” by Plato and I came upon a passage that stood out to me in which he illustrated an experience quite eloquently. The passage read,

“He will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is.”

Within weeks of having read the allegory, I experienced direct exposure to the light, it was born out of a walk I took one summer afternoon. I saw the light of the blue skies through the thicket of trees as the sun set and shed tears of wonder over the beauty that might have passed before me unnoticed. All of my life I'd been looking outside for something that'd point me towards this unifying “A’ha!” type of moment, when it came, and I was finally able to contemplate myself as I truly was, I was immensely moved, but knew that there was still a lot of work ahead of me. In a matter of months I began meditating, and I haven't stopped since.

What is Heartfulness meditation?  
Heartfulness Meditation is a simple heart based meditation which can be practiced by anyone. It is free of charge and the only thing you really need is the willingness to give it a shot. Thousands of people around the world have started to see the benefits it brings to their lives and we invite you or anyone interested to experience for yourselves what Heartfulness Meditation is all about.

What is the best lesson you have learned from meditation?  
One of the greatest lessons I've learned through meditation is that what you want to share with the world would make a greater impact in your life if it was expressed in a practical way rather than in a philosophy with no backing. Also, once you share what you've gathered from your inner findings, you should develop enough sensitivity to evaluate their overall impact in your life from an evolutionary standpoint . This helps in deducing whether or not you have integrated what you've learned which helps you move onto bigger and better things through the mastery of past ideologies expressed in your life.

How long have you been practicing meditation for?   
I began meditating about 5 years ago.

What's your involvement with USC?
I am a member of the team which makes up Heartfulness SC. We are a student organization which provides free workshops on campus. We meet from 7-­8 pm every Thursday. I'm also very fond of the other clubs and organizations which have sprung up on campus with a health and wellness background, so I dedicate time to visiting each of them when I'm not volunteering with the workshops we host.

What is your goal with Heartfulness meditation?   
As an individual, I would like to share my experiences with others on how meditation has changed my life and offer the same opportunity for change to others.

How has meditation changed your life?  
Promoted a sense of direction which has kept me focused on finishing my education to pursue my career as well as expanding my knowledge via experiences outside of my educational institution. I now have much more purposeful interactions with the world and people around me because I am able to discern between that which will be supplemental to my inner peace and outdated trends in my personality. The adaptability of my inner nature has been the key in molding my sensibility to the world around me ultimately resulting in a lasting sense of satisfaction.

How long you do generally meditate for and how?  
When I first started in 2011 it was something like 15 minutes. I found it very difficult to sit any longer than that. As the years went on I've been able to build upon that time and now feel comfortable sitting for at least an hour a day. Keep in mind that took me close to 5 years to accomplish but this varies from person to person. I start off by sitting in a comfortable position and relaxing for a few minutes. I then bring my attention to the heart and make the suggestion that there is a source of light emanating and attracting my attention from within.

Do you have any advice for people that want to get into meditation?  
The ability to discern between inner guidance which is constructive, and deconstructive criticism that slows your progress is important. Be easy on yourself, this isn't a race, this is your journey. In the darkness, when all eyes are shut, we are all the same.

'); $(function(){ $(window).scroll(function(){ if (!isScrolledIntoView("#header")) { $("#header-placeholder").addClass("sticky"); $("#subHeader").addClass("sticky"); } else { $("#header-placeholder").removeClass("sticky"); $("#subHeader").removeClass("sticky"); } }); }); function isScrolledIntoView(elem) { var docViewTop = $(window).scrollTop(); var docViewBottom = docViewTop + $(window).height(); var elemTop = $(elem).offset().top; var elemBottom = elemTop + $(elem).height(); return ((( elemTop >= docViewTop) && (elemTop <= docViewBottom)) || ((elemBottom >= docViewTop) && (elemBottom <= docViewBottom))); }