How to achieve a clear mind and a full heart

Attending free nationwide Sahaja Yoga meditation classes made me realise the importance of kindness in giving, rather than taking.

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After reading Silence Your Mind by Dr Ramesh Manocha, my fiancé, a mindfulness fanatic, suggested we head along to our local Sahaja yoga meditation group, to quiet our minds and find some peace in the centre of London. Manocha recommends Sahaja yoga for the many benefits of meditation on the mind. Plus, it is free.


I was intrigued. Free weekly meditation sessions? We found the website and curiously headed to our local community centre.

A registered UK charity, Sahaja Yoga offers free meditation and stress management courses throughout the UK. By quieting the mind and entering a state of thoughtless awareness in the present, it provides techniques to alleviate stress, which is caused by the thinking brain; thoughts and worries about the past or the future. I’ve tried to meditate before alone, and as many of us have found I’m sure; it’s no easy feat.

So I was looking forward to being guided and learning more about what I am supposed to experience during meditation.

The groups are run by volunteers. On a rainy Thursday night, we were greeted at Greenwich community centre, by a group of beautiful, warm people, immediately making us feel at home in a new environment. Their kind smiles invited the group to share what had brought us there that evening; stress, anxiety, seeking a quieter mind, more energy. The room opened up as we shared, and the volunteers guided us through what Sahaja Yoga is, and then a meditation.

Before I knew it, our hour and a half session was over. A man brought around homemade biscuits, the meditation guide offered juice. We spent ten minutes speaking with other newbies and volunteers, these people who had given up their evening to meditate with us and help guide newcomers through the experience. One volunteer, a wonderful and interesting woman named Shalini invited us to celebrate Diwali at her house that coming Saturday, we switched numbers and promised to come along next week. As we left, another volunteer handed me a beautiful orange rose that she had cut from her garden for the newcomers.

We left, stepping back out into the rain, not only with a quieter mind, but a fuller heart. I had gone there thinking about what I could take – free meditation sessions! A quieter mind for me! Less stress in my life! But I left in awe of these people who were giving – their time that evening, their energy in making biscuits; money in buying juice, their riches in sharing their roses. And their kindness in inviting us in.

To find out more about Sahaja Yoga and find a meeting near you, visit

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Ali Roff

Dossier Editor, Psychologies