Meditation learning experience with Aussie yogi | Inquirer News
‘Be Still, My Heart’

Meditation learning experience with Aussie yogi

04:30 PM April 17, 2023

CHARLES Hogg, Brahma Kumaris chief executive and chairman of the board  of directors in Australia.

CHARLES Hogg, Brahma Kumaris chief executive and chairman of the board of directors in Australia.

A “CRISIS OF TRUST” ranks high on the list of humankind’s current struggles, says Australian yogi and meditation teacher Charles Hogg. This crisis permeates all levels of interaction, he notes, from global to personal.

Whether fueled by anxiety over political and economic environments or rough patches in relationships, “the crisis actually starts with the person underestimating his worth, therefore mistrusting himself.”


He elaborates: “The past couple of years has been incredibly challenging for everyone. A lot of unfinished business has made negative emotions surface for many of us. Sometimes, they bubble up; sometimes, they surge with incredible force, clouding our judgment and overtaking the moment. For all our education and life experiences, we often find that we have no strategy to manage these powerful feelings coming from deep inside us.”


Self-tested approaches

“BK Charlie” or “Brother Charlie,” as he is known to some 800,000 meditation practitioners around the world, further notes, “When unpleasant emotions emerge, most people’s subconscious— or sometimes deliberate—response is to suppress them.”

Although neatly tucked away in some deep recesses of the heart, such emotions do not just disappear; they resurface when summoned by circumstances similar to those that created them in the first place. The depth of the hurt is amplified over time, and the heart becomes more difficult to appease and keep hushed.


Hogg will impart self-tested approaches to this affliction in “Be Still, My Heart,” a special meditation learning experience hosted by Brahma Kumaris Philippines. The free public program is set on Thursday, April 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at OnStage Theater in Greenbelt 1, Makati City.

At 70, Hogg is the BK chief executive and chairman of the board of directors in Australia, where there are 40 centers. As a member of the BK International Coordinating Group based in Mount Abu, Rajasthan, India, he is in charge of major global projects and the administrative direction of centers around the world.

Having visited more than 80 countries as such, and as a senior teacher of Raja Yoga Meditation, he has encountered countless broken hearts and burdened souls.

Over 45 years of public speaking on the rewards of meditation and conducting silent yoga retreats around the world have helped him build an impressive catalog of timeless lectures that continue to benefit thousands.

Religion, psychology, spirituality

Among the array of classes that Hogg has given in many variations are: “Living Without Regrets,” “Future Without Fear,” “Creating Healthy Relationships,” “Finding Balance through Self-Care,” “How to Stop Overthinking,” “Overcoming Subtle Dependencies,” “Step Up Your Life,” and “Overcoming Fatigue.”

His lectures on matters of the heart are well-received by audiences of all ages. These include, in many variations as well: “The Wisdom of Love,” “How to Mend a Broken Heart,” “Overcoming Anxiety,” “Overcoming Negative Emotions,” “Healing the Heart,” and “Being Love.”

Hogg expounds on these subjects through the lenses of religion, applied psychology, and spirituality. As a young man fresh out of school, he took off from Melbourne, his city of birth, to “wander around the world.”

“I lived in religious communities,” he relates. “They were wonderful years, learning about all those religions. That’s how I realized that the need for a clear-cut approach to dealing with a restless heart is universal.” To that end, he can now say with certainty, self-respect is key. “Never let go of your values, or else self-respect will go and, with it, trust in your own value.”

A committed path

Hogg has walked a committed spiritual path for more than four decades. He explains why: “Psychology helps one become more honest with the dark side of the self. We all have that dark side. But as wonderful as it is to discover why I feel the way I do, the process leads me to so much analysis as to why I am the way I am, without generating enough power to change.”

This is where spirituality plays “a wonderful part,” he says. “It also helps me acknowledge my negative emotions— that they are there— but its emphasis is on transforming, more than analyzing them. Spirituality says I am responsible for my emotions because they are mine, I created them.”

The opposite of taking responsibility is blaming others, Hogg says. “Dark, powerful feelings bulldoze and distress the intellect, which is the faculty of reason.” And the opposite of anger, aggression, grief, guilt, frustration, regret, fear, depression, and their ilk is a calm and quiet heart.

When the heart is not still, all these aggravations flare up, resulting in violence, maybe overtly against others but just as devastatingly, if less evidently, on the self.

Anger from fear, grief

“Anger, for one, instantly affects my bodily processes, starting with blood pressure,” Hogg says. “Research even claims sustained anger can destroy brain cells and cause memory loss. On the bright side, research also attests that when one stops nursing a grudge, chronic back pain is relieved.”

Expectedly, he adds, spirituality views anger in a rather unique way. “It has taught me that when I see someone blow his top, he is really saying, ‘Help me, I have lost control.’ Anger is just the top of that emotional tree, whose base is fear, or grief over loss, or pain because one’s needs have not been met.”

To see things at such a level of compassion is another attribute of the heart that is still. “It is easy to condemn the angry person. But with compassion and wisdom, I will see only an instrument with which I can understand myself better.”

Regret is a slightly different story but no less crippling. Hogg remembers watching a cartoon piece that left quite an imprint on him:

“It was of a man with a zipper right around his head. A hand comes down from the sky and unzips his head like a suitcase. Hundreds of little people are running around inside— talking, laughing, fighting … I found that to be a very good metaphor for the mind, with so many stories constantly circulating there, so many regrets, so many unresolved feelings, and reflections on the past, so much unfinished business.”

Need love? First, give love

A regretful mindset believes that the present would be better if things had happened differently in the past. Hogg agrees it could be argued that it is human nature to focus on the negative. To illustrate, he gives the example of a funeral wake. “We hear more stories from mourners about things that they failed to do, than stories of what they did, for the deceased.”

The eternal quest for love consistently figures in outpourings about heartaches. He says, only half in jest: “If it is love you seek, first 1give it. When you do nothing but sit around waiting to be loved, you may wait your whole life.”

To the program on Thursday, Hogg brings more tools with which to open secret doors to a heart that gives more than it takes, a heart that thrives in introspection more than in excitement.

As a learning experience, “Be Still, My Heart” will be conducted in silence, starting with a half-hour meditation at 6:30 p.m. BK Rajni Daulatram, coordinator for the Philippines and Japan, will conduct the ending meditation.

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TAGS: crisis, Lifestyle, meditation, Religion, spirituality, Trust

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