Heartfulness Cleaning and Meditation: Short-Term Effects on Attention and Affect

Shirley Telles, PhD; Sachin Kumar Sharma, PhD; Kamlesh D. Patel, MPharm; Ekta Bouderlique, MA; Veronique Nicolai, MD; Ankur Kumar, MA; Acharya Balkrishna, DLitt



Heartfulness meditation (HM) trains the practitioner’s attention as they progress towards reaching a super-conscious state. The process is supported by guided “Heartfulness cleaning,” which helps clear the mind. This study aimed to examine the short-term effects of HM on affect and cognition and determine whether performing Heartfulness cleaning beforehand influenced the meditation outcome. Forty-eight experienced meditators (age range: 19-71 years and a male-to-female ratio: 27:21) were randomly assigned to 3 sessions: (i) HM, (ii) Heartfulness meditation preceded by cleaning, and (iii) quiet rest as a control. Mood state and emotional well-being were assessed before and after each intervention using established scales such as the Brief Mood Introspection Scale, Global Vigor and Affect Scale, Spielberger’s State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and the Digit Letter Substitution Test.

After engaging in both HM and Heartfulness cleaning meditation (HCM) practices, there was a noticeable increase in feelings of pleasantness (7.3%, 7.0%, respectively) and positivity (7.5%, 7.8%, respectively), accompanied by a decrease in negative affect (14.4%, 16.5%, respectively). Additionally, HM and HCM increased in the net and total scores on a substitution test designed to measure associative learning. In contrast, there were no changes observed after 30 minutes of non-meditation. In summary, the findings of this study provide support for the positive impact of Heartfulness meditation and Heartfulness cleaning meditation on emotions, as well as their ability to enhance performance in tasks involving complex attention and associative learning. It should be noted that preceding Heartfulness meditation with 5 minutes of Heartfulness cleaning did not significantly alter the overall outcome of the meditation practice. (Adv Mind Body Med. 2023;37(4):20-25.)


Shirley Telles, PhD; Acharya Balkrishna, DLitt; Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India; University of Patanjali, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India. Sachin Kumar Sharma, PhD; Ankur Kumar, MA; Patanjali Research Foundation, Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India. Kamlesh D. Patel, MPharm; Ekta Bouderlique, MA; Veronique Nicolai, MD; Kanha Shanti Vanam, Ranga Reddy, Telangana, India.

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