Heart Hour at the Labyrinth...
With Dr. Martin Hart;
Martin Hart is the founder and president of the American Society of Alternative Therapists (ASAT™) and has been in the field of counseling and alternative health education for thirty-five years. Martin is co-author of the book, The Best Meditations on the Planet: 100 Techniques to Beat Stress, Improve Health, and Create Happiness - In Just Minutes a Day (with Skye Alexander), and the forthcoming The Healing Heart of Sinjin-Ka: A Guide to Working with the Magic and Harnessing the Healing of the Scented Flowers of Sinjin-Ka.
LL: Welcome to Luminous Labyrinth Dr.Hart! What inspired you to write 'The Best Meditations On The Planet"?
Dr. Hart: That book came to me, co-author, skye asked me if I would work with her, and we had 3 months, and we did it in 2.5 months, the whole idea for the book came from the publisher, publishing houses mostly propose the ideas to the writers these days, not the other way around.
LL: What was it like working with your co-author Skye Alexander, was it challenging working with another author?
Dr. Hart: We were acquaintances, and it was really good experience, she was the professional while this was my first book. Writing is very much a birthing process, it has its ups and downs so there were times when we hated each other and there was a lot of back and forth, fights with the publishers, etc. We had a bit of difficulties with the editor, the editor didn’t quite understand the books, and the photographers, etc. We had to [assert] and work closely with them to make sure the outcome was something that made sense with the content of the book.
LL: So how did meditation begin in your life?
Dr. Hart: I started meditating back in 1975, learned TM, became a TM teacher & I started evolving how I work with meditation. I even started teaching meditation in India- people were saying how can I a westerner go and teach in the heart of where meditation sprang? Yet the people in India were very interested and open to it. At that time, India was emerging as an economic superpower, and while India is extremely rich in spirituality, they didn’t know how to handle that, reconciling both sides; [which is something most of us deliberate]. That struggle living in a material world, and having those aspirations of wealth and possessions yet maintaining a deep spiritual sense which is more than ourselves. They like most people have a difficult time reconciling the two. For a year I taught at nuclear research centers, banks, businesses, industries, they were so intrigued and interested, A most magical time, and revelatory year. That struggle living in a material world, and having those aspirations of wealth and possessions yet maintaining a deep spiritual sense which is more than ourselves. They like most people have a difficult time reconciling the two. You can have both at the same time. What I mean by spiritual, is the search for that which is more than one self. Spirituality can be found in religion but you won’t find religion in spirituality.
Isis-destructive, but it is a relationship to that which is higher than themselves. Spirituality is us to god/goddess. It is our relationship to them, however you experience that. That search that we all have, that is spirituality. Material is an illusion, but it is here where we live, and its okay but it is important to have spirituality as well.
LL: Do you “prescribe” meditation to your clients?
Dr. Hart: Yes, depending on what that person brings into their session with me, there will be a meditation I will do with them, with the use of imagination, by using imagination meditatively. The meditations that we do are like doorways, it is at that level that we can make different choices in their life. Our life is a story that we keep telling ourselves, this isn’t the bigger picture, and meditation allows us to access that truth.
I developed a program of counseling called CORE: Counsious Owing Releasing Engage-
C- counsious (meaning being aware- thinking "its not happening to me, but from me")
O-owning; Needing to accept - Saying to yourself "I need to move on to my life, knowing that my life is richer because of my past experiences)
R-releasing; forgiving yourself
E-engage; engaging your life, knowing that all reality is a product of my inner reality, you might share that reality with others but really its coming from within. What you may be experiencing may be a part of deeper shift in you, maybe you created that to become bigger [as a person].
LL: What about your other book, a story-telling book The Scented Flowers of Shinjin-Ka, I remember you telling me that it didn’t take you long to write the book because the stories were flowing through you effortlessly, can you tell us more about that?
I was struggling to find a textbook on Core Counseling, nothing was coming through, and all of a sudden a story popped through, and eventually a flood, written in the Eastern style of writing, very short and zen-like stories that just kept coming through, stories about love, and healing, each of these stories have very surprising ending to them. Came out to be over 90 stories within a month. I just kept writing them down, it was almost like a channeling experience. I work with these stories with my clients, my clients close their eyes, choose a number, and the number that is associated with the story ends up relating to their issue, beautifully they find that there is a synchronicity between you and that story if you work with it. You can download the book on kindle and with a random number generator, and then I work with that story and my issues.
I love the Sufis of Iran; Rumi, Hafiz was a magnificent writer, it is very much like that, very short stories.
A lot of beliefs get back to that younger part of ourselves, we create beliefs to survive, many of our beliefs come from a younger part of ourselves.
If you go back to the 4 year old, you can use meditation to heal those beliefs.
LL: I've done certain meditations that involve engaging your younger self and they were incredibly powerful and emotional.
Dr. Hart: The reason why they are so powerful is because they are real, that child is real, it isn’t a figment of some psychology technique. Everything exists in the moment, including when you were 4 or 5 years old. Use your imagination its the gateway to the unconscious, and you will be going through the wormhole, back to your childhood self, back in their time.
LL: You’ve also founded a non-profit professional and educational association called ASAT. Who is encouraged to get certified, do you need to be a holistic practitioner? No you don't have to be a practitioner at all, 80% of people who sign up take it for their own growth and well-being. Certification coming in Watertown, Cortiva Institute. 2 Day course, (2x a month for three months) March 22nd & 23rd, all day and continues in April and May. Rockport.