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Holy City, Here I Come

Mind over Matter, but Spirit Rules.

· meditation,Travel,yoga,spirituality,recovery

Eight days and I will be embarking on a physical and spiritual journey to the Holy City of Rishikesh, the Yoga capital of the world in majestic India. This is a venture I have been looking forward to for some time. Not only will I be pursuing a business goal, but a personal goal as well. I have spent the past couple years recovering my body, mind, and spirit from the wreckage of years of spiritual bankruptcy which if anyone has ever been through that knows, it is quite the task. Even the moments that shined in my life were temporary because I lived without spiritual roots and had little to ground me when things got tough. I ignored my past traumas that had caused me to forget who I was and self medicated with drugs and alcohol because it is all I knew how to do and it slowly chipped away at me until those very medicines turned on me and became a perceived enemy. My senses ran ramped and drove my mind mad. My constant attempt to fill the spiritual emptiness I experienced with things outside of myself was a battle that could not be won. It wasn’t until I truly surrendered and remembered what I had so long ago forgotten; I am not my body, I am not my mind. I am a spiritual being having a human experience. I remembered that I am not alone. I am part of a Universal Consciousness that exists in all things. I began to pray again, and to meditate, and I connected with a Higher Power that I now feel within every cell of my being. I began to communicate with my Higher Power and with angels and guides and receive messages daily. It was a miracle to be given the foresight of what was to come and life has changed dramatically for me since then and I have felt inspired to share what I have learned with others. This new venture is yet another step in that direction. I can’t wait to teach the science of Kundalini Yoga to others.

That said, I have been a student of yoga and meditation for the past several years receiving my lessons from various online and live workshops, classes and books. I have dabbled in many types of meditation ranging from breath awareness meditation to guided chakra clearing and nearly every day I do some type of meditation during my Kundalini Yoga practice. A couple months ago though, I began reading “Vasistha’s Yoga” by Swami Venkatesananda and simultaneously listening to “The Bhagavad Gita” by Eknath Easwaran on Audiobook. These have deeply influenced me to strengthen my spiritual practice in all areas of my life. I have decided that I really need to develop a strong meditation practice and what better time to do it than during my month-long stay at an ashram? I am sure I will be engaging in meditation daily in India so I am excited for that structure. I have decided I will start now before I go to get into the groove of my practice and because I believe this is something that needs to be a permanent fixture in my daily life for my next stage of awareness. If I put my meditation first and everything else second, I will keep my center, control of my senses and connection to my Higher Power. Dukkha (the Sanskrit word for “out of joint”) the concept of sorrow and suffering, and self-knowledge as a means to overcome the goal and when we know how to set right, all the power is in our hands. So what am I really trying to accomplish? Well, I have experienced awesome effects of my practice thus far but there is much to be attained. According to Eknath Easwaran in “Passage Meditation-A Complete Spiritual Practice”, there are three stages of meditation. These are the stages and I listed just some of the effects (although there are MANY!)

The First Discovery-we realize we are not the body. (body is our car)

-no longer see peoples color, or any other differences

-ability to see body’s needs rather than wants

-wise choices in food will appear

-sickness will no longer affect you

Second Stage Discovery-we are not our minds either (mind is our engine)

-you can tell your mind what to do, and it will obey

-you can decide how to respond or use it to restore equanimity

-realize that “YOU” are never your problem

The Great Discovery-Who am I? (The driver)

-Find out who we really are…

-get to our true identity/real nature

-we fit and belong in the whole of the Universe

-never again the same/transcendental knowing

-optical delusion goes away

I love this description because I find that it “IS” what tends to happen the more I meditate. I have changed my eating habits completely from what they used to be. I no longer worry about gaining weight or obsessing over food. I eat much less and more healthy than I used to because my body asks for it. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from perfect and still engage in sweets from time to time (those that know me know I indulge in carrot cake ;) but when I do I bless it. I learned to thank all my food before I eat it for giving me nourishment and somehow I believe that gives it superpowers to do more good than bad and tells your mind to be conscious of its next meal. What I hope to accomplish here soon is to rid myself of caffeine and other stimulants. Easier said than done for me, I have tried it a few times but I LOVE coffee! Also, the more in-tune I become the more I feel protected from sickness, negative energy, and others people's bad vibes. What I need to master is the mind, I have had ahold of it from time to time, “AWARE” that I am not what is being experienced, but I struggle with getting my mind to obey when I tell it to let go of an issue that I struggle with or to be quiet when it is giving opinions on most everything including the weather. The greatest experience I have ever encountered is that of experiencing the Oneness, expansion and awesomeness I experience in deep Meditation. A couple months ago, at a Yoga festival I had a sense of that Oneness when we all meditated together and throughout the weekend it carried with me a sense of Unity. I want that all the time and I know it is possible because I have tasted it and I believe it only requires conditioning until it becomes natural. In reality isn’t it just reconditioning back to our natural state?

So, starting tomorrow morning, I’ve decided to start Passage Meditation, my passage is “United In Heart” from the Rig Veda. I am listening to more instruction from Eknath Easwaran’s meditation training to help along the way. I have also begun the use of a Mantram and that is new for me as well. I have used several Mantras but they are different. I plan to share more details and my experience with you all and keep documenting my progress. I am still a student but I can see this developing into a meditation program I can offer online. In case anyone is curious, this is the passage…

United in HeartThe Rig Veda

May we be united in heart. May we be united in speech. May we be united in mind. May we perform our duties as did the wise of old.

May we be united in our prayer. May we be united in our goal. May we be united in our resolve. May we be united in our understanding. May we be united in our offering. May we be united in our feelings. May we be united in our hearts. May we be united in our thoughts. May there be perfect unity amongst us.

Isn't it beautiful? I think its a great passage to meditate on and my first challenge is to memorize it. Here we go. ;)

Namaste

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