Still, what I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled—
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe that the imperfections are nothing—
that the light is everything—that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and falling. And I do.
The dappled light through the trees is the burnt orange of the setting sun. The taxi driver speaks no English, nor does he seem interested in talking, so we travel in companionable silence.
This road from Dehradun to Rishikesh seems familiar now, even though in reality it is only my third time traveling it.
Sighing, I stare wistfully out the window at the balmy twilight. I have such great hopes for the balm of Rishikesh on my soul. Familar vistas stoke memories of my first experience of this place, which seemed to open my heart and soul to the magical mystery of life.
We drive past the houses set so close to the road that you catch glimpses of people’s intimate moments eating dinner, sleeping, in prayer.
Past the downtown markets and shops, the makeshift shanty town under the bridge, winding up past the green leafy driveways to resorts and ashrams. Until finally my first glimpse…
There she is! Ganga Ma!
As a child I would coo in awe on summer drives as I caught my first glimpse of the ocean, “the sea, the sea, oooh look, it’s the sea!” I’d squeal.
Now, I whisper to my heart “Ganga Ma, Ganga Ma, look, it’s Ganga Ma!”
The river who is a goddess. A divine mother. Bestower of shakti. Transmitter of Shiva’s wisdom. Remover of karma.
This river who called me here two years ago and calls me back now. The one who answers my prayers for a teacher, a path, a way back to life.
Wherever you stand, be the soul of that place. Rumi
What is this power that calls us to a place?
Do we flock to a place because of its innate power or does place take on the power that is attributed to it over millennia of pilgrimage, worship and devotion?
I tend to think both. It’s a symbiotic relationship where we intuitively recognise a power place and then imbue more power onto it through our devotion and the intense focused intention of pilgrimage and prayer.
As much as we wish to be near the gods, they wish to be near us too.
India is a land of pilgrimage places where trails to holy tirthas have been trudged for thousands of years, and are alive and well today. Aarti – the sacred fire ritual – has been offered to the river Ganga every single day for five thousand years. That’s a power of place that is palpable.
Again I come to her, this sacred river, heavy heart in hand, hoping for salvation.
Tonight I feel happy. Not just, something made me crack a bit of a smile happy, but really, deeply happy, right down to my bones
As I lead some new yogi friends through a Chakradance Journey in the rooftop Sattva studio in Rishikesh, a crimson red sun is setting over the Ganges, sinking behind the foothills of the Himalayas, leaving a golden glow in its wake.
There’s a part in the dance, during the third eye chakra, where you visualise your life just as you want it, setting an intention for your life. But all I could do was bask in this glorious moment, happiness burbling from every pore, and just think “This. Just this. To have precious moments of blissful aliveness, just like this.”
The expression of individualised self is cosmic. It has infinite potential. At the base of the wave is ocean. As the wave develops greater access to the depth of the ocean it gains greater and greater power, greater ability, greater presence. Anand Mehrotra
This moment is the culmination of four weeks at Sattva Yoga Academy in Rishikesh, practising Sattva yoga, eating simple, fresh food, drinking copious amounts of water and chai. Walking miles through the Himalayan foothills every day.
Laughing, so much deep, belly laughing. Oh, it’s so good for the soul. Singing, chanting. Journeying deep into untouched aspects of self with Master Anandji’s powerful classes and wisdom teachings. Total immersion in the musicality and deep spirituality of the Indian culture has made my soul sing with joy.
It hasn’t been a happy year for me, truth be told it’s been one of the saddest years of my life. Back in March my beautiful first love died of a drug overdose, three weeks later my beloved dad died and then my precious friend and mentor succumbed to cancer.
It was more sadness than I could bear. I mean I did bear it, obviously. I kept going to work, doing the life stuff, but my heart was struck numb with loss.
If the self is like a tarnished or smudged up mirror, yoga is the set of practices that clean and polish the mirror so that you can see things reflected more clearly. Chad Woodford
Coming to India has been like regaining circulation in a limb that had gone numb. Except this wasn’t my foot going to sleep, it was my heart. And the sensation returning to my being was just as painful and intense as pins and needles.
Landing in this place of sensory overload, the smells, the sounds, the visual kaleidoscope of India, heading to a 200 hour yoga teaching training with 15 hour days and intense practices, jarred my rusty nerves to begin with. But over the weeks, something shifted in me.
India is a place that permeates everything, your eyes, your ears, your nose, your hair, your clothes, and your soul. Those hot and steamy smells, a mix of various types of smoke, incense, spicy cooking, cow dung, rotting garbage, and diesel fumes.
Those strange, exotic and sometimes obnoxious sounds. From pre-dawn the cattle herders moving their herds through the streets, cow-bells toning across the bridge and through my window. Calls to prayers, chanting, music blaring. Music is everywhere, from the singing of women as they work, to the chanting and bells emanating 24/7 from the multitude of temples, to the constant barrage of loud Hindi music.
The place is a vibrational smorgasbord. And that’s apart from the constant car horns, yelling, animal sounds and firecrackers going off. India is perpetual motion.
You can be angry here, blazing, wild, ecstatic and in rapture, but one thing you cannot be is numb, is asleep.
So India has once again demanded full immersion from me. Instead of holding back from life, watching, waiting for some perfect moment or opportunity.
The beauty of India is she triggers you. Anand Mehrotra
The first thing to arise on any spiritual deep-dive into self, in my humble experience, is resistance.
This resistance may seem to be coming from places beyond your control, but be very clear even these seemingly random and external events are usually projections and manifestations of your own shadow fears and feelings of inferiority and lack of self-worth, writ large, Indian style, to trigger you.
How will you react? Will you run? Will you howl like a baby? Will you beg and plead with invisible forces “Oh why, oh why?” (Probably option “D” all of the above.)
For me this arose on my very first night in Rishikesh. Fear and self-doubt had been brewing for a while, but I had hoped that Rishikesh would have the same magically transformative effect it had on me the last time I was there. It didn’t.
I even stayed at the same place overlooking the Ganges river, ma Ganga. Yet there was no magic. I didn’t like my room. The bathroom flooded with water and I spent the night tip-toeing through toilet water to pee. Where was my pink cloud of fluffy Ganga awe?
This first night I put this black cloud down to jet lag and exhaustion.
It became quickly apparent to me the next day that no magic pink cloud was descending. I was seriously doubting myself and my ability to do the 200 hour yoga training. The fact that the therapist who has treated my back for 10 years said to me days before I left “Do you think your body is up to this? I mean how old are you again?”
That night, deep in a state of gloom, I received an ambiguous message from my son “Mum, I just can’t take it anymore!” He wrote.
I’m thinking, what are we talking about here, school, work, life?
A horrible sense of dread descended over me. When you lose people like I have this year, one after the after, it primes you for more loss. Your heart is almost waiting for the next sucker punch.
Fearful thoughts spiraled from the sublime to the ridiculous.
What was I doing alone in this hotel room in India when my son needed me? What kind of deficient human being was I? And what was I doing yoga teacher training for anyway? How old was I? 45? Nearly pushing up daisies really…
When we speak of the infinite potential that rests at the base chakra, we are speaking of the kundalini, that’s what the kundalini represents, infinite potential. As the kundalini lies dormant at the base chakra we are not yet awakened, we are in the grips of our reptilian brain which is dominated by fear. But here is great possibility this seat of existential fear is also the seat of our infinite potential, waiting to awaken. Anand Mehrotra
My teacher, Anand Mehrotra, or Anandji as we call him, says that you can tell the degree to which you are primed by primordial fear by the way you react when life gets challenging. At the root, literally the root chakra, of our being we act from fear or trust.
It was apparent I still have a long way to go to evolve to a state of complete trust. Despite the barrage of fearful thoughts, I did remain calm enough to help my son navigate the issues that were upsetting him. Crisis averted, test passed, all good. I thought.
That night I headed to the evening Aarti by Parnath Niketan. But I was fractious still. I felt keenly the attention of being a lone Western woman. To take a moment I walked down to the beach beside the river. I wanted to bless my dad, and my friends who had passed. Outside a Kali temple two young boys approached me selling Aarti offerings, baskets of flowers, incense and a candle wick.
They accompanied me as I went to the river and performed my own Aarti. I shed some tears, made some offerings and said my goodbyes. It was spontaneous, heartfelt and perfect.
When we have the intention to evolve and grow we often find the pattern of the mind is not supporting this intention which is to evolve. For the mind, when you look at it, is a creature of habit. So every day we wake up, and we remind ourselves to play the predictable roles that we have, it keeps us in a loop. That is why in yogic teachings we are so fundamentally interrupting these patterns. But in this process of interrupting these patterns we find a resistance arises and it is very important that we become aware of this resistance as a natural aspect of growth. Anand Mehrotra
The next morning I headed off to the Sattva Yoga Academy. We were to meet a the Sattva Hotel in Rishikesh town and ride together in jeeps up the mountains to the Academy.
As I landed in the lobby I met the group that would be my little posse. The five of us were such a diverse mix it put lie to my fears of being too old or not enough of a yogi. I took a deep breath and thought “It’s going to be fine.”
We rode over bumpy dirts roads, my head hitting the roof on every bump, until we reached Sattva. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, by the Uley river, a tributary of the Ganges, known affectionately as “Baby Ganga.”
The views were majestic, deep drops away from the road into verdant green valleys and the river, mountains as far as the eye could see.
As we pulled into the prayer-flag lined driveway of Sattva Retreat, the energy was palpable. It felt both uplifting and soothing. It felt like home.
In a state of deep contentment, I queued up with all the others waiting to sign in. I got my passport out of my bag and looked for my credit card to pay the fees. I had planned to transfer the thousands of dollars for my course and accommodation but I hadn’t received the banking information so instead I transferred the money onto my second credit card, which was to be safely kept only for that purpose, so it didn’t get lost or stolen.
There’s a kind of running joke in my family about putting things in such a safe place that they are never to be found again…
Disbelief flooded my body first, then panic. The credit card was nowhere to be found. Did I lose it? Did someone have it? Was the money still in there? Shit, shit, shit…
To spare you the longwinded details, despite being hampered by, as the Sattva staff kept apologising “the internet not working today” (it nevers works!) I eventually after 30 tense minutes on the phone with my bank, and several aborted attempts to download apps and security codes, got the situation sorted and transferred the money.
What was interesting to me was what arose in the pressure of that moment. As I said there was fear and panic, but it was as if my mind split into two and there was another part of me encouraging me to be calm and just do what needed to be done to solve the problem.
I stayed (relatively) calm. I didn’t descend into blame or misdirected anger, my absolute go-tos to deflect fear.
Funnily after this things were pretty smooth for the rest of the trip. Except for a few times when fear and worry seeped back in. I really saw that these two eruptions were manifestations of my resistance to the potential transformation ahead of me.
It was almost as if some subconscious part of myself was testing my resolve with the two fears most likely to trip me up, fear of something terrible happening to my son, and fear of losing my money, my security, and for now I had risen to the challenge, faced my fears, and stayed steadfast to my course.
The body is a multilingual being. It speaks through its colour and its temperature, the flush of recognition, the glow of love, the ash of pain, the heat of arousal, the coldness of nonconviction. . . . It speaks through the leaping of the heart, the falling of the spirits, the pit at the centre, and rising hope.Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Wherever you are at Sattva, you can hear the river. The energy here is phenomenal. I close my eyes and all I see and feel is water flowing through mountain. The elements are powerful when there’s no noise to distract us from them. Even my mind has quieted to point of subtle perception of trees breathing up to a smiling sky, mountains shifting ever so subtly as the river flows humming through…
Anand says our senses are designed to focus outwards, rightly so, so that we don’t walk in front of a bus or get eaten by a bear. The first thing we must do is learn to draw our senses within, draw our attention within. We close our eyes to shut off the visual stimulus, and draw our mind within where it can rest in our own essential nature, the pure field of silence.
This is pratyhara, this withdrawal of the senses, is the fifth of the eight limbs of yoga outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. A text we will come to know very well through Anand’s daily wisdom talks and satsangs.
Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear. Lao Tzu
I met Anandji for the first time only a few months ago. Yet he has been a strong presence in my life for nearly two years. The first time I was in Rishikesh and did a Sattva Yoga class, my teacher Amy talked about Anandji and showed me his photo, which just seemed luminous.
After rekindling the idea of returning to India to study with Anand over a year ago, I tried dipping my toe in the water by studying an online course in Self-Mastery with Anand, watching and practising with him daily via video. Increasingly I saw the power of the Sattva practice and wanted a deeper immersion.
As I expected, actually being physically in his presence daily at Sattva Yoga Academy was a whole other level. Anand is extremly generous with his students. We started each day with a two hour sattva Yoga Journey, and had another two to three hours a day with him for wisdom talks and satsangs (question and answer sessions.)
I have a habit of placing people I admire on a pedestal and being devastated when they show their fallibility, their humaness.
Anand is very human, he loves coffee, he likes some people more than others, he has moods and opinions and tastes. Yet, he is also extraordinary, his wisdom seems bottomless, his ability to tap into the zeitgeist of the group and deliver journeys and wisdom talks that seem to answer the unasked needs of seventy people is mindblowing.
His story of growing up in Rishikesh, surrounded by yogic masters, including his own guru. His insatiable thirst for knowledge, for wisdom, for practice which led him from a forest monk to a yogi meditating in a cave for months. To emerge at the ripe age of 21 with the organic body of teachings, which back then had no name, but drew people to him by the power and authentic expression of his intelligence.
He is a master yogi, and yet he is physically so present. He embodies two worlds, often handling his mala beads, imperceptibly reciting his japa practice while delivering a wisdom talk of great presence and relevance.
He is both in silence and in the worldly clamours of physical life.
He ride motorcycles. He runs up mountains, while most of us huffed and panted our way slowly up to the waterfall near Sattva, Anand and a few superfit yogis, ran up the mountain and scaled over the rather large rocks in the river on the way down.
I have never seen someone both so physically incarnate and completely tapped into the cosmos simultaneously. He is the embodiment of tantra, spiritual intelligence embodied in the physical, shakti flowing into form.
“Whose life are you living? Your life is meant to fulfil you. Life is calling to you in the very intimacy of your heart. You will keep fighting, hoping that somewhere in the future you will find yourself. Wait no more. You are the very being for which the non-being turned into being. Wherever you are is the starting point. You have come so far, go all the way.” Anand Mehrotra
When I initially researched Anand, oh yes I did, I was concerned that he didn’t have a clearly defined lineage. Then during my time at Sattva I realised he has THE lineage, the direct transmission of Himalayan wisdom transmitted to the yogis of that region though Babaji. The same lineage that created Paramhansa Yogananda.
Like Yogananda, Anand understands that our whole physiology must support our spiritual practice, in order for us to evolve. This is the purpose of yoga practice, and in particular, the kriyas.
The first step required is to develop greater awareness of the energy and thoughts that are vibrating you. Most of us are deeply programmed with limiting thoughts, fearful thoughts. These thought create our behaviour which creates our life, which then influences our future behaviour, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy of our most subconscious beliefs.
The key to busting these beliefs are the kriyas. Kriya yoga practices are the technology which creates this shift.
Kriyas as taught by Anand are focused, repetitive movements with breath and/or mantra that have three main functions: to cultivate the energy required to shift deeply held patterns, to clear stuck issues from our tissues (literally clearing the physiology of stored emotions and traumas) and to rewire the brain and create new, healthy patterns and maintain this vibration.
In Autobiography Of A Yogi, Yogananda says that kriya is the most effective practice in yoga for personal evolution, transcending limitations, the expansion of consciousness, and self-realization. But how does it do this? In short, kriya works by increasing access to subtle energy and then channeling that energy in different ways. Chad Woodford
Anand uses kriyas as part of powerful yoga journeys, aptly titled as two hours becomes forever and yet no time, as he guides you into sacred space, into your deepest self, into the pure field of silence, into totality.
Some days the two hour journeys were filled with warrior poses and holding Shiva Kriya for 30 minutes (just 30 seconds more, Anand would insist) other days he guided us in partner work where we gazed into another’s eyes, hand over heart, before amassing in a group hug and leading each other down to the river.
Some days we chanted and pumped our lower belly, degenerating into moans and howls as we cleared our sacral chakra of shame, past memory, and programming of limitations and discontent. Every journey was new and different, every journey powerful and transformative.
A restless mind cannot locate bliss. Anand Mehrotra
Here I became fully present. Every moment demands awakeness and awareness from me and I can’t operate on automatic pilot. Anand demands our presence, “Stop half-assing it!” He cries when he sees we have checked out of our practice.
Anandji has that levity of many spiritual masters, he laughs a lot, but don’t be fooled, he has razor-sharp intelligence and despite the lightness of being, a great reverence for life. He trusts completely in nature’s creative intelligence, in the flow of life.
Often when we hear “go with the flow” it sounds wishy-washy, like saying “whatever” to life. But really the flow is nature’s intelligence, her flow of information and energy, her cycles, her seasons. So tapping into this flow is the most intelligent and resourceful way to live, because we are no longer wasting energy fighting against natural forces, instead we align effortlessly with them. How do we achieve this flow state? Meditation, yoga (they are really the same thing by the way.) Tapping into that field of silence, of infinite intelligence, Hiraṇyagarbha “the great cosmic womb,” every day gradually aligns our nervous system with a more expansive consciousness.
At this moment infinity is available and why you are not accessing infinity is because of the idea of who you think you are. And where did this idea come from? From a history that has been woven into your psyche, a narrative as to who you are. Anand Mehrotra
The colloquial term “whatever” displeases Anand, with it’s combined suggestion of apathy and anything goes. There is a sharp distinction between being in a flow state, in harnessing the immense intelligence of nature, and just doing “whatever.” A flow state arises from great discipline and dedication, whether to meditation, science, art, mountain-climbing or surfing.
At the end of my training, I receive my guru mantra from Anandji. This mantra is personal to me, and is divined by Anandji after looking at my birth day and time in accordance with Jyotish astrology. A guru mantra is whispered from guru to disciple, never written done or shared aloud with anyone. This is to preserve the sanctity of the sounds from any cognitive associations.
After he has transmitted my mantra, I go down to the river and meditate with it. The mantra takes me deep into a place that is neither within me or outside of me. Everything is in this space, the river, the trees, the mountains and beyond. I sit silently vibrating with the totality of existence.
At our graduation ceremony, we receive hugs from our teachers along with a bindi (sacred spot over the third eye) and our official certificate. Anand gives us a mala – sacred beads used to aid japa practice, the repetitive reciting of mantra for devotional and meditative purposes.
When I approach Anandji to receive my mala and a hug, I see those compassionate brown eyes, I see that despite the personal sacrifices to his own desires, all he wants is to guide people towards their own evolution. And as I embrace him the tears come. Tears of joy, gratitude and relief. Tears of release of pain, grief and karma. Tears of homecoming. Tears of all of totality and total silence. I mean I am bawling like a baby, and he just holds me, meets me there in my moment of surrender. He says “This is just the beginning for you.”
And I understand this to mean something that I have come to witness over my time at Sattva. That this yoga is not a self-improvement course. The purpose of this evolution is to be a game-changer, to take it out into the world and really make a difference, in whatever small or large way we can.
With great bliss, comes great responsibility.
Far from looking to you like an opportunity for escape, a call feels more like a compelling need to walk into the mouth of a whale, or out into the night and into a storm. Bill Plotkin
When I returned to Rishikesh after the training it was once again my magical place. I realised the change was in me, any place can be a fear-filled hellhole or a font of magical synchronicity. It’s about the person experiencing it. The experiencer is the experience. The observer is the observed.
It may seem that having a spiritual awakening is some kind of blissful, cosmically-orgasmic experience, and I think in fairness, there’s a lot of images and stories in our society, especially around new age circles, that that’s the case.
For many “running off to India” sounds like an escape, rather than what it has always been for me, which is a full-blown letting go of everything familiar and coming face to face with the deepest parts of myself, parts that often never see the light of day in my “real life.” Or if they do arise, they are often suppressed by busyness, by the habitual familiarity of life, and by the identities I maintain in my daily life, mother, employee, teacher….
Sometimes beautiful, blissed-filled experiences certainly have been part of my journey, I mean just look at my photos. Sattva looks like heaven, a tropical paradise nestled between green hills, by the river. After class we would swim in the pool or river, scantily-clad and beautiful bodies would run through a practice yoga session on the grass, with the sun setting behind them. Oh yes, it could be glorious at times.
Learn to take your own narrative less personally, your opinions less personally, the thoughts less personally, learn to get more and more impersonal with the false self. The more impersonal you get with the false self, the more intimate you get with the true self. And in there you will find great connection. Anand Mehrotra
But I think it’s really important to recognize that essentially a spiritual awakening is a breakdown of the ego to create an opening, to create space, to create a surrender, which allows the grace and awakening to come in. And breakdowns by definition, are generally not all sunset vistas and good feels.
I ponder if there’s any way around this suffering for our awakening. Perhaps the more we surrender, the softer it feels. The unavoidable fact is while the ego is in total control, we can’t awaken beyond the ego. So the ego has to be broken, or else we can’t see past it, we are still in that limitation of ego-consciousness. And like any breakdown, it is often associated with a degree of fear and sometimes pain.
I think that the degree of fear and pain is relative to the degree to which we struggle against this breaking-down sensation, and the more willing we are to just let go and trust it, probably the less painful and fearful it is. Definitely easier said than done in my experience. Rather like the dentist with a giant drill in her hand telling you to “relax, it won’t hurt as much then…”
I think it’s important to recognize that pain can be a sign of positive growth. Sometimes when we look at other people’s journeys, it looks exotic or romantic, but that’s just the wrappings.
The reality is that for a lot of us, definitely for me, by the time we find ourselves on that doorstep of awakening, we have found ourselves in a position where we’ve seen enough that we can’t go back to living the way we were living.
We can no longer believe that our ego-mind has all the answers, or is the be all and end all of our existence. Yet there’s an understanding that by moving forwards towards the awakening, into the awakening, that we’re moving away from a lot of things that are familiar and known. We are often moving into a place where the majority of people in our lives will not understand what we are talking about, or why we are doing the things that we are doing. (Or not doing the things we used to do.)
It can be quite lonely. All this breaking down, breaking away, breaking through. Which is the beauty of the Sangha, the spiritual community.
I see the importance now of having teachers, of having mentors, of having people who are ahead of you on the path, and of having people who are with you, buddies, compatriots who are with you as you learn and grow. Because there’s a lot of experiences that come as this ego breaks down that are quite challenging, but the call is strong and I really feel that once we start on this journey there’s no going back, not in any kind of meaningful way.
Be strong then, and enter into your own body; there you have a solid place for your feet. Think about it carefully! Don’t go off somewhere else! Just throw away all thoughts of imaginary things, and stand firm in that which you are. Kabir
When it comes to having a full life, once that doorway to the infinite has been opened, there is no other choice but to go through it. And really that door has been open all our life. So really our lives have been moving towards awakening into a more expanded experience of life.
I think that a fundamental part of this journey is that we are not expanding purely for our own benefit.
This quintessential energy of nature that is opening through us wants to express itself, wants to be expressed in many forms, is seeking creativity through us.
Creativity, not just as painting a picture, or writing a song, but creative living. Living in a way that has busted out of old patterns of conditioning, of habitual ways of doing life and responding to the world. Creative living is spontaneous, it is being open to each moment, responding not reacting to life.
How do we live like this? Through selfless service, in love. Once we have opened ourselves up to this, we’ve become a channel for nature’s intelligence to flow through. When we are no longer in the delusion of being an isolated individual in a life with a bunch of other isolated beings, when we realise we are part of the whole, part of the unifed field, we become a channel, an open channel for this evolutionary energy of nature.
Anand talks a lot about love, but it’s not a wishy-washy love, it’s fierce, it’s like Mother Nature herself. It’s totally pro-life, pro-evolution, it’s a creative force. Anand says yogis should be industrial strength, with a strong spine, a soft heart. If they are weak they are not doing their practice right. Love isn’t weakness, it is strength. Have you ever seen a mother bear when her cub is threatened, that kind of love? Fierce love. The love that is generous and giving, but can also stand its ground when needed.
It can be exquisitely beautiful, it can also be absolutely terrifying because you know the ego is so attached to “I. me. mine” My life, my space, my stuff, my time, my energy…
As you let go of the idea of who you thought you were, you might feel a sense of pain, of loss. This is an essential part of the journey. There is attachment to that identity because it has been so deeply ingrained in our psyche. And this identity, this conditioned self, using its self-destructive desires, keeps you in a loop and keeps using the desire in a destructive manner. All our shame and guilt and issues around intimacy, issues around addiction, is all unresolved energy. So it becomes important to be become aware of these self-imposed limitations which arise from our conditioning that we have received in our linear history. Anand Mehrotra
The ego resists the thought that there is no I. Me. Mine. That I am a beautiful, but ultimately temporary expression, an individualised expression, of this great, cosmic energy.
This call isn’t gentle for most of us, it isn’t smooth and it involves a lot of letting go, a lot of surrendering. For me, because I’m so stubborn and I fight it at every turn, a lot of that surrendering has been, you know, curled up in fetal position crying snot-tears because I’m hanging on to something that is not serving me, but I’m too scared to let it go.
I have been scared to walk into the eye of the storm. But at the end of the day the call is strong enough that my fears do not crumble, so much, as they are just not enough to stop me.
As you look back, you see it was just FEAR, false evidence appearing real, and you will walk through the fear and realise that it was a Wizard of Oz type illusion. Not a great power at all, just a scared little ego with a big, booming sound machine.
As I iron my freshly washed India pants, I ponder all the differences being ‘home.’ In India, I wore these pants straight off the street, caked in a layer of street dust. They still smell a little of that, under that fresh clean smell.
The lighting is different here, the florescent lighting and airless buildings make me dizzy, there’s less dirt and sun in everything. Things are quieter, cleaner, more contained. It’s not bad, just different.
I’m practicing what Anandji would teach, to just observe without judging or assessing the situation as good or bad. It’s a beautiful practice that gently disciplines the mind away from discontent and towards curiosity.
“Just stay with the practice,” Anandji would say.
Wherever I go there I am. I am the path, and the path is me.
He stood breathing, and the more he breathed the land in, the more he was filled up with all the details of the land. He was not empty. There was more than enough here to fill him. There would always be more than enough. Ray Bradbury
Hari Om Tat Sat. Namaste. Blessings.
For more on Kriya Yoga
For more about Sattva Yoga