From Varanasi to New Delhi to Dehra Dun
I flew from New Delhi to Dehra Dun in an airplane that frankly I did not know was still in existence. I always thought that when you have big mountains to cross you better have a plane that can withstand being thrown around by the air pockets and wind currents. You get the drift of my flight into the foothills of the Himalayas. As if we weren’t getting tossed around enough I was totally unprepared for this small plane to pick up speed on its nose dive to touchdown AND gun it for the runway all the while sliding left to right. I held on for dear life most of this trip. It wasn’t until we were a feet above the ground that all the turbulence just stopped. No wonder people suffer buses. I was so happy to be safely on the ground; that was……….
….until I got in the car the hotel sent to pick me up. At least in the air we were not dodging planes but on the ground there didn’t seem to be ANY lanes or any road space. It was more like wherever there is an opening, move in, never stop honking and keep going in the direction you want. Some of the things we westerners experience for the first time in India would have us thrown in jail, cost thousands of dollars to defend in our own countries and yet are considered normal standard practices here in India. Imagine if people in India were fined for littering? I’m not sure what the cows would eat! So everything has it’s place. Motorcycles don’t follow the same road protocol. They remind me of the Dr. Seuss characters in the book, ‘The Cat in the Hat’ going here, there and everywhere with whomever and whatever they can pile on and balance. The road from the airport to the hotel was either under construction or typical of this area with concrete barriers springing up at the last minute that had to be dodged as well including the Holy Cows! Cows have the right away for anything and have one speed-BARELY!
When we pulled up to the hotel, I wanted to tell the driver he should have been more mindful of the passenger but he got out of the car looking quite satisfied and not at all harried. I think the fact that we arrived safely at breakneck speed with little to no road available it was I who was suppose to be lavishing my praises on this driver for his superior skill. I was so happy to be ‘stopped’ and safely out of the car. The only problem looming was I would have to go back the same way I came!
Rishikesh! One word, HOT! Second word, CROWDED! Thankfully the hotel has air-conditioning. What a welcome I received. 5 staff to 1 of me including a welcome drink of some red flower juice, I think it was Rhododendron. They probably know all about the guests taxi ride and await in anticipation! The hotel owner is a delightful man, very informative and knew the area well. He spoke to me about the Ayurvedic Spa and consultations they had for whatever ailed me. Was there something I might be interested in? I couldn’t really think of anything ailing me but I thought they might have perhaps some ayurvedic valium or an equivalent that I could take with me for the return trip?
I listened keenly to the owner telling me about an elderly woman who came to the hotel for a vacation including use of the spa facilities when she actually ended up spending a good amount of time practicing meditation. In fact she did 2 full sessions every day under the guidance of this master practitioner. I read over the brochure fully and it spoke about the teachers’ 40 years of experience. He is addressed as ‘Swami’ and is part of the Osho Order. I thought to myself, “ok, why not, I’ll give it a try”. I decided to start the very next morning at 10 AM. I had just completed a 21 day Inner Awakening course, long days and late nights filled with intense energy processes with little sleep. I survived a stomach infection and a trip to the hospital in Varanasi travelling in a ‘tuk tuk’. Adventures come in all shapes and sizes.
I knew I would need some quiet time in Rishikesh and I wasn’t sure I wanted another daily schedule. With so many coincidences happening on this trip I began to suspect I wasn’t the one making all these plans but was being nudged into agreeing with the ideas as they came to me and going along for the experiences I knew were bound to be pretty cool! Keep celebrating!
Meditation follows Shivoham
At 10 Am the next morning, I met my meditation teacher. He is Swami Prem Viren a Sanyas in the Osho order and an enlightened teacher. I thought I knew what meditation was but the experience was not what I was expecting. Osho has meditations that engage you in the process. It isn’t about sitting like a stone trying not to move or think, although that would help; not thinking. Meditation happens to you but the mind always feels like it has to “do” something. With music and movement it helps one to focus on something and let go into that and relaxation follows. It actually takes 45 minutes for the mind to NOT have any thoughts and If you are successful and have no thoughts after 45 minutes you will be enlightened. “No Mind”! Needless to say the hour really goes fast. And my mind ran with me the entire time so obviously I still have it or it has me?
What I was not expecting at all was the kundalini energy to activate during the meditation. It always leaves me feeling lifted up and out of myself-weightless! An enlightened being, one whose kundalini Shakti is fully alive can transfer the experience. Only from a lamp which is already lit can you catch the flame and only from someone whose Kundlini Shakti is fully alive, only from ‘That One’ the experience transmission can happen. I had my first experience of this in April 2012 attending my first Inner Awakening course with Sri Nithyananda Swamiji. The kundalini is the cosmic energy inside all of us coiled at the base of the spine represented symbolically as a serpent. The reproductive mechanism in both men and women can actually be reversed so instead of this energy flowing “downward and outward” it can stream “inward and upward” causing amazing transformation in the cerebrospinal system leading to an explosion in consciousness leaving one with a sense of the infinite and immortal. It is an amazing experience. I had no idea this was what I would find and experience in Rishikesh but I knew this was exactly what I was suppose to be practicing and sitting with every single day- “Yoga, meditation and satvik food, detoxing the body and mind in this space in the foothills of the Himalayas.” When it hits you between the eyeballs that you really are not the doer in your life, well, you don’t know what to do about that and you quit worrying ‘what to do’ and get on board with the flow of life.
Everyday gets better and better. I look forward to morning meditation. Even though I have always had problems sitting in a crossed legged position on the floor as mine tend to bend the other way, knees touching facing inward. This is how I sat as a child. It is absolutely excruciating to have to retrain the muscles as yoga postures express “outward”, open hips for the hip-hip hooray of life!
In the last seven years I have had to undo a lot of things I learned from childhood. The moment my life turned to the East, I have been learning to let go of perfection and competition to be perfect. What fills that space now is RELIEF. Losing the awkwardness of feeling so awkward and uncomfortable in life because I can’t seem to reach “good enough” is what I have gained from going east. Whatever I have sacrificed along the way including giving up the security that routine and a life ‘on the grid’ offers, living a lifestyle my parents raised me to live has been worth the losses and the pain and the effort it has taken to not give up on my-self. These past many years have been an inward journey for me. It is not a place I can take someone with me. It is a space filled with spiritual gold that I wanted to understand. I find myself alone much of the time. It is a great adventure to learn the deeper truths of who I am and how “i” was formed. It has been the catalyst for me to gain a new perspective of the entire human family that we are each unique and express that in many ways. Life is an infinite creative process and when I remember this truth there can be no imperfection, no should have’s or if only. There is life happening, that’s all. The more layers that are removed from my conditioning the lighter I feel.
Everything in the universe is sound and light. Everything. Think of yourself as having access to the dimmer switch that controls your light. Actually, that’s really true. We are responsible for the shine of our light. We control the dimmer switch through experiences that begin with a thought that triggers a feeling and creates an emotional reaction that signals the chakras in such a way that either expands them or shrinks them. When we experience an imbalance in our energy system our light dims. Mind and body being one, disease is of the mind. The mind can heal us or kill us.
Meditation allows one the chance to drop it all. Drop the mind. “If you can do something with the breath you will suddenly turn to the present.” The music begins, the energy slowly moves in and begins to spread and starts filling up the space inside me. “If you can do something with breath you will attain to the source of life”. I begin to lose the heaviness, the thickness of body until it feels like I am sitting on a cloud and oh so peaceful. “If you can do something with breath, you can transcend time and space.” Who wouldn’t want to have this experience everyday? If you can do something with breath, you will be in the world and also beyond it.”
I use to think coffee was the best kick-start to my day! I loved the ritual of grinding the beans, inhaling the fresh smell and measuring out the perfect amount before pouring hot water over the coffee. I woke up for coffee. It has been more than 2 months since I have had coffee. I think about it sometimes but now I wake up for meditation and I wouldn’t trade my morning meditation for any artificial help.
“Meditation is an adventure into the unknown, the greatest adventure the human mind can take.
Meditation is just to be, not doing anything- no action, no thought, no emotion. You just are and it’s a sheer delight.
From where does this delight come when you are not doing anything?
It comes from nowhere, or it comes from everywhere. It is uncaused because existence is made of the stuff called joy.”
~from Osho, “Meditation”, The first and Last Freedom.