I’d like to invite you on a journey, a journey into the life here at Mahidevi Ashram, where I’m currently writing this letter. Here is an Ashram approved song to complement theses words and bring you a deeper resonance and vibration of my world here, we actually bless all the food served here with this mantra. It’s a chant that supports our awakening to our true nature.
Lead us from the unreal to the real,
Lead us from the darkness to the light,
Lead us from the illusion of death to the understanding of immortality.
In Sunlight by Tina Malia
It’s been exactly 4 months today. That I unknowingly moved to Guatemala. Arriving here mid-September for a 33 day Tantrik Hatha Yoga Teacher Training and instead of going back home, I found myself being walked hOMe. So here I am, on an Ashram that is off the grid, completely run off of solar power and working toward a garden to sustain the community. Since living here I’ve been practicing Karma Yoga. The practice of action through selfless service. This is primarily my practice along with Bhakti Yoga, the practice of devotion through prayer and chanting. I have to admit that my practice before arriving here was maybe a couple classes a week, a few meditation sittings a week, and around the house was a dynamic dancing Asana practice that I could break into at any moments notice. Especially if one of my favorite songs came on. Anyway, it was always changing and didn’t have any roots. After a series of events, I dropped almost everything, my jobs, my life, my plans and left behind friends and family that were just hit with a powerful storm. There has been a tangible shift in all aspects of my life, I mean for goddess sakes, I currently have committed to living in Guatemala for more than half a year, without any plans on returning… I had to pause here for several minutes, allowing that reality to settle in before writing any further words.
My mind hasn’t quite processed all the changes, but my heart is leading and the mind seems to be lost for words. This has been a typical occurrence, the practice is heart based and slow paced, an embodiment, that really shifts the inner world. Maybe it would be better to replace the word “shift” for “shatter”, shattering the glass wall that barricades us to a fixed reality.
As a karma yogi, typically mornings begin in noble silence, remaining in your own space, on every level until 8am. Morning meditation is Hridaya based, which is the practice of revelation of the Spiritual Heart. Living on and off the mat seem to be very much interwoven, as everything always is, but living in a Sangha (community) supports the process of spiritual practice continually. Oh and so does tea. I don’t think I have ever drank this much tea! We are leading a sattvic lifestyle, so the tea isn’t caffeinated, most of the herbs come from the garden. Drinking tea is a beautiful practice of slowing down and becoming present.
If I’ve learned anything this past year, it’s that I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to face the truth. Although I would say I am actively seeking it. Of course, I seek and desire the truth, doesn’t everyone want and long for the connection? The union and oneness of all existence. It sounds incredible, like a glimpse of familiar dream. Ha! I wasn’t ready for that, the challenges of self love, reflected back a lot of hurt, and I didn’t know how to hold myself with love and compassion in that pain. As you may have experienced, yoga is far more than a physical practice, there are deeper components that are happening all the time. The practice continually sharpens our awareness around these subtleties, and allows us to tap into deeper states of consciousness that are universal. These higher states of consciousness are found all around us, they are the fundamental building block of the world as we know it. The challenge is turning inward to heal, rather than seeking outward, as we always have because that is what we have always known in this human experience. Most importantly, this past year brought me to the conclusion that if I wasn’t ready now, I’ll never be. I always seemed to be at a lost for words, the words that were left unspoken, the words that made me uncomfortable and words that were meaningless. Now, lost for words is the language of the heart, losing myself deeper into the sweetness of the internal realm. Since being here, there has been a huge amount of healing, we have practiced many beneficial techniques for growth and healing on many levels. Practices like Osho Dynamic and Kundalini, Kriyas (purifications), weekly Kirtans, Pujas (worship) , and that’s just naming a few that we are privileged to practice often.
There is no longer a need to be chanting the mantra “not yet.” It’s our human conditioning to seek pleasure and avoid pain, it’s a fascinating way to look into how we move through this world. How our actions imprint upon us so dynamically. Like how you are even reading this letter, your whole life has now brought you to read these words, which may or may not be significant to you. I’m sure you can think of a significant time where you have thought, this moment is because of these actions that lead to now. All we have is now, and that probably seems too simple. Your mind may just glimpse over the words, not thinking too much of it. Deep inside, we all are seeking and avoiding this simple and universal truth of now. Selfless service is aligning with a calling of the heart that I can no longer tell… not yet.
With loving blessings,