Hope you have read the Part 1 of this journey before coming here. Let’s go ahead with the Yoga proceedings for the day :
Get ready for some more fun!
10 AM : Karma Yoga time – In this all the participants are provided a particular task. The task could be anything from cleaning the toilet to sweeping an area to watering the plants. The objective of this task is to perform something selflessly. As you do your tasks, there should be a smile. That smile should come from inside and not a superficial one 🙂
“A Karma-Yogi performs action by body, mind, intellect and senses, without attachment(or ego) only for self purification.”
– Bhagwat Geeta
10:30 AM : Meditative walks –
“Walk as much as you can. When you are tired walking, let the Buddha within you walk”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
These meditative walks were in complete silence. You go out there, appreciate, admire and contemplate. Breathe in and feel the beautiful divine energy flowing through the trees, birds, rivers and the skies. Breathe out and express gratitude for for what Nature has gifted to us. Walks can be meditative as well <3
The walks on all days are designed in such a way that you get a chance to connect more with yourself. And the walks are different every single day, ranging from waterfalls to ghats of Ganga river to ritual bathing on the Ganges.
“Om Ganga Mai, Ganga Mai, Ganga Mai Mai”
12:30 PM : Time for the most delicious lunch of your life.
When I had decided to enroll for the Ashram life I was a bit hesitant on food. I had set expectations that the food will be fairly simple for the next 7 days. But I was surprised to see the wide range menu which they had prepared for us. Every day the food used to be different and special. Just to give you a hint of 7 days : We got to taste Stuffed Tomatoes, Paneer, Dum Aloo, Dal fries and the most delicious Raita.
The milk products are prepared in the Ashram itself. They have a a cowshed which meant that the following products tasted extra delicious
Paneer, Curd and Raita 😀
FYI : There’s a garden in Ashram and the salads are freshly prepared from there.
If not for anything, you could just go for the heavenly food. I am glad it was worth every penny spent.
For a change, the tea was served along with the meals. Now let me come to the significance of tea in meditation.
Have you heard that there is a village called Plum Village in Japan where people celebrate the art of drinking tea mindfully. There is a beautiful setup for this joyous event where people invite friends and family members and drink tea. Here’s the catch, every sip they intake is taken mindfully. ie). Being aware of all your senses as you drink. And they do this together. People are welcomed to present an act, maybe a song or two if they have prepared.
“My meditation is simple. It does not require any complex practices. It is simple. It is singing. It is dancing. It is sitting silently.”
Now that’s how its done. Just be more grateful of the tea that you’re drinking when you sip your cup of tea next time 🙂
1:00 AM – 3:00 AM :
Free time. The only free time that we had on our schedule. Don’t waste time in sleeping. Have some tea. It’s time to brush up your knowledge. The Ashram has a good collection of books on spirituality which you could indulge in or you could just finish the books you have.
Lecture and Discussion time. Let me present to you how our topics evolved as our journey made it’s way.
Participant : “What’s the whole point of meditating if I could always go out there and finish a pack of Cigarettes?”
Ashram People : You can always do that. But ask yourself will that really make you happy in the longer run. By finishing a cigarette you are just trying to fill a void which has been created by something else. Meditation helps you to backtrack and reach out to the root cause.
Why smoke up and lose yourself when you can meditate, be more aware of yourself and fly.
(Coming from someone who used to speak, “Why drink and drive when you could smoke up and fly :p” )
Ok guys, tell us your experiences of meditation.
“I was eating this fig one fine day when a thought came into my mind. These sweet lil fruit. It has got so much detailing. No man can ever produce such a thing.”
(A voice from the crowd, dude were you stoned or something :p )
Dear Lalita Ji (Our Guru),
Yesterday we had ritual bathing in the Ganga. And there we offered flowers in the holy river. But the whole point of meditation is the realization that “Divinity exists in everything. Be it in you or me, a flower or a fruit. Basically when I plucked a flower, the flower got killed right in that moment. How is that fair?”
Lalita Ji, our teacherwas shocked to hear this. And especially because the question didn’t come from a foreigner. It was from somebody amongst the 4 Indians. That ‘somebody’ is me 😉
“Yesterday I felt the power of the word Om. I don’t know what was it. There was some vibration which I felt. A special magical sound which I had never experienced before.”
The fact that I am able to wake up every single day is a gift in itself. Forget future or anything else. Isn’t this enough and pretty special thing to cherish?
We discussed the 8 limbs of Yoga
Yamas are five restraints a spiritual aspirant has to be aware of:
Niyamas include the following 5 observances:
• Self Study
• Surrender to a higher principle creating Universe
It refers to the physical postures.
Prana means vital force. Yama means control. Prana-Yama thus means control of vital force.
It refers to the withdrawal of the senses.
It means concentration.
Dhyana means meditation. Meditation is when the mind starts to flow to the point of attention continuously for a long period of time without strain or effort.
Samadhi means integration. Integration is a state wherein the subject, object and the process become one.
“In mindfulness one is not only restful and happy, but alert and awake. Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Miracle of Mindfulness
One of the participants :
“I realize the fact now that I shouldn’t be splurging unnecessarily on food. There’s difference between hunger and craving.”
You see the difference in these talks!
From cigarettes to a whole new level, we kind of evolved to the next levels 😉
Stay tuned for the next part to understand more about the plausible explanations behind all the customs practiced in Ashram.