10 days in silence and something really clicked. I have been “sitting” and studying yoga, buddhism, hinduism, etc. for 7 years and it amazes me how repetition makes realizations blossom and understandings go deeper, and how each teaching methodology creates intensely different results.
My first two years of yoga provided a method for working the physical body, which eventually leads to deeper work on the pranic (life force), energetic, mental, wisdom and bliss bodies.
A 6-month stint at a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monastery provided a glimpse of working with the mind. But because of where I was in the practice, the utterly methodless ways of Zen left me feeling depressed.
Retreats with Gangaji are pure bliss. However, it wasn’t through my own conscious effort that I was arriving at this state. Instead it was through her presence and grace. This always left me confused about what practice to do when I returned home after a retreat. (anyone on the ‘other side of the shore’ that is reading this, please insert smile and patience here)
Agama yoga works on all of the bodies or koshas, so when I ‘found’ the school, I thought, wow, “this is it”…this is where I will spend the next part of my life studying, practicing and being in service.
As a side note, I went to a Tarot card reader at The Sanctuary, while I was in Thailand. I asked him several things about my life, and the cards were revealing. The last question I asked was in regards to my plan to spend the next 3-5 years at Agama. 7 cards, four represented pleasure, abundance, success and love, the fifth a warning about the foundation of the organization–so far so good–the 6th and 7th were curious. Both were dark angels and they were facing Pao, the card reader. Cards facing the reader apparently mean that they represent something I am not aware of yet. The cards themselves represented aspects of the mind. At the time I took it lightly, “oh well, suppose I’ll figure that part out in time, whatever”.
Back to the Tushita retreat, which was “gentle”…I stayed in a dorm room with 9 other women. We ate 3 meals a day, had introductory teachings on Emptiness, the Perfect Human Rebirth, Reincarnation, Bodhicitta, etc…i taught yoga, we had tea breaks and discussion groups. The meditations were often guided and never lasted longer than 45 minutes. The result of this ‘lite’ retreat was powerful.
Over this last 7 years I have been looking for something to do. no? Yes, a practice that makes complete sense, a place to practice and a community to practice with. Buddhism as transmitted by the Tibetans is looking pretty good.
The key that unlocks the door beyond all of the other keys that have unlocked so many doors is that the Mahayana (The Greater Vehicle) tradition, advocates that to attain full enlightenment one must work for the benefit of all sentient beings…and the main example of the practice at work is His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Who in my opinion, is one of the modern day examples of a true leader.
It doesn’t just say it either…it gives incredibly (sometimes ridiculously:) detailed descriptions and practices for exactly how one can go about obtaining this lofty goal and provides loads of different paths depending on individual temperment, etc. And contains aspects of all of the things I have practiced to this point…but specifically addresses the mind.
So this week I am at His Holiness’ teachings and next week I head to Italy. More as things develop.
How are you?
Heaps of love from Mcleod Ganj,
Tags: India, Travel