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Vedic Sacred Art

radhika_with_her_sacred_paintings

The_life_-flowerCottage 31 was the setting for an inspired workshop this January. Radhika, SRSG Ashram’s sacred art teacher, guided guests and ashramites in the practice of dharana through painting the geometrical forms associated with each chakra.

The Utopian environment found in cottage 31 was no doubt reflective of Radhika's blissful presence combined with the powerful vibrations of the sacred art itself. The space elicited great feelings of internal joy upon entrance and there was an energizing calmness continuously shared among everyone practicing in the space. The concentrated sattvic atmosphere was very much in groove with the ashram atmosphere and resonated as a pulsating globe of color and sound throughout the campus.

Radhaka guided the participants through Hamstudy of the Sanskrit alphabet, some Sanskrit mantras, the theoretical and experiential study of sound vibrations within the body, the use of mudras and the study of tantric painting. Tantric painting involves examining and creating visual representations (mandalas) of chakra points while simultaneously humming the associated sounds to activate that energy in the body.

Radhika is the founder of the Institute of Sacred Art, Udaipur, Rajasthan. Her sacred icons illustrate many books in India and Europe. The AHYMSIN office is blessed with several of her original paintings.  Radhika will conduct a Sacred Art Workshop in Hungary, 1st – 8th August, 2009, and continue a systematic teaching program at SRSG in November 2009. Please visit www.mandalaportal.hu

students_of_radhika

   
   
All artistic images in this article subject to copyright © Saraswati Academy, Ibu Radhika
   
       
   
   
   

Pain_teacher

Pain is a Teacher, sometimes a very tough teacher, but effective. Pain is an Ever-present Guide, whether physical, mental, or emotional, big or small—it offers many lessons if we are willing to learn from it. Since I had enjoyed good health prior to 2001, I was looking for a theme to what seemed to be random failures of the body. The theme emerged as, Pain as Teacher.

Pain teaches me, repeatedly, that it is made up of individual sensations. If the sensations are clumped together, they become unbearable, overwhelming, well, painful. If they are experienced as individual sensations, they break up into more manageable waves. For me, there are two main steps in working with pain. First, is to Be as fully present to each sensation as possible, to accept it, to pour focus into it. To acknowledge what is, not to deny pain in any way. This is Be-ing. The next task is to ride those waves of sensation into Stillness. Of course, no one wants to be in pain, this is where our preferences of how we think things ought to be, are released. Step two is the act of Surrendering. Surrender and Be. In some of the most pain-filled moments, Pain Teacher shows up and teaches me to pray from a pool of stillness—to experience Self as not this, not this. (not the pain, not the body, not the mind.)

The past eight years, have been undeniably challenging, unimaginably physically painful, disruptive, frustrating and isolating at times. The gifts within those same subjective experiences are rich beyond description and as I write this I find a smile spreading across my face. I would not be smiling, nor experiencing the richness, were it not for the teachings and teachers of the Himalayan Tradition and Grace that flows.

May there be some value in reading how a even beginning meditator can reduce the experience of pain through the practical application of meditative technique and increase satisfaction on the spiritual journey, simultaneously.

May you always surrender and never give up,

Veena

Veena met Swami Veda in 1985. She lived at his Ashram in Minneapolis on two occasions. It is there she married her husband, Jon, 20 years ago. She has served on the Board of Directors of The Meditation Center for the last eight years, the last few as President. She currently resides in Minnesota with Jon and their son, Kai.

Regarding the evolution of this article of her reflections about living with pain, Veena writes the following explanation.

I was asked, more than once, and by more than one person, to write about my experiences with pain for the Meditation and Pain Management Conference. I was surprised each time and wondered, “Why are they asking me, what do I know about this topic?” I had not viewed the past eight years of one of pain, though objectively speaking there have been three major medical events, multiple surgeries, and a couple close scrapes with death. Our son was born seven years ago, so the adventures of the body all took place while simultaneously raising a child-the duties of which add to the challenge, the joys of which sustained me.

I came to objectively recognize these years as pain-filled. However, subjectively, they are something quite different to me. Reflecting on these experiences, there was simply too much to write. So, I meditated, entered stillness and listened for the essence of those experiences. The haiku Pain-Teacher manifested and this is what I submitted to the conference organizers as my “article on pain.”

   
       
   
   
   

On the Full Moon, the Universal Mind and Love

Question to Swami Veda

You encourage us to meditate on the full moon day. Through the meditation we are connected. You are in India and we are in Taiwan. What is the mechanism by which this happens?

full_moon

Answer

I am sitting here and you are sitting two meters from me. That is quite a long distance! And we are connected. How does this happen? If you are sitting behind that pillar, how does that connection happen?  Your body is limited in space and time. It has dimensions, a past, a present and a future, and you think you are a body. So long as you think you are a body, you will not understand the connections that exist in the universal mind. When you and I are meditating together, and there are periods of silence, we are connected. Because at that time, you are not thinking of the body, you are purely in the mind. So when you will learn about your mind and soul, you will know that there are no distances the universe. If a master was sitting in a galaxy, one trillion light years away, and you were sitting on this mustard seed size planet, the connection would still be there. And when the master is not in the body, the connection is still there. In fact, the true traditions of this earth are still being passed on, mainly by the disembodied masters. They are the ones who have brought you here. Somebody dreams something, somebody gets a very strong feeling inside. Something inside you says, “Let’s go and meditate for fifteen days in Rishikesh.” From where does that feeling arise in you? Who make you think that thought? You think it was your own inclination.

But there is some greater hand that is guiding you. There are times when people come to Rishikesh who do not know anything about this ashram. Somebody in Brazil gets a strong feeling to go to India and go to Rishikesh. The lady arrives and goes and sits down in a hotel. She does not know where to go. Seven days she sat in her hotel room. Then she got tired of sitting in the room, so she came out and started walking. Or took a vehicle, which stopped somewhere, and she started walking, and she sees the ashram and just walks in. Somebody from the reception says, “Swamiji, there us a lady here from Brazil, and she is leaving for Delhi and the airplane tonight.” I called her to my chamber. She speaks Portuguese but she understands Spanish. I gave her five minutes of meditation, and that was enough, her purpose of coming was fulfilled. And she meditates impressively.

Why ask about Full Moon Meditations? Somebody is broadcasting in a machine in Moscow, or Washington or Beijing. And you are hearing it in Taiwan. The person who does not know about radio waves wonders, “How does this happen?” It is not coming over some wires, but the instrument is tuned to the waves, because those waves are everywhere. So your mind is everywhere. Understand the nature of the mind. How is it that a mother is sitting in her house and her child is in an accident. And she gets this strong feeling inside, and she runs out and finds her child. How is the connection established?

Because it is a link of love between the two minds – the mind of the mother and the mind of the child. The mind of the masters and those who are serving the masters – their mind is a motherly mind. If you are not a mother, you cannot be a teacher. When taking a teacher training program here, whether you are male or female, learn to be a mother. A mother to anyone who passes by you. A mother to anyone who comes to your class. A mother to anyone who has any suffering. A mother to anyone who has any need. Then you are a teacher. And the persons should feel that they are being mothered. So the connection between the mater’s mind and your mind is like the connection between a mother’s mind and your mind.

Please understand that this mind is not something limited to the size of your body. Your mind is not some kind of liquid or solid that is poured into the vessel of your skull, and kept there with a tight lid. Like the radio waves, your mind is an all pervading wave. You are a wave in the universal mind, and you are also the wave that is the universal mind. Can you take a piece of chalk or pencil and draw a boundary line between two waves in a river? Can you draw a line between two waves in the sea and say, “Wave number one, you stay on this side, and wave number two, you stay on that side. This is my country and that is your country?” Can you do that? You cannot do that. The energy is not in the shape of the water. The energy is that, because of which, the water becomes the wave. So the wave of your mind, and the wave of another’s mind touch each other. When the one mind wave and the other mind wave touch each other, and know that they are loving and embracing a fellow mind wave; when they know that it is the light waves of the mind that are embracing each other – what is that called? That touching of the minds, that hugging and embracing of the minds? What is the name for that embrace? It is called love.

And when you truly love, you can sense what is happening with the object of your love, even a thousand miles away. How does that connection happen? It happens even in those who do not understand that they are not the body. It happens even in those who do not understand the universality of the mind principle. And it happens much more in those who have understood the universality of the mind principle. When you understand that, then you are t teacher. Not because you can recite the relaxation exercise. If you are not a mother to the person you are teaching, then you are not a teacher. You be the mother mind and let that person be the child mind.

Swami Veda Q & A   27/03/08
Speaking to TTP group from Taiwa
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My Visit to the SRSG Ashram

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My first trip to Swami Rama’s Rishikesh Ashram took place early last year, a check out day trip. I had accompanied my Yoga teacher, to visit his Guru. One visit and I could not get the Ashram out of my mind for days. Within a few months of practicing meditation, I decided there was something in it that went “beyond.” There was a qualitative change; it was slowly opening my mind to a whole new world of spirituality. I made a “sankalpa” (resolve) to go in for Mantra initiation.

Hence my six day trip to Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, a meditator’s paradise. There is such an overall feeling of calm and clean, beauty and bliss, a method and educative atmosphere. One is transported to a different world, unaffected, away from chaos. The architecture is in line with the philosophy: ultimate, earthy and purely Indian. The layout gives a feeling of a commune with little cottages and walkways in between. What stands out are the natural looking lawns adorned with a variety of colourful flowers amidst healthy shrub. It all blends into such a harmonious picture giving the feeling that God Lives Here.

Day breaks at 5:30 am, and it’s time for a rejuvenating session of intense hatha yoga. This is followed by a light breakfast and the its meditation time. Everyone on campus gathers at the spacious hall for a one hour session, all in pin drop silence. A novice like me could sit through making her efforts in and out of meditation. The rest of the day is tailor made to fit your requirements: lectures, video recordings, “contemplative walk,” or other activities. The only commercial feature is a bookshop with a good selection of spiritual literature. A lot goes to discipline you, and you don’t want to miss the boat.

yoga_classThe staff, students and volunteers are all equally warm and positively helpful. There is a certain spirit of commitment. They ensure you are put to comfort, and as in my case, I had a lot of curious questions. I came back convinced and much wiser. Compared to metros, like is slower, but then as a resident told me, they want you to get away from the rush of life.

And then came my Mantra initiation day. Again, it is a simple practice devoid of rituals. Interestingly, I was asked to go through two days of silence and direct myself to Mantra and introspection. It’s not as easy as it sounds, but by the end of it you want to do it again! All in all, the mantra has brought in a fresh breath: it has made me positive (despite the recession), and of course, stepped up my practice. It’s challenging and testing. But somehow it affects you. The key word to all this is practice.

The trip ended will with a last minute meeting with Swami Veda, force behind the organization. It was remarkable how he lit up when relating an anecdote about his Guru, Swami Rama. It speaks of the in-depth Guru-student relationship, an inherent Indian tradition. My too short a trip came to an end, and I had at least set on a sacred voyage.

Submitted by Rashmi Kaura

   
       
   
   
   

A Parting Reflection from the Korean TTPers

Hari Om!!!swamiji_with_korian_group

Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama is our spiritual home. I had traveled around India before I came here for TTP. When I arrived at Rishikesh, I felt in mother’s lap and all my pains that I got from traveling suddenly disappeared. I have met wonderful teachers and enjoyed every class. Every teaching inspired me with LOVE. It will lead me to be a teacher who shares our Tradition with others lovingly. I have got a lot of energy which I can give with. There is one thing that I feel sorry for. Our mother, Helen Chou (senior teacher), has not been with us during this retreat because she is in 40 days silence. Still we feel that she is always with us. I am going back to Korea with the fullness that our Guru lineage gives me.

Submitted by Mi Suk, Yoon

   
       
    UPCOMING EVENTS AND CALENDARS    
   
   
   

Coming soon: Web broadcasting of Swami Veda LIVE from SRSG
If you have Internet, soon you will be able to see and hear Swami Veda speak live from Rishikesh. With our new Dimdim service and expanded bandwidth, expect to see the first broadcast soon. Thank you to Sadhana Mishra and Pawan Mishra for their vital efforts to make this possible.

At the SRSG ashram:

February 23, 2009

Maha Shivaratri (Night of Shiva)

February 24-28, 2009 

International Conference on Mediation and Pain Management

March 1-15, 2009 

TTP Level 1,2 & 3 LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER !

April 12 – 19, 2009 

Intensive Yoga Camp for Indians (Hindi speakers)

October 18 – November 1

TTP Levels 1, 2 & 3

February 1-12, 2010 

Ity-uktaa final fire offerings, AHYMSIN meetings

December 22-31, 2011 

Yoga-Youth and Children’s Retreat

Contact:  [email protected]

Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Teacher Training Program (HYT-TTP)

Rishikesh

March 1-15, 2009

Level 1

St. Paul, Minnesota

July 18 – August 1

Levels 1-3, continuing education

Rishikesh

October 18 – November 1

Level 1- 3

Contact:  [email protected]  www.himalayanyogatradition.com

Where in the world is Swami Veda January – April 2009?

swamiji_in_Delhi

On 29th January, 2009, Swami Veda delivered the First Lecture of the Expert Lecture Series entitled, “Practices of Breath Awareness Meditation in Different Traditions,” at the Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, New Delhi. Following his lecture, Swamiji answered more than 50 questions in short, precise and beautiful prose. Pandit Vishnu accompanied Swami Veda and taught Meditation in the Himalayan Tradition over the course of three days to eight-five students holding diplomas in Yoga Science.

Now to March 1

Rishikesh

March 6-9

Los Angeles

Yoga Therapists Conference

Contact: Randall Krause
www.hymla.com

March 11-14

Los Angeles

Loyola Merrimont University

Contact: Amy Gage
[email protected]

March 18-27

Amsterdam

Variety of events

Contact: Willem Meijer
[email protected]

April 2

Rishikesh

Full Moon Meditation Dates

2009

JAN 10

FEB 09

MAR 10

APRIL 09

MAY 08

JUNE 07

 

 

JULY 07

AUG 05

SEPT 04

OCT 04

NOV 01

DEC 02

DEC 30

 

2010

JAN 30

FEB 28

MAR 29

APRIL 28

MAY 27

JUNE 26

 

 

JULY 26

AUG 24

SEPT 23

OCT 23

NOV 21

DEC 21

 

For more details please visit : www.globalmeditations.org , www.swamiveda.org , www.ahymsin.org , www.bindu.org , www.yogaineurope.eu , www.themeditationcenter.org  etc.  

TIMINGS: 

7 AM        

in India (IST), surrounding countries adjust the time accordingly, for example Iran is 5 AM.

8 PM

in East Asia, 8 PM Singapore time. Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand etc. adjust their times to coincide with Singapore time 8 PM.

8 PM

in U.K. (Greenwich Mean Time).Those in all European, and all African time zones, please adjust your sitting time to coincide with 8 PM United Kingdom (GMT).

10 PM

in New York. Surrounding countries and regions of South, Central and North America and the Caribbean to match their time to 10 PM  New York time.

                       
WHEN IS THE FULL MOON ?

The dates of the Full Moon Meditations are announced after our Ashram Pandits have worked out the exact hours and minutes of the full moon each month. The hours of the full moon span two calendar days in western time. By Swami Veda’s request, the date with the most full moon hours is chosen for the Full Moon Meditation. 

   
       
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