Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - September 2012  

How fortunate are we to be followers of the Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation?

by Joan Anundson-Ah

That question was a recurring thought of mine during the recent Labor Day weekend 9th Annual Chicago area Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center retreat. It was held at the Cenacle Center in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Swami Nitya and Swami Ma Radha graced us with their presence. Their sisterly love for each other and the warm guidance they gave the retreat participants set the tone for a weekend of learning, laughter and discovery. The theme of the retreat was “Discover the Potential of Your True Nature, Exploring the Five Elements”. Swami Ma Radha and Swami Nitya, through the Grace of the Guru, helped us do just that!

“Our job in this lifetime is to bring our karmic mixture of the 5 Elements back to the balance we were born with.” What? How? Swami Nitya skillfully led us through answers to those questions after making that profound statement. She began with an explanation of Samkhya philosophy, cosmic law, the three Gunas and manifestation that we perceive with our five gross senses. Space (hearing), air (touch), fire (sight), water (taste), and earth (smell).

We learned how our physical bodies are designed perfectly for this perception. We contemplated how the levels of mind deal with perception experience, memory and discrimination. She assisted our discovery of our personal balances by using a questionnaire that compared our karmic mixture of the 5 Elements at birth to a current snapshot of it.

The How part of the retreat got down to specific instruction. Swami Ma Radha led us through the technique of using gentle internal dialog to prepare us for meditation and to refine our personal practices. She helped us recognize how the different aspects of mind “talk” to each other by telling a story of a lion:

Manas sees a moving, yellow object
Chitta names it “lion”
Ahamkara warns “It will eat me”
Buddhi yells “Run! Run into the house!”

We were reminded that meditation and silence are the only vehicles for perceiving that which is beyond our sense perception.

After being encouraged to balance our elements with maintaining awareness of their vibratory effect, the use of wise food choices, and nurturing or rejuvenating practices of exercise and relaxation, we were also urged by Swami Nitya to go home and give away any clothing that did not have a harmonious color balancing effect for us. Our closets are waiting!

Not only were we given the challenge of balancing our five elements, and recognizing how it influences others behaviour, but on Sunday morning Swami Ma Radha asked us “What do we really want? What is the biggest obstacle to our meditation practice?” We were guided through Chit Akasha by her soothing voice.

As a group, we listened attentively, soaked up the teachings gratefully, and vowed to practice what we learned. As a group, we enjoyed laughing together and trading stories. (I recall some practical joking going on; all good natured, of course!) As a group, we acknowledge how fortunate we are to be students of the Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation.

Anil Saigal and Diane McDonald of the Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center in Palatine, Illinois, worked tirelessly to prepare for this retreat. Thank you’s go out to all who provided time, energy and creative talents toward a rewardingly successful weekend.

Respectfully submitted by Joan Anundson-Ahr, RYT

Editor’s Note:

Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Center in Palatine, Illinois, USA, is an AHYMSIN affiliate. We invite you to visit their website: http://www.hymcillinois.com/