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

Bedridden at Cottage 18

by Karin Fiedler

Dear friends at SRSG - in residence and in other places!

Now, as this year of 2012 is coming to its close soon, time is overdue for my very personal THANK-YOU-ALL letter.

When on 4th, April, early morning by accident due a momentary unawareness I incurred that injury which was later diagnosed as “mild compression fracture of L1”, I had not the slightest idea of what I was going to encounter. Although mild, it was enough to totally ground me, confine me to the room and render me entirely dependent on help and assistance – quite a new experience!

The doctor had ordered complete bed rest for the next four weeks to come (at least) when another x-ray would be taken to see whether I was fit for travel. It was thanks to Hatha which taught me how to keep the spine still and straight, that there was very little pain, even no pain. Thus, I was able to go to the bathroom, (Utkatasana!) but every strain on the lumbar muscles like bending and lifting even the lightest item was inhibitive, showed me where the limits were. I was not able to touch my feet, for example. This “mild” injury also gave me a glimpse of what it might be like for people who suffer a really severe injury of this kind, gave me an idea of what back pain can amount to when discs slip or vertebrae break, what kind of inhibitions that entails. 

Where do I begin? And how not to forget anybody…? Because for a few weeks I was to experience what ashram life would be on a very down-to-earth, practical level.
It is my heartfelt need to thank you from the deepest part of my being, each and every one who happened to be at SRSG during that period of time!

I wish to thank you for your immense kindness, your friendliness, your quiet patience, your expertise, your unlimited generosity and for your – yes, love, for all that was showered on me while I was confined to that little space of cottage 18!

First of all I am most grateful to you who accompanied me to Nirmal Ashram for a first X-ray, and who again drove with me the day after to HIHT for further examination and CT. Thanks to your knowledge of the “terrain” you efficiently maneuvered me through hospital bureaucracy and institutions – and brought me “home” again.

Moreover, I am utterly grateful to Dr. Chauhan from HIHT who took of his precious time to attend to me, and to all the doctors who were in residence at SRSG during that time. Your positive and confident attitude cum medical advice was invaluable!
Gratitude flows to all the Guru-Kulam students and their family members who frequently visited, spent time, shared a cup of tea. It flows to all Swamis who were around, for their words of encouragement, of consolation, their conviction that everything would be alright again, provided time was permitted to do her work – and the Mother’s Grace.

Special thanks to Swami Tattvananda who tirelessly provided for nutrition from the ashram kitchen, although I needed so little.

Not to omit the two ladies from Delhi who - knowing what also matters much in such circumstances - had asked their maid to come over and help with something utterly important: sweeping the floor and dusting the window sills – and helping me with personal hygiene.

Incurring a dust-induced cough would have been extremely painful and counterproductive to the healing process.  So special thanks go to her who agreed to do the job!

And last, but in no way least, the faculty staff, everyone of you: THANK YOU for your immeasurable support in words and in kind, thank you for an occasional delicious meal, for a green smoothie, for a laptop now and then to keep the family connected and unworried, thank you for more cups of tea, bowls of ragi and the human touch. Thank you all so very, very much for your smiles and never tiring good humour despite all that extra work and concern which I must have caused you!

It is eight months ago now since “the incident” and as appointed I went to HIHT for a check-up. All is miraculously fine, healing will continue for another six months or so, but I am back to normal except for a slight inhibition with forward bending… and sun salutation is off the agenda for the time being.

I shall never be able to pay the debt to you all personally, but I’ll pass on manifold to others who are in need of this kind of nourishment what I so amply received from you!

It is Christmas soon and on the Northern hemisphere the coming of the Light is celebrated when the Night is darkest and longest: the time of the winter solstice. Christmas Eve is the first of twelve Holy Nights, the Christmas season thus lasting until 06th, January, when the three magi from the East arrived to pay homage to the newborn Godchild. It used to be a period of Stillness and turning inward with as little activity as possible, a natural “holy day”.

On the occasion I’d like to share an ancient meditation text, by St. Augustine (354-430 AD). Wolfgang from the Himalayan Institute, Hamburg, had it distributed as a Christmas Greeting some years ago…. here is my humble attempt of a translation:

God’s Love

Late have I loved Thee, oh ancient
and everlasting Beauty, late
have I come to love Thee!

Behold, Thou werst in my heart,
but I was outside, and outside, I sought Thee.
Thou werst with me, but I was not with Thee.

Then, Thou hast summoned me
and hast torn apart my deafness;
hast flashed a lightning and
chased away my blindness;
sweet incense hast Thou aired
towards me and I inhaled –
and now I sigh for Thee.

I have tasted Thee, and now I hunger and thirst for Thee;
Thou hast touched me, and I am set aflame in Thy peace.

Who will give me that I find stillness in Thee?
Who will give me, that Thou enterest
my heart and enchantest it with Thy presence,
Thus, that I forget my misery and embrace Thee, my sole Good?


Dearest friends, may you allow The Divine Mother to touch your hearts and your minds, that finally this earth becomes that better place which it is meant to be… now, and not millennia ahead!

With deep affection towards you, in utter Gratitude to the Masters of the Lineage and, through them, to the Divine Mother. Hari Om, Karen

Rishikesh, by the end of November, 2012