Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

The SRSG Experience

by Denise Martin-Harker

Our second group trip to SRSG in December 2013

The ashram rests in the lap of the Himalayas and knowingly or unknowingly you are comforted, recharged and supported by their energy. Add into the mix the presence of the lineage of the Himalayan Tradition, and the possibilities for change and ‘letting go’ do not get any more powerful.

Preparations for the group trip started in February 2013. Some who joined us last year wanted to come again, others curious enough to take a look at our collection of pictures from 2012 and listen to the experiences, of course - signed up!

We had an outline timetable – a good mix of ashram life, sadhana, instruction and visiting some sacred sites. At the ashram supported by Swami Ma Radha, Adhikari, Ramprakash, Pramod and Silvia we tuned up the timetable so that it would give the right balance of everything. One of the great opportunities on a group trip is to use SRSG expertise to provide a programme tailored for the group.

One of our requests was to introduce the group to the practice of fire offerings – Yajña. The ‘ceremony’ was conducted by the resident Pandit (priest) Harshananda; he explained why it was done and guided the group through the practice with kindness and joy. The Yajña is purifying - a chance to offer our samskaras, our habits and tendencies into the fire. Through this unique opportunity, the group found themselves repeating mantras and the offering ‘Swaha’ with increasing focus – as if being drawn into the fire. Some hugged at the end – not really knowing why, but knowing that something special had happened. Some said they felt lighter, happier, energised, still.

This is certainly something that you would not experience in the UK!

Another lovely memory of the trip was taking a day of Silence, Contemplative walking by the Ganga together and taking meditation at Swami Rama’s ashram – Sadhana Mandir, which is comfortable walking distance from SRSG. Sitting by the Ganga outside the ashram watching the whirlpools of water forming and flowing. Standing with our feet in the water absorbing nature’s peace and serenity. No words are required.

So many shared experiences to mention like the deep stillness of Vashishta Cave and the discovery of the local village Shiva linga that sits inside a Banyan tree. (One of our group spoke Hindi and was chatting with a villager when he said – ‘here it rains linga let me show you!’ – very auspicious!)

Despite enjoying some of the sacred sights the real benefit is found within the ashram. The support for sadhana, learning new practices and a rhythm of life that allows change and relaxation to happen is present in abundance. This along with the unique vibration of stillness, amplified by Swami Veda’s Silence, the beauty of the flowers that are ‘allowed to bloom’ and time with like-minded beings means you are cocooned in a calm and reflective space.

There were many thoughts from the group about what they experienced at the ashram…here are a few:

‘You can feel the energy change the moment you enter the gates’

‘This was a trip of a life-time’

‘Never expected to come somewhere where I would feel so relaxed so quickly’

‘I do not want to come out of this bubble!’

‘There are so many things to take home from this experience’

‘A little bit of ashram life will travel back with me’

‘This has made me question some aspects of my life that I would like to change for the better’

‘I had no idea how exhausted I was, definitely need to embrace the relaxation techniques’

‘Sign me up for next year!’

And the highlight of the trip --Swamiji says ‘a Silent hello’ to the group. I must have 10 accounts of what happened! The group were being instructed in Nadi Shodhanam outside in the warmth of the sun, when Swami Veda appeared – on his way to an appointment. He came over to see what they were up to and gave them a big smile and a wave on the way out…this resulted in many happy faces (including Ramprakash who was teaching them at the time!)

Having a group experience seems to amplify the joy. There was laughter, learning and relaxation and friends to talk to about those experiences and feelings. Sometimes that's just what we need on life’s journey…good company…good friends...

And this was confirmed in Swami Veda’s teachings while we were there, that is exactly what we all need. The support of a Kalyana Mitra – a ‘noble friend’ on the spiritual path. On our group trip we were all Kalyana Mitras to each other and everyone at SRSG a Kalyana Mitra to the group.

Completely supported by the ashram family – we will be back…

Editor’s Note:

Denise is a leader of the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Group of UK. She and her husband, Alex, live in Broadstairs, a coastal town about 80 miles (130 km) east of London, England. They have a center that offers individual and small group retreats (“yoga retreats by the sea”) and workshops. We invite you to visit their website at http://eatcakeandmeditate.co.uk/

To read previous newsletter articles by Denise, please click:

Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) offers Group Retreats: The SRSG staff will also help design programs for groups to meet their specific needs. The campus can accommodate up to 100 participants. We aim to individualize our progammes, taking into account the particular areas of interests of our guests, but all newcomers do go through a series of classes that introduce, orient and share the foundation practices and philosophy of the Himalayan Tradition. Guests are offered a daily schedule of instruction in meditation, pranayama (breathing practices), relaxation, hatha yoga, and yoga philosophy in accordance with their individual goals.  For more information: http://ahymsin.org/main/accomodations-and-reservations.html




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