Guidance from Guru in Silence
Swami Veda Bharati has begun his 5-year vow of silence in March 2013. He promised us, however, that his silence practice would produce even more powerful impact on spiritual progress of each of us, provided that we stick to our daily practice and discipline. Many years ago I had read about Swami Rama’s different ways of teaching his close disciples, and one of method was to teach in silence. I wondered at the time how could this be, but I kept my mind opened to such possibility. This retreat provided me with a direct experience to understand what this means. Silence is the nature of God (Dhamma) and there is no better state than silence from where the teachings and wisdom could flow to the mind of spiritual seekers.
Dr. Judith Wermuth-Atkinson is a lecturer at Columbia [University] and a long time seeker. She was introduced to me recently by our beloved friend and scholar Siddhartha Krishna. I made an exception in her case to initiate her personally. She has written a description of the initiation which may be inspiring/instructive. — svb
Dear Swamiji, I am sending you the description of my mantra initiation with some delay. I was not entirely happy with what I wrote and I am very concerned that I might disappoint you. I am afraid, in my description I was too analytical and too practical, and I did not manage to convey the greatness of the mystical experience. Perhaps there are things that I cannot put into words - no matter how much I love writing. — Judith Wermuth
Dr. Sanjay Shastri on the Meaning of Havan, Yajña and Ritual
17 June, 2013 @ 1:11 am
The mantra recitations of the priests at the nearby sacred fire sifted in and out of an interesting talk by Dr. Sanjay Shastri (Sanjay Kumar) on the meaning of havan, yajna and ritual. Sanjay is a Sanskrit scholar who was trained in the noted Prabhat Ashram, received a doctorate from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and has also served Swami Veda both at Sadhana Mandir and currently at SRSG, where he is assisting with the editing of Swami Veda’s Yoga Sutras and commentaries.
The 40-day Spiritual Festival is a time period when students in the Himalayan Yoga Tradition undertake special spiritual practices to refine their meditation and lifestyles in preparation for Guru Purnima (July 22nd ).
So, I send this invitation to you to become kalyana-mitras, friends on the noble path, to many initiates who need the guidance. After this forthcoming study, the initiates should be given the names of possible mentors, including yourself, to whom they can turn for advice.
With Swami Veda Bharati taking a vow of 5 years of Silence, it’s a good time to be inspired and ask the question: can I incorporate some Silence into my life?
At Aware Yoga, we have been enjoying Silence weekends and Silence days and we have now introduced Silence hours. What's this I hear you ask?
Silence hours are an opportunity to come to Hatha class for asana and systematic relaxation, then take a walk in nature in Silence followed by an hour of Silence supported by 108 breath nadi shodhanam, japa, meditation,– you choose the combination you need. No talking from the teacher, just a group of like-minded beings enjoying the fullness that comes from Silence – together.
Last year after my silence practice, I felt like I had never felt before. My meditations were deep and powerful, my mind was calm, my energy level was high and my love for others was intense. I only had positive things to say about my practice. People were surprised when I told them that this year I experienced almost three weeks of intense mental suffering. I would like to share with you what I learned from that suffering and I hope it helps you in your meditation practices.
The two main causes of my suffering were self-condemnation and expectation. Let me try to explain how self-condemnation affected me first. One of the interesting things that I have observed in myself since beginning the practice of yoga, is a very strong idea that I need to improve myself, that I need to become perfect, so that I can experience ‘samadhi’, ‘enlightenment’ or some other over-my-head kind of thing. I do not know if that idea was there before I learned about spirituality or if the practice of yoga gave that idea a chance to manifest itself, but that is actually not so important.