Meditation Matters

Intensity was swelling and my relationship with Mikael was reaching critical mass.  I avoided being swallowed up by it all, through meditation and mantra.  Meditation can be used as an escape from oneself or the world; it can also be used as a means of self discovery.   It was in my meditation that I found what was necessary to live peacefully in my mind regardless of external circumstances.  It was through meditation that I discovered my own wrong thinking and through mantra I was often able to correct it.  I was able to find some peace.

Meditation is like looking at your self in a mirror to see what is there.  It is not drifting off in some dreamy or vague abstraction.  Through meditation I was able to see what I had not formerly seen or understood about myself, and my relationship with Mikael.  It was through meditation that I discover the art of discernment.   I began to see what motivated me to hang onto certain situations and ways of being and to see what was truly beneficial and healthy in my life and what was not.

Meditation helped me let go of my attachment to my desires and suffering and also to my aversions and fear of being financially responsible for myself.   It was a process of slow, deep and sometime painful house cleaning.  Each meditation was for me a descent, which cracked the enamel of my subconscious tendencies and erroneous thinking.  I was definitely not ascending into some bliss-filled state.   The light that was present merely illuminated my darker bits and pieces.   It was disturbing until I learned to witness the thoughts without attaching any importance on them. It was through that process that I began to experience the emotional detachment that comes with discernment and discrimination and inner strength.   Ultimately meditation became a total relaxation of my body and mind in some kind of effortless calm, at least on some days.

It is the state of our consciousness that determines the nature and quality of the life we live.  Discernment and discrimination was bringing peace to my mind and improving the quality of my life.   I was content and even my marriage stabilized for a time.

I was teaching more and more and enjoying being of some benefit to others.  In the early 90’s, Yoga was not a movement.  One still had to be a bit creative to get students to even walk through the door.  In addition to traditional Hatha Yoga and Kundalini Yoga classes, I offered classes with Yogic breathing, I called Breath Works and a free flowing kind of Yoga and martial arts dance class called Yoga Moves. It was fun, but I still wasn’t teaching what I felt was an Integral Yoga that students could walk away with and do on their own.

I completed another psychologically draining, training several years later called, Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy.   It is an integrated system of healing, but again it is not something that one can do on one’s own.

It was in 1993, that Marshall Govindan came to Orlando, Florida to give an initiation into Babaji’s Kriya Yoga.  I had read his book, a year earlier, Babaji and the 18 Siddha Tradition and looked forward to taking the training to learn this integrated system.  I mentioned this to Tom who demanded that I totally reject the idea of attending this initiation and of learning Kriya Yoga. He said, “Just concentrate on Babaji, not on that man or any new techniques!”  That convinced me it was time to conclude my work with Tom.  But, on the other hand maybe he was right?  I would wait and see what happened next.

Less than a month later, Mikael was transferred to Atlanta and several months later we had settled there.  The first month we were in Atlanta, I attended a weekend seminar in Babaji’s Kriya Yoga.  There had been two Kriya Yoga Initiations going on during that same weekend, one with Swami Paramahamsa Hariharananda of the Kriya Yoga Institute and one with Marshall Govindan.  I did not know which to attend.  I meditated for guidance.   The answer I got was, “Ask Wanda.”   I did not know anyone by that name, so thought it was some craziness from my subconscious, but when I saw the advertisement for the seminars, I noticed that the contact person for Babaji’s Kriya Yoga in Atlanta, was Wanda.

My business partner Marcia and I attended the Friday night lecture.   It was very nice.   Govindan, as he liked to be called was a humble and sweet man.  He spoke so candidly about the integral system he was teaching and gave a wonderful discourse on the nature of Awareness.  I was impressed, but the fact was I had so many techniques as it was and spent so much time practicing and teaching Yoga that really the last thing I needed was more to practice.   So still at the end of the lecture I did not know if I would attend the weekend seminar.

Govindan looked out through the room and said, “in case you don’t choose to come this weekend, I would like to leave you with a gift – it’s Babaji’s telephone number.  This mantra is a direct line to Babaji.”  Everyone laughed, but as we began to chant the mantra in a call-and-response fashion, I had an experience in my third eye that I had never had before and I will filled with an incredible joy, the feeling one has when they fall in love.  It was amazing.  Tears streamed down my face.   I thanked Govindan for the evening and Marcia and I signed up for the Initiation.

The eighteen postures were not unique, but the sequencing left me full of energy and at peace.  The techniques of pranayama were similar to those I had done previously in Kundalini Yoga,  but I had felt the energy flowing in my subtle body and they had prepared me for the meditations that followed.   I experienced lotuses opening and I had strong visual meditations that were quite vivid and that was very unusual for me.  I had insights scattered throughout the weekend.  And best of all, Govindan told us at the end of Sunday, “Now, you have all you need, a perfect system and Babaji.  What you do with it is up to you!”

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