Newsletter March 2012
The Things That Matter - by Karunamayi, Karma Yogi
When I came to Anahata in 2009 for a week, I felt that I had found what I had been looking for my whole life. And why was that? I guess that it was because Satyananda Yoga is a tradition that does not tell you what to believe, but to think for your self and to trust your own experiences. This modern view, with a strong connection to the world we live in, appealed to me. The open mindedness attracted my intellectual mind.
It is not the head, but the heart that I find is transforming through Satyananda Yoga. In my life in Sweden I had not felt that there was room to explore and be in the heart, and that creativity and emotional expressions are often put aside for efficient, smooth and more shallow relations. There is so little time for the things that matter. The problems this creates can not be solved by thinking, and while I would try to think out a solution I would still feel unhappy. Now to be encouraged to explore the parts of myself that before I had no space in my life to, turns lots of things upside down, and is both challenging and beautiful.
Late last year I went to Rikhia and Munger, India to take part in Swami Muktidharma and Swami Karma Karuna’s yearly courses. I did not know what to expect, I was sick a lot, and it was sometimes difficult, but it ended up being the best decision I have taken in my life.
It is the energy of the place and the inspiring karma yoga taking place there that is truly amazing. It was very impressive to see how they use this inner work to support the community, especially the social work being done to support the children of the area. I found there that spirituality is not about hiding from society, but about transforming society so that people are given the things that they really need to grow.
To be in Rikhia was also, on a personal level, a very transforming experience. It helped me let go of a lot of the old pain and sorrow that was stuck in my body. When the yajna (fire ceremony) was performed, my experience was like that of heart break. While my heart felt a lot of pain, it was a very positive experience, because it felt like many of the barriers and rubbish I had put in there were being taken away. I aliken it to getting a wound disinfected and rinsed with water. While it’s painful, it is also very healing.
At times I find my emotions getting the better of me in the ashram, and I find myself crying for no particular reason, I am finding new tools for managing these emotions. Swami Karma Karuna and Swami Muktidharma suggested to me that I start practicing kirtans (chanting mantra), and this has been a very encouraging practice. The shift in how to approach problems has been very important in getting new keys for how to confront life. Anahata Yoga Retreat is such an appropriate name for this place. It really is a place for the heart.
Being in the ashram environment and getting all this support and love is transforming me, but I cannot tell where it is taking me. I do not know what the future holds. I have a direction now and tools to work with and that is all one can ask for.