It’s been about almost three month that I am traveling, two of those in India and since about one month ago I left the Ayurvedic clinic to explore India. Right now I am in Dharamsala, the exile residence of HH, the Dalai Lama, and in less than a week I will be in Kathmandu getting ready for the Annapurna trail.
During this time and actually a few month earlier meditation came into my focus. The art of looking inside, sitting still and just be, enquiring yourself, watching your mind. Quite a challenging task, once you try to stay focused and only observe, even for 10 min a day. I used to be on the run, go, climb, do yoga, do do do, be active and never thought about to train my mind, yes even tame it. While training our body is a part of our DNA, doing the same for the mind is still mainly considered something only yogis do or esoteric spiritual people, meanwhile it is scientifically proven that establishing a regular meditation practice can only contribute in a positive sense to our well being. Even though it is hard, I am trying to establish something like that for myself, not to become enlightened, but to just become more aware of the sensations and emotions arising in my own body and self. Bali, India and Nepal are perfect playgrounds for that, as meditation is a key part of Hinduism and Buddhism and practiced almost everywhere.
So what have I been up to in these last 4 weeks? Meditating or what? Well, read on….
After SDJ, my path lead me to a learning and meditation center in Kerala (since I thought a mellow start back into reality after 4 weeks of body, mind and soul nurturing would benefit me), where I had the amazing opportunity to listen to a Tamil music band, while watching the full moon in the middle of nowhere, a lush green piece of land in the mountains close to a river, as the only westerner. In the midst of the concert my name was called and I was up on stage, supposed to sing a song, in German! Well, an awkward experience, since no song came easy to my mind. But I managed and my Indian fans seemed very happy about my musical torture, I created for them, an unforgettable experience for sure.
Next day a new group a Osho meditators arrived for a couple of days and I was invited to participate in their meditations. Well, Osho, was, is and will never be my kind of guy, but I still tried to enjoy it and have at least the certainty now, that I am good with any topic as far as he is concerned. I did not know, but Osho was deemed also as a criminal according to this homepage. Below are the teachers.
Other than that I had the change to help the local family, who runs the place, with daily activities and food preparations, and I got taught on how to eat with my hands. I really have to admit, that I love it, eating with my hands. One establishes a different relation and perception to food and the hands act as a heat sensor and you are less exposed to the risk to burn your mouth.
During the stay at the learning center, and being open to whatever shows up, I found a master of SIMPLIFIED KUNDALINI YOGA, a yoga type for the normal, average man, who thought me a lot about ancient spiritual and mystical topics and a rejuvenating and life extending technique called KAYA KALPA. Hence I spent a week in Coimbatore, studying and meditating (agna- 3rd eye meditation and shakti meditation) with him. Got my own personal teacher and a translator to help with the teachings. Coimbatore typically doesn’t see a lot of westerners, which was an interesting experience in and itself. And yet I enjoyed being the only white person in this typical Indian and chaotic city.
I also got a chance to be invited for dinners with local families and meet a very high level monk of a famous ashram while I was there.
After Coimbatore, my journey lead me via a train ride to Trichy in Tamil Nadu, where I met a very dear, extraordinary and amazing person and we continued our way together to explore India and being taught me so many amazing lessons on so many different levels. Thanks so much J! Here just a few examples of places we visited, Trichy, Auroville, Chennai, Delhi, Haridwar, Rishikesh and finally Dharamsala.
I learned a lot about the vast amounts of Indian gods, sages, siddhas, rishis, spiritual gurus and philosophers. My interest got peaked very much in the magical and mystical power of kundalini, the fire serpents, or prana or life force, which is said to exists in every human being, from the wise sages from 5000 years ago and yet the modern science has yet to find a way to recognize it. In general a lot of what Newton, Jung, Freud, Einstein, Hawkins, have proven is part of the old Vedic philosophy since 50 centuries.
Here in Dharamsala, mainly a place for Tibetan exile from China, I learnt about Buddhism and it’s concept of emptiness and about two major meditation techniques called “single point and analytical meditation”. Amazing stuff. I was also able to join a vipassana class as an old student for group sittings and listening to old Palli songs from 2500 BC.
Here some impressions of a place in the Himalayan foothills at 2200 m altitude.
Last but not least, after having gone through a panchakarma retreat I got interested in a proper nutrition and diet and to understand the basic principles of Ayurveda, the human body and the impact of food to it. I was lucky to find doctor Sharma, who is doing an excellent job explaining these principles to a small group of people.
A lot of new knowledge to understand, digest and to integrate.
Here some impressions from my last hike to Triund peak! Tomorrow I am moving on…