Echo From The Cave: 102

Friday February 9, 2019 NYC

Shri Mahayogi’s Words of Truth Resound in NY:
Feburary 3rd Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi

Shri Mahayogi is visiting New York right now and directing the Sadhana Program (Asana & Meditation) each Sunday.

What is truly extraordinary and rather astounding about the asana practice that Shri Mahayogi bestows upon us is that it is coming directly from his own experience. It is indeed hatha yoga, and at first glance, it is easy to think that it is just ordinary hatha yoga. But is it really so? As we begin to practice and experience, we start to get the sense more and more clearly that Shri Mahayogi has experienced the deepest realms of the secret of asana, and it is to that very depth that he is leading us. If we look around and see how difficult it is to find anyone who has experienced and mastered asana to the level of depth as Shri Mahayogi and who then teaches it from that state, then we will start to understand how precious his teaching is!

The forms of the asana may very well look similar to the asana you can find anywhere, yet the content that lies at the heart of the asana is really not at all the same. The more we experience it, the more we will discover how fine-tuned his teaching is, down to subtlest detail, and how what he is giving us through this teaching is truly transformative. Even if we look at the course of history and the past records of asana teaching, has anyone really revealed asana to the extent that Shri Mahayogi is revealing it to us now?

Shri Mahayogi began to practice asana around the age of 14 without a teacher or book—the fact of the matter was that he did not even know these poses existed! But every night he would practice these positions for the following 16 years. In his case, since his body was incredibly flexible to begin with, he began practicing advanced looking asana right from the start. By doing that he discovered the secret of the breath in asana and what asana practice can offer in terms of realizing the true Self. He had already experienced Nirvikalpa Samadhi (complete Awakening) spontaneously at the age 8, so he did not need to practice asana for himself—we can only presume that he went through the experience of practice for the people who would come to follow him later on. This can be said for meditation as well. He meditated constantly beginning from the time he was in high school, but of course, his meditation was quite unlike that of regular people. He meditated on time, space, and the functions of the mind; he found the law of karma through meditation (just like Buddha) and much more. By the time he encountered a translation of the Yoga Sutra in Japanese around the time he was 21, he recognized that he had already experienced in person everything that is written therein and as such, verified the contents of the Yoga Sutra to be true. Shri Mahayogi’s knowledge of the Yoga Sutra is completely different from the knowledge that comes from intellectual understanding, like that of someone who has studied the Sutra well or who is a scholar. He is rather a walking example of the Yoga Sutra, and all his wisdom comes from his very own experiences. What is greater than that!!! It is so humbling that here we have this unbelievable opportunity to learn from such a Master!!!

This past Sunday, again we are reminded that the content of the Asana and Meditation that Shri Mahayogi teaches from his own experience of the ultimate state of Yoga is truly beyond compare!

Here we would like to share how Shri Mahayogi taught at the end of the last class about Asana, Meditation, and their true purpose.

 

“Everybody is searching for something that is certain—peace. Where does it exist? It exists beyond the mind. The true Self is neither the mind nor the body, of course. The authoritative scripture, the Yoga Sutra, states thus: ‘Yoga is the restraint of the activities of the mind. At that time—meaning when the mind is restrained—the Seer remains in its own natural state. And in all other cases the Seer is as if it is assimilated with the activities of the mind.’ Indeed, that is to say, we constantly make the mind act in this world and it is disturbed all the time. But if we can still the mind, at that time the Seer, that is the true Self, will awaken by itself. This is the realization of the Truth that Yoga aims for. Asana are preparation for that. Of course, asana can prepare the body by making it healthy and comfortable too. But what is far more important than that is to change the breathing habits.

The mind and breath are closely connected. When the mind is content and happy, the breath is calm as well. But when the mind is agitated or upset, the breathing becomes so disturbed. Even so, it is very difficult to control the mind directly. It is said that to control the mind is like catching the wind. But how about water? If you can make a container, you can control it or catch at least some. The body is likened to ice. It means that all three of these—solid, liquid and steam—are H2O. (smiling)  So, first you catch the ice, that is the easier [of the three] to catch—and that is asana. By practicing it, you can control the breath little by little. If the breath is always steady, then the mind will never become disturbed. So then, through that peace of mind, you heighten the concentration [in meditation]. Of course, the aim of meditation is to realize the true Self. Well, just like that, this Truth is within everyone already, even now. Realize That swiftly.

So, then see you at the next opportunity.”

                                                                           —Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa
                                                                                                                      February 3, 2019

*

Currently New York is the ONLY location in the world where Shri Mahayogi is regularly offering to instruct Asana and Meditation! What a blessing we have to be in New York, a place where yoga asana can be found as the latest trend on almost every corner, yet we have the opportunity to receive the ancient teaching directly from a true Master of Yoga!!

SADHANA PROGRAM:
Join us each Sunday through March 3rd for the Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi—learn the practice of asana and meditation.

Register for the Sadhana Program through Eventbrite
http://mym2019.eventbrite.com

 

Satsangha will still be held Feb. 23rd, 3:00-4:30pm. Location TBA.

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com

Don’t miss these precious opportunities!!!

 

Echo From The Cave: 101

Friday February 9, 2019 NYC 

Krishna holding Govardhan Hill

Editor’s Note: Pranavadipa Volume 51 

To learn the Truth, one must first find a teacher who has mastered it, one who knows through every ounce of their being. Then one must become humble in order to learn, taking one step at a time to bring one’s mind and actions into alignment with that Truth.

This month’s issue of Pranavadipa (Vol. 51) features a Satsangha that took place in Taipei, Taiwan, in March 2018. In this particular Satsangha, Shri Mahayogi gives practical teaching on what it means to walk the path of Yoga versus the path of karma, the preciousness of life, as well as the preciousness of the opportunity we have before us in every moment to turn from the path of karma and choose the path of Yoga. And at the very end of the Satsangha, there is a special treat for the reader: Shri Mahayogi reveals how he came to understand the world of suffering through the experience of Yoga, rather than through the typical means of study or instruction!

The Testimony this month brings us many words of inspiration from our brother and sister gurubai in Matsuyama, Japan, and is an excellent demonstration of how practitioners humble themselves to listen and to learn how to put the teaching of Yoga into daily practice through the words and examples of others who are also walking and learning the path of Yoga. This is the benefit of sangha, one of the three treasures: Buddha, Dharma and Sanga. The Testimony consists of some excerpts of questions and answers from several Satsangha that were given in Matsuyama by a senior disciple of Shri Mahayogi, as well as the learning and application of that learning by two practitioners who regularly participate in the Yoga activities of Matsuyama. If we read closely and with an attitude of humbleness, we can find many examples of how we, too, can take simple and practical steps along the path to bring ourselves to align with the path of Truth!

Echo From The Cave: 100

Thursday Jan 31, 2019 NYC

Severe weather in New York City  January 31, 2019

ANNOUNCEMENT:
Location for Satsangha with Shri Mahayogi (Feb 2nd, 2019)

This Saturday’s special Satsangha with Shri Mahayogi
will begin at 3pm and be held at:

225E 26th St, # 4E
New York, NY

Space is limited.
If you have not confirmed your attendance already, please e-mail us to do so: info@mahayogiyogamission.org
And please see our Eventbrite page for more info about the event fee, payable online by credit card through Friday 2/1, or at the door by cash or check.

If new to Mahayogi Yoga Mission, please arrive by 2:30pm. All other attendees, please arrive by 2:45pm. 

For attendees who have not pre-registered, for assistance with directions, or for any further questions please contact 828-243-1176 via text message.

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com

Echo From The Cave: 99

Tuesday Jan 29, 2019 NYC

Shri Mahayogi’s Words of Truth Resound in NY:
January 27th Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi

Every one who attended the class this Sunday Jan. 27, was filled with awe when Shri Mahayogi graciously spoke at the end of the class. The words of Shri Mahayogi resounded strongly throughout the room and within the hearts of the attendees. Shri Mahayogi’s powerful message called upon all attendees gathered to see the illusion of the world in front of them and wake up to the Truth!

Before we share Shri Mahayogi’s words, we would like to share with you how the events before this moment unfolded.

*

Last Wednesday class, a young man came to meet his friend at the end of the class. As he waited, he saw the photo of Shri Mahayogi on the table nearby. He was strongly drawn to the photo of Shri Mahayogi, and kept saying “He looks so cool!” He heard from another attendee who is new to the class, the experience of being in Shri Mahayogi’s first class of the visit this past Sunday. That attendee expressed that the class was magical, and he was so grateful that it seems a habit he had been struggling with for some time, was all of the sudden and surprisingly gone after the class.

This young man, never having practiced Yoga, came back to the class, without knowing what to expect, but simply drawn to Shri Mahayogi.

 

Shri Mahayogi accepted one question from him at the end of the class.

Mr. R: I’m aware that you can create your own reality by your thoughts. How does one master that process in order to manifest the reality that they see in their mind?

MASTER: It is just like a dream. You all have all different kinds of dreams while you sleep at night. Just like that, the world that you see right now is developing like a dream too, from the creation of your mind. And almost all phenomena, all the occurrences in the world, are manifestations or creations of many people’s common thoughts, or images, so to speak. Simply, that is it. (laughs) Therefore, they keep changing, and they are not true Existence. It is the same for the mind as well. The mind is always thinking about something, and it creates something all the time. However, the mind is simply the function, it only has the ability to work in this world, and the mind is not itself Existence. Therefore, the true Self is not the mind, the true Self is the Pure Consciousness that sees the mind. That is the Truth of everyone. And that Existence, your true Self was never born and never dies. The true Self exists eternally and always. Of course, It is formless, nameless. Yet It exists clearly as Existence. There is only That. Nothing else exists but That. And that is the Truth of each one of you.

Even though this is the Truth, however, no one knows their own true Self. It’s very strange, isn’t it? (laughs) That is because the mind covers the Truth. Therefore, you must still the mind. The mind—karma, ignorance, pain-bearing obstacles, desires—the mind is defiled by these things. So therefore, by eliminating these things from the mind, the mind will become as if it were transparent. If you do that, then the true Self emerges alone. What you have to learn, what you have to do, is only that—to realize your true Existence.

 

After that Shri Mahayogi gazed at this young man for quite some time. Everyone in the room was captured by this scene of Shri Mahayogi’s gaze! The presence of Shri Mahayogi had already changed the room, then Shri Mahayogi’s answer was probably from a completely unexpected angle, beyond what our mind can even come up with, but his gaze, the power to transmit the Truth through silence…what a moment! We humbly bow down from the depth of our hearts. Who else has such a profound ability to teach the Truth but him!!!

 

After the class, this young man described how when Shri Mahayogi gazed at him, he simply gazed back. And as he gazed he felt a pleasant feeling of warmth and kindness, and he was left with the feeling that he and Shri Mahayogi were one. Though he could not describe exactly what was happening, he said that everything around Shri Mahayogi became blurry and he just wanted this gaze and this moment to continue. He felt that Shri Mahayogi looked as if he were the Buddha himself!

 

***

Here are some comments from some of the other attendees:

Ms. G:
I went in with an open mind, with an attitude to learn as much as I could. But I got something more than what I was expecting. I felt a divine presence from the master, almost like an out of body experience. When there was a long silence after a young participant asked a question and the Master answered, the feeling in the room was overwhelming. I did not understand all the words said but I felt that it is something I will eventually understand as I continue to make an effort to practice. I understood why some people become calm after practicing Yoga. Just as our bodies need nutrients, everything we hear and see become nutrients for our mind and soul. I am excited for what’s in store and I am definitely coming back to class again.

Ms. R:
I am in awe. Thank you for inviting me. About the question at the end: knowing that translation is SO HARD, especially with such ethereal answers, I found some real insight in it and LOVED the eye contact he made with the one who asked the question–that was electric!! The whole experience is VERY MUCH like learning a beautiful language or learning to sing. You KNOW that it will take lots of dedication and time to get to something very beautiful, and you just have to work through all the clumsiness that is natural at first. I will try to attend the Sastangha.

***

We invite you to experience the teaching and blessing of Shri Mahayogi for yourself!

SATSANGHA:
This Saturday please join us for Satsangha—hear Shri Mahayogi’s teaching and take the rare opportunity to ask him questions.

For Satsangha, please reserve a space by Wednesday 1/30. The location will be determined based on number of attendees and we will share the final location on Thursday 1/31.

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com

SADHANA PROGRAM:
Join us each Sunday through March 3rd for the Sadhana Program with Shri Mahayogi—learn the practice of asana and meditation.

Register for the Sadhana Program through Eventbrite
http://mym2019.eventbrite.com

 

 

Echo From The Cave: 98

Monday Jan 21, 2019 NYC

BLESSINGS: Shri Mahayogi is in New York and the Programs begin!

 

GRATITUDE: Words of Welcome to the Master

 

 “Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa, the Great Teacher, the Great Guru,

 It is with utmost gratitude that we welcome you back to the New York sangha.
To have you here physically, to have you in our presence physically,
is a blessing to all of us in attendance.

 We have read of the great sages of old,
such as Buddha, Lord Krishna, Jesus,
Shri Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, and Lahiri Mahasaya.
We’re inspired by their words and moved by how they lived.
We also understand the rarity of such sons of God.

 The soul can go through countless lifetimes, without ever encountering such an opportunity as this one—to be in the physical presence of an Awakened Master,
such as yourself.
It is through your light that you reveal to us our bondage and how we suffer.
And as the Buddha says,
you show us the way to end our suffering and awaken to our true Self.

Let us seize this precious opportunity to be guided by
the purity of your love and wisdom!”

 

Above are the words spoken by Aniruddha, as a representative of the sangha in New York, at the end of the first class, just after offering the mala (garland of flowers) to Shri Mahayogi. As his words express, we are extremely grateful that Shri Mahayogi has returned to New York and accepted yesterday to guide both the returning practitioners and the many new attendees alike through his offering of the Sadhana Program (Asana & Meditation class).

The first class was packed with many attendees and the strong concentration generated by the practitioners was heightened by the serene presence of Shri Mahayogi, and the space became filled with a strong and keen energy.

We would like to share the following anecdote of what Aniruddha experienced in the moment of offering the mala and words to Shri Mahayogi:

“Knowing it was my responsibility to perform the mala offering to Shri Mahayogi at the first class was an honor and a responsibility I took very seriously. I did not want to stumble over myself trying to remember what to say in this important event to Shri Mahayogi, so I repeatedly practiced the speech. During class in savasana, I recited the speech to myself and during meditation, all I was able to meditate on was the speech to Shri Mahayogi. It was time to walk down the aisle to present the mala to my Guru, and as I knelt in front of him, I became absorbed into his smile and almost forgot there was a room full of people behind me. As I began to speak, the words left my tongue effortlessly, and as I gazed into Shri Mahayogi’s eyes I could feel the joy stirring up in my heart. I was joyful also because I was declaring to the whole audience, especially the newcomers, who this Being is that sits in front of them and how blessed we all are to be here. For myself, I see more and more how Shri Mahayogi is revealing the various bondages that cause me suffering and I look forward to being free from them under his guidance. “

 

The Sunday Sadhana Program directed by Shri Mahayogi will be held from 3-5pm at Still Mind Zendo.

Register for the Sadhana Program through Eventbrite
http://mym2019.eventbrite.com

Satsangha will still be held Feb. 2nd & 23rd, 3:00-4:30pm. Location TBA.

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com

Don’t miss these precious opportunities!!!

Echo From The Cave: 97

Monday Jan14, 2019 NYC

Announcement: Spanish Interpretation Available
For Satsangha and Yoga Sadhana Program

We are happy to announce that
Spanish interpretation is now available for Shri Mahayogi’s programs.

If you would like to request this service, please contact us prior to any event at:
info@mahayogiyogamission.org

Hermanos y Hermanas aspirantes espirituales,
Están cálidamente invitados a participar de este singular programa con el Bendecido Maestro Satguru Shri Mahayogi Paramahansa en la ciudad de Nueva York. Es ésta una ocasión sumamente difícil de encontrar o de igualar. Los programas (las conversaciones o la instrucción) pueden ser traducidos para aquellos que requieran o prefieran el español durante las clases o los satsangha si lo piden con anticipación. Será un gusto darles la bienvenida a los aspirantes de habla hispana que buscan profundizar su práctica espiritual y transformar sus vidas y las aquellos a su alrededor.

Echo From The Cave: 96

Tuesday January 8, 2019 NYC 

Editor’s Note: Pranavadipa Volume 50 

Seeing the Infinite in the moment
And this moment we have been given now may never come again.

That is why it is precious. ”

—Excerpt from “Ichi Go, Ichi Eh:
Every Chance is the Last Chance”, The Universal Gospel of Yoga.

*

As we enter the new year, let’s not forget how precious each moment is, what opportunity each moment brings, nor how much of a gift this Life is!

The first Volume of Pranavadipa (Vol. 50) of 2019 has just been published and we are very happy to be able to share the content.

This issue’s Satsangha is coming from a special Satsangha which took place in Matsuyama, Japan.

Shri Mahayogi was first invited to go to Matsuyama in 1995, six months before Shri Mahayogi’s first visit to New York. Actually, Anandamali, a disciple who lives in New York and who first invited Shri Mahayogi here, was invited to go to Matsuyama by the founder of a Yoga school there when she visited New York to conduct research on Yoga centers. Anandamali took this Yoga school founder to many Yoga centers in New York but while doing so kept speaking about Shri Mahayogi constantly, even when in the cab on the way back to the airport. Anandamali requested that she go to meet Shri Mahayogi in Kyoto upon returning to Japan.

Months later, Anandamali went to Kyoto for Shri Mahayogi’s Jayanti (celebration of Divine Birth), and this same woman, the founder of that Yoga school, came to attend the Jayanti and meet Shri Mahayogi and Anandamali. At that time, she invited Anandamali to her Yoga school in Matsuyama, but Anandamali refused to go, informing her that she did not want to miss any moments with Shri Mahayogi since that was what she had come to Kyoto for. The woman then purchased tickets for both Shri Mahayogi and Andanamali, so that both could visit her Yoga school in Matsuyama. There Shri Mahayogi gave one public Satsangha and one just for staff. Since then, many people started to come to see Shri Mahayogi in Kyoto from Matsuyama. Anandi (who later started to organize classes and activities in Matsuyama under the name of Yoga Circle) was one of these attendees and gradually sangha was formed in Matsuyama as well. The sangha there has been preparing to invite Shri Mahayogi to visit and offer Satsangha there for many years, which he eventually accepted. Now, for the last few years, Shri Mahayogi has been going there to give Satsangha once a year.

His visit to Matsuyama is a precious opportunity for the practitioners there and it is clear in the sincerity of their questions that they are truly taking this opportunity to learn and to receive guidance that can be practically applied in their daily lives.

The content covers a range of topics, from the meaning of true Freedom, to the Buddha’s teaching. But what is unique is that all is framed in the context of how the attendees are living their daily lives, what struggles or questions they have about how to manage family relationships, interactions with others and even how to cultivate the correct attitude of Yoga behind their daily actions. As we read, surely we can all relate to the questions that are asked and therefore we too have the opportunity to apply Shri Mahayogi’s practical teaching into our own lives, even right now!

The Testimony for this issue is a demonstration of one disciple’s dedication to practice the teachings that we have received from the Master. In this case, the practice begins through the means of asana. However, this practice of asana gradually expands, through the struggle of keeping up with doing it every single day. Through her sharing, again and again, it is clear that what is truly important for us to have is indeed passion. But in order to have passion, we need to have an aim. Whether it is a short-term goal or a long-term goal, if it is clear, of course that means we want to attain it, so we will be able to go through whatever we need to go through. We hope that the reader can take something from the Testimony and put it into his or her own practice.

And now we would like to share the following words from the same writer as this month’s Testimony, Sadhya. We hope that they will spark inspiration for practice within the reader.

*

The Time to Practice Asana is Precious

 “The time to practice asana is precious, we never know when we may not have the opportunity anymore.”

When Anandamali spoke these words to me, I was suddenly inundated by a flood of memories.  Since I met Shri Mahayogi 5 years ago everything in my life seems to have moved and shifted, tumultuously tossed up and down and then passed away. Many memories have become a haze, people and places that each had their moment, now like intangible holograms fading into shadows. The constant, what stands out in the daily as something that never shifted, is the practice of asana. Asana was my steady ground, the one part of the day I could count on, and what would, day after day, bring my feet to the ground and place me in front of Shri Mahayogi again and again.

If I think about it, asana has been the one part of my day, when I allow my mind to forget everything else. To set it all aside and really focus everything towards that practice. It has helped me to gain control of my mind when it gets hung up on something, or when it is going in far too many directions all at once.

For some, asana may at times be taken as a chore or as a burden, but truly, to me, I have taken asana as a form of worship. It is a service of worship that happens daily right in my own home. It is a moment to meet with God, to come before God as we are, whatever that may be or look like on a given day.

At any moment we may lose the opportunity to practice asana. It could be our life conditions, or it could be that something happens to this fragile body, and then it may no longer be possible. If we have the opportunity to practice asana now, then we should not hesitate. Jump in and enjoy the discovery! Truly it is precious!! Everything in this world arises and passes away, and so too will the time to practice asana. Therefore, we cannot let our minds tell us that we’ll do it tomorrow. Will there be a tomorrow? We never know, so why wait?!

November 2017

***

Now that January has arrived, those of us in NYC will also be blessed with THE MOST PRECIOUS OPPORTUNITY OF LEARNING FROM AND RECEIVING THE DIRECT GUIDANCE AND TEACHING OF OUR MOST REVERED SATGURU SHRI MAHAYOGI PARAMAHANSA. What a treasure it is to be able to start the new year with a visit from our great Master. Just like in Matsuyama, may we too, recognize the preciousness of this opportunity and bring our own questions to Shri Mahayogi with sincerity and true dedication to put into practice his teaching. There is no better moment to practice and learn than this moment we have now.

 

The Sunday Sadhana Program directed by Shri Mahayogi will be held from 3-5pm at Still Mind Zendo.

Register for the Sadhana Program through Eventbrite
http://mym2019.eventbrite.com

Satsangha will still be held Feb. 2nd & 23rd, 3:00-4:30pm. Location TBA.

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com

Don’t miss these precious opportunities!!!

Echo From The Cave: 95

Tuesday January 1, 2019 NYC

ANNOUNCEMENT:
Greetings & New Schedule Times for Programs with Shri Mahayogi

Happy New Year!

A new year brings new beginnings and new opportunities to deepen and further in practice of Yoga. In this new year, whether we are new to Yoga or long-time practitioners, let us look with fresh eyes upon the teachings, take on the mind of the beginner, and take each and every opportunity to apply the teachings in our daily life, so that the essence of Shri Mahayogi’s teaching, the heart of Yoga, is brought to take form in the way we live our everyday lives.

This New Year is very special since Shri Mahayogi will be arriving to NY in just two short weeks. Don’t miss this invaluable opportunity to learn from and be in the presence of the Master who abides in the ultimate state of Yoga.

***

In consideration of winter travel, we have made a change to the time for Shri Mahayogi’s Sunday program.

The Sunday Sadhana Program directed by Shri Mahayogi will be held from 3-5pm at Still Mind Zendo, instead of our regularly scheduled 7-9pm Sunday class.

Register for the Sadhana Program through Eventbrite
http://mym2019.eventbrite.com

Satsangha will still be held Feb. 2nd & 23rd, 3:00-4:30pm. Location TBA.

Register for Satsangha through Eventbrite
http://ssmp2019.eventbrite.com

***

To honor how precious the opportunity is to meet a Master of Yoga, we would like to share the following account of one person’s experience of coming to meet Shri Mahayogi for the first time.

 

MEETING WITH THE MASTER
“Fix your mind on Me alone, rest your thoughts on Me alone,
and in Me alone you will live hereafter. Of this there is no doubt.”

—Words of Krishna, Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 12 Verse 8

I was standing by the stairs of a subway station. I don’t recall now where I was coming from or where I was going. But I had stopped and was just standing still there by the green painted fence that is the hallmark of every subway station in New York.

It was in that moment that the thought “There is nothing I want in this world,” crystalized in my mind with such clarity that I could have reached out my hand and taken hold of it. My heart became full with one desire alone: to give my life completely to serve God.

It was a strange thing for me to want. Growing up I had gone through various phases of how I related to the idea of God. There was a time when I went along with whatever idea was presented to me in church—that’s just what there was and it was all I had been introduced to. Then there was a time when I became disenchanted with the Christian idea of God and spent my time praying to and revering the Great Spirit that I had read about in books that my uncle had sent me about the lives of different Native American peoples. Then as a teenager I followed my sister’s lead and rejected God entirely. God did not exist and religion, in all of its hypocritism, was a joke. I looked down on the Christian religion and put myself above those who believed in God. “Those people” were delusional, discriminatory and were always trying to shove their own beliefs onto someone else. I set myself apart from that—not only because of my cynicism, but also because that is what I thought the “cool” thing to do was. I didn’t want anything to do with the Christian religion and I didn’t want anything to do with God.

I can’t say that I knew much about other religions—the diversity of my religious education was extremely limited. But I knew that there were ongoing wars with all violence and atrocities being justified by religion…and that was something that I simply could not understand or accept. So I rejected, and for many years I had maintained this mindset, or some variation of it. It was only within the prior few years, really since reading Autobiography of a Yogi and being introduced to some of the Yoga scriptures, like Bhagavad Gita, that my idea of God had begun to soften and my heart had started to open itself more and more to want to know God.

And now there I was turning my everything to God. I didn’t know what God was and I didn’t have any idea what it might mean to give my life to God or to serve God—all I knew was that that was the only thing I could see that would be worth living my life for. Everything else was empty. Everything else was false. I was ready to start making arrangements to leave New York. My first thought was to go to India, to find an Ashram where I could give up everything else, live in seclusion, and devote only to the spiritual life. My interest in worldly life was gone.

It was a mere one or two days later that a friend of mine told me in conversation that there was Yoga master in New York that he had heard about and had gone to see. He pulled a small book out of his bag—The Universal Gospel of Yoga—and handed it to me. I held it in my hands. The unique style of its design, the image of a yogi on the front and the smiling image of this Yoga master just inside stood out to me. As my friend talked about this Yoga master, I listened intently but I didn’t realize that I might actually be able to meet this master myself. My friend told me that he would be attending a program with this master over the weekend and would let me know how it was afterwards.

The next week, I met my friend to hear his experience. Right away I felt something was different. He was quieter than before and something had changed in him. When he spoke about the Yoga master, tears came to his eyes and I could feel his emotion, as if he had found something that was long lost. He mentioned to me “You should meet him for yourself.” Until then I hadn’t even realized that that was a possibility. Somehow in my mind I had thought that this was not a person you could just go and meet. You had to know somebody or be invited…or something. My friend went on to tell me that this Yoga master, Shri Mahayogi was his name, was from Japan and was actually only visiting New York. He would be giving a few Yoga classes before he returned and one Satsangha (gathering for question and answer). My friend was leaving the country the next day so he would not have any more opportunity to see Shri Mahayogi again, but he passed along the information and encouraged me to go.

It’s Not Easy to Meet a True Master of Yoga

After I went home, I immediately looked up the Mahayogi Yoga Mission’s website. I found there the remaining classes offered with Shri Mahayogi and the one Satsangha. The first to be offered was a Raja Yoga class. The class fee was more than what I was accustomed to and at that time my budget was tight, but I was determined to meet this master, so I decided, “I will at least attend one class.” As requested on the webpage, I called the number listed to reserve my space.

The day of the class came and so did Hurricane Irene. The day before the class, the city announced the possibility of the subways and buses being closed and the city being gridlocked. Concerned about having to miss the class because of not being able to get there, I called again the same number I had called to reserve my spot in the class. I saw this as my opportunity to meet Shri Mahayogi, this great Master whose presence seemed to have transformed my friend so quickly…I was ready to walk from 191st street to 10th street if I needed to…but then there was a hurricane, so I wasn’t sure that would be the best idea either. The same woman’s voice that had answered when I reserved my space again sounded from other end of the line. She informed me that it was undecided whether the class would be held or not, but that there would be an announcement online soon.

I must have called back again at least once after that just to check to see if a decision had been made. When I finally heard that the class would be cancelled I was relieved on the one hand that I would not have to miss it because of not being able to get there, but on the other hand I felt as if I was missing a great opportunity.

Welcome Home

The class was rescheduled and that opportunity finally came. I arrived early for the class and there was one woman, who I would later learn to be Karuna, there setting up. I asked if I could help with anything and she graciously allowed me to move some flower vases around. I don’t recall many other details about how Shri Mahayogi entered or how the class began. I just know that I was practicing in the front row and just to the right of where Shri Mahayogi was stationed at the front of the class.

During the asana, I was surprised at how many and how detailed the instructions were. Two women were leading the class through voice and making many of the adjustments to the practitioners. It seemed a little overwhelming at times, I wasn’t used to anyone paying much attention to what I was doing in asana practice, but here it seemed that there were many details to attend to. We held each asana for what seemed to be an unusually long time, and rested between each. All of it was new and different, even though I had been practicing asana for some time beforehand. When it came time for headstand, I went ahead, as I normally would. I had no problem or struggle practicing headstand, so I was quite surprised when I suddenly felt Shri Mahayogi himself at my side. His presence was so undeniably strong and different from anything I had felt before. As he guided me to a straighter position my heart suddenly started to fluctuate. This was highly unusual and for a moment I felt worried—should I release and come down? But then immediately I thought: No. Shri Mahayogi is the Master, he will not lead me to harm. The flashing memory of a story I had heard about the willingness of a disciple to follow any instruction of the Master came to my mind. I will stay until he tells me to release, no matter what. Although in that moment I didn’t really know who Shri Mahayogi was, I felt as if this was my test, my test to see how willing I was to surrender and put my trust in the Master.

Before meditation, Shri Mahayogi sat in front of me and patiently showed me each sitting position. I was taken aback by his kind face, his penetrating eyes and his smile that seemed to reach into the depths of my heart. At the end of the class, I don’t remember if he spoke or not, I just couldn’t stop gazing at him. It was as if he was surrounded in a brilliant light, shining as brightly as the sun. I didn’t want him to leave…but class ended.

As attendees where rolling up mats and leaving the classroom, Anandamali approached me. Surely we must have exchanged a few words, but I don’t remember much. The only thing that stands out with crystal clear clarity is that she looked me straight in the eyes said “Welcome home,” and then pulled me in for a strong hug. The world started spinning around me and I felt as if I might pass out. Something was happening…I couldn’t name it but I felt it with my senses. I had arrived home—and my entire being was recognizing it, whether my mind could in that moment or not.

*

Although I had not intended to attend any other classes with Shri Mahayogi after that (mostly out of concern for my finances), I put everything else to the side and made sure that I came to both the Satsangha and the last class before Shri Mahayogi returned to Japan. I don’t remember much of the Satsangha, I didn’t ask a single question, I only sat close, right in front of Shri Mahayogi and gazed at him, not wanting to turn my eyes away from him for a moment.

At the end of the last class, as Shri Mahayogi walked out of the room, tears came and I longed for him not to leave. It felt as if I had found my father, and then had to say goodbye, not knowing if or when I would see him again.

After that, I only wanted to go home and be by myself. My sleep was different that night and at one point I suddenly awoke in tears with the image and presence of Shri Mahayogi hanging in my mind. I felt that he was with me and would continue to be with me. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that all I could do was cry and bow down to God—even though I didn’t understand much of anything then—something told me that God had given me what I was yearning for. Somehow this was my answer to “devoting my life to serving God.”

Sadhya
October 14, 2018

 

Echo From The Cave: 94

Saturday Dec 22, 2018 NYC

Announcement: Holiday Class in Asheville, NC

If you live in North Carolina or will be visiting North Carolina this holiday season, don’t miss this opportunity! Sadhya will be leading a Mahayogi Yoga Mission Asana & Meditation class in her hometown, Asheville, NC.

***
The Secret of Body, Breath and Mind
To cultivate a quiet mind, unfettered by our ever-changing daily life, is to Be Free!
Come and experience for yourself what the teaching of Yoga has to offer.

Thursday 12/27,     7-9pm
Push Skate Shop:  25 Patton Avenue  Asheville, NC 28801
https://www.instagram.com/pushskateshop/
https://www.instagram.com/brainstormskateboards/

We would like to send our heartfelt thanks to Eric Hunt, a committed community organizer in the Asheville area and owner of a local skateboard company, who has graciously offered the space to hold the class in the back of the local skateboarding shop, Push Skate Shop.

Through the grace of Shri Mahayogi, may the teaching of Truth, touch the hearts of those who are seeking and light the way into the New Year.

Echo From The Cave: 93

Sunday Dec 16, 2018 NYC

Companion Persuading Radha as Krishna plays the Flute, from the Gita Govinda (Song of the Cowherd)

What is Yoga?: Yoga is how we live our life

Yoga is lived in our moment to moment. Our practice comes across in the way we speak and in the way we interact with others. Although seemingly invisible, the quiet mind of a practitioner brings others minds to a state of quiet too. And sharing the true knowledge that comes through practice of Yoga is what truly touches others.

The following account is an inspiring example we found in the story of how one disciple of Shri Mahayogi shared the essence of the teaching with others. It reveals how our master, Shri Mahayogi, is inspiring and guiding us. The words that he spoke, as well as the words that Anandi shared, are, no doubt, a message to us all.

*

The Inspiring Story of Anandi in Matsuyama, Japan

Recently Anandi, a disciple of Shri Mahayogi and the leader of the Yoga activities in Matsuyama, Japan was asked to give a speech about Yoga at a gathering for employees of an Income Tax Filing Company who participate in a computer literacy group. She spoke for approximately 50 minutes to a group of about 40 attendees a week after the Jayanti. This group invites lecturers from outside of the accounting field from time to time in an effort to learn new things and broaden their perspectives. Many of the attendees are in their 60’s or 70’s.

After her lecture, there was a shared meal held for the purpose of promoting friendship among the attendees. After the party, when she was talking with the man who made the closing remarks and another man, who was the manager of the literacy work group, the man who had made the closing remarks commented to her that, “This was really the first time that everybody listened to a lecture so quietly like that. But, it was not like we were being quiet out of boredom, but rather, it was like we were being brought into the quiet world of meditation.” Upon hearing it, the manager agreed and said with a huge smile on his face, “I am truly so glad that I requested you to speak here.”

Anandi prepared what she would present for this occasion on her own. And, unlike in the past, she did not ask Shri Mahayogi any questions about it, but rather simply informed him during the Satsangha in November that she had been requested to speak about Yoga at a gathering. When Shri Mahayogi heard it, he advised her by saying: “No matter how healthy one might be, if one dies, then that is the end of it. That is why, the key for what you should speak about there is the meaning of Life and the purpose of why one is born.”

Reflecting Shri Mahayogi’s advice, Anandi spoke at the meeting about the following things:

How true health is the health of the mind, that is to say, the healthy mind refers to the condition in which the mind is calm, the condition in which the mind is filled with peacefulness, how that condition of the mind does not worry, and how in order to gain that condition, it is important to always maintain purity within the mind and emit pure thoughts. How no matter how much fame or wealth we gain, when we die everything will be gone instantly, and the purpose of why we were born is to have a perfectly harmonious peaceful personality.

What is a perfectly harmonious peaceful personality?

In Yoga, it is said that the true nature of human beings is to be filled with purity and love.

She then spoke about:

How she is living her life with firm conviction as she strives to prove exactly that.

 

*

There is a word, “Sanatana Dharma,” which means “Eternal Truth.” The word sanatana means eternal and dharma can mean duty, rights, laws, conduct, or virtues, depending on the context. Yoga is actually to practice Sanatana Dharma. That, in other words, means to know our true Self. The reason why we are born on this earth is to know our Self, to know what Life is.

We have heard that after that day, a woman who had attended the lecture came to take the class, and afterwards she expressed her intention to continue.

***

If we listen closely, the flute is being played right now, just like in the painting of Krishna, beckoning our hearts to seek the Truth.

Shri Mahayogi will come to New York in one month from now and we hope that many people will find the moment to quiet their heart and listen to the beautiful and exquisite sounds of Eternal Truth that pour through Shri Mahayogi’s very being.

We hope that many will come to meet him and take this extraordinary, momentous and sweet opportunity that can certainly transform our Life.