Bodhinatha, Yoginathaswami and Sadhaka Satyanatha are in California, where Bodhinatha is leading a retreat for church members and students. We are nestled among giant redwood trees, in a Buddhist monastery which rents its facilities for events. A few Buddhist monks and nuns walk around quietly, greeting the Hindu monks and celebrating our common heritage with kind words. Daily, without fail, they perform an hour-long puja in Tibetan, a relative of Sanskrit. Read more about the Land of Medicine Buddha here.
Being with the guru is always a moment when we, in devotion, meet our own divine potential.
Blessings come first, classes later. Bhakti, or devotion, mellows the sharp edges of the intellect and allows us to reach for superconsciousness.
The day is flowing smoothly with blessings we invoked with a strong Siva puja this morning. Yoginathaswami performed a full abhishekam to a sphatika Sivalingam and included special mudras and mantras specific to Saivite worship.
All is going wonderfully well. A remarkably intelligent and devoted group of students are delighted with Bodhinatha's brilliant analogies, which allow them to easily grasp lofty spiritual concepts; his well-honed teaching skills keep them engaged for the long classes suffused with profound topics and intriguing mysticism.
The manager of the retreat center said a few interesting words to us this morning. She expressed, "I came earlier to talk to you, but there was so much laughter and joy coming from the room that I did not want to come and interrupt. And now that I am finally here to tell you the guidelines of this place, I feel that I don't even need to say them. Your group will honor this place as much as we do. Thank you for coming and bringing blessings."
Students and monks alike are happy to be here at Bodhinatha's feet, listening to his wisdom and Gurudeva's insights.
The challenge, of course, is to put them into practice. As Bodhinatha said today, "Understanding someone else's wisdom does not make one wise."
Stay tuned for more reports in the next few days.
Aum Namah Sivaya.
One Response to “Bodhinatha's Classes in California, Day 1”
Unless kundalini is active, the deepest meditative states are not available to us. But to activate kundalini, Gurudeva tells us we must invoke the grace of Lord Ganesha and Lord Murugan. "Yoga is internalized worship which leads to union with God." Experience the inside of you in a profound way. This requires dispassion. The popular term "kriya yoga" usual refers to a form of pranayama, but the original kriya yoga is defined by Sage Patanajli as the practice of three of the niyamas: tapas, svadhyaya and Isvarapranidhana. To achieve samadhi we practice yoga, steady restraint of mental activities, austerity, meditation, detachment, self study and worship of God. Communion with the Ishta Devata, the chosen God is a key and also Gurudeva tells us: the Deity chooses you.
Master Course, Dancing with Siva, Lesson 39
Master Course, Merging with Siva, Lesson 5
Patanjali's Yoga Sutras