This is what I wore…when I was walking home I ran into a friend that asked if this was me “dressed up”. I said, “I guess so…”
Have you even done something purely from the feeling that it’s just the right thing to do? Most of the time I seem to be living that way, trusting my intuition, even if my rational mind might have some questions about the particular undertaking. Through connections, and perhaps that kind of inner-listening guiding me, I came to be invited to what is considered a very auspicious event created by the World Siddha Yoga Organization, which practices yoga through meditation, chanting, and devotion to Bhagavan Nityananda and his lingeage through Bhagavan Muktananda, to “Guru Mayi”, the current living master.
The event, the Shaktipat Intensive, of the organization is a day long practice of meditation and chanting lead by a local host and video recordings. The shaktipat is said to be delivered by the intentions, or sankalpa, of Guru Mayi. Shaktipat is literally “descending power” or grace from the guru that awakens ones’ spiritual yearning for unity consciousness, or the divine energy called Kundalini. A general belief about shaktipat, or finding gurus in general, is that it comes to those that are ready to receive it and in a way that is assimilable within the context of the practitioner’s understanding their own notion of surrender. This is a good question to ask ones’ self in my opinion. “What is surrender to me?” The resulting feelings points very deep towards the nature of yourself and shows the shape shifting tendency of the ego.
Of the three Gurus within the Siddha Yoga tradition I feel the most acknowledgement towards Nityananda, said to be born enlightened, even before I knew that many of the practices in Siddha Yoga focus on his form, life story, and teachings. His form is curious…Particularly, I repeatedly noticed how long and rectangular his fingernails were in the pictures…and I don’t mean the haven’t been cut for months kind of long…I mean starting from his last knuckle kind of long. In a “rare” video he walks in an odd shifting manner with one elbow drawn far back. His story is interesting, with many accounts of miracles and good works. The theme of this Intensive is from his words…
“The heart is the hub of all sacred places. Go there and roam.”
Much more could be said about all of that but I’ve kept it brief. I’d really like to say just enough to give some background for my experience.
The meditation practices were led from the recording with either chanting or some spiritual talks’ and Nityananda’s face being displayed. We had four sessions throughout the day with breaks in between for eating and silent reflection. It was all done in the very accommodating and stately environment of the host’s residence and the food was impeccable.
In the first session my focus shifted frequently. I moved through cycles of doubt about how I should practice, release, and then acceptance of my present experience, and then arriving in some deeper place of stillness for a short time before repeating the process. Something peculiar that I’ve never really experienced happened after a few rounds of this. My right shoulder began to throw my elbow about sometimes in small sways and then bigger swings. It seemed to happen completely involuntarily every time I shifted from thought to relative stillness in my mind.
Once during practice I opened my eyes to look at Nityananda on the screen. I felt like some optical zoom affect happened with my vision and my head started to pull forwards and then down as my eyes stayed up.
During the second round after chanting “Om Nama Shivaya” I experienced more… trembles in the area of my pelvic floor and once or twice “electrical” feelings in my body. The swaying arm returned more energetic sometimes causing my torso to move. I prayed to my guru, the Universe, through the forms of these three portrayed manifestations of that…I prayed for health and the love between my girlfriend and I to grow with purity and be a source of joyousness that energizes us to love and serve others. I prayed for all beings to be loved. Many images came.
During the third round I couldn’t stay in lotus anymore. There was a pain developing in my left lower back. I put my left leg in seated warrior and felt much better and felt some of the deepest moments in this round.The most clarity I’ve maybe ever felt in meditation. I felt that temporarily “gone” sensation that’s only ever happened to me once before but this one seemed longer or farther away. Twice it felt like something poked me softly in the back… What was that? There were other subtle experiences which I don’t have language for… This round was also hard to process in some aspects.
The last round was chanting again for about 40 minutes with a shorter meditation. This made me feel very good. When I made my journal notes on it I just remarked how happy I was about my life and all the decisions I’ve been making and the direction I’m going. I wanted to be more encouraging to people to take care of themselves and look within their hearts for love.