My very first trip to India
India is a beautiful, spiritual, humbling country and the feelings that I developed after teaching a retreat there left deep and inspiring impressions within me. Feelings I will hold on to and cherish in my heart.
Everyone we met on our Indian adventure was so kind and gracious. People went out of their way to welcome us to their homes and country ? and always with a beautiful smile. The Buddhist tradition of metta, or loving kindness, is alive and well in Rajasthan and we as a group were all inspired and transformed on so many levels.
My consciousness and passion for life was expanded spiritually in every direction ? the ancient Indian ideal ?the whole world is one family? personally captured me.
Loving kindness is the Indian way of life and by day 3 it was contagious, I could feel love within the yoga group ? it was a magical and uplifting experience for us all as we opened our hearts and minds more and more everyday.
I asked myself “What is ‘Friendliness’ really?” the answer was “Oneness, lack of distinction between the self and others, equal affection for all? and that what I felt in our castle yoga camp. When we can act with loving kindness we can surrender our struggle and live skilfully in harmony with life.
All of the incredible things we saw, smelled, and tasted expanded our senses with sheer wonder and amazement. The culture and country are so dramatically different and yet it was like coming home and everyone was so appreciative of this truly unique experience, we felt blessed.
Spirituality is simply about reflection, awareness and silence where we are able to create meaning for our lives and make sense of things. My students began to become more uplifted and expressive making beauty thru their bodies and minds and I literally saw transformation on all levels. On this wonderful pilgrimage to the homeland of yoga, we explored the places surrounding us but also the places within us that maybe we had been unaware exisited. Yoga reminded us that our essence is goodness, and that we are connected to everything through the pulsating energy that creates and sustains the universe. Our daily practice helped us to cultivate tolerance and understanding so that we recognized the essence of goodness in others, as well as inviting a joyful celebration of life!
The journey to India is a journey inward, India is spiritual. People seek The Divine every day, every hour, every breath. The material excess through which we seek peace and happiness in the western world becomes irrelevant here and it was a very humbling lesson. Generally life in India was very simple and there was a lot to be learned by this philosophically. Each day brought a unique adventure and new lesson. Our days were the perfect blend of planned and free time, during which we swirled through the day doing our own thing and painting each moment with our own experience. Every day was new gift and a new lesson with plenty of opportunity for reflection, either alone or with each other.
So from India with love lets follow by example – by committing a random act of selflessness you can start to get in touch the bliss. It feels like absolute bliss to be accepting, to give and be kind in little ways. Over time, your entire perspective can change so that you go about your day being aware of these opportunities to serve others. Randomly acting with care towards someone is a way to take responsibility toward humankind. I have learnt that as we give, with no expectation for reward, just for the sheer reward of committing a selfless act, we open to the higher level awareness of Self. You might pass by a thousand opportunities to practice an act of kindness every single day but if you smiled at every person you saw in a day, you could practice several hundred acts of kindness in this act alone.
Sometimes things line up so perfectly that you feel inspired and know that you are on the right path ? ?Divine Timing? this happened for me in India. Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty – be open to all of it
Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, l started smiling too.
I passed around the corner, and someone saw my grin,
When he smiled l realized, l’d passed it on to him.
l thought about that smile, then l realized it’s worth.
A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected,
let’s start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!
– a leaflet from Raja Yoga Philosophy
Our attitudes and beliefs, our hopes and our expectations, all play a part in our own healing. A general, healthy way of being, then, is to cultivate a more positive attitude towards all that life throws our way. It might just help us live longer, healthier lives, and when we do get sick it might just help us recover faster.
Buddha said, ?We are formed and moulded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.? Joy begins with your first act of kindness.
With love and respect for India