Devi Ahru, From Singapore, A English lecturer , a published author and a meditation teacher who aspires to build a tribe!
What Rishikesh taught me ….(LIVE ! LOVE ! LAUGH !) During November 2017 Meditation Teacher Training Certification Course In At (Satyam Shivam Sundaram School at Rishikesh) –
With Meditation Master Shiva Girish and Dev OM
After meditating, or trying to sit in silence (Om chanting for 10 over years) I was dying to find out more about what meditation really meant. My search (google) led me to Rishikesh. As I was in the grab car with my hubby the morning of 14 November, I have only informed a total of 6 people of my whereabouts because I knew if I failed, I had only that few to explain myself. And so please read on to find out what the course taught me..🙂
Rishikesh is a small town in the northern state of Uttarakhand in India. Rishikesh, sometimes nicknamed “Yoga Capital of the World” has numerous yoga centres that attract tourists. It is believed that meditation in Rishikesh brings one closer to attainment of moksha, as does a dip in the holy river that flows through it.
Our day began at 8am (lessons end at 6.30pm)… having our breakfast and lunch at a ashram with our classmates and our Master. (Shiva Girish) and Dev Om. We then proceed to do a warm up dance or exercises and learn a new meditation techniques for the day. some days we learn more than 4 techniques which was
We learn about the technique after experiencing it ourselves. Our masters guide us through the meditation and as we go through the meditation we become the experiential teachers who not only learn the theories but experience first-hand how it feels to be in the space of becoming “ourselves’. We had our sharing sessions after that and the theory comes in.
We learnt over 30 techniques (ranging from aligning our chakras to laughter meditation) in bringing our mind to relax and unboxing our grief and our repressed thoughts, anxieties and all the unresolved issues in our lives. We began to repair ourselves and re-engineer our thoughts.
Throughout the 14 days, we became a family who went through the journey of letting go of our past and practise being in presence. We were practically learning a technique, listening to the short lectures about the whereabout and history of the technique and then in the same time becoming a facilitator of the technique. At times the training was intensive because these meditations as meant to cleanse our inner being. As we are detoxing ourselves our mind and body couldn’t cope with all that was happening.
I remember after one such meditation, I just curled up in bed and cried and thanked the Universe for bringing me to Rishikesh. And another time, while we were doing our heart chakra dance, I was sending love and prayers to Ahru, and how he called me at the very moment we finished the meditation. He felt the presence of pure love and my calling to him. And how my last heart chakra meditation made my mum call me as she thought I had called her in her dream. It was a mystical and magical moments that I will cherish in my life more than anything.
By day 6 we knew we are not there to just learn, but to transform ourselves and we were there because the Universe has decided it was time it showed the secrets of being in alignment with the Present. We sang kirtans that I have never heard in my life before, but my body shivered and danced to the rhythm gracefully and joyfully. Our meditation hall was in the third of the hotel and it faced the mountains of Rishikesh. As I let go of my ego to judge, I found increasingly the inner joy flowing through me. I was able to open heart chakra and laughed and cried for no reason. And every night when I called Ahru, he became more convinced the course was the right choice and how he saw me glowing in all the photos I sent him.
By day 10 we were all blissed out– meaning we were glowing from the inner being as if we had finally heard our soul cries. We bonded like brothers and sisters looking out for each other. WE had all our meals together with our masters except for dinner. We spoke and chatted about spirituality and about the lessons we learnt during the day. We took notes and discussed about our family. We even found shared our amazing stories on how we even began our journey to RISHIKESH.
We graduated with heavy hearts as we know we have such a uphill task ahead. The challenges we might face and the adjusting ourselves back to living a rat race, but our Masters convinced us that we had a task to do…we are teachers now and we should continue to encourage people to learn meditation and experience first-hand what we had experienced without the ego of being a Spiritual teacher. We are mere facilitators and our journey as just began.
The last two days of the course, were practicums where we were asked to take charge of groups and run the meditation workshops and design workshops which we then presented to the Masters for approval. I knew I wasn’t there for the teachers training certificate, I was there because the Universe wanted me to experience meditation in the true essence. To live, love and laugh. I am more than thankful to Satish, God and Ahru who allowed me to find my spiritual path …and who knows ..next year …I might just go to the Himalayas with Ahru …!!
Devi Ahru’s – Personal Realization & Experience Sharing Message To Others on Same Path In Life
What are we missing out in a city life ? (PRACTICALLY EVERYTHING) One of many lessons I learnt in India
By end of last year October, I had more than enough of negativity and challenges than I ever wish for. I had shut down all my senses to make to it to the end of the semesters. My desperate question to the Universe – every time I sat for my 9 minutes of humming OM was …this cant be LIVING right?
In summary , a typical person endure their boring lifeless living in cities with vices in order to conceal their unhappiness which eventually leads to depression , we do alcohol, compare ourselves with what others do on social media, go on shopping filling up our closets with unnecessary clothes, do drugs or just plain old smoking. Although all the governments are pretending to show concerns and taking drastic measure to keep people from taking their lives, they know they are the reasons behind this.
They fail to educate the generations on how to live graciously with one self ..so that they can live with the community with compassion.
WE have NO time to socialise, connect and self-care or self-love ourselves. The mental and emotional wellbeing of an individual is so important to connect with other human beings. And that’s the missing link to all our problems. (I am not talking about pedicures and spas)
Having few hundreds of friends in Facebook but none had the time to socialise over coffee.
You see your spouse at 9pm on weekdays over dinner and its time for bed again.
The fact that everyone watches Korean series in the train – and never looks up to the sad lonely souls in need of a faint smile – or just a “hello”. It shocks me sometimes as to how unconnected we are in real life and how much we do to remain in that space . ESCAPE the reality rather that embracing it.
The news (stomp) which was filled with violent and unthinkable behaviours of public including kids on daily basis.
I was confused at how people plotted and played their part well to get favours and even my book ideas stolen. YES, that happened. Mean and hate filled population was gaining numbers while the compassionate ones live in silence and regret.
It seemed to me that I was living the “GROUNDHOG DAY” doing the same thing repeatedly. Meeting the same dead bodies (travelling the buses or mrt trains).
When I landed in Rishikesh I had strangers greeting me “namaste” from the lady who cleaned my room to the shop owners in the streets. I had to practice the art of having long conversations with classmates and gurus without checking my phone.
We had to laugh for hours or we were let to cry …the choice was ours and no one judged. My teachers encouraged us to let ourselves FLOW like the Ganges river. They taught us techniques which were thousands of years old and, yet I had no dam idea it existed.
All the emotions that we bottled up on daily basis for years found an outlet to FLOW.
We were given so much time with OURSELVES …until I found it difficult to adjust being alone with myself. I had lost the identity of a mother, wife, a teacher , a author …I was just the plain Devi ..the nine year old as I recalled – the carefree soul which smiled at everyone and was happy with everything. I read and wrote for hours sometimes and lived in silence as the Wi-Fi in hotels were out few nights.
Living in a congested city with only shopping malls to run to for leisure. I found it profoundly beautiful to attend the Arti at 6pm every day. the residents who lived near the Ganges dropped their work to attend to GOD – giving thanks to GANGES everyday without fail at 6pm. While most of us head over to pick our kids from tuition or travelling back home after a day at the office.
We forget the meaning of living or living well. We forget to address our issues that consumes us every day, we forget to look up and give thanks to (5 elements of nature) the sky , the sun and the moon and the earth and the air that is generating the energy of LIFE.
we can rarely find time to attend funerals or birthday parties ..its just a disruption to our normal so called boring life ….
the self consumed city life can and will kill creativity , happiness and inner well being of women and men alike .
My suggestion is to make city a liveable space for spirituality. (you are a spiritual being here to experience the world )
1. Find your inner peace, (if you are not happy with yourself, your body , yourself as in YOU) you will die as a angry old empty human being .(find time to give thanks ..stay in space of gratitude)
2. Smile and greet at other human beings more (start with saying hello to your grab drivers) Drop everything that seems important including your work – head home or a space where you could sit and just breathe (meditate).
3. Become more compassionate – give up seats not just because it yellow green or blue ..because the person needs it more than you. Be alive – keep a journal – write your thoughts of how you feel, and give thanks something as small the hot coffee that you drink every day.
4. BE kind to one another. Be a role model for your kids – switch off your mobile and have honest open conversation with your spouse and children at least ONCE A WEEK. Look at your loved one’s eyes and say aloud, “I LOVE AND RESPECT YOU AS WHO YOU ARE” while holding or hugging them tightly without judgements.
5. save up – put aside enough to pamper yourself on a road trip, travel, or a spiritual retreat. (spas only last few hours , a retreat will last a lifetime of inner joy and peace )