A participant shares her experience of Samyama, the advanced meditation program offered at Isha Yoga Center.
I just attended my third Samyama this past February after Mahashivratri and I am finally writing about my experiences. However, I can only truly convey how Samyama affected me by relating how my journey of sorts led me to Isha and of course to my Guru.
“Feel anger, but eliminate the actions that come with the anger.” This is a quote from Sadhguru given at a Sathsang in Michigan, USA some time several years ago and I still recall it, due to the fact that it directly relates to me and my own trials and tribulations over the years. I have dealt with anger in many of its forms my entire life. I came from a family of serious yellers and thus I became a yeller and a screamer myself. In addition, I am an attorney, thus anger honed in just the “right” way can be quite beneficial in carrying a useless “legal” argument across. As an attorney and just as being myself, I questioned everything, including Sadhguru. Through my cynical view of the world, my anger was fostered and flourished openly. In basic terms – no one crossed me or there’d be trouble. Well, I was lucky enough that Sadhguru crossed me because he brought a whole mess of trouble my way.
I took his seven day Isha Yoga Program in the USA in April of 2004 along with my husband and it has been a long, tedious, yet crazy and beautiful journey for me in the past five years. After the program, I really didn’t take care of my cow all that well. I basically gave up on the practices two weeks after the program. Although he touched me during that program, I just wasn’t willing or really, desperate enough to do as he instructed. It really took distressed times for me to turn to my practices to lift me from my own depths of desolation. Yet, even after I was lifted through his kriyas, I was still so doubtful of everything that had to do with him. I really had no gratitude or insight about anything in my life and that included Sadhguru.
I had taken the Bhava Spandana Program in November of 2004 with Sadhguru and it was . . . interesting – not mind-blowing like a lot of people describe it to be, but it certainly “turned” me. My first Samyama was in 2005 and quite honestly, I didn’t prepare for it at all. I had a lot of issues and excuses – good ones of course, but in the end, I wasn’t ready for my first Samyama and it depressed me. My first Samyama was like my BSP, just stronger in every way. I had spoken to my cousin who had also taken the program and she said she had felt her kundalini when all I had felt was my aching throat and knees. Thus, the effects of my first Samyama were not immediate, but rather unfolded sweetly. Over the coming weeks, I began seeing and feeling things in a more intense way and I suddenly began to realize that my anger was slowly, very slowly and subtly dulling. It was as if nothing mattered, yet everything mattered. I no longer wanted to become unattached, but to be completely attached with everything and everyone. This feeling was so new, so sweet, yet so uprooting for me. I mean, I am a self-serving individual with anger issues and now my personality was delicately changing and it scared me because I felt I wasn’t really doing anything to become this way – someone else had done it for me and he was and is a walking human being with the energy of a “God,” or so I thought and still believe. However, alas, I once again did not keep up with my Samyama practices as instructed by him. None of the good things that were happening in my life because of him encouraged me to truly listen and follow what he had to say. I was stuck in my old ways, stuck in my brain, wanting things I thought would make me fulfilled and happy when I did not have a clue what those things really were – but he did.
Then Sadhguru invited me to do sadhana at Isha Institute of Inner-sciences (iii) during the summer. That summer was an intense rehab for my soul. For the very first time – it was through iii and the people that lived there – I learned true dedication, true gratitude and true selflessness. The intensity of my feelings was so great, I began to see Sadhguru in everyone there. It wasn’t just seeing him in all of these people, it was feeling his energy and then looking in the mirror and realizing he is in me as well and that I was beginning to love these people as an extension of me. It was that one summer that led me to my third Samyama.
Preparation for my third Samyama was quite different from the first two. Still, ever the lazy little human that I am, I waited until the fortieth day prior to Samyama to begin preparation, but something took hold in me. Towards the end of the forty days, approaching my leave to the Isha Ashram in India, I was even getting along with my mother-in-law, like a house on fire. Thus, by the time I left on the plane to my final destination, I was ready and willing to be with Samyama and to take it back with me to the USA thereafter.
Once again, my Samyama was not mind-blowing, but it was incredible in every way. This time, Sadhguru literally held our hands as if we were his children, through every process. I felt like a little baby, being told what to do and at the same time, completely taken care of by all the volunteers and by Sadhguru himself. I had no privacy whatsoever and at every point, my day was planned from the food I ate, the breaks I had and the times I would use the bathroom, but again it did not matter. The only thing that mattered was Samyama and it was when I came to that realization that I gave myself completely to it. It had taken me two other Samyamas and a whole lot of mental trouble to get here, but I was here and I enjoyed every tedious yet elating moment.
Now, hopefully this will not be my last Samyama, for I plan to return if he lets me, every year until I pass. I am on his proverbial bus and I’m not giving my seat up for anything and luckily he has made plenty of seats available for anyone willing enough to enjoy his ride.