As a child, I had big dreams, save-the-planet kind of dreams. An environmental activist in school, I pursued related studies thinking I could make a difference. That got shot down by practical thinking adults, my own logic, my doubts - "What can you do, alone? How will you change anything in this mad world? Just shut up and get a normal job." I did, and quickly realized it wasn’t for me. So, when I met this group of unconventional humans who seemed to have even bigger dreams, for whom caring for everything and everyone was not an alien concept, I had hope. It seemed much more intelligent to join hands with people working on making every single person into an eco-friendly, inclusive, loving and joyful being. Instead of working on the symptom, Sadhguru was addressing the root. I had seen this transformation happen right in front of my eyes, while volunteering. It was more incentive than I needed. I flew to India to explore this, leaving a life of utter comfort, a family who thought I was thoroughly brainwashed, and into the adventure of a lifetime!

The training devastated me. I mean that in the most positive manner. A ride that oscillated between heaven and hell so many times, it became pointless to even try to understand. A journey that revealed the madness of my own mind, illusion of senses and layers upon layers of conditioning that covered my vision like a thick blanket. The trip of a lifetime, within myself, uncovering, discovering – amazed and wide-eyed – the miracle life is. It felt as if I had lived 5,000 years and yet had the exuberance of a 5-year-old.

Those days, I could not even imagine anyone other than Sadhguru in the role of a teacher, least of all a fool who took herself so seriously and was literally averse, borderline phobic, to any kind of public speaking. This kind of fool, he empowered as an Isha Yoga teacher. Don’t ask me how. The compassionate mystic is ruthless. At times the tender mother watching her little ones from a distance, other times the swift butcher, he mercilessly chopped away at everything I thought I was.

After 4 years of training, I was not keen to teach. Was much more interested in remaining drunk with the bliss I had found within and staying away from people. Naturally, the master of mischief sent me out. I was a nomad, living by Grace and the warmth of the volunteers who hosted me. For many years, I was mostly traveling, finding more freedom with every offering. From this freedom flowed poetry, melodies, rapture, and endless energy.

It was not always fun though. There were struggles, uncertainty, foggy days, mistakes, painful moments, and times when I thought I should just go and live alone in a cave. But the ever-compassionate master always found ways, mostly indirect, to break the patterns of karma I had wound myself in, just as they became unbearable.

As I stand there, wearing the guise of a teacher, I am keenly aware – intensely alive. Every single time, it is like exploring myself all over again, with new eyes. Every time, it feels like it’s the last thing I will ever do in my life. I stand there trying to keep a straight face, but laughter bubbles and tears pour. It is almost an insult to try putting the experience in words. Offering myself this way – still, bare, porous, unrefined, transparent and awake, witnessing the incredible transformation in the faces in front of me, in their eyes, is fulfillment beyond logic. A witnessing of immense delight!

~Tina (Inner Engineering Ishanga)


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