The City of Angels Springs to Life with Inner Engineering
On a crisp spring morning, at the Los Angeles Convention Center, 650 volunteers extensively prepare for Inner Engineering with Sadhguru, taking great care to attend to the final details - the spacing of chairs, the arrangement of flowers, the final sound check for Sounds of Isha.
The convention center fills with over 3,000 people from all over the world, some traveling from as far as Brazil. Having discovered Sadhguru on YouTube, most are curious to now see him live, wondering what the experience will be like in one of the largest convention centers in the world, rather than on a screen in the privacy of their homes. A tangible excitement fills the air as the crowd talks quietly.
Sounds of Isha plays a beautiful melodic tune, and as Sadhguru enters, participants begin to clap. After the opening invocation, Sadhguru begins by playfully chiding the participants about their YouTube connection to him. “Here,” he says, “you cannot eat popcorn and watch me, you cannot pause me to take a call or to get something to eat!” As they laugh, Sadhguru asks for their full commitment over the next two days: “Just stay on. This is not a teaching, this is not a philosophy. This is to prepare these two tools, the body and mind, in such a way that they always work for you, not against you.”
From that moment forward, Sadhguru creates a bond with each one of the participants as they set sail on an inner journey. Sadhguru tells jokes and stories, which send waves of laughter throughout the hall, and imparts practical wisdom that is received with a resounding appreciation.
An enthusiastic participant from San Diego explains, “Sadhguru actually taught us how to re-engineer ourselves through ancient yogic techniques, the effects of which were immediate. It is a rare teacher who fully embodies his teachings. Sadhguru is that sage. He personifies joy while still being wholly engaged in the world with his social and environmental projects.”
“Next three days,” Sadhguru tells the audience, “there is only one subject here, one boring subject, and that is you, you and you alone. Is that ok?”
“Yes!” The crowd roared.
Sadhguru jokes, “I'm trying to increase the percentage of ecstatic people on the planet. You are my hope!”
Sadhguru then explains the significance of Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya, the ancient yogic practice that will be imparted during the program. He says, “We are trying to capture more life than we have right now. That is, if we sit here, being a life is more than enough because this is the most significant thing in your life right now, that you are alive. Everything else is secondary.”
“If you make this life more significant than this body, thought, emotion, than all the wealth you can possess, then you will naturally know how to be.”
A local seeker from Los Angeles shares, “With his intellectual skill to tell engaging stories with humor and profound wisdom, he goes beyond the scope of anything I could have imagined into unlocking the gift of human existence. His simplification of yogic physical movement and breath work was a welcoming relief.”
Another from Canada shares, “When I was on my flight here, I had put together three questions and I really wanted to be able to grab the microphone and ask Sadhguru. By the time I was done with the first day, he had already answered all three of my questions. The experience was a whirlwind that provided a lot of clarity.”
On the second day, seekers fill the hall bright and early, settling into their new yoga practices. A peaceful feeling sweeps the space as they experience the first signs of meditation through guided Shambhavi. As they open their eyes, Sounds of Isha picks up the pace with the upbeat “Alai Alai - Wave of Bliss”. As the drums began to beat with intensity, many stand up to clap and dance to the delightful tune.
Sadhguru enters the stage and immediately joins in the dancing, sending a round of cheers throughout the hall. Participants jump and dance with more fervor and excitement, trying to match Sadhguru’s sense of abandon. Many circle the stage to be closer to him, creating a feeling of joy and openness.
The long-awaited initiation into Shambhavi then provides a deep experience for many. “During the initiation, I felt a sense of calm wash over me, it was something I had not experienced before. I felt a lightness, a separation of mind and body, thoughts just washed away and I felt empty, present, peaceful.”
Another shares, “An overflowing feeling of empathy, humility and reverence for life encompassed me. It felt like I was conscious of my life’s journey, through my existence on this planet.”
After the initiation, participants sat unmoving, overwhelmed, many in tears. The hall was perfectly quiet. Many shared their experiences:
“I felt blissed out, happy, and grateful. To have it happen so quickly is just so otherworldly, but really super human.”
“I am not only left impressed, but entirely uplifted... I depart this experience with a deep knowing that my life has just been touched in a way which I can not yet even begin to comprehend.”
“Inner Engineering is a journey into the profound beauty of life and its boundless love. One is awakened to the oneness of Universal Life and Humanity. Thank you Sadhguru for your guidance, compassion and joy. We are alive and yes, incredibly grateful.”
“There are no words to express how deeply this has moved me. It has been a journey for me of joy, tears, pain, bliss all encompassed into one and has left me so incredibly fulfilled. Life finally makes sense and nothing can replace this completeness that I feel within myself. I will be forever grateful to all the volunteers for their loving dedication and to Sadhguru for being a beacon of light in my life.”
Then the soft hum of Sounds of Isha began as Sadhguru walks slowly down the center aisle. Participants soon began to line the aisle to get closer to him, many tenderly holding up their arms to touch his hand as he walked by.
One volunteer shares, “This was my first experience volunteering for such a large program. It was heartfelt to see how Sadhguru created a sense of intimacy with all 3,000 people present there. In Sadhguru’s words, ‘Intimacy will happen only when someone is able to touch something in you that is beyond the body, beyond the mind, and beyond emotions, something that you yourself did not know existed.’”
At the end of the program, one participant stands up to ask: “Sadhguru, I had to wait 61 years to meet you. How can I make my teenage son receptive to this program?”
Sadhguru laughs and explains that every generation is like this; the old people want to fix the young. Instead, he explains, make yourself in such a way that when they look at you, they say, “Wow, I want to be like this.” Then you don’t have to give advice. Sadhguru adds, “Please understand this. You cannot change much unless you are the example of change.”
Before closing the program, Sadhguru urges everyone to make use of tools of transformation, “If you value everyone around you, the best thing you can do is be a wonderful human being. They just want to be with joyful people.” Then he reminds us of the immensity of simply being alive. “If you are alive tomorrow morning, when you wake up, will you give yourself one big smile?” Sadhguru explains that millions of people each day lose someone who is dear to them. “So you just check those few people who are significant to you, check if they are alive, and if they are, will you give yourself one more smile?”
As the program comes to a close, Sadhguru reluctantly leaves the stage. Many participants stay back to soak up the space and hear more of Sounds of Isha -- some dance, some sway to the music, some simply are left in a peaceful, blissful meditative state.
Editor’s Note: Find out more about Inner Engineering, including upcoming program dates and venues.