From a Cocooned Existence to a Liberated Life – Butterflies at the Isha Yoga Center, London
A volunteer’s account of the unique Guru Purnima celebrations at the Isha Yoga Center in London.
The first Isha Yoga Center in Europe, established in London, celebrated this Guru Purnima in a very special way. In the build up to the celebrations, the center welcomed a batch of freshly hatched caterpillar larvae. This was highly metaphorical as their journey from a cocooned state to fully-grown butterflies symbolizes the metamorphosis a seeker undergoes on the spiritual path. There are many similarities between their transformation, and our own. To help understand this significance, Sadhguru tells a beautiful story about a caterpillar that wanted to experience a dimension of existence beyond survival. He captures its growth beautifully with the following words: “Once the transformation had taken place, it is impossible for the butterfly to return to being a worm.”
The journey of the butterflies, from little worms trying to survive, through the stillness of a cocoon, to a full-fledged life willing to experience the nature of its existence was a true motivation to all who came in contact with them. The center followed their growth through a series of blog posts on social media platforms. Often the caterpillars would fight playfully as if pushing each other to accelerate their growth! They won the hearts of everyone, and provided a timely reminder of the wonderful things that happen when one's energy is focused on inner transformation.
Volunteers recall an interesting anecdote: when the drumming started during the Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya initiation, the caterpillars responded to the music by suddenly moving from their still upside-down position to a wild dance of exuberance. With their eyes glued to the performance, the viewers were mesmerized by the caterpillars’ movements in response to each and every beat of the drum.
Sadhguru often emphasizes on the importance of a consecrated space for a spiritual seeker. This fact was made evident in the turbocharged growth of the caterpillars, fostered by the conducive and nurturing environment of the center. It came as no surprise that the center’s charged atmosphere propelled them to blossom into butterflies much faster than their natural cycle. This growth on a fast-forward mode also carries a message for a seeker on the spiritual path: being in the center’s energetically charged space hastens the pace of his transformation! The process is subtle but is building up in the system and the change is sure to manifest itself, just like it did for the butterflies.
The Guru Purnima celebrations at the center were kicked-off by releasing the fully-grown butterflies to an enthusiastic response. It was a fitting start for the center, which envisages to become a hub for raising human consciousness across Europe.
Editors Note: The Isha Yoga Centre at 1-2 Silex Street SE1 0DW, London offers Inner Engineering Programs regularly and also conducts various Hatha Yoga workshops. Tucked away in a serene location in the heart of London, it offers a tranquil space to meditate and rejuvenate amidst the fast pace of modern life. We invite you to come and visit the nurturing atmosphere of the center and experience the joy of the space firsthand.