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Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda Bharati, Swami Ritavan Bharati, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice.  This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


I can only visit Rishikesh once or twice in a year, in that case how can I keep track of my practice?


Lalita Arya (Ammaji) and Stephen Parker (Stoma) have answered this question.

From Lalita Arya (Ammaji):

I love to tell stories and lessons we learnt from Baba, Swami Rama, that may help others on the Path. Once when in the very early stage of Baba coming into our lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, my dear husband, who later became a swami, said to Baba that he wished to go to the Himalayas. So Baba queried -


My husband - "I want to find God."

Long pause with Baba smilingly replied - "So God does not live in Minneapolis?"

End of Lesson.

However, maybe this lesson might not be applicable to the question asked if the student is seeking direct guidance from one of the teachers/initiators in our Tradition. I would like to suggest that you do not need to 'keep track' - just meditate if you have taken classes/or been guided by/or initiated in the Himalayan tradition.

Sincere, dedicated meditation will take you to the place within yourself where you will find the answers you seek...it takes a looooog looooong time, you just have to be devoted. Coming to our Rishikesh ashram helps to renew the focus as it is an ashram of peace, quiet, meditation and devotion. It is important in one's life to have the experience of that kind of space, just like taking time off to relax the body by getting a massage or some such relaxing session. Proper ashrams provide the tranquility needed for this Path. Come when you can but don’t stress about it.

We as humans get anxious about stuff - and we mistakenly put meditation as some kind of goal we have to achieve. Meditation is the journey, meditation is the goal. It guides you to where you are supposed to not GO, but BE.

From Stephen Parker (Stoma):

I loved Ammaji’s response and, in general, I think that is the answer. From time to time if you are working on a specific skill or habit some kind of journaling may be helpful in tracking how it’s going or in keeping track of positive outcomes, in case you are the kind of person who needs to be reminded of them.

Aside from that, it is my Guru’s job to track my progress. If I ever found out that I was in samadhi, I’d just get a big head about it. So I leave that to Him/Her.

Editor’s Note:

If you have a question about spiritual practice, you can use the "Contact the Spiritual Committee" link on the Ahymsin website to ask it.

Previous columns can be read at “Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…



The Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation

Purification of Thoughts     Dhyana    Mindfulness
Japa     Dharana     Shavasana
Breath Awareness     Qualified Preceptor
Guru Disciple Relationship     Unbroken Lineage
Yoga Nidra     Silence Retreats     Full Moon Meditation

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