“May your gathering continue to grow and be nurtured by your energies.”
—Swami Veda Bharati
It all started with a thought. A shared thought. In a sunny afternoon last November three of us met in Sydney for the first time, to share ideas. It had been on our mind for a while to connect the initiates and friends of the Himalayan Tradition here in Australia. One of us said: ‘how about we organise a weekend event, as an opportunity to meet and know each other’. The other two laughed. The same thought had come to each of us, few days before coming to Sydney, while sitting in meditation. Some may see this as mere coincidence, however those of us practicing for some time had experienced in numerous occasions similar silent share of thoughts. Well … this was a good start. Furthermore, we all felt that there was a strong intent behind this thought.
…and all else followed smoothly since then. Our first get together was to be held on January 24th, in
Adelaide, the tranquil capital of South Australia, lying between lush green hills and the Pacific Ocean.
Once back in Adelaide we started to organise the event: look for a place, design the content of the workshop and send out invitations. We found a nice, peaceful venue on a high land overlooking the ocean. This is a heritage building administered by an enthusiast group of volunteers who wish to preserve it as a community centre, despite being highly sought after by various entrepreneurs.
The event was intended primarily as a one-day practice workshop for the TTP teachers in training. The morning schedule included joints and glands, hatha yoga and pranayama sessions while the afternoon sessions covered meditation, yoga nidra, yoga and health and pranic healing. There was also time for discussions, sharing thoughts on how we see the future of our Australian AHYMSIN group.
We scheduled the meditation session to synchronise with the morning meditation time at SRSG (i.e. 8:30 – 9:30 in India). Some of us have formed the habit to sit in meditation at this time, no matter how busy our days are. We stay in touch this way with Swamiji and our friends in the ashram.
It may look small on the map, however, Australia is a vast country (about the size of continental US) with long distances across open country. What then motivates people from various walks of life, different age groups, to travel long distance just to spend one day together? The desire to meet and share stories on how the practice of yoga has changed their lives? The joy of sitting in meditation together? The need to make available to others the teachings that so generously were given to them? Well … all of these.
Below are some comments received from participants:
"Firstly, a great experience, long awaited and appreciated. Also an opportunity to share some of our teaching experience and feedback in a very supportive environment, which is so important at this stage of the TTP. Finally, a beginning of networking with like-minded people from the Tradition here in Australia. Thank you so much for all this."
“A small seed has been planted in a fertile environment from where it will no doubt grow. Thank you Swamiji for your inspiration and guidance”.
“I found the workshop very informative, enjoyable and very relaxing. I also learnt some new things.”
“I attended the workshop given by students of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition here in Adelaide. It was presented in a sincere, respectful and professional manner – I felt very welcome and thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. What stood out was the devotion the facilitators had for the Masters from this tradition, it was humbling; and I came away with techniques that are practical and simple to apply at home. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience I hope you will continue with workshops and classes.”
“Much can happen when people’s individual pranas align, heading into the same direction. This was only a beginning. The river of collective prana is sure to attract more tributaries, more people who are seeking to develop themselves spiritually.”
Personally, I do not know a better way to get to know someone than to sit in meditation with them. And I do not know a nicer way to become friends with someone. We sit in meditation and something from that moment of peace stays with us after we rise from meditation and go on with our lives. Our acquired habits of fear, of being judgemental, of fighting with others and ourselves, fade slowly and our natural needs for peace, beauty and friendship are more and more visible and manifest in our lives.
We felt so joyous together during our get-together in Adelaide that similar events are now planned in Sydney and Melbourne. We cannot wait to meet our friends again. We also hope to make new friends.
We will continue to support teachers here with their sadhana and their lives so that they have the confidence and peace of mind to go out and teach. Our aim is to make the teachings of the Tradition available so that more people will practice meditation here in Australia. It is much needed!