“My experience at Shri Kali has been one of real life. It is funny how when people come here, they refer often to what they will do when they go back to real life. I suppose they are referring to a place without palm trees or a beach but an office building and a work schedule in its place. But life is what we make of it. We create our experiences. Life is still in full motion here. Every moment feels like part of my sādhanā, or better yet, my life whether here or there is the ultimate sādhanā. That being said, I have really high days, some lower days and many, just regular old days. Some days I feel like I am really starting to see myself and other days I feel like I am on automatic pilot with my conditionings, just riding along.
But when I really inspect, look back and reflect, I see a very subtle slow unveiling occurring. Before, without really noticing, there was still a part of me that was always trying, trying to be a good person, trying to be helpful, trying to say the right thing or do the right thing and now I am more along the lines, or closer, to a place of just Being. Paradoxically the more I just experience life from this place of Being Me and acting from the core of my expression, the more I really am saying the ‘right’ thing and being the ‘good’ person because it is real and only that which is true and real is part of our Dharma. My experience here has been like a subtle stripping away of excess baggage and conditionings, and in doing so, coming to a place of serene contentment. The more I live this Tantra Yoga system, the less I feel I need to be anything or succeed in anything other than just enjoying being me and enjoying the experience of life around me. I always had wanted to get to a place where I no longer felt like I had my practice and then life as two separate occurrences. I have arrived. Now I know, I experience this reality, the practice is life, in every moment there is the Divine expressing and we are all here to play in this exquisite existence. When I feel this more and more, little by little, I feel in complete peace, in joy, in a place where nothing else could possibly be added. My experience here, you can say then, has been about coming home.
I originally came to Shri Kali in a process of working my way back to the source, if you will. I feel like I have been in that process for most of my life. I kept trying to find the origin. I studied and explored many spiritual avenues and kept looking in all these places noticing the thread between them but seeing that most of them along the way had become incomplete. After years of practicing Tibetan Buddhism, I realized a whole half of the equation felt missing, everything felt dry and lacking in expression. In Kuṇḍalinī Yoga I came away feeling amazing and I saw improvements in my students but I knew that there was science behind it missing, something lacking integrity and the root of truth. It was too ungrounded. I wanted the science, the deeper wisdom and I wanted a feeling of completion in this science, Shakti with Shiva. Well, I found myself at the fountainhead. Here is Bhagavan, a man who has decoded the Vedas, the most ancient scripture of the world, that which all comes from, and from a Tantric perspective. Tantra is the most whole perspective I know! In viewing things through this lense, it gave me the truth about other religions; it striped them back down to their Essence just as we are all being stripped back down to our Essence. This knowledge gave me back my appreciation for Tibetan Buddhism and a more grounded and connected understanding of Devī Kuṇḍalinī.
I cannot really say that I have a favorite aspect to this system, or what I could say is that it’s all my favorite. You cannot take one from the other or it wouldn’t be what it is. The philosophy brings us back to the true wisdom principle; the āsanas, prāṇāyāmas and bandhas clean the subconscious mind; and the pūjā becomes a celebration and actualization of truth. Together as one, this system works to create a whole new blueprint of yourself and the world around you, of the other, of the cosmos.
I always knew yoga was not about performance and was about your personal relation to the Divine. I understood that before coming here, as a practitioner and teacher, but I longed to really experience this fully, to fall in to what asana really is, a moving meditation. It was as if my prior practice had really delivered me to a certain point where my desire opened to the fullest experience of yoga, union. After months of doing this same asana series almost every day, something many at first brush off as boring (believe me, it is worth the wait and integration), I really feel the essence of yoga, of union. I see the way it washes my subconscious clean. However, it is only now that I really feel it is possible, the fullness of being with oneself.
I trusted Tantra was so much more than the modern circus it had become and I was so hungry for that truth and integrity behind Tantra. However, it felt like I might have to go to the end of the world to find authentic teachings yet it only took coming to Shri Kali Ashram and meeting Bhagavan! Now, I really get to experience the kaleidoscope of Tantra. I realize The Essence is boundless and one without real description, it is a way of being and a way of life that far surpasses any word or picture. Tantra is Wholeness and Truth, Life blood and Absolute Consciousness. It is everything because it is the reminder to be Love, express from Love, live Love.
It is through the community here, in living day to day with people that this whole dynamic system is integrated, is felt. In many ways, I wonder if I will ever be able to look back and feel what it felt like before this wisdom came in through my heart. Thank you to this home and this family for your devotion to truth and the sharing of this Truth.”
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