Conscious Crossover
Realization, Revelation and an Invitation

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The Path to Love

I wrote yesterday that for most of my life—until March 18th of this year, to be exact—I wholeheartedly believed that I was a failure and I was constantly setting myself up to make that belief reality.  I’ve lived with another personal demon for a very long time:  I believed that I was unlovable and I actively hated myself.  Further, I believed that I deserved to be punished for being so unlovable.  If that isn’t crazy, I don’t know what is.

I first realized how dysfunctional my relationship with love was on March 14th of 2010 during Level II teacher training at the Amrit Yoga Institute.  Typically programs end with Vandana with Gurudev but he was teaching elsewhere when Part I of that training came to an end.  To end our time together Kamini gathered us into a circle and each person took a turn in the middle while the rest of the group each said one good thing about that person.  I remember sitting near the middle sliding doors on the north side of the room hearing all the kind things being said and then it was my turn.

I knelt in the center and waited.  Forty or so people, in one way or another, each said “I love you” or “I love this about you” and each time the love expressed felt like a hot knife being driven into my back or chest.  I arched uncontrollably toward the ceiling and then rolled forward into garbhasana, sobbing from the pain of it.  With my forehead pressed into the floor I wondered, “What is wrong with me?!  These are my friends, my brothers and sisters, telling me they love me and I feel like Julius Ceasar on March 15th!  How screwed up am I?!”

My Chandrakant, my friend and mentorlove affair with hating myself started to come to an end in April of 2011 during Prana Awakening at the AshramChandrakant, my mentor and friend, led the group in Yoga Nidra which included us visualizing an altar at the center of our hearts with a bright candle sitting on it.  After watching the flame of the candle for a bit, he had us see a picture of ourselves on the altar and to feel our love for ourselves and to know that we were absolutely worthy of our own love.  Chandrakant then had us add pictures of spiritual guides, teachers, mentors and family keeping our own picture and love in the forefront.  For the first time I could remember, I felt love for me.

I shared this experience with the group and Gurudev.  I started to tell him that my heart had opened up, that I loved me and because I loved me, I was compelled to love everyone in the room.  Saying this, I turned to swing my arm in a slow arc around the room, showing all those I loved so dearly, and every face in the room seemed to rush toward me.  The experience was so overwhelming that I held my hand up as if to stop the wave of faces rushing toward me.  Since that day, I have not stopped loving me nor the people I meet.  That changed dramatically on Monday the 24th of March 2014, that was the day I stopped loving me and it’s the best thing that I’ve ever experienced and I continue to experience it to this day.

Realization:  I Will Love Me No More Forever

During Darshan that Monday, Gurudev said, “The purpose of life is to realize who we are and merge with it.  That means union.  That means yoga.  That means love.”  He continued and said, “The objects [that we are seeking love from] are not the problem, looking for love, union, in any object is the problem.”  Between the next two heartbeats, a whole lifetime passed.  I relived my self-hate as I desperately searched for love and approval from outside but never found what I needed.  No matter how much love I received from outside, it could never be enough.  I watched as my search moved inward and I began to love myself and I knew:  I had traded one set of objects—family, friends and things—for another object:  Me.  In that moment, just as I had with the procrastination and belief I was a failure, I stopped looking to myself for love.

Revelation:  I Am That

In that space between heartbeats, that silence between thoughts, I experienced love.  I saw myself luminated by the light of love.  Gurudev, Chandrakant and the others in the room were also illuminated by this light of love.  Love was everywhere and everywhere was lit by love.  In a rush, one of the Yoga Graffitis came to mind as Gurudev’s earlier words echoed in my mind, “The purpose of life is to realize who we are and merge with it.  That means union.  That means yoga.  That means love.”

Light of Consciousness

For so long I had been looking for love—in all the wrong places—only to find that I Am That, I Am Love.

Revealers

I shared this experience, some at least, with one friend as she wrestled with her own difficulties.  “That’s nice Ramdas,” she said.  “I understand what you are saying but I don’t believe it about myself, that I am love.”  Three days later, as she taught her final practice evaluation, she shared her painful journey of the last few years and then she said, “I Am Love.”  What happened so she could say such a thing, could know such a thing?  She realized who she was and merged with it.  This was the crux of this training:  Experience the reality of who we are, live from that place and learn how to reveal that same experience to others.

Invitation

Are you an Amrit Yoga practitioner?  Take the Level I teacher training, The Posture of Consciousness, if you have not.  Amrit YogaIf you have taken the Level I training, sign-up for the Conscious Crossover training today.  I have practiced Yoga for more than 12 years.  Two months of Amrit Yoga, which I began 5 years ago, changed my life more than the previous seven years of practice had.  The last four months have made a greater transformation than all the previous years combined.  Amrit Yoga teacher training is not about becoming a Yoga teacher, it is about you.  Embark on your journey of self-exploration today.

What if you are not an Amrit Yoga practitioner or if going to the Amrit Yoga Institute in Florida is not a viable option for you?  Find an Amrit Yoga teacher near you and begin your journey.  For those of you in Utah, come practice with me and watch for news about the Wasatch School of Yoga.

Jai Bhagwan!