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In a little over a week I should be leaving for India to attend “Ashram Life” Yoga & Satsang Week at the Bihar School of Yoga ashram in Munger, India  I say “should” because I have the airline ticket and  itinerary set but I still haven’t received my passport with visa stamp back from the Indian consulate in Munich.  This is the second visa that I had to obtain this year; the first was back in September for a trip to China.  Obtaining the visa for China was difficult because I am not a permanent resident of Germany, but this one for India has proven to be even more challenging.

It is a trip that I have wanted to take for over 10 years now.  Ever since I completed my first yoga teacher training back in 2000, I felt that it was important to eventually make the trip to India, to the ashram, to the source and light of yoga I have been studying.  There have been numerous opportunities to make the trip before but with other planned travel as well as life circumstances, it was never the right time..  While Joerg at the visa service CIBT in Munich, has been very helpful and tells me that the visa has finally been approved, I will feel a lot more confident once I have my passport in hand.  At this point,  I have done my due diligence and it is out of my control and I can only believe that things are going to work out and I will be having an experience of a lifetime in India starting in about 10 days time.

Swami Satsangi

This past June I traveled to Hungary to attend a program given by Paramahamsa Satyasangananda “Swami Satsangi”, the second in line of the Satyananda lineage.  The opportunity to be in the presence of someone who has been literally living and breathing a yogic lifestyle for over 40 years was very inspiring.  During this visit I took the Jignasu Sannyasa initiation and received a spritiual name, Karunadhara (Karun:  kindessss, compassion  Dhara:  flowing, stream).  Jignasu sannyasa:  sannyasa means “renunciation” and jignasu means “willing to learn”. During this visit I took the second level of initiation to Satyananda Yoga-Jignasu Sannyasa  and received a spiritual name, Karunadhara (Karuna:  kindness, compassion  Dhara:  flowing, stream).  Jignasu sannyasa:  sannyasa means “renunciation” and jignasu means “willing to learn”.  As a Jignasu sannyasin I  agree to renounce, or give up, part of my  time to learn more about yoga and to help others who wish to learn about it.   Having continued my personal study of yoga  and seen the benefits manifest in my own life,  I felt that is was the right time to further my commitment to help more people discover the the wonderful and healing tools of yoga.  It was after this visit to Hungary that I started looking into taking my commitment one step further and finally make my way to India.

2011 has been the year of travel for me. Moving to Germany in December of 2010 and  traveling around Europe with my family and friends and Asia for my work with the Inline Certification Program, I have been to more countries this year than I had ever imagined and more then most people will ever see in a lifetime. It is almost absurd the amount of places that I have been.  I have been so very  fortunate to have the opportunity and means to travel like so much this year but another 2 week trip, even to the “holy grail” of destinations  like India, might be too much to ask of my family.  Even with my husband’s blessing, I started to feel overwhelmed about having to pack my bags and go somewhere again and thought it might be more yogic to slow down and  stay put.   However, when  I told my teacher, Swami Atmarupa who organized the trip, that it still might not be the right time for me, she strongly urged me to consider making the trip regardless of all how I might be feeling.  She told me  that there is word that

Paramahamsa Satyanananda

Paramahamsa Niranjananda

Paramahamsa  Niranjananda, who is currently the head of the lineage, may be going into seclusion very soon and that this could be one of the last programs that he conducts at the ashram for a long time.  Back in December 2010, Paramahamsa Satyananda, Swami Niranjananda’s predecessor,  left this life one evening during his meditation.  Having read  so many of his books and listened to his teachings and meditations, it would have been such an amazing experience being in his physical presence and I knew that I missed out by not making my way to India sooner.  Knowing what I missed by not seeing Swami Satyananda,  I  knew that regardless of how hectic my life was with travel I did not want to miss out on seeing Swami Niranjananda as well.

So, that’s it.  I am waiting form my passport and visa and meanwhile continuing to pack my bags.  Like I said, I have been to a lot of countries this year, but I have a feeling this journey will take me further then any of the rest.  Through daily ashram living I will experience simplicity, service, and silence.  Three things that will help develop a more deeper understanding and appreciation for my life and all the wonderful people who share in it.

After telling a friend about my upcoming India trip he sent me the lyrics to the George Harrison song “Inner Light”:

The Inner Light
Without going out of my door
I can know all things on earth
Without looking out of my window
I can know the ways of heaven

The farther one travels
The less one knows
The less one really knows

Without going out of your door
You can know all things on earth
Without looking out of your window
You can know the ways of heaven

The farther one travels
The less one knows
The less one really knows

Arrive without traveling
See all without looking
Do all without doing

I know the above words to be a universal truth but experienced by many.  However,  there are those who need to travel far and wide to remember that there is really nowhere to go.  That would probably be me.