I had tried a few of the New Age therapies around in the early ’90s, including affirmations, re-birthing, kinesiology and counselling, among others, but none of them seemed to fill the void, or answer my questions, or explain the mysteries of life, or even help me to feel better.
I wanted to learn to meditate so I could find peace of mind and equanimity, to improve my health, to become a better person and to satisfy a longing for knowledge of the truth about life, about the world. As Sahaja Yoga was free, I felt like I had nothing to lose.
I went to a program at the local Arts Centre. The people at the program were friendly and helpful, and I could see that some of them were very impressive in that they were very nice, kind, sincere, balanced, and strong within themselves without being egotistical or aggressive. I liked the fact that there were no rules to follow, and that you find the truth within yourself in Sahaja Yoga. It was different and interesting and I really enjoyed the Indian classical music. I was keen to find out more about the chakras and how to meditate.
Shri Mataji came to Canberra and gave a public lecture shortly after I went to my first meditation class. I was very impressed and thought she was an amazing person – strong, compassionate, wise, intelligent, funny, witty, passionate, knowledgeable, kind, refreshingly honest and direct, and I was surprised by her independent and original thinking. I felt inspired to give Sahaja Yoga a serious trial.
My curiosity was aroused and I was intrigued by Shri Mataji’s lecture at the public program, as well as by her talks on the videos we saw at the local programs. I was particularly interested in what she said about Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and about Lao Tse, Confucius, Abraham, Moses, Zarathustra and Socrates, and about realised souls like Mozart, Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Einstein and Gorbachev.
I was amazed to find that the techniques I learned at the meditation classes really worked! I was very motivated and in the beginning I used to meditate for five minutes every morning when I woke up, and at night I would footsoak, use candles to clear the left side for five minutes and then meditate for five minutes. I found that I felt better! I felt better physically. Emotionally I felt stronger. I was worrying less, sleeping better, felt happier.
And it was fun! Sahaja Yoga is fresh, alive, always different, never boring, never the same. It is always interesting and full of variety. I found small miracles started happening, making my life flow more easily. If I needed to speak to someone, they’d phone me, and if I became aware that I needed to buy something, it would be on special.
After doing Sahaj meditation for thirteen years, I spent seven weeks at the Sahaja Yoga International Research and Medical Centre at Mumbai in India. Here I learned more clearing techniques and had the opportunity to spend each day in clearing, meditation and introspection. I learned a lot from the teachers or doctors at the Centre and admired their dedication and selfless work in helping the people who went there. Since that time I feel I have gone through another deepening in my meditation and in my understanding.
I continue to be inspired more and more by Shri Mataji, by her selfless and tireless work for the spiritual evolution of all people, to help them find love and truth and genuine happiness, to help them become better people and to relieve their suffering. I have been helped so much myself that I want to help others find the same peace and joy that I have found. I enjoy listening to her lectures and am always finding new things I hadn’t heard before.
I continue to feel better, emotionally stronger and to have better self-esteem and more peace of mind. I sleep well, worry less and cope better with stress, I’m not buffeted around by my emotions and I’m less affected by others’ opinions of me. I am more optimistic and hopeful.
I enjoy meditating more and more and find it more and more helpful in my life. I find the clearing techniques helpful and have got to know myself much better through clearing and through meditating: why I react as I do, how I can act differently and more constructively.
I have better judgement, I feel more certain about the right thing to do, have better judgement about people and situations, and am not swayed so easily by other people. I find meditation helpful in finding the right solution to any problems that arise.
I feel satisfied and content with my life. Material things are not so important and minor inconveniences don’t worry me so much. I feel like the emptiness inside has been filled by the knowledge of the whole. I feel like the mysteries of life have been answered.
I am still fascinated by learning more about Sahaja Yoga and about how it fits into the scheme of things, the way it is an integral part of the intricate web of life, how it permeates into everything, how it is the basis of life itself – science, nature, the absolute, the ultimate truth.
It’s continually heart-warming to see the wonderful qualities in the realised souls, the Sahaja yogis – the love, the kindness, the integrity, the truthfulness, the simplicity, and each one’s particular talents and abilities. I enjoy seeing the variety of their different life journeys, all leading to the same destination but travelling there by many different roads.
The love, kindness and blessings showered on me, the love I feel for others, the nice feeling of being able to forgive, and the warm feeling of seeing others express their love towards me and towards others never cease to amaze me.
I enjoy seeing the myriad ways beauty is expressed by realised souls in music, dance, literature, art, craft and architecture.
In a world where there is so much cynicism, so much dishonesty and trickery, so much cruelty and hatred, Sahaja Yoga gives me the strength to continue to behave with integrity and honesty and kindness. It also gives me the strength to cope with adversity and to maintain my equanimity in the face of so many threats – natural disasters, climate change, wars, disease, terrorism.
Sahaja Yoga gives me hope for the future. If many people take to Sahaja Yoga all the world’s problems can be solved. Just as Sahaja Yoga has transformed my life it can transform the lives of others. Sahaja yogis don’t add to the problems of the world; they help to solve the problems. They are also able to help and support others.
I heartily recommend Sahaja Yoga. Try it! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
(Photograph: Vishnu Bonneau)
The Sahaja Yoga Meditation Program first went to air in 1995 on Radio 2SER at an 11.00 – 12.00 timeslot and was the initiative of two Sahaja yogis. What a great initiative it has been! Thirteen years later we are still on air, offering a unique program where people can experience the state of meditation over the airwaves. To the best of our knowledge we conduct the only program of this type.
Each program always includes at least one substantial guided meditation to enable listeners to deepen their meditative experience in the comfort of their own homes. The content is at the discretion of each presenter. Included are diverse descriptions and discussions/interviews about the many aspects of Sahaja Yoga, including ancient traditions, the religions of the world and history’s great spiritual personalities. Also we make use of music conducive to the meditations, or to illustrate points being made. The music is varied and often original, sometimes performed live in the studio or from recordings made by Sahaja Yoga practitioners around the world. Occasionally, we have a delayed outside broadcast, wholly with live performances.
All programs to air have been paid for solely from contributions volunteered by Sahaja yogis, rather than by sponsorship.
The aim of Sahaja Yoga, in Australia and worldwide, is to offer the experience of Self-realisation to everyone regardless of race, creed, religion or age. This is something that has never happened before in the history of human evolution. Traditionally, achieving Self-realisation was very difficult and perhaps only one person in a hundred years would receive it. It was also always a one-on-one practice of guru and disciple. However, the guru who was able to give Self-realisation had disappeared in these modern times until the coming of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, the founder of Sahaja Yoga.
On Saturday 31st May 2008, we invited people who had been attending regular weekly meditation programs to come to the Sahaja Yoga Centre at Wamuran, 60 km north of Brisbane, for an advanced meditation workshop. We had emailed subscribers to the newsletter as well, but as it turned out, the weather had other ideas!
Heavy rain, storms and flooding hit the Sunshine Coast area that weekend and some people indicated they might not be able to attend. Preparations were well in hand, however, and plenty of food and refreshments had been organised.
Despite the conditions, ten guests braved the elements and the muddy driveway, to further their knowledge of Sahaja Yoga. After the introductions, some light refreshments were offered, and then it was into the meditation room to start the proceedings.
After a formal welcome to Wamuran, a brief introduction to Sahaja Yoga followed. After this we went through the Self-realisation, as some people had never attended a program. Then out came the footsoak bowls. Yogis helped in clearing chakras during the guided meditation and we could feel the vibrations increasing. A demonstration of working on one’s own chakras was then given and instructions for meditating at home.
A period of quiet meditation followed, accompanied by some sitar playing. The vibrations were strong during the meditation, and people’s faces seemed to take on a more serene appearance.
A talk by Shri Mataji called “Establishing Your Self-realisation” followed. We rounded off the workshop with some bhajans, ending with the Maha Mantras. Meditation then continued, accompanied by some quiet music.
The delightful smells from the kitchen soon brought our attention to our nabhi chakras, however, and then it was time to mingle around the dining table savouring the cuisine. Our guests were genuinely happy and at ease, and most didn’t want to leave, staying for cups of tea, laughing and chatting with the yogis. Some even helped with the washing up!
Amazingly, it was only after everyone had gone, that we realised that it hadn’t rained at all during the entire program, even though destructive winds and torrential rain had been forecast.
The feedback from the guests was extremely positive. We are planning to hold monthly workshops in the future on the last Saturday of each month.
The Winter Magic Festival of Katoomba is on 21-22 June 2008. Sahaja Yoga will have a stall at the Festival and will have a spot in the parade. There will also be performances by “Music of Joy”, the Sahaja Yoga music group.