Purusha: Path of Light pt.2 – The Group and the Gap!

The Purusha compound was multi-tiered, with each dormitory-style building separated from one another by stretches of black asphalt that wove between the greenery like a thread sewing the scene together.

Purusha HQ

Walking into the dining hall many a bright eyed, bushy bearded yogi watched us with avid interest. I could feel the local Purushites checking our vibe. Not with any type of weirdness, just trying to assess the groups overall energy.

My eye darted around to the plates of food on the various men’s trays. I  breathed a sigh of relief when I saw the all-familiar Indian dish called kitchari (Check this rice and dahl recipe, and you can always substitute Ghee for Coconut oil.) At least there would be something hot, nourishing and vegan! I also saw fresh chapatis on an occasional tray. Due to a health crisis, and food allergies 6 years ago I’d decided to go gluten free, wheat free, dairy free, and sugar free. The look of these fluffy, lightly dusted wheat discs made me forgo my decision and give them a try.

Chapati Station.jpg

I later found out that the dough was all organic, freshly ground from wheat berries, and packed with goodness.

Then came the rain. A wall of dark clouds had saturated the sky. As soon as we parked it started pouring… It felt like a massive cleanse. The freedom of the downpour was relieving and the smell of the wet asphalt was strikingly nostalgic.

Many of us took the golf carts back to our residence hall. I decided to run for it. The feeling of being rained upon is like Nature bathing you in joyous tears. She’s crying for how beautiful life can be. Soaked to the core, I changed my clothes and made it to our initiatory meeting. When I arrived, everyone was seated, lit with anticipation. The group looked like a royal congregation, a roomful of peaceful princes. As I took my seat, I felt myself sit straighter, steeped in silence, and an inner confidence began to percolate.

We were then given an introduction to the course. I won’t go into specifics much, but this course would be a place to gain maximum rest, rejuvenation and a deeper connection with our TM and TM Sidhi program, as well as plenty of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (MMY) tapes. Maharishi always emphasized how to gain the most from his lectures.

“Just be simple, innocent and listen.”

Having gone to High School at the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment I was familiar with profound knowledge cleansing effects. I had a daily experience of this simplest form of awareness during his many hours of lectures. I often found myself adrift in a state of  lively alertness, in my own body, yet witnessing myself aloft with eyes closed. Even in Maharishi’s own radiant presence, when my entire High School class was invited to go to Vlodrop Holland, I remember my state of physicality both in and outside my body, amidst his massive awareness.

“There will be some level of intellectual understanding for what we experience on this course. When the experience is there, we can enhance and update that with a deeper level of understanding.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

I knew then that we were going to get into depth about the Gap. A place of pure unmanifestion, of totality. A place I also knew to be that transcendental place between thoughts. The place we all (as well as our known universe) emerge from, and what us TM’ers call Transcendental Consciousness (TC.) Excited to go deeper into my experience of  TC I decided to allow the course to do it’s work.

Then were sent to bed and told to sleep in the next morning, and be easy with ourselves. But having been stuck in a car for 8 hours 2 days, I decided to take a short walk instead.

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Next time: Purusha: Path of Light pt.3 – Walkabouts & Wakefulness!

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Purusha: Path of Light pt.1

“I am silence. Silence is all there is… Silence contains dynamism. The cyclic relationship between silence and dynamism where both are one, this is Samhita.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Even with my art career starting to blossom, and reconnecting with a great friend who was gracious enough for me to move my art studio into his home, things were not going as smoothly as I’d hoped. I’d lost sight of my goals, my passion was expressed mostly in sex, and my finances were shaky at best. Despite being deeply in love with a young woman, and making art every day, I wasn’t fulfilled. I eventually realized that my spiritual cord had been somehow unplugged, and only by reconnecting to this would I become revitalized and gain my mojo back.

Two days later, a good friend of mine invited me to join him for 10 days of meditation, and total immersion into myself in the foothills of West Virginia. Organized by the ELI (Enlightened Leadership International,) this would be a taste of the Purusha program. To me, Purusha was associated by a group of elderly white-haired men who dedicated themselves to a very reclusive, celibate (or at least single) lifestyle. Daily practices include studying the Vedic Literature, longer meditations, and eating rice and dahl every day…. Not something I previously had any interest in.

However, when MarQ asked me if I wanted to experience this, I found a quiet, subtle voice that spoke to me in a whisper of confidence and clarity. I found myself saying “Let’s do it.”

If I had known then that my ears would be ringing with a roar of silence, and my heart would be purified by the depth of an inner ocean I would’ve tried Purusha much sooner.

“Intention is a tremendously powerful unifying force. Co-existing with the absolute force of diversity, the organizing power of the Veda is found at the gap.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Now I am no stranger to spiritual experiences. My parents are both TM teachers, and I have been meditating and practicing Yoga since I was 10. I have been fortunate enough to even have a basic understanding of complex cosmic concepts such as Ahimsa, Karma (and Karma Yoga,) Gyana Yoga and Kayakalpa (the art of body transformation, yoga set and secret to immortality.) I’ve always resonated with Hindu philosophy. Reincarnation, nature as sacred, all gods and religions are facets of god’s brilliance, and can lead to total realization (as long as you don’t try to impose your beliefs onto somebody else.)

Kaya Kalpa was a ninety day process performed during an isolated retreat to elicit intense bodily purification and deeply nourishing rejuvenation.

Kayakalpa pranayama

I can honestly say that these 12 days on Purusha has been a rekindling on an profound level, and propelled me into states of mature love, strength and self acceptance.

Once I made the decision to attend the course 2 days prior to the date, I had to make some smart decisions. If I were to finish my art projects, make peace with my relationship, move into a new studio and get a scholarship I’d need all the support of nature I could get. After knocking out the artwork, a flurry of e-mails, moving all my possessions into my friends cozy geode-embedded house, packing my travel gear, some rapid conscious communication with my partner, I was finally ready.

After loading up the trusty 2001 blue Honda Odyssey mini van with bags and wholesome vegan road food, I was feeling ready for anything. After all I’d be heading off to the woods of West Virginia, and spending the next 14 days together with my guy friends. Imagining myself reconnecting with my core, my love for nature, and my spiritual path, I had the thought, “I’ll be a different person coming home.” (If I came home of course.) and the idea made me feel even more alive.20170727_153842

On the road trip, I kept mostly quiet, content to read my books (the secret life of plants, and creative confidence.) We stopped as often as we needed relief, and to rally inside the plethora of gas stations, to marvel at the absurdly artificial apothecary of America, and stretch our legs so my crew could stay limber. I was glad to have packed my healthy vegan snacks, sprouted crackers from Alura Anderson, homemade hummus and fruits.

Hummus & Crackers

After many hours, a sleepless night at a Motel 8, I was feeling pretty run down. I had forgotten my tongue scraper, and could feel the buildup of plaque on my tongue. But we pressed on with a promise of deeper rest, and expanded awareness in our hearts.

Once we reached the mountain range, I perked up. I could feel as though the mountain watched me as we entered it’s habitat. It was a wild, wonderful feeling I’d not felt in years… It felt like we were entering some long-forgotten oasis. A place where wild things still roamed, and ancient energies made themselves visible at dawn and dusk.

Mountain roads

When we finally arrived at the Purusha Headquarters, we were greeted by the all-familiar white buildings, with gold Kalash standing like a cosmic satellite dish aimed at the sky. The backdrop of emerald green hills left me speechless. I felt this was a place  from another age. Created for some kind of royalty. And sure enough as we entered the compound, we were greeted by a few golf carts piloted by casually dressed men with snow-white hair, baseball caps, and flip flops. They might’ve been mistaken for groundskeepers, but I knew better than to judge based on appearances…

Next time: Purusha: Path of Light pt.2 – Power of the Group and Gap!

“Make your relationship with dynamism as intense as it is with silence.” – Maharishi Mahesh Yogi