Sunday, 14 February 2010 17:56

Ashram Experience, Part 1 - Before and During

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 Would you like to boost your spiritual growth a bit? Maybe increase the speed or have time to totally focus on it without too many distractions? Go to an ashram. Better yet, go to an ashram in the middle of the woods that is difficult to get to with amenities that are barely civilized.

An ashram is a spiritual center where there are usually spiritual classes and places for silent retreat and meditation. The one I visited is a Hindu ashram with a cottage for the guru, places to sleep for visitors and a temple containing statues representing the Hindu gods, which themselves are representations of various aspects of the one god. There is worship in the temple each day and the gods and altar area is cleaned and adorned with fresh flowers each day also. The guru’s high energy and constant prayerful living makes the energy very warm, welcoming and nurturing.

This particular ashram is located in southern Georgia in the woods about 15 miles from the nearest town, which is tiny. You can read about them at www.arshavm.org. It is quite rural with the sleeping accommodations located in trailers (nice trailers) and no paved roads. The surrounding lands are farms and hunting grounds. It is a small ashram without a lot of money and the food provided is either frozen cardboard stuff that is barely edible to me or Asian Indian food that is strictly vegetarian and full of starchy carbohydrates. It is a 1.5 hour drive to the airport near me with the best flights, a 6-9 hour flight time depending on layovers, and a 1-2.5 hour drive from whichever airport I choose on the other end. Plus, I have some special dietary needs that I worried would not be accommodated and I had to pay for a pet sitter for the entire time.

My increase in shifting/processing began from the moment I made the decision to go and continued for a little over a week after I returned home. Heck it could still be continuing for all I know. I had been resisting going to this ashram for a few years because I just do not like being uncomfortable and it is quite a physical journey to get there, and, let’s face it, I was a bit afraid of what would happen to me while I was there. Plus I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to do something I wasn’t enthusiastic about. I actually opened my mouth to say no I would not be there when I heard myself say yes. Sometimes that happens when my higher self is kind of pushing at me to do something. I said yes on a Friday and I left the Saturday a week later. SHEW!! It is probably a good thing it was so fast or I might have backed out.

All sorts of wonderful support fell into place as soon as I said I would be going. It turns out my frequent flyer miles covered the flight, my friend, the guru of the ashram, arranged for someone to bring me to the ashram from the airport on her end, and someone paid for the pet sitting and car parking on my end. I had two unexpected clients who paid me in cash the week before I left so I had some spending money. Also, most of my food was going to be provided at no cost to me. Clearly it was the right choice for me to go.

I have been very intensely focused on directing my spiritual growth processes since December because my desperation about my money situation was overwhelming me. I was very determined to find a way to bring into the physical world visible and tangible manifestations of the incredibly expansive spiritual growth I had been experiencing. In spite of the shifting I had been doing over the past 16 years, I still had a lot of energetic/emotional barriers and convoluted/conflicted energies and beliefs around money and receiving/allowing. I was slowly, very slowly making progress when, once again, my friend invited me to her ashram and I said yes.

The last time I said yes I ended up canceling the day before I was supposed to go and refused to even try again until this trip. You know how it is, if you are intuitively guided to do something and you choose not to you are given many additional opportunities to do it, one way or the other. Apparently my higher self decided visiting this ashram was the best way for me to do some more shifting and growing.

The day after I said yes I began acting out. I created conflict with my friend, the guru, and began asking my higher self over and over if it was in my highest and best interest to go. The answer was yes each time I asked, even after all the additional meditation and focused inner work I did throughout the week. I also asked my guidance to clarify why I needed to go but I did not receive an answer. I worked with someone to shift the energies of the geographic area in the hopes that would mean I didn’t have to go. I also obsessed over packing and taking my luggage on the plane or checking it in, talked about the trip incessantly, and had a hard time sleeping the whole week before I left. Just aligning myself with my higher self by saying yes and intending on actually going began a whole new level of healing for me. The part of my ego terrified at annihilation really acted out all week. That alone provided many opportunities for healing and shifting.

After all that inner and outer drama the trip to actually get there was anticlimactic. I didn’t sleep much so I was incredibly tired. I think that helped it go more smoothly.

I fell into a kind of routine while I was there. I would eat breakfast in the trailer I was sleeping in then go for a walk on the grounds. After the walk I would spend an hour in the temple praying and meditating, and then go spend 4-5 hours with the guru helping her with whatever she needed. At about 4 pm or so I would go back to my trailer and read or rest, then eat and go back to the guru’s cottage for classes. I was alone a lot and it was perfect. I did spend some time on the phone but not much. I love that the cell phone worked even in remote southern Georgia.

It is a lot different walking in a forest in the quiet than it is on the beach or on the streets in southern California. The only other things moving were the birds and the squirrels (oh and various insects who were too small for me to notice). There were only two other people at the ashram besides the guru and myself and they didn’t walk the land like I did. I could breathe and could allow my energy to expand. I had the space and quiet to commune with the trees and the land. I didn’t realize how much the physical and psychic noise of being surrounded by so many people was irritating me until I spent some time in the quiet.

I still kept asking myself why was I there, why fly all the way across the country for a week. I didn’t get an answer. I also thought my immense tiredness or high blood sugar (the Indian food was very starchy) was the reason I felt like I was in an altered state all week. I know better now. Among many other changes, I relaxed, slowed down and I let go of a lot of stress. I don’t do that very often, so it is quite noticeable when I do.

That first morning when I walked, I did it for exercise. My inner conversation during the walk was still about analyzing my reason for being there and reviewing all the changes I wanted to occur in my every day life. Then I went to the temple. I didn’t know the ‘proper’ way to greet the gods of the temple so I just did what felt right to me. I rang a little bell as I greeted each god represented and asked for clear guidance and help. The first day I heard the laughter of the higher presence(s) in my head and felt my heart open. That is when I began to relax. I received the info that I needed to spend at least an hour at the temple each day for three days to get what I came for. The last day, Thursday, I didn’t need to go as it was going to be a day of integrating. I immediately asked if I could leave on Thursday morning instead of Friday morning and was told no that I needed to be there through early Thursday afternoon. Even on Monday I still had resistance!!

I began the meditation by praying that I would get out of my own way and to allow whatever changes were needed. I thanked all the aspects of god that showed up to help and asked for support and healing for the highest good for all my friends and family. I then went into a deep trance and came out of it about an hour later with no conscious knowing of what happened. However, some intense transformation began. The effects of it got stronger and stronger as the day went on. It was so intense that it was hard for me to enjoy some gardens we went to see. Well, except for the fairy ring we stumbled into. I enjoyed that immensely and played in the energy as long as my companions would let me.

I spent Monday night working with one of the other residents of the ashram energetically in my sleep and woke up very cranky. Admittedly, most of the crankiness had more to do with the grinding of my internal resistance of transformation than anything else. Luckily the guru needed a lot of physical work done that day because the physical exertion helped move some of the stuck stuff inside of me.My time at the temple on Tuesday was similar to Monday. I went into a trance and then woke after an hour. I immediately received the intuitive information that I was allowing all the shifting that I came there to do. I trusted it.

I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I wrote that much less actually experienced it. I trusted that I was allowing without any explanation or analysis or information. Another wonderful thing.

While I calmed a bit, I was still not feeling good and thought there was still some resistance going on. I got some help late Tuesday afternoon from someone who is a powerful energy worker (Linda White Dove – see her website www.lindawhitedove.com) to move it along easier. A lot of the emotions coming up were calmed and the places where I still felt some grinding (where energy just felt it couldn’t move) were dissolved.

I have to admit at this point I was still asking myself why I had to come to GA to do this work. All that came to me was that I needed to get out of my familiar environment and be away from so many people. In spite of all the work I did to detach from expectations for the week I guess I still expected some big dramatic answer or shift that would explain the need to go all the way across the country.Given all the choices I had made up to then and the money circumstances I think it was the best way and perhaps even the gentlest on the budget to get me somewhere away from people to do some grounding, relaxing and slowing down, so I could allow a more permanent and prominent shift around my money issues.

Linda and I also did some beautiful work on the Atlantis energy grid, which includes the eastern US (north to south) to the coast and some of the Atlantic Ocean. It lightened up considerably. After the work we did I felt lighter and much calmer and I was really able to appreciate the guru’s classes. She glows when she teaches. You can’t really see that when you watch her online classes but it shines through easily and brightly in person. I was so filled with love and gratitude I thought I would burst out of my body. I was a bit high and it took me a while to get calm so I could sleep.

On Wednesday I took a mindful walk, where I was aware of each step and the energy of each blade of grass and tree or bush I passed. I was more aware of the insects and a few squirrels matched me for part of the walk. The birds chirped at me the whole way around the land. I appreciated the quiet and the cleanness of the earth during the walk this day. It was lovely. THEN I got to make dresses for the goddess statue. I love to sew and it was so much fun to sew sacred clothing with the guru. We made saris and tops – 5 sets. SHEW!!! It was a lot of sewing but she is not used to having someone around who can actually sew so she wanted to take full advantage of it. I went to the temple in the afternoon that day and it was a very different experience than the two other days.

I watched as my integration progressed. I watched split lines of energy knitting them back together.I had conversations with the spirits that showed up, mostly about my own growth and a few people who will be leaving my life soon. I became very aware that I would not have to live at the ashram, that somehow it will all work out financially. I did not get any details but I just knew it would be ok.It was very uplifting. That night I attended two classes and then slept.

Thursday I woke up content. I went directly to the guru’s cottage to continue sewing. About mid morning I began to get very restless so I walked for a long time then returned to sew some more.Then I went to the temple, even though I didn’t have to. It was mid afternoon by then and I was ready to go home. So when I went to the temple I just started praying for everyone I know, including for all the aspects of god that had been helping me all week. I prayed for the guru, for the other people who had visited the ashram, for those who would, be visiting in the future, for my family, for my friends, for my online friends, for my website, for all my clients and for those who will be my clients, for my cat, etc. I danced around in gratitude and happiness. I was glad no one else was around because I felt so happy and uninhibited and wanted to be free to express myself. I also asked for help in healing some chronic conditions my body has adopted and felt a wave of healing energy undulate through me. It was sweet and comforting as well as healing. I felt satisfied with the week and complete with the experience.

The guru wanted to study and meditate before class so I went to my trailer thinking I would read but I ended up sleeping. Then I attended the last class of the week, hugged her good bye and came back to my room to get ready to leave in the morning. The entire trip back was smooth, I even got great seats when I printed the boarding passes the day before.

I had a very strong vision on the first leg of my flight back. I heard a male voice in my head, just as clearly as if there were a man sitting next to me (and there was no one sitting next to me), tell me that I would have a partner in this life and I would be very happy with local friends and community.What a lovely reassurance that was – and there was no way to mistake it or distrust it because it was so clear.

I will write about the following week where much more shifting, growing and knowing occurred in a different blog since this one has gotten so long.

The most immediate result of that week was an ability to be very present. The intense stress I had put myself under to change my patterns and beliefs so I could attract clients and earn some money was gone. I was actually patient with all the waiting at the airports when flying home and was able to thoroughly enjoy dinner with friends even after a trying day of traveling. I was able to be kind to myself the day after I got back and rest all day. I had astounding sessions with clients on Sunday even though I was still tired. And although I will write somewhere else about all the cool visions and processes that have happened to me this past week, I will tell you that I am still fairly calm and grounded and present. I still know deep in my heart that all will be well with me financially etc.

I am grateful I went and hope it is awhile before I need to do something like that again! LOL!!

 

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Read 1059 times Last modified on Monday, 11 October 2010 19:08
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