Nice to Meet You, Gurudev


Photo from Amrit Yoga Institute

My eyes were closed, my spine energetically elongating with each inhale, my seat settling in with each exhale. I envisioned the crown of my head as a lotus blossom, opening towards the heavens, as I chanted, “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya…Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya…Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya…

And then I felt it: An energetic pulse of pure love in my heart chakra, as if someone had placed their hand on my heart and poured positive, loving messages into me.

Nice to meet you, Gurudev Yogi Amrit Desai.

Lisa tapped my shoulder. “It’s time to stand up,” she said, and she sounded so far away. “Place your hands in prayer to greet Guru Dev.”

But I had already met him. We had already greeted one another.

I struggled to get up, feeling as if a bubble had been popped, and placed my hands in prayer, greeting him (again), “Jai Bhagwan.” A muffled chorus of respectfully excited greetings abound, “Jai Guru Dev! Jai Bhagwan!” Muffled, to me, because all of my senses were focused on him.

His presence, his youthful spirit, the wonderful aroma of perfume, his sparkling eyes, his warm smile, the flashes of gold and crystals, his energy, his wisdom, his bare feet, his laugh…

Him. And I had a seat in the front row!

The harmonium was tuned a little high, he said, but that’s OK, we will sing the prayers anyway.

Asatoma Sadgamaya

Tamasoma Jyotri Gamaya

Myritorma Amritam Gamaya

From there, the world drifted away for two hours, only coming in now and then as a rustle of buckwheat filling in my bolster seat; my neighbors whispering excitedly to one another in Ukranian; and the tickle of blanket fringe on my feet.

I sat in awe as he spoke about the powerful, healing, life-changing effects of yoga and yoga nidra; the karma body and how it blocks our true selves; reactive perceptions and how we re-create our pasts over and over again; being fully present with beginner’s mind; how energy follows attention and that we need to stop protecting who we are not; how harmony breeds profound creativity, letting you go from causing happiness to being a cause of happiness; and the practice of cultivating consciousness.

But how? The message was simple: Fire the judge, hire the witness. And he told it in many different ways, relating one story to another, from a modern divorced couple to the first couple, Adam and Eve, from an irritating person in the ashram to regarding everyone as he would God.

Of course!                            *Lightbulb*                           “A-ha” moment

I felt like I had been handed the key to the Universe, like the source code to all suffering was revealed to me, like God, for a short time, decided to visit me. And then I felt this great responsibility to share this wisdom, like Gurudev said, to not keep it to myself.

Profound is one way to describe my experience. So much so that, when I look back at my notes, they don’t make much sense. You see, my mind was hit with so much Truth, it became a little stunned. All of my senses were taking in so much enlightening information, that my system got overloaded. It’s as if the entire world was dark, and someone turned on all the lights–at once.

It was bright!

With so much energy flowing through me, by the end of the lecture, my note taking was down to scribbles of wisdom as my brain was trying to juggle listening to more from the fountain and capturing the golden nuggets in a jar.

But I did write down three words–a message that I can easily remember, a pathway I can follow.

Three words that I think paint a picture of what Guru Dev has taught me:

Truth. Consciousness. Bliss.