Sweetness, Sincerity, and Swami Kriyananda
March 12th, 2007
Like Dave, I’ve enjoyed and felt blessed by my time here in India. One of the things that struck me immediately was how natural it felt to be here.
This pattern repeated itself several times in the first couple of days:
- I see someone (an Indian) while I’m walking down the street. They are probably staring at me; no smile or anything friendly.
- I smile and raise my hands in namaskar – a gesture like the traditional prayer gesture, with the palms held together. It means, “That which is Divine in me honors that which is Divine in you.”
- They break into an incredibly sweet smile and make the same gesture in return. The whole encounter is silent and has a sense of inward communion.
The Indians here have a natural sincerity and kindness that is inspiring. It’s a different kind of kindness than we might tend to practice in America – one centered more in being and less in doing.
For example, think of the kindness that we practice by listening to someone with real attention and interest. This can be more meaningful to someone than giving them a present. I find this more often here, along with a clearer understanding that “people are more important than things.” It may be a change in my own consciousness or a cultural difference; I’m not sure which.
Amusingly, perhaps especially so after my earlier post about joyful meditations, it has sometimes been difficult to meet even the minimum time requirements I set for my daily meditations ! A little counter-productive, right? To come to India on a pilgrimage and then not take enough time to go on the true pilgrimage: the journey within, towards God. Nothing to do now, I guess, but do better tomorrow (or tonight)!
Swami Kriyananda’s Talks
I want to write more about my time here, later, especially about a trip to the holy town of Rishikesh. Also, the twin weekends of events, with appearances by Swami Kriyananda, were very good. That Swami was able to speak at all is remarkable considering the recent difficulties with his health. The day before one of his talks I heard that he was having trouble even putting a full sentence together.
Yet he did come to deliver two talks that first weekend – and good talks, too! He mentions some health challenges in one of them, but as a friend said, you wouldn’t know it for being in the audience! He seemed really fine. So this was something that I found inspiring about the whole two weekends of programs. I think most people would have given up long ago, but Swami just keeps going, for God and Guru, with great willpower and grace.
All of the talks by Swami Kriyananda and others, from both weekends, are available online. I definitely recommend them!
Posts from Nabha Cosley
- How I Found My Guru
- Steve Jobs and the Autobiography of a Yogi
- My First Prayer Was About a Cat
- An Open Letter to Myself Before My Move to Ananda Village
- Day by Day
- The Prayer of Discipleship
- It’s Never Too Late
- “I Will” – A Tribute to Nayaswami Maria
- Behind the Scenes of the “Rescuing Yogananda” Website
- The Trip to Los Angeles
- Are We Ready for This?
- My First Three Months of Meditation
- Much More is Needed
- The Joy of Renunciation – What I’m Telling My Family About My Lifetime Monastic Vows
- Why Be Grateful? — Thoughts from Thanksgiving
- Writing Swami Kriyananda’s Website
- No Regrets
- What Makes Something a Success? (The Story of an Ananda-Style Photo Shoot)
- Daily Inspiration
- The Job of the Guru
- Ananda’s Future
- Dramatic Improvisation for Fun and Spiritual Upliftment
- Smoke, Clouds; Moods, Depression; and Freedom
- How Living in Spiritual Community is Changing the Way I See the World
- The Deer of Ananda Village
- My Parents Visit Ananda Village
- Why I Became a Monk
- Every Kriya Can Take Us To God
- Tea with Swami Kriyananda
- Life is Precious
- Paintings from the Joyful Arts Festival
- Prayer Vigil for Swami Kriyananda
- How to Build a Monastery
- The Easiest Way to God
- Traveling Within in India, Part 2: Our Visit to Vanamali Devi
- Traveling Within in India: Our Pilgrimage to Rishikesh, Part 1
- How to Start Meditating Daily
- Sweetness, Sincerity, and Swami Kriyananda
- Meditating in India
- What is Ananda?
- Thanksgiving blessings, and a way to develop gratitude
- Tibetan Buddhists visit the Ananda Meditation Retreat