I am really honored and delighted to be part of the Meditation Steps project that Dada Sadananda initiated, with his very popular Russian YouTube channel, that now has versions in English and many other languages.
Together with the help of a very dedicated team of volunteers, we have managed to launch a Romanian version of the Meditation Steps course – called “Meditatie pas cu pas” as well as a YouTube channel, where I publish a weekly video.
It is my deep wish to see the transformative power of developing a regular meditation practice reach as many people as possible in Romania in an easy, accessible way.
When I was in training center, towards the end of the training, I had to memorize the Ananda Sutram. Several of the other sisters in training with me, had been professional actors, dancers and clowns before coming to training. I thought that if we could set the Sutras to music, and then act them out we could make a beautiful performance, and at the same time learn the sutras in a memorable way.
We created a multimedia performance, with Didi Ananda Shubha singing the sutras, slides in the background, and integrating work with masks, modern dance and indian mudras to express the beautiful journey of creation, from its origins in infinite love, to that cosmic destiny of each and every entity that enters into this cycle of creation, to merge once again in that same supreme, infinitely loving consciousness.
A filmmaker saw the performance, and was so touched that he urged us to transform it into film. The entire piece was shot through the middle of the night, during a retreat at Madhu Karuna in the dining hall, transformed ad-hoc into a recording studio.
On my recent trip to India, I also visited the Ananda Marga Wellness Center in the rural countryside of Ananda Nagar. Dada Dharmavedananda, who runs the project, discovered on the last day of our brief stay that I had video equipment with me – and so we quickly organized a documentation of this new center. It was quite an adventure and the whole team worked very efficiently together.
It was such a heavenly relaxing treat to spend time exercising in nature, taking yogic sun bath treatments, fasting and eating simply as well as doing yoga and meditation together. It is definitely quite far off the beaten track, but worth the visit.
There are correct ways and incorrect ways to do almost anything, including meditation. There are certain simple skills and techniques we can learn, that work and over time, tend to consistently lead to beautiful, inspiring results when practised with patience and precision. On the other hand, it is also quite possible to spend a lot of time and effort spinning our wheels without getting anywhere. How to learn the skills that will assure a steady progress in meditation?
If we were to sit down in front of a beautiful grand piano for the very first time, it is unlikely that we would expect to see our fingers flowing across the keys, effortlessly producing a stream of melodious music on our very first try. Even if we spread out the sheet music, with all of the notes for a Beethoven concerto before us, would it help us? Most probably, the crowds of notes, jumbling on so many neat horizontal lines like stacks of golf clubs would overwhelm us in its complexity. To attain the ability to play the concerto, we would need the help of a teacher – someone who already knows how to play, and who can start with simple exercises to build up our strength, dexterity and ability to read music. As we progress, and gradually become proficient in the basic techniques, slowly we learn to go beyond dry technique and truly achieve artistic mastery and self expression. Then again, receiving expert guidance from an advanced pianist who already knows how to delve deep into the music, fully engaging her whole body and spirit will accelerate our own progress and abilities more than if we practice only on our own.