My ongoing journey called me back to the Jungle Ashram. I was needing to return to this ashram, spend time in silence and connect more deeply to nature.
We live in a busy frenetic world and my inner knowing was asking me to dive more deeply into my practice. To slow things down, take some time out and spend time in contemplation.
And so my next journey begin… I departed winter in the UK and headed to Northern India for an extended retreat in silence. My destination was Sri Swami Balyogi Premvarni’s ashram in Rishikesh. The ashram opened in 1960 and as stated on the website “The Ashram breathes with the energy of awakening and is purifying and rejuvenating to all who come. Seekers journey from all parts of the world to experience a deeper understanding of their true Self.”
I had visited this ashram on many occasions for short visits but I wanted the opportunity to spend time with Sri Swami Balyogi Premvarni and in this oasis of tranquillity. The ashram programme consists of daily asana practice, meditation, pranayama, Yoga Nidra, Tandra Yoga, daily fire puja, satsang with Premvarni, self study, reading and silence.
By practising mauna, total silence, each day keeps the mind calm and relaxed. The outward mind can turn inward for self-introspection. Silence brings us into direct connection with our true self, our conscious awareness, our divine nature. This practice also opens us to the energetic relationship with others and the universe.
This jungle ashram is a wonderful place to connect with nature as it is all around. Birds, monkeys, peacocks, squirrels, ants, elephants… The jungle was alive with the sounds of nature. The more I stepped into the place of silence the more I became connected with my surroundings and the ‘oneness’ with nature.
We are increasingly over-stimulated by the nature of our daily life and we bombarded by distractions. Retreat and silence offers a “detox” for the body, mind and soul. We can remove the distractions, allow the mind to clear, go into the space of inner stillness and silence, gain balance and clarity. Over time we can understand our true potential in order to fully flourish in life.
This was a gift of retreat, silence and self-reflection. A time to focus inwards, no demands, just time to be and reflect. Silence and slowing down offers the opportunity to listen more deeply to our inner world.
It was an honour to experience Sri Swami Balyogi Premvarni’s teachings and to discuss ideas. I had many thoughts, ideas and new teachings to take away with me. The next stages for me are to experience these teachings, explore the teachings and embody them.
As I write this I am now back in the UK. Winter is transitioning to Spring, my inner calling is to retreat from the world to take time to integrate these new and deeper learnings. I am reading more widely on the topics explored, continuing with my practice of silence and meditation. And so the journey continues…..
Sri Swami Balyogi Premvarni Ashram, Rishikesh