During my trips to different places in the world, and specially India, I have met some amazing beautiful and talented people. All searching for something. All discovering their own path of moksha and enlightenment. All searching for balance of body, mind and soul. Discovering their own dharma in life and feel real inner peace, bliss and happiness.
Meditation is the only road to a divine and truly happy life. It brings you back on track to your own true self or pure soul JivAtma. In between thoughts in complete samadhi is where the connection with the higher lies. And once you discover this amazing feeling of bliss during meditation, you find out that the world, our earthly existence or maya, does not match this energetic world of love at all. There is so much un-loving stuff going on.
So what most of us would like to do is distance ourselves completely from everything in the world and sit on a high mountain in the forests of Nepal or Cambodja to escape into a deep meditation. Bliss forever. Like Parvati did during her penance in the forest.
A lot of amazing spiritual places exist because of this inner urge of wanting to be connected to a higher vibration of living: yoga communities, ashrams, retreat spots, hippie places, they exist all over the world now. And this is okay. But only to recharge the battery and go back into daily life’s struggle again. This sounds strange and contradictory, but it is not.
With nature and Bhakti Yoga we are able to reload and receive a lot of prana: this gives instant bliss and happiness. But only by living in culture and meet daily life challenges you can really overcome your ego-self in the process of Jnana, Karma and Bhakti Yoga. There is no other way. And this has to happen to be able to reach enlightenment.
In day to day life’s struggle you can actually learn about yourself and overwin your negative habits, thoughts and patterns. If they don’t show up, you don’t even know that you have them! And ‘showing up’ is only possible when they are triggered by another person or experience. How can you know that you are afraid of spiders if you have never even seen one? And how can you know if you are jealous if there is not this person who comes into your friends life and spends a lot of time with her (just an example of course)? So we need these experiences to get to know ourselves. And what is yoga all about? It is the road from yourself, through yourself to yourself. This is only possible in earthly life and not on a mountain doing meditation: this will never give enlightenment. It is good to recharge the battery and to extend your knowledge by studying yoga and ancient Vedic science: this helps big time, because everything starts with buddhi or intellect. All forms of consciousness start in our mind.
So go out there and travel, this is very good for your development, but enlightenment is only to be found within the self and not outside in a beautiful temple, cool yoga community or blissful jungle. It is with the connection with the higher energy of samadhi that you can find moksha and that is only to be found within. And you only get there by digging inside your personality so that you can get rid of all attachments, fears and bad habits, so that the internet connection with divinity becomes brighter and stronger. You have to clean up first.
It feels like becoming stronger by being in that ashram, but if you never challenge yourself, the higher energy will not give you the right energy anymore. The light can only be felt by light. It is as if the higher vibration is rewarding you for that inner process of struggle like Arjun on the battlefield in the Bhagavad Gita: it is the only way to the light. That cleansing process is necessary.
Every guru should help you making this connection stronger so that you can go home and battle, because only with that you can reach moksha and the state of yoga. And that lies within: it does not matter in which country you are, you can connect at any time in any place once you have reached moksha. And the road to it, is bootcamp.
There is this last very important aspect. The divine energy wants you to be out there in the world. This is because you have an important task to do, like a warrior for God. You need to give the right example to other persons by living this healthy and austere life with high norms and values. With a lot of love for others. This love IS God, it IS divinity, it IS the Higher Energy.
So only by living a loving life and doing seva (selfless service) you can reach God. Because God is love. If you give more, you will receive more of it, because you need it. Keeping it all for yourself would be selfish and feels nice for a while, but eventually it brings you nowhere. Your soul will not be cleaned. That is Karma Yoga. And dharma (doing the right thing or your personal task for God to fulfil in this life) leads to a clean karma.
God wants you to be out there and help Him: every person you help, will be contaminated with the light of divine love. And this person will start changing, unknowingly. You don’t even have to mention this, just help and God does the rest. You’ll be the fragrance of divine love and become His instrument. This is the power of love that will change your own life completely as well.
In this era we need to help others in order to grow and reach this higher stage of divine living (which gives absolute bliss). It cleans our karma and brings us back to our true selves of love: the soul. And only this will bring the soul back into the world; that which is missing at this moment. Once the work is done and Sathya Yuga, the Spiritual Era of Love starts, we can all rest and sit down on a mountain doing yoga and meditation: for now we have to battle! We have to bring love back into maya.
So go out there and bike to the grocery store for your old neighbour, buy these beautiful orange roses and give them to a random stranger, give food to a hungry man in the street and help a child in need: you will radiate so much love that God will be felt through all your actions! This is true austere living. This will help you grow as much as the receiving person will feel your love.