Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Stupid or relaxed? Part 2

Struggling with my practices many years, I approached Ravishankar in different occasions about it. “Something is wrong with my sadhana, something is wrong with my mantra, there is something wrong … I don’t feel good with my practices. I don’t feel good afterwards. I don’t feel good during the day. My head is not good. My health is not good.” I don’t forget his look of disbelief and surprise. He clearly did not know what to tell me. Finally, he gave me his famous, “Keep doing it. It will change. It is an astrological moment.” To which I replied, “You call 5 consecutive years an astrological moment?”

For a devotee, catching the Guru in a clueless moment is perhaps one of the scariest situations ever.

A year after leaving the AoL, I stopped doing the kriya, the pranayamas, everything. It was a tough to stop it. I was used to it. I had been convinced I needed them to be successful and happy in life. To my surprise, I have not lost my radiance. In fact, people tell me I look so bright and a lot better! I was caught by surprise when someone told me one day, “Wow, you always look so happy, you are always so happy, what is your secret?” I did not know what to say! I was not doing any practice nor seva nor following a guru nor reading scriptures nor chanting mantras, and yet, people noticed my joy, my radiance, my good spirit. I used to reply to a comment like that, “Oh! I meditate!” or “Oh! You should do this wonderful course!” Suddenly, that day I realized, that joy, that light, that everything, is mine and only mine.

I am slowly recovering my ability to have critical thinking, of discriminating, of concentrating, of enjoying other things and not feel bad about it, of having interests of my own.

When I hear people attend Part 2 to feel relaxed, I don’t know what to say. On the one hand, I know it is true they feel relaxed, but on the other, I know they feel relaxed because of all the brain washing processes they go through. Sri Sri claims Hollow and Empty “polishes the mind”, washes away the deep impressions. What I have noticed over the years is people come out of it brain dead, agreeing with whatever previously they disagreed with, thinking they are happily relaxed. In fact, he always pushed us to get everyone to the Part 2 courses, as many as possible! “Your job (as a teacher) does not end until they do a Part 2, and then repeat it many times.” Of course, once you did the Part 2, you were programmed.

“Tip of the nose … base of the spine … the whole region from naval to throat is hollow and empty.” While people twitched and suffered, until completely hypnotized, as if under the effects of a trance, their heads became “hollow and empty”, in colloquial terms, “air heads.” You could see people’s annoyance the first days, until subdued, they walked around like zombies. After very cathartic processes of death and birth, people were put in complete silence, sitting through 3 to 4 hollow and empty, long hours of listening to that trance-like voice, reprogrammed, and then, “you may say your first word.” It was bizarre to watch people go wild after being granted the first word, actually, given back their freedom. But, their brains, our minds, already were not the same. We thought we were “cleaner”, I now know we were, literally, mentally hijacked.

It was almost funny to hear people who had hated every single moment of the course, the meditations, suddenly speak words of admiration for the whole program, in tears. It was always difficult to decide whether their joy was due to everything that we had done in the course, or that the torture was finally over. Then, still, under the seduction of the trance, we were made to watch a video in which he insists we needed to bring more people to the course, be smart, do whatever it needs to bring them - that is your seva, that is the way for you to maintain the joy you are feeling, remain in the path, surrender to the Guru. Or else, the other video in which nothing but throwing candies happen (it was apparently John’s birthday), and he only says, “Bring all your problems to me, drop them here.” Approximately 10 minutes of Radhe Govind, bad singing, stupid dancing, bad filming, corny set up, followed by people (in the tape and in the course, stimulated by the sobbing of the tape) breaking down in catharsis, in tears, and voila, damage done.

End of program (end of the programming).

I know someone who still dissociates today, as if they were still in a Part 2 but in real life - his mind tilts, freezes, checks out, even several years after having left the organization. In fact, he does not remember anything that ever happened in these courses. And believe me, he’s done tens and tens of Part 2 and 3!

1 comment:

Taomann said...

Hyperventilating causes ocygen deficiency. This is very basic knowledge that is missing from fire breath practices and sudarshan kriya is simply a recycled version of fire breath. When the system releases too much carbon dioxide through hyperventilation, oxygen is no longer properly delivered from the red blood cells to the brain. The body then releases endorphins as a counter measure because oxygen deficiency is threatening. This endorphin rush is a major reason for the blissfull relaxation after hyperventilating practices. There is nothing healing about it and it most likely doesn't enhance awareness. Over time, hyperventilating can damage health due to the increased free radical production it induces.