Food is used as a great escape in our society, remove eating and you are left to face your Self, it is a wonderful opportunity to grow on the physical, mental + being levels. To be guided by an Enlightened Master is the only way to use these opportunities. We need the understanding, teaching, wisdom, guidance, grace — and all else that is given to us that is unknown because of our limited states of being — gained only by one who has gone beyond the web of mind + body and transcended to a state that we cannot understand, but are being shown the way to step-by-step, breath-by-breath, moment-to-moment.
Nirhara samyama initiation, batch 1, Redondo Beach (Los Angeles County), CA, USA satsang center.
Nirahara samyama first attempt with batch no.1 coincided with 2-day teacher training chakra workshop I was doing at Exhale Yoga studio, Venice Beach. During the day we had ended on an intense manipuraka practice, I left studio, attended Nirahara Samyama day 2 satsang, on drive back to evening session of workshop, I began to feel nauseous and vomited an hour later. I ate a piece of bread and went to bed.
Next day decided to continue for practice, realizing I would have to redo with batch 2, but wanted to see how I would do if I attempted it again.
Once more, this time after 36 hours (in addition to day 2 of the intensive chakra workshop) I encountered physical challenges in the form of an extreme headache, my head felt like it was going to explode! I ate a piece of bread and within 20 minutes my headache reduced drastically. I decided not to attempt to continue with the batch no.1 Nirahara Samyama.
I was living at the Redondo Beach Satsang Center with Ma Kaviya Ananda and witnessed her successful completion of batch no.1 Nirahara samyama. This inspired me to attempt once more with batch no. 2. I was aware that I had had some deep engram creating a subtle, but powerful emotion of anxiety regarding not eating. Probably on the most primal level it had to do with a fear of starvation, dying. Seeing my roommate complete the process with no side effects gave me the inspiration and courage to push through any mind-created obstacles. The strongest motivation though was that I was headed to India for 6 months in August which meant I would be able to participate in THE Samyama under the direct guidance of my Master, Swamiji. Nothing could be greater than to experience the great truths of authentic yoga and vedic wisdom — challenging the self-created boundaries of mind + body — in the presence of Paramahamsa Nithyananda!
My second attempt with batch no. 2 was successful and surprisingly easy to do. The first 2 days were the most challenging, mostly because there was delicious food being prepared in the household. Recognizing that this process only had to be approached one day at a time, I just relaxed into it. After the second day I began to experience a new sense of well-being that was the result of having more energy and feeling lighter. I was only consuming fresh coconut water, I loved the simplicity and thoroughly enjoyed the freedom of not having to spend time preparing food, eating, washing up and then planning the next meal just a few hours later. This was a whole new way of living, a great sense of freedom expanded within and a shifting perception and deepening awareness of my thought processes and emotions as related to food began to rise to the surface.
The 2-way satsangs and meditations were amazing, not only the sense of community and connection with the Master, but the direct experience that time + space is a relative concept…with the love, compassion and grace of an Enlightened Master anything IS possible. I am truly one of the luckiest people on this planet to have such a Master as Swamiji, sometimes so amazing I have to wonder if I am in some endless blissful dream.
Upon the completion of the Nirahara Samyama I felt fantastic. Friends were amazed at the process. Most non-devotees I encountered couldn’t quite grasp the possibility for themselves, although intrigued, most devotees were inspired. It was such a powerful process in observing how often food was the center of the life I had been living. Sharing meals with friends, cooking for others, receiving food from others, scheduling the day around food preparation/intake, noticing everywhere I went there was food! Grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, food everywhere I looked! I watched the way people ate, talking, on the phone, watching tv, driving, walking, working, gulping, slurping, shoveling it in, piles of food on plates and disappearing into the body mouthful by mouthful…it really looked a bit bizarre…what was all that “stuff” they were putting in their mouths/bodies?! 🙂 No wonder we experience so much more energy with no food intake! The miracle of digestion goes unnoticed for the most part…that is, until you stop eating!
I arrived in Kodaikonal to do THE Samyama. The process was phenomenal and with Swamiji’s daily energy initiations, grace + guidance it really was virtually effortless. We were in an amazing environment, with a living Avatar…there are no words to adequately describe the experience. It is something one must allow themselves to go through, to give themselves the gift of standing on the edge of infinite possibilities and jumping, with deep trust, into the unknown which merges into all that is. Within just a couple of days my energy level had remarkably increased. Many nights I only slept 4 hours, but awoke feeling wide awake and excited to enter into a new day. I experienced clarity of mind and increased flow of creativity, I was breaking through so many mental limitations imposed by societal conditioning. I was understanding on a deeper level that the human body is a microcosmic expression of the macrocosm. One only has to observe the wonder of nature and expand further to see the glory of the eternal rising sun, the infinite expanse of the universe to begin to grasp what miracles take place within our own bodies, our own eternal sun in manipuraka, these vehicles for atman, conduits for divine cosmic energy to express through when we set that as our intention and purpose.
Beginning every day with a live satsang with Swamiji is TRULY THE ULTIMATE for those of us who physically live half way around the world away from our Master, and to have the additional gift of THE samyama process was worth every challenge overcome just to be there. THE samyama was building and I was fascinated to see what this human body ‘I’ am living in is capable of.
As with the Nirahara Samyama, I felt lighter. The ‘heavy’ feeling in the belly area had disappeared and the expression of kundalini energy seemed to be intensifying by way of experiencing extended periods of pure bliss, reduced thoughts, intense heat and physical manifestations through spontaneous mudras and initial levitation, i.e. body lifting up for extended moments.
I became acutely aware of how many patterns were associated with food. My self-reward system of tea and chocolate was removed, what was revealed was my desire to not face a situation that was challenging. Upon reflection, with an understanding of the 4 tattvas, often when I was not in Sampoorthi and/or Shraddha I would turn to a food pattern rather than address the misalignment, which in turn just perpetuates and strengthens the aforementioned.
By the end of the 21 days I knew I had received a blessing that would change my life forever. Once again the paradigm had shifted, life revealing itself in a brighter light, illusions and wrong logic dismantled, as life with the Master unfolds beautifully amidst the textured backdrop of the awakening processes…there is no going back…and for that I am most grateful.
I continued with THE samyama for the next 4 weeks. I was staying in Thiruvannamalai and managing quite beautifully with fresh juices, soups and curd. I ate a meal one day, just because Swamiji said we could and I was curious. It was enjoyable, but very strange to chew and I was very aware of a drop in energy with the food consumption, definitely a direct correlation between food intake and energy levels.
I began to have toast some mornings and then began to eat chocolate also. Chocolate seems to one thing very deep engram for me! Overall I did not enjoy how I felt after eating solid food and wanted to continue on liquids. 5 weeks after THE samyama ended I journeyed to Bidadi and within 24 hours was going through some process with a high fever and literally slept almost straight through for 48 hours. A friend who is a nurse was strongly encouraging me to eat, so once I finally got moving I ate a solid food meal, and then another one and so it continued and that was it, I have been eating ever since!
Although I am eating regularly the weight I lost whilst on THE samyama has not come back, it seems as though my body has been reconstructed/rewired somehow. I would actually like to put on a few pounds :-), I was very lean as a girl/young woman and have returned to that state. I am confident my body’s natural intelligence will oblige as my system balances out.
My medical tests after THE samyama revealed excellent health, my high cholesterol levels had returned to normal, which was amazing!
Graphic Designer, Yoga & Meditation Teacher, Seeker
Redondo Beach, USA