One of the remarkable utterances of Sadguru Kedarji, an authentic Shaktipat Master, from the weeklong retreat is that there is a difference between teachings and the instruction and leadership of the Sadguru. Guru's Grace is everything. He also spoke about the necessity to wean the restless mind on to the Self with the “carrot and the stick” approach to imbibing the discipline necessary to break the habit of the mind wandering in worldly distractions.READ NOW
2020 Week-Long Retreat Report
by Jamie Walker
Listen to the audio above
or read the article below.
Sat Chit Ananda Guru Ki Jay.
Fearlessness and Courage – The 2020 Nityananda Shaktipat Yoga Week-Long Retreat
In today’s world, we are all looking for the same thing: Love. Happiness. Peace. The indescribable Joy of the Self. Yet so many people are easily swayed by messages that infect the public with fear, which then gives rise to worry, anxiety, greed, depression, anger, guilt, shame, discontent and a whole host of other useless emotions that erode every aspect of our well-being.
In this year’s week-long retreat, “The Power of God’s Love and the Guru’s Grace: How to Conquer the Influence of the Gunas and the Malas by Cutting Off the Head of Egoism,” Sadguru Kedarji reminded all participants that our true nature is Joy, pure Consciousness, and the Bliss of the Self. He also offered lessons and instructions based on wisdom and proven methods that have been documented over centuries by an unbroken lineage of sages.
The beauty of engaging in these methods is that from moment to moment, they allowed us to quickly experience our true inner state – the Love, Grace and Joy that are our true nature. As the week progressed, by consistently applying these methods through daily spiritual practices of meditation, chanting, contemplation and satsang, all of us observed an increase in moments where our minds stopped seeking distractions, our emotions became steadier, our bodies relaxed or felt more energetic, and each of us directly experienced more inner peace, bliss, fearlessness and courage.
Lessons and Group Discussion
Through Sadguru Kedarji’s lessons and our group discussions, we examined how by exercising our free will – our power of choice – we can either choose to love, or we can choose to reach for the false notion of the “ego idea” – the false notion of individuality that leads us to feel separate from one another instead of recognizing that we are all One and part of the same Self.
When we reach for the “ego idea,” then fear, doubt, and worry arise. This fuels our habits (“karmas”) that lock us into cycle after cycle of actions and reactions, which lead us into the same perceived challenges again and again. It is only by way of the Guru’s Grace and our self-effort of heeding the wisdom of his instruction—coupled with our Humility, Reverence, and Longing—that we can stop reaching for the “ego idea.” And then, we can directly experience fearlessness, compassion, and courage—all of which are necessary to promote truth, righteousness (“dharma”), and justice.
We Forget Our Oneness With God
We examined how in our pursuit for limiting desires and cravings, in our pursuit of worldly comfort, security and reward, in our pursuit of praise to avoid blame, and in our pursuit of pleasure to avoid pain, we conceal and forget our Oneness with God, and we create our own suffering by feeding into fear. We also directly experienced how, through Witness Consciousness Centering techniques and other Dharanas, meditation on the form of the Guru, performing selfless service, performing japa (mantra repetition), and other spiritual practices, we readily imbibed Sadguru Kedarji’s Grace.
In these ways, with great joy and gratitude, we learned how to heighten our intelligence – our Witnessing Awareness that is higher than the Mind – and how to strengthen our skills that are necessary to eliminate the expansion of egoism, extinguish the flames of fear, and freely experience our true nature of bliss.
Sampling of Retreat Experience Shares
One person shared;
“I arrived at this year’s weeklong retreat with a very busy mind. Prior to the retreat, I’d been putting in a lot of effort for my job, for extensive house cleaning, and for preparations related to the retreat. I felt tired and stressed. So I welcomed the privilege of dedicating a full week to immersing in practices to quiet my restless mind!
As the days passed and my restless mind settled as a result of engaging in daily spiritual practices and imbibing Sadguru Kedarji’s Grace, I felt inspired by an awareness of how easily my attachment to the false notion of the “ego idea” can lead my mind to complicate tasks.
During the weeklong retreat, I also felt inspired by an awareness of how living in fear is like driving a car that is stuck in reverse gear. Pretty soon, you run out of gas, and you end up stranded in a direction that is completely opposite from where you had intended to go! As Sadguru Kedarji uttered, “Nothing can be accomplished if you are not in a state of Joy and Bliss, so that you can release fear, quiet the Mind, and hear instruction.”
He also spoke about the importance of equipoise and how it is key to preventing the “ego idea” and fear from rising. He uttered that together, equipoise and fearlessness are what keep our state of mind from degrading and our inner state from contracting when we face a perceived challenge or feel overwhelmed by emotions. As a result, I now feel re-charged to “drive forward” toward equipoise – toward living a temperate, balanced life from moment to moment, so that I can truly serve humanity with love, joy, compassion and excellence. What Grace!”
Another person shared;
I went into this year’s week-long retreat feeling buried by my own tendencies—tendencies like fear, anger, self-loathing, and anxiety, to name a few. However, in the company of Sadguru Kedarji, I experienced his Shakti and Grace in a near-palpable fashion, immediately. Every teaching and anecdote seemed to speak directly to me. While I was busy judging myself, Sadguru Kedarji extended and expressed only the highest Love, which surrounded and comforted me like a warm blanket on a winter night. The teachings were beautiful reminders of how, no matter how “imperfect” I felt, my perfection was already within me. I didn’t need to seek external people, places, and things to make me happy. Throughout the week, every time I immersed myself in either my Guru’s instruction or contemplations of His teachings, Joy and Bliss welled up and those initial tendencies dissolved.
Kedarji’s own Guru had said, “Conceal your merits as you would your wealth. Your defects are obstacles. Let them be criticized.” By holding this understanding and utilizing the practice of the Arc, my feelings of self-loathing, anger, and anxiety quickly dissipated, and I was able to see mundane “struggles” as stepping-stones in my Sadhana, rather than barriers.
By the end of the week, my intention was to be a vehicle for my Guru’s Shakti, extending that same unconditional Love to others around me. After the close of the Retreat, I was eating at a local restaurant, the server took note of my state, commented how she would love to experience that same level of peace, and expressed an interest in meeting Sadguru Kedarji herself!
And another person shared:
Although I was not able to attend this retreat, I noticed that during the week that the retreat was held and since then, my chanting has been accompanied by physical kriyas, with heat and a pervasive blue light emerging in my Consciousness.
Jamie Walker is a Disciple of Sadguru Kedar and has been a student of Nityananda Shaktipat Yoga since 2010. She lives in Georgetown, TX and works as a supervisor in a local agency that addresses abused and neglected children.