“Why are you going to Coimbatore?” he asked me. I noticed his mustache was little long. He blue and white shirt was neatly pressed, he spoke English and he was dressed like a business man.
“I’m going to an Ashram for a week. I’m not exactly sure of the name, I think it’s called Isha. It’s a last minute decision.” I told him.
“Ah, yes, how do you know about Isha?” He asked
I explained that I had been travelling with friends for the last week when our tour guide Bharat, from Delhi, mentioned it. He has been going for a few years and loves Guru Jaggi Vasudev. He recommended I go for Mahashivarathri, a Hindu festival celebrated every year in honour of Lord Shiva, the Adiyogi – the first yogi.
Bharat found out Sadhaguru was leading a program called “The Innerway” for 5 days before Mahashivarathri. All my friend could tell me was that it would be transformational and something I must experience while in India. I went on-line and read what I could about the Guru and his Ashram / Foundation. He’s a mystic and a yogi who facilitates mediation and yoga programs all over the world. The Ashram has a Dhyanalinga yogic temple, with a 13 foot 9 inch lingam made of high density granite. The temple is purely a meditative space that does not ascribe to any particular faith or belief system. The Isha Foundation is a non-religious non-profit organization entirely run by volunteers. One of the many social initiatives funded is called Project GreenHands. The project is currently in the Guinness Book of World Records for planting over 8.2 million trees by over 2 million volunteers. I decided to throw caution to the wind one more time and do the program.
“I have many friends that go there. I’ve been once. It’s very powerful. It’s magical. You’ll experience magic after a week there. Really,” he said. I could feel the excitement in his voice.
Not knowing how to respond I stayed quiet. Silently I was thinking, “Good, I want to experience magic in India. I wonder what he means.” I listened to him tell me about a German colleague that was considering going to the Ashram on his last visit to their office in Coimbatore. In the end the colleague decided not to go. He wasn’t open to a new experience that he didn’t understand or have context for. It sounded like he was trying to advise me to stay open to a mystical and spiritual experience. Something different from our Western ways of thinking and understanding. Again, I sat quietly nodding my head and agreeing it was about staying open.
After the plane landed we said goodbye at the baggage terminal, he gave me his business card and said, “Here’s my email, please write me after your week there. I would really like to hear what you experience. Really. Please tell me about it.”
I smiled politely and gave my word that I would send him an email as we shook hands and said goodbye. Waiting for my bag at the carousel, I felt inside this was the sign I was heading to the next place I needed to be. Whatever doubts or negative thoughts I was holding onto were all in my head.