Sunday, February 07, 2016

My Journey to India - Questions for the Swami

I am about to embark on a journey that has been a long time coming. I have always wanted to go to India. I once had a chance, but finances made it impossible. I’m going to see the culture, eat the food, meet the people, go to Bollywood, hopefully to see a tiger, study yoga with my Swami and do some charity work.

Although I have studied intensively yoga and yoga therapy I have never had the opportunity to study under a Swami. I have always wanted this opportunity as I have some questions to ask the Swami. My Swami’s name is Prakash which means bright light and one who has the ability to understand people and to merge conflicting viewpoints into creative harmony.

My name, Lynn, means pool of water; something deep and yet flowing.  He has spent many years alone in the Himalayas and I am coming to India from Los Angeles. The two views of the world could not be different. So I am hoping to merge our points of view into a harmonious flowing thread of understanding.

One of my questions is why in a world of such much does so many have so little. I am sure he will tell me it is karma. This state of the world (the rich and the poor) is so that those with so much have the opportunity to accumulate punya (merits- good deeds) or endure the burden of greed. Either way the universe does have a perfect accounting system.

I believe in karma. In fact I have written a book on karma yoga. The doctrine of Karma states that nothing comes instantaneously. Everything is the product of a long learning process. One of the lessons of karma is that we are all subjected to time gates. In karma yoga a time gate is a passageway or opening that changes your life. There are prosperous time gates and destructive time gates. It is the level of our wisdom that determines which gate we will walk through. Most of the time, due to our ignorance and unawareness, we walk right past the time gates that are open to us. But when we do walk through one it changes our life. It has taken me a long time to discover this time gate I have now walked into. I guess I had a lot to learn before I could open this door and take this journey.   When the time is right some doors close and other doors open.

My second question -What is the meaning of Yoga? This is how I would answer this. I am looking forward to the Swami’s answer.

 It’s not about the poses, the clothes, or the notoriety. It’s about the journey. Yoga is a way of life. It is about living your life as a yogi- one who adheres to the yamas and the niyamas and practices every day.  Every day the world hands you obstacles to test your ability to stay balanced, strong and flexible and of course find peace and serenity amongst the insanity of life. It means to search out the beauty. To observe the nature of life and work so as to live in harmony with all that is around you and within you. Observe things accurately and then act only in ways that serve the highest good. Never act in ways you will come to regret.

I have also come to realize that the secret to finding peace and serenity is to learn to transcend rather than remain locked in the continual spiral of analyzing, questioning and agonizing. It is what it is. Accept all of life with a sense of balance, stay flexible to the constant changes and remain strong in the face of challenges. Observe and then let go and transcend.

It also means to give and to share. The essence of yoga is found in the noble obligation. If more comes into your life than you need share and give so that you might be able to help others. Giving is not just material wealth. It also means to give a helping hand, a hug or a moment of your time to ease another’s burden.

You do not need to venture off to an Ashram to find yourself, or the  answers to life, or to find peace and serenity. You can find it in the midst of Los Angeles. It is not a destination or a place. It is a state of being.


The Sanskrit word for merits or good deeds in punya.   It is that which accumulates as a result of good deeds, acts, or thoughts and which carries over throughout one’s life or the subsequent incarnations. I have come to realize that it is not always possible to do good deeds, but it is possible to not partake of malicious and hurtful thoughts, words and actions.  You are your thoughts, your words and your actions and as I wrote in my book, Karma Yoga , “Life becomes what life does.”  If you really want something you must keep the thought, the vision and believe that when the time is right it will come to fruition. In my life I have had to work very hard for everything. But the work and the patience required to wait until the time was right has been worth every step along the path. I just didn’t understand it until now.  I have a few more questions for Swami Prakash and lots to learn. It is good to be the student. I’m off to India.  Here is my journey. Follow me on facebook


Doctor Lynn

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