Meditation and its practice – Sadhana Mandir Ashram Rishikesh
I found Sadhana Mandir Ashram online when I was looking for meditation retreats in Rishikesh, unfortunately the longer programmes were already full, but I was able to reserve a spot in the 3-day course “Meditation and its practice”. It’s not the most affordable place, but I had a good feeling. I usually don’t stay in big cities in India and I thought it might be a good start for Rishikesh to stay a bit outside in an Ashram.
“No higher joy in the external world than in meditation or prayer. Bliss – Ananda.” A few years ago I would have not understood this sentence and was mostly looking for joy in the external world.
It’s a beautiful building just next to the river where you can go for walks, not totally in nature but in a quiet and safe place. I loved my room and the gardens, the food was nice and I quickly felt at home. Although we were still allowed to use our phones, I really relaxed and was present in the moment at this place.
Typical Daily Schedule
6:00 a.m., Hot lemon water, chai
6:45, Joints & glands exercises/systematic relaxation/meditation
9:30-10:00, Walking & breathing (weather permitting)
10-12 noon, Half-hour video, followed by practicum and guided meditation
1:00 pm, Lunch
2:00-4:00, Walk/reflection/journaling/personal time
4:30-6:30, Half-hour video, followed by practicum and guided meditation
8:00, Review of the day, followed by meditation
The schedule was not overloaded, our small group had a few sessions during the day. Soft yoga and breathing exercises, led meditations, lectures about the Himalayan Tradition and videos from Swami Rama. It was a really beginner friendly but quite deep introduction course on meditation and the way to enlightenment. I’m super grateful that there are places like this, where you can learn those traditions and someone shares such deep insights with a group.
The Himalayan Tradition by Swami Rama
I really like the focus on subtle energies in this traditons, the way Swami Rama taught to use body and breath to reach higher levels of conciousness is fascinating and it worked really quickly for me. Although I wasn’t feely perfectly and had a stomach issue, I recovered very fast (thanks to a Yogic stomach cleanse) and had some very deep moments of relaxation. We talked about meditation posture, Yoga and Pranayama to prepare a meditation, one-pointedness of awareness, the energy channels in the body and our habit patterns.
“11 minutes of one pointed aweness can be enough to get into Samadhi.” Swami Rama
The ashram has a nice library and there are many people who deeply and study this tradition daily. I like the simpleness there, no need for a big number of rules or ceremonies – the deep practice on the level of body and mind is enough and doesn’t need more.1