Jessika's sublime experience at Z Meditation Silent Retreat
"In the west, the reality exists externally and we are conditioned to judge our peace, our hapiness, our existence by purely external factors...
"Ajay teaches not just change the content of our consciousness, but actually the process itself. What actually needs to change is our distorted perceptions.... Anonymous, USA
"When I try to live in the moment and thoughts come, with the inquiry, I am able to go deeper."
"I have never laughed so much as I have when I am with Ajay and Suruchi!"
Cathy Nason, Truckee CA USA
Catherine's first meditation experience
On the 26th of July 2010, I opened the gates of Z Meditation Center for the first time. On a flat stone, somebody had written: Stepping into Freedom.
My expectations were high (I hadn’t yet learned to detach from that). But at the same time I had no idea about what was waiting. I think that somewhere deep down, I had a vague idea of some sort of a miracle, a complete transformation of myself to something new and better. And then I learned that I was already perfect… What a disappointment!
No… seriously, it has been hard work for me.. which I have accepted. Never have I ever worked so much with myself – and there have been no shortcuts, no quick fixes. I have been forced to face myself in silence and without the possibility of seeking approval or confirmation from others.
On the first night, when I got the first assignments, ‘What is my best possibility?’, I started crying. I felt that I could not answer that question and so I cried out of confusion. If you had given me that question today, I might not have had a perfect answer, but it would not have made me scared and confused the way it did then.
In the beginning of the retreat, I was so entangled in all my X factors (dependence factors that I supposed would give me fulfilment). I can’t believe that I did not see this. This or that would make me happy, I thought, without seriously considering to change my own attitude. I still want certain things and I still dislike certain others, but I now know how useless this is and harmful it can be. When I have the feelings of like and dislike now, I can always do the inquiry on them to dig out the roots and, at least for a moment, get rid of them.
The total amount of time I had meditated before coming here was zero. Today, I have done it for two-and-a-half hours without a problem. I am often still quite disturbed by other feelings, but I won’t even have been aware of them before. To meditate has really helped me realize what a spin my head is in and that it is important for me to work on that. Practice makes perfect.
I had done Yoga, may be five or six times before. Basically nothing, that is, but I always thought it was boring and slow. Now, when I was more relaxed, I really appreciated each moment and felt the subtle changes in my body and muscles.
Another important things I have learned here is to eat three healthy meals a day. For many years, I haven’t done that regularly. I have promised myself a healthy nutritious food, good sleep when I go back home.
In these two weeks, I have learned so incredibly much. I have meditated, I have read spiritual books, I have been thinking about God and most importantly, I have been forced to deal with myself in a way I have never done before. It has been frightening sometimes; there have been a few silent tears, but I accept it. It could not have been in any other way.
I am taking with me all your words of wisdom. As I said, it is all a bit overwhelming right now, but this too shall pass. When it does, everything I learned in the last two weeks will guide me in many moments to come and encourage me to continue searching, continue learning and always be as true as possible to myself.
Where I saw an obstacle, I shall now see a challenge.
Where I saw failure, I shall now see an experience.
Where I saw boredom, I shall now rest in myself.
Where I begged for approval, I shall now ask for nothing.
Where I saw transition, I shall now see the present.
Where I saw my expectations, I shall now see you.
Where I saw an image, I shall now see myself.
Going back home, I shall
Not deny myself the basics – eat healthy, sleep deep.
Live NOW and not wait for anything to happen.
When I study or work, do it mindfully and with joy.
Remember that what they say about me has nothing to do with who I am. Stop chasing approval and appreciation. I am not my achievements.
Stop taking things so seriously. Stop falling into dilemmas about things that are really nothing. Seek time and space to think about what is really important.
Mind my own business – not nature’s or anybody else’s.
Always remember that I am already complete.
The last fifteen days have been one revelation after another. Truth —- Lessons speaking to me — feeling good — never thought I would find. Not only a course in meditation / yoga — but so much more.A course in happiness.A course in disarming negative thoughts.A course in understanding the mind.Many things still have to sink in. But they will, practicing the mantras in real life / in mediation, being one of the most important tools.A privilege to have been here, and then again, it was meant to be.The teacher only shows himself when the disciple is ready for it. What took me so long to discover you? Luckily: first hit — goal. And a goal it is — a purpose in life — to be consciously happy in the moment and aim for the highest — perfectly.
The last two weeks have been perfect. I feel as though I have learnt so much about myself, as though I am being healed, as though I have been healing myself.I feel a lot more grounded in the technique, as the understanding is so much clearer. I cannot wait to put it into practice — though I realize it will be more difficult away from the real peace that I have felt here.I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such beautiful people, whilst learning such a powerful technique.Thanks for giving me the tools to live my life in harmony. I realize that it is down to me to make use of them. I now have faith in myself that I will be able to do this.I feel confident that my life will be purposeful from this day forward and that I shall not allow myself to drift aimlessly again. No looking back unwittingly anymore — only to learn and grow; through dissolving the conditionings, and being aware of the thoughts and emotions that have overpowered me.I know that the seas ahead may be rough at times, but I shall sail ahead — resisting the temptation to drift or be at anchor.
These two weeks, I have discovered the wisdom I have for so long been seeking. I resolve to study, understand and embody the spirit of the Bhagwad Gita, every ounce of genius contained in it. It is the greatest thing I have ever read.
On a daily level, I plan to continue my meditations and deepen my practice, as well as strive to maintain mindfulness and equanimity as much of my life, as many moments or minutes possible. I will need to remember to be patient and diligent and unwavering in my devotion to the embodiment of this practice.
The reason why I came here and joined this course was that I was searching for a tool to get off the advertising placates from my advertising pillar. And you gave me the tool, and even more, you showed me how to use it. I am sure that with the mantras and the inquiry, I can clean out my brain box. It is a lot of work and I am happy that I got a shovel to make my work more effective. And for this present, I thank you very much.For me, it was the first time that I did not speak for fifteendays. I really enjoyed these days — only me, my mind and a guide to help me. And all this in an healthy environment. With Yoga, I had physical equalization. Earlier, I was aware about myself and my life only sporadically. In the last fifteenve days, I tried to be aware of every movement I made. Almost every time when I stepped out outside after a meditation session, I saw the nature surrounding us with new eyes, the nature was more real, more alive, more perfect, more harmonizing, and I felt stronger as part of it.Thank you for showing me all the beautiful rocks that I had forgotton to push.
Like the blink of an eye, the last fifteen days seem to have flashed by in an instant. Although most of the concepts I had already conceptualized, in a different perspective, what has been truly illustrated to me is how much crap and useless stuff the mind thinks of. It has been a truly illuminating experience, one that has shaken me. Waking me up from dreaming about dreaming. Until now I have been accused of ‘letting things fall onto me’ living in timeless present. But now, I realize that I need to live consciously in the present.I came here not knowing what mediation is, although I had an idea. I leave with a completely different idea, and not just an idea. I am very impressed on its effectiveness. I had never realized how much potential the mind actually has. This isolation on a retreat has helped me sort out many things, and I will go forth, into the world with a new confidence. And lastly, I have not eaten so well for a very long time.
Pavithra writes about her meditation experience
It has been in a life changing experience. It is definitely something that I have never experienced ever before and even when I did come here, I never imagined that such a thing would happen to me.
When I fist came here, I promised myself that I’m going to utilize this opportunity to the best possible way and I must say that what I feel right now has transcended that. I told myself that I’m going to be ready for whatever comes my way and that first meant unlearning and relearning. Also, not to judge things before I experienced it.
The first week has been the greatest revelation to me. Everyday, when we learnt of the different illusions, accepting them and looking at those very things that I had lived with as illusions was very weird. But, as I did that, I could experience things differently. The inquiry is by far the strongest weapon (I don’t know if that is too strong a word) that I have learnt to use. It is indeed a weapon because it helped me quash all the monsters in my head. Initially it seemed difficult, the whole meditation and inquiry, because I could never really get myself to meditate.
Honestly, I never knew that meditation meant being aware, because whatever meditation I have done before, I was only told to shut my eyes and concentrate on my breath. No one ever told me that there weren’t supposed to be any thoughts in my mind. Whenever, I have meditated before it has only been a chance for all those million thoughts to take over me completely. Here, I discovered how it really feels to meditate. After a few days into the first week, I could meditate for quite a few minutes. The experience was simply amazing. The feeling of a quieted mind, no inner voice troubling me, the sense of calm pervading through my senses. It was really something I had only dreamt of experiencing. And to experience that peace within me was such a joyous moment.
Truly, the way meditation makes me feel is Addictive. The deep inquiries really pulled out conditionings that I wasn’t ever aware, that they ever existed in me. I never knew those things, which dictated the way I live were in fact conditionings. My biggest stepping-stone was getting over my past, which has haunted me through the years. I have struggled, desperately wanting to let go of it but never knowing how. As a matter of fact, even when the method inquiry was told to us in the initial days, I was able to drop a lot of other things but I still continued struggling to let go of my past. The day the deconditioning method was taught, I tried a lot of times and eventually it was only the next day that I figured how I would do it. When I did it, it was such a liberating feeling. Something that I was struggling with for years was taken off me in a matter of a few minutes. Now, I can gladly say that I have let go of my past without any feeling of guilt, remorse or pain. It doesn’t even feel like I went through pain, when I look back now. It is the Right Understanding, which has helped me.
Another big accomplishment was getting over the depression that I was almost going into. Luckily, even before I could get into it, I’m off it. The way my life was going on at the time I came here, I couldn’t see any hope, or a good future. Everything seemed so confusing, more than it had ever been. It was as though everything was going wrong at the same time and I was running out of strength to handle it. I now feel so much more strong, stronger than I have ever been and feel that I can face anything, which comes my way.
The eating meditations have been something that I have really enjoyed. Firstly, I have never eaten such healthy food for such a long duration. I have never relished vegetarian food as much. In fact, I have never relished food the way I have here. Added to the picturesque surroundings, I just can’t seem to get enough of those snow-capped mountains and the green valley below. It has only gotten more beautiful each passing day. I have always been a nature lover and actually get lost with nature with no other thoughts in my head when see such astounding beauty. But, here with the walking meditations and just the awareness has made me so much more of a nature lover, making me more aware of what I see and observe. I have witnessed so many intricate details and I’m amazed by it. If not for this meditation and the pure awareness, I probably would never have been able to appreciate and understand the beautiful little things around me.
My biggest fear has been to face myself, that is why I always feared being lonely or been alone because then I would have to face myself and the million confusing thoughts, which came with it. I have been a person who always, always thought too much, about every little thing. There has never been a time before this when I’m not thinking of something or the other. With the silence, I overcame my fear of facing myself because I had to be with myself only unlike other times when I would always indulge in something else to make sure I’m not just being with myself and facing Me. But, with the inquiry and meditation I was able to quieten my mind and with the silence I was facing myself completely unmasked.
It has been a wonderful discovery for me. I have discovered myself. I now enjoy being silent and enjoy spending time just with myself. I have been able to appreciate the beauty of being in silence and also the joy of talking.
When the radiant mantras were taught the second week, I was able to meditate for longer and I was experiencing that blissful state of freedom. The discovery of freedom within myself has given me immense joy and happiness. Now, when I meditate, however I’m feeling when I start meditating, at the need of it I realize I have a smile on my face and that feeling of bliss and calmness enveloping me.
These 15 days have been the greatest gift that God has showered upon me. To make me realize myself and my life. I always used to be a confused personality, confused about everything in my life but, that has been because of all those million thoughts that I never took respite form. I now experience what clarity of thought really means. I’m glad that I have grown out of being a confused person to someone who is strong and knows her mind.
I feel so light in my head. I feel love, I can truly feel bliss. I’m finally at peace with myself and my life. These 15 days have given my sweetest gifts –my happiness and my freedom.
I have also got the opportunity to have met such wonderful, caring, loving souls. The world is such a beautiful place, the only thing that matters, is how we look at it. The two most important people I have to mention about – Ajay & Suruchi. I have really seen how two genuine people can just love, like it is your being. It flows like an endless river and has the warmth of wonderful parents. I truly feel that I have been blessed with parents “here and now”, and this I feel from the core of my heart. I have learnt what it is to love unconditioned.
Thank you for all that you’ll have done for me. For everything, I could never thank you enough, even if I said it a million times. Maybe, I’ll just thank GOD for it all.
I arrived with unsolvable problems — so I thought. I arrived with questions. I arrived with pain. Here, I have been shown how to see more clearly. I have been shown how to look deeply and see the difference between illusion and reality.I can see now that I have been looking for happiness outside of myself — I can never find true happiness, true completeness outside.My X factor has been constantly changing over the years. What a gift for someone to teach me — to give me the tools to discover for myself the illusion that I have mistaken for Truth.I am so grateful and I am forever changed by this clear insight — this newly discovered wisdom. Thank you.
What can I say but Thank you. I have spent the last nearly two years at my wits end trying to fathom all the riddles of life. Living in total mental chaos not knowing which way to turn, in order to find fulfillment in what seemed to be a mundane, purposeless, meaningless, painful life. After having tried so many avenues and not getting lasting joy and the pain of that ‘missing piece’ drilling into my head, and eating away my heart, I embarked on a journey to find answers to the questions. So, I arrived here in Dharamsala at the Z Meditation Center where I have spent the last fifteen days I have been waiting for my whole life.My questions have been answered, I can see so clearly. It is like someone has switched on a light in my head, given me the key to a lock I thought would never open. I always knew there was more to life, I always knew I had a purpose, I am glad I did not give up searching, at last, I have the ‘Truth’.I have gained so much from the last fifteen days. You have given me the missing pieces of the puzzle. You have polished the brass buttons that had got tarnished over time, and in them, is the reflection that had been there all the time.There is a long path ahead of me and a lot of work to be done but you have showed me what can be achieved in fifteendays and I am amazed at the results. I intend to tread the path right to the end.
These last few days at the retreat have been amazing, more gifts than I had hoped for. I knew it would be a treat to be just quiet. It was rewarding and refreshing. Also, I knew there would be sincere and lovely people attending. The company has been inspiring, encouraging and delightful.Z Meditation is very clear. The tools and method always come to the highest goal. With mindfulness and the explanation of the three qualities of mind, I have been helped with a lot of understanding on issues that I been struggling with recently.I have not been able to meditate lately. But, now I feel sure that I will be able to return to an even deeper practice.What made the retreat so good and so clear too has been the love and joy that you both teach.
I have never done a silent retreat before and did not know if I could handle it. All the tragedies of my past had come to a head by an unrelated incident that catapulted me into my old fear and pain. I knew I had nothing to lose and that I couldn’t go on living the way I was.At the crux of the pain is not understanding how someone can kill so brutually someone they don’t know. This has saddened me and caused me much pain. I find your approach very logical and sequential which is something that I can relate to. By systematically approaching the inquiry, I was able to take the emotions out of the process. I could label the emotion but look at it as an observer. I feel that this approach moved me towards the understanding of what I must do. I am grateful for the “silence”. It created a “safe” environment and gave me the opportunity to hear and receive this valuable lesson. Thank you for putting it forth so straight forward. As for meditation, the thing that I’ve always resisted, I feel I’ve learned better tools for my Western mind.
"My days at Z Meditation Retreat was what I wanted to do since I arrived in India three months ago. Not that I knew about the Z Meditation Retreat, but I knew when I left Israel that I needed to think about my life from a distance. I was in India two years ago also. At that time, it came for a month only. I had run away from Israel just to experience India and travel alone (which was a big thing for me). This time, I was more conscious about why I was travelling. I wanted to escape from all the fears and tensions I was experiencing in Israel. There were many seemingly insurmountable problems – a bomb exploding outside my window, many of my friends and ex-boyfriends getting married, the pressure to marry, not knowing what I wanted to do professionally, feeling a distance from the “religious” life etc. were some of the issues I wanted to resolve…. People often say to me that I am so lucky! They ask me why you are so miserable. They see that I’m so fortunate to have a loving and supportive family; I am healthy and intelligent; I have enough money and talent. I’ve experienced that something inside me makes me sad, regardless of the externals. I can take a situation and make it torture myself. For the first three months of travelling, I was not able to really detach myself and think about these things. Sometimes I was having nightmares. Even while awake, there were dreams going round and round in my head. Now and then, I was having sleepless nights. I was not finding any way out. I was just trying and trying, but nothing was working. And then I found the Z Meditation Retreat. I feel that only now, for the first time in my life, I have given myself proper attention….. I have got the best possible tools now. Earlier, I was so lost in my mind that I was not even aware that something drastic needed to be done about it. All the time, I was focusing on changing the external circumstances. In this very beautiful spiritual / psychological retreat, I have learnt that it is not the external, it is rather the internal that matters the most. I have understood that my happiness is my responsibility and it is not dependent upon anybody else. I’ve been taught about my mind and how to help it achieve peace and happiness. The silence at the meditation retreat was a true gift for me. I could think much more clearly. It made me realize how much I hanker for approval and how much pain I get due to that. The warmth and intelligence which exuded from my meditation teachers made me feel secure. Mornings, especially, were beautiful. I felt so alive and aware during the day also. Today, during the rest period, I was lying in bed and realizations about my life kept coming to me. I would get up, write them down and try to go to sleep. But then, another realization would come up. It was so wonderful. One of the things I realized was the answer to a question that’s been driving me crazy – should I go back at the end of October as I’d previously planned or stay longer? I realized that the freedom and opportunities to develop my mind that I find here, I cannot find them in Israel. So I have decided to stay longer, and put the question firmly out of my mind for at least one more month. From the Z Meditation Retreat, I’ve got an opening, a new direction, at a time when I seemed to have reached a dead-end. I hope I can go through that opening, and reach the Sunlight. " Thank you.
"I wish I could express myself in Hebrew; but it is more important to me that you understand me, even if it won’t be fully. When I decided to do this course, I was not sure that it will be what I was looking for. But yes, this is what I needed. I gave myself a wonderful present. This was the highest point of my trip in India. I knew why I wanted to come to India. I knew you were waiting for me!! This meditation retreat is the best thing that has happened to me in my life. In that past fifteen days, I learnt a lot; and more importantly, I experienced a lot. Each day I felt that my love for myself was increasing, I felt clearer in my mind. I now feel like a box that is getting wider and wider and can be filled with more and more love, patience and peace. It wasn’t easy for me. It was hard job. It was a little war against my senses and my mind. Sometimes, I wanted to start singing in the middle of the silence…. But the few minutes I felt that meditative peace inside me were so powerful. Now I know my aim; now I know how it feels; now I have something to wait for and I know it is there…. I feel that I want to tell the world about Z Meditation and about the two great teachers I had the honor to meet. To be like you is my aim. No – to be like me is my aim. I have this peace and love!! I have learnt about myself a lot. I feel I am celebrating myself and my marriage again. I wish I will love all being the same as I love you now."
"These fifteen days of meditation and contemplation, I must say, were very challenging….. But I think it helped me a lot. Being with myself was also nice and …. I feel these meditative days were refreshment to my mind. It gave me a feeling that I can be calmer only when I remove my expectations from people around me. And I am ready to do that. I am eagerly waiting to put the awesome Z Meditation Technique to practice. I think the end is rewarding and I feel proud of myself as I’m writing down these words. I really understand the meaning of meditation now."
"I saw my divine nature very clearly, and I feel that my light is stronger, more flowing and loving. It will be more right to say that now, I am much more aware to the infinite flow and shining of light, energy and love in me than before. I feel that I have learnt this simple and very effective meditation technique to come back to my centre, my pure nature. I can now use it whenever I will be disturbed by external or internal situation, in the future. Thank you for lightening my way. I know that I just took my first steps and I look forward to the great transformation the future will bring to me."
"The last fifteen days were a good lesson for me. They made me think and contemplate over my life…. I have been presented with these great contemplation tools for my own liberation. I got the user’s manual, and a test drive. I had fun, I had pain, I have learnt. I have grown spiritually. "
"In these fifteen days, my mind was very calm and pure. I was surprised that it is possible because usually my mind is so busy and restless…. I have learnt a method that will help me when I go back to my hectic life. The most important thing that has happened to me is that I know now that I love my parents after a year of negative feelings for them, especially for my father. The meditation on acceptance and pure observation helped me to understand that it was very disturbing to my peaceful mind to be so angry. I know I love him and I accept him as he is and there is nothing that I can do to change him. I cannot change my past also, so I accept fully whatever has happened to me. Using this questioning method of meditation, I could easily detach myself from all false beliefs…. I want to have lasting peace in my life. I should be able to experience it wherever I am living. With the Z Meditation method, I feel I can easily achieve that. The silence was so good and it contributed to the feeling of peace within. It gave the mind the possibility to be open and accept the things that you teach us. It made me think about myself and my life and I am very happy that I came."
"I have realized that the most beautiful place on earth stays in my heart. There are many names to this place – loving kindness, peace, freedom, acceptance, completeness. Well it took me fifteen days to find the map for all these places. It’s a simple map, a map that everybody knows and I think that I found a treasure map. What is written on the map is more precious than diamonds and gold. It’s showing you that healthy food is so good; sleep is the best medicine; bird singing is like a concert and nature is like heaven. Yes, after fifteen days, you have the most powerful key in your own hand – the key to your life and the key to your mind. Who knew that pure joy is here and now, who knew that pure joy is total acceptance? Well, I didn’t know that it was in my hands. I always thought that my surroundings had the answer to my pure joy. How wrong I was! So, if anybody asks me about joy I can tell him that I’m working on it as I have the key now. Thank you so much!!! I forgot something! At home in Israel, my profession is related to restaurants and food. I must say I haven’t eaten such good and tasty food like I ate this week. So if you will get bored from meditation, I think you should think of opening a restaurant. I’m sure you will be successful!!"
“Full & Empty” "The beginning was full, filled with change, new ideas and an abundance of thoughts. The end was empty, as the change became nature, the new ideas well accepted and the thoughts diminished. The first night you asked what my best possibility was. My thinking at that time was so outside myself, I answered with a possible position career / job – the role I thought should be played to be successful, to be complete. I wanted to contribute to the world and I assumed that meant I had to find a way, a method which would be instrumental. As a teacher (and an unhappy teacher, I might add), I was going to help educate others. Teach others when I myself have so much to learn. Now I realize the best contribution I can make is making the best possible me to contribute. That to be successful is to be complete within. And I have always had the necessary components to be just that. Now I just need to do meditation daily to hone my skills. And I am ready for the challenge of spiritual growth. Thank you for helping me discover them."
"I don’t know where to begin. There’s a scene in the movie “Matrix”, where Kiano is awakened to the “real world” from the software world and people are rebuilding his muscles. He is asking “Why are my eyes sour?” and replied, “Because you’ve never used them before.” I feel like I opened my brain and it was sour. Until here, I have not used it probably. These must have been few of the more strenuous, tiring, confusing, yet illuminating, contributing, fruitful, fulfilling, happy days of my life. Thank you for showing me the way I don’t ever want to let go of. Thank you for putting things I believe in, into clear sentences, mantras, stories. Thank you for teaching so beautifully the truths and showing us that with hard work, anything is possible. I think that everyone should go through such a course. Now that such a portal has been revealed to me, why should I ever want to go back? No reason. What reason do I have to give up the gifts granted to me? No reason. There’s so much more to say, but I don’t want to repeat myself, I have a long way to go. Thank you for giving me the key, now it is up to me to go through the door and keep walking."
"Two weeks before I came to this meditation retreat, I was very depressed. I couldn’t find any reason really to live. I have tried everything: excelled in school, didn’t give a damn about school, boyfriends, sports, drugs, diets, holding very strictly to high morals to eventually carelessness about anything, etc, etc. Last year, I traveled to Nepal and stayed there for 3 months. In the 3rd month, I started getting depressed. I decided to try something completely new: Buddhism, religion. For the first month, it was wonderful – until the newness was washed away. I had gotten a lot of intellectual understanding, but no lasting peace. Things got really bad when my boyfriend left me. It took me months to recover and as I said, two weeks ago, I was still very down. After good advice of a friend, I just let go. If my life is shitty the way it is, I’m not going to try anymore. No more goals, nothing, forget about all the worries; count me out, I’m not doing it anymore. And ever since then, things have improved incredibly. I can breathe again, laugh again, love again. Things just fall into place. Now that I’m not searching anymore, things come to me and present themselves. This way I can really see them as presents. Like this meditation retreat, these last fifteen days. Wonderful. My concentration and love have increased; my head is becoming more clear. And the great thing is that it’s good the way it is. Before I might have thought, I see now how I am improving. I try now to accept the moment, love the moment". Thank you for deepening my understanding!
" Instead of saying ‘my last fifteen days ‘, I would like to call them ‘the first fifteen days of my life’. My life before was unreal. It was like going to a movie. When you come out, you don’t know whether it is true, or it’s an illusion. It just got out of this movie. You can say that the movie was based on a true story... I was there, but I wasn’t the star. The truth was not truth, and reality was not reality. Love in the movie was full of conditions and expectations – there was a lot of disappointment. During my first fifteen days, I found that real life is not like the movie. Instead of being in the background, I now got to be the star! How? Well, I am full of courage, unconditioned love, peace and joy. I guess I was playing someone else. I am not going to get any Oscar for my role in my life, that’s for sure! But now, I don’t care what they say about my movie, I was just playing. From now on, my life begins. I live the moment, I have unconditional love for everyone, I accept everybody and most of all I accept me, as I am. I’m starting to breathe and feel the strong wind of the mantras. I will see you in the Grammy awards…" Thanks.
"My last fifteen days have been a great recap on what can be achieved in life. It’s amazing how easy you can get caught up in life, going round and round in circles, going nowhere. It was great to get back on track.… It’s a great feeling to know that I will walk out of here with silence reigning in my mind and with peace and love loading it up. " Thank you.
"I have come to understand me, accept me and dare I say, love me—something I have struggled with for many years... After six years in profession, I was beginning to burn out. I was feeling that I was worthless and unlovable. I now realize that I have to look within myself, that is who needs to care for me. I realize the necessity to let go of the attachments so that I can truly love others, without conditions, expectations and fear.... "
"The reason I came here and joined the course was I was searching for a meditative tool. And you gave me a tool and even more, you showed me how to use it. It is a lot of work and I am very happy that I got the shovel to make the work more effective. It is the nicest present you have given me, though it is not my birthday." Thank you.
"I have learnt so much about myself. I feel as though I am being healed. I feel a lot more grounded as the understanding is much clearer. I cannot wait to put the Z Meditation technique into practice. I feel so lucky and grateful to be surrounded by so beautiful people while learning such a powerful technique. Thank you for giving me the tools to live my life in harmony. I know that the seas ahead may be rough at times, but I shall sail ahead resting the temptation to drift or be at anchor." Thank you
"A very powerful and unique experience! I have learnt a lot about myself and finally through your guidance, I had the opportunity to bring back into life something that I always knew, but refused to acknowledge. Love and peace have always existed in me, but unfortunately, I always pushed them aside and forgot how happy and complete they can make me. I have finally managed to experience meditation and its amazing power."
"I learnt that I was dreaming – so I have to wake up! I have to start living in the present, the here and now, to be aware of awareness. Slowly I learned how much joy I can get from a quiet mind, from a peaceful state of full awareness."
"It is not only a course in meditation, but so much more. A course in happiness. A course in disarming negative thoughts. A course in understanding the mind."
"My first fifteen days in silence…. It was difficult but I had a great time not communicating with others – just doing my business. I realized that most of the things I am thinking are not my business. Wow! How relaxed I am feeling. I got from you the biggest present of my life: the six questions. They will lead me through my life. You can imagine how happy I am? So you know one more being who feels very happy. Before these days I was and I am still convinced that everything is coming in the right time. I felt that I wanted to do a week in silence and meditation. My feelings were right. I got the six questions. They will help me get rid of my many fears. I am sure all the chatting monkeys will, one after the other, disappear. And all the dark monsters will now run away as I will light more candles in my heart. It is a long way, but it is the way that counts and in the last fifteen days, I made a very big step on this way. I love my life. I am so happy and with these feelings, I am going to meet my lovely monkeys and the sweet monsters. Thank you. Thank you so much!"
"My last fifteen days were quiet different from whatever I have experienced in my life before. It has been very quiet and slow motioned! I feel I have grown in many ways. I have learnt some methods and I know if I sincerely follow them. I am on my way to enlightenment! I have managed to look at my life backwards and understand why I used to get disappointed with people. I understand that I was in the habit of stepping into other people’s business. I used to get so angry at people’s imperfections that sometimes, I was really nasty to the people who loved me. Whenever I did it, I was not happy with myself. I recognized that even then, but only now I feel that I can approach people’s imperfections in a better way – I can now accept them as they are. I guess I am a demanding person. I demand from myself and I used to feel that I could demand from others also! These two things are totally not connected and should not be. Now, no more! I liked the silence. I liked the talks on meditation philosophy. They were very enlightening. I have also realized how much I speak for nothing. I have a tendency to offer my opinion everywhere. I want to be very careful now on. I want to speak whenever it is necessary and required. The analyzing system was very good for me. I could have carried some of my useless thoughts for weeks and months. The Inquiry helped me remove them. It is something I can really relate to, since I think analytically. It was easy for me to grasp and relate to the mantras also. It was also helpful to see that everyone is struggling with the same petty thoughts – about their mother, boyfriend etc. I feel pure love to all the other students. I never felt I had it in me, but little by little, I start to understand what this “unconditional love” is. It is still very far, but you have to start somewhere, isn’t it?"
"At this moment, my mind is empty and still. The reflection on the last fifteen days is non-existent in this moment. I acknowledge that this week has been beautiful and I have learnt so much from my great teachers. In some respect, I can actually feel my lessons of commitment and detachment and I am really & truly living in gratitude each day. I realized this week what transformation is taking place within me. This transformation is truly a challenge but this is what I was praying for, for a long time… And if I am honest and if I step out of the moment, I too panic about letting go. But this is just temporary and the truth is I welcome this change and hold my arms out open wide." Thank you.
"The past fifteen days have been perfect. I feel as though I’ve been given the most beautiful gift; that I’ve given myself a beautiful gift. What a joy! I feel, at last, after window-shopping for peace for years that I have found it. Now that I have this tool, everything else will fall into place. It has already fallen into place. I feel privileged and grateful to have been introduced to this meditation technique. I feel now that I can lead my life in clarity; and with purpose. The technique fits in so well with my ideals. I feel sure that I’ll be able to incorporate it easily into my daily life. I’ve experienced a lot of emotions and learnt a great deal. I’ve injected energy into my being through pranayama, a gift in itself. For someone who normally breathes so shallow, I found the practice a little overwhelming at times. I fully intend to expand / improve with this skill as I feel certain that it has helped me considerably, and will continue to do so, given the chance. It’s been a lesson that meditation doesn’t have to be a laborious slog. It can be joy- filled. In fact should be. Instead of being told that “you will be happy when you have dealt with this… until then be equanimous”, you are given permission to feel joy!? As I am essentially optimistic, this obviously appeals to my nature. If you don’t feel happy doing something, why bother? I feel as though I want to share this gift with others, and to continue practicing myself. I am certain that this work has increased my peace, love, joy and balance." Thank you.
"I realize that I was correct in my thinking that I was ready to commit to a guided meditation course. James was also correct when he warned me that anger, frustration, discomfort and painful realizations would occur in me during the retreat. I experienced them all. Let me say now that I am extremely appreciative to Ajay and Suruchi for helping me through these struggles. Your responses and answers were right on – void of conditioning, bias and ego and full of Truth. In the past, I have come to know the Truth in very important and stressful conditions, but I always took the long way home, so to speak. At times, in these quests for truth, I would lose myself down side streets and alleys, incorrectly interpreting the detour as truth. The last fifteen days have given me a road map of sorts (to stick with the weak analogy) for the maze of truths and untruths in my head. I look forward to cultivating this mental yoga and discovering truths in my life. I accept that the road ahead will not be smooth as Ajay and Suruchi will not be there to help me sort through confusion, anger and frustration, as soon as it crops up. Unfortunately, my attachment to them will not bring me truth, understanding or lasting happiness, but I’ll forever remain grateful to them and thank them each time I am charting unexplored territory of the mind alone!"
"These meditative days were to me the awakening call of my life. I can say that they have been very inspiring. They have enabled me an experience of going in, deepening, observing, examining, analyzing and getting to know myself more sincerely. I realize that it is the beginning the long process of letting go of fears and attachments. I felt the balance in the breathing and the teachings. The philosophy taught is not new, but the meditation as well as the technique of the inquiry and mantras enabled me to see things in a different light. The balance was felt in the concern you showed to the health and comfort of the physical body – the temple of the mind and soul. The food was nourishing and tasty. The accommodation was comfortable and the sincere care you showed, Suruchi, when I expressed I was suffering physically, was very touching. The example of each of you, Ajay and Suruchi, glowing, loving and living the truths you are teaching, is inspiring. Throughout the meditation teachings and the mantras, I found myself constantly translating the words of wisdom into the terminology of my path Judaism. I kept on finding equivalents in couplets etc. There is a couplet is the Babylonian Talmud (one of the central Jewish writings) according to which every grass has an angel standing above it and saying and this is how growth occurs. Thank you Ajay and Suruchi for really caring and encouraging every one of us to grow in our way with such gentle and personalized manner on your part."
"First of all I want to thank you both from the bottom of my heart for you eloquence, sincerity and intelligence. Your teaching abilities are awesome and so logical. You teach your students to teach themselves! So what will I be taking back to Canada with me besides my list of mantras? A strong sense of understanding of who I aspire to be. What I want… I want to stop worrying about what others think about me. I want self confidence based on a true understanding of what it feels like to be complete. I want total independence so that it may contribute more positively to all of my relationships. I want to love myself so much that it spills over and pours onto others. I want all of these things to be my truth, guided by insight that I gained by myself. How do I achieve this? To re-enter that scary world outside these safe walls with confidence, knowing that I only have to impress myself… that change is my choice, how I live my life is my choice, just as much as what I eat for breakfast is my choice! To speak openly and honestly with those who I am currently in deep emotional relationships with; to explain my concerns and to receive their feedback openly. To accept whatever comes of this as “what is is.” and to remember that what is important is how complete I feel… To thoroughly understand what it means to be free from dependence. This will require me stripping myself down to my bare bones and building up from there, allowing only those feelings and those actions that are conductive to peace and freedom. To do all of this, I feel I will first need to come up with a concrete definition of independence. To trust myself, to be true to myself, to continue to try to understand myself. I will aid this process through meditation, yoga, and other creative and physical activities that give me energy and open my mind… all of these things will be done daily! Finally, I want to keep an open mind to others… to love their faults and weakness as much as their success and strengths. To constantly gauge what is my business and what isnot my business."
"My last fifteen days… have been like waking up from a dream. The experience here represents the first time I’ve attempted awareness. I have truly been woken up from my long dream. I am deeply moved and inspired by the Z Meditation course. I embarked on this meditation course because it felt right; there was no thinking involved. How could I have known that so many of the questions would find answers here?" I am touched. I am grateful.
"My last fifteen days were enlightening. During these days I’ve experienced a variety of emotions. I came here weak, didn’t know exactly what Z Meditation meant. All I knew was that I was unhappy and that the cause for my misery was an external ‘object’ – my boyfriend. Already in the first night, I felt better. Your words just got straight into the heart of mine. Still, my thoughts kept on wandering and going back to things that were not relevant. During these days, I got improved on ‘cleaning‘my head from irrelevant and useless thoughts. I still have so many of them. I realize that it must take time and hard work. I’m willing to do so, though I think that I need more direction, I’m still not strong enough to keep it on by myself. During these days, I realized that I’m denying freedom to me, and that I’m trying to take away freedom from other people. I have no right to do so. This realization makes me much more peaceful. I want to thank you so much for making me see things more clearly. I should go in this path as it suits me, no matter what other people think. I should let others do the same as well as. Thank you so much for fifteen days of pure joy."
"I’ve really enjoyed my journey the last few days. Learning pranayama and yoga, which I have never done before, was a pleasure. I haven’t felt so relaxed for years, as I have after doing these two – much better than a joint! Then learning the meditation technique – I struggled at first, until Ajay went through a few of everybody’s conditionings. Then it clicked, as if a light switched on – my beliefs and thoughts and expectations are totally outrageous, not possible, and no true. I started seeing the world with new eyes. Is that why I haven’t truly been happy? I think so. Understanding that my notions and expectations of people have been wrong is a big step in the right direction. I had a realization here that I’m here alone in this world. It is time to get love and strength from inside, not outside. What an important lesson/truth/realization. Meeting you both (A+S) has been beautiful. I thank god for bringing me here, and for his work that you do. Thank you both as well. Every time I look at you both, I can’t help but smile. Closing my eyes and hearing you say the Shanti Mantras, opened my heart a little. Hearing you speak, I only heard the truth. I’m happy hearing the truth and this is all I want. I have only known meditation to be sitting in pain, waiting for glimpses of silence/peace, struggling at times to remain equanimous. Now I realize it’s a 24 hour a day way of life. And learning the mantras – more importantly feeling the mantras – Wow! At times everything made sense to me. I could feel the pure joy and truth and I take this experience/knowledge with me. Every day went fast – I enjoyed the course and found it a very good mix for me – the meditation, pranayama, yoga, creative meditation – a good balanced combination for me. Of course I had some personal rough times -- old shit coming to the surface. Sitting with eyes closed, feeling terrible, scared, out of control – but luckily I knew these moments would pass, so they were not so bad. I was happy to let them go. I even cried on the roof after a yoga session -- big release! I needed that. I laughed a lot in the retreat – we all have. I do feel more ‘whole’ now than before. I am looking forward to and even excited about life now. You two are special people for setting up the Z Meditation Course. I like the technique, and you‘ve taught me to be aware – to snap out of my dreams and I am such a day dreamer. Thank you. I thank you teachers and thank god." "Om shanti shanti shanti." P.S. Food was great. Thank the Chef.
"In my last fifteen days, I felt so much wholeness and balance that I haven’t felt that for fifteen years… I learnt so much, such simple and effective truths. I’m so happy that I met you and heard your voice for fifteen days. Yes, I believe in you and I love you very-very much. I feel like a baby; I’m pure now like a new-born soul. Going out to the real world now, I want to keep my freedom, my reality, my compassion and my love. Now it’s going to be the real exercise – my real life. I wish myself and all the other students of the group to feel free, have compassion, peace, total acceptance and unconditional love. I really wish myself to accept nature as it is." Thank you so much.
"What can I say when my words cannot express what I am feeling? I will write you a story that I hope will help. One guy walked on a beach at the sunset. He saw one man standing far from him. He went there slowly and saw that he was taking something from the ground and throwing it into the sea, again and again. He came closer to the man and saw that he was picking “sea-stars” that the sea throws out to the sand. He went to the man and said: “hello my friend…I wonder what you are doing?” “I am sending the sea-star back to their place. If they stay here, they will die”… said the man. “I see but there are too much of them… and there are lot of beaches, you understand that this doesn’t matter?” The man smiled and kept doing his work. “You see…” he said, “for this single sea-star, it matters a lot…” Thank you for throwing me back to the place I belong to… I almost forgot how good it’s to be here… Thank you with all my heart…
"fifteen days of peace and quiet that I have never felt before. I came to India after a lot of pressure. In the beginning, I couldn’t get focused and all the time, I thought about the past and the future. But after the first day, I started understanding the teachings and I started to be peaceful. My mind became so quite that I found myself thinking about nothing. I must to say that I feel proud of me that I did it and enjoyed it. I want to say that I want to accept everything and love everybody. I want to change my life now. I feel that I have started the process. It’s going to be hard work, but for my love for me, I must do it. I am going to practice meditation daily. I want to thank you for your love, attention, care and all the wonderful things that you did and gave us and for the good food. I gave to me a wonderful present to learn how to live in the present time." Thank you very much.
"Two weeks ago, I had finished another Z Meditation Retreat. It was a beautiful time during the retreat and I emerged feeling vital, fresh and alive. I was happy and content. I then had a new schedule created for my daily life around the Z Meditation Center. The new schedule filled my days from dawn until dusk, starting with exercises including walks studying, meditating writing and meeting students. I was enjoying the schedule, but inside me there was restlessness present. I look back and see that I was not practicing what I had learnt. I thought that I was, at that time, but hindsight shows that I was lost in my dreams. The schedule added variety to the days and life. I was surprised when Ajay asked me to go to Delhi if I wanted to buy a guitar. The “desire” for the guitar was no longer there and I felt initially that I would not have any reason to go. I decided almost out of reflex – why not? It would be a good practice to try my meditation practice in a more hectic environment Just to see, it would be nice. So I went to Delhi with Nitin. Initially the trip was great – actually the whole thing was great, but I was not prepared for the overwhelming insights I would get about myself. Initially, I found that things did not affect me much – pollution, street vendors, crowded buses – whatever I saw became like a movie. I quite enjoyed watching it go by. I spent some time in Ramakrishna Mission and meditated which was beautiful. I could watch my thoughts and remain completely separate from them. It was a fantastic experience. I bought some books and read ferociously. For the next few days, the words that I read were like honey water that was quenching the thirst for understanding. The mental phenomenon that was occurring in this entire duration was a continuous river of contemplation and thought; though sometimes, I think that it was also lethargic mind or confusion and running in circles. I wanted to understand and practice what I had learnt. But I ended up in a very unbalanced way. I am not sure when it started exactly. Perhaps on the bus ride from Delhi, my mind started on its frenzy. I would try and see what it was. It was in the bus ride back that gave the first hint. A man started smoking on the bus and my first reaction was to tell him to stop, but I did not. I just wanted to accept it, but then I wondered why it was that I did not ask him. Was it cowardice or acceptance? I started to wonder if I was just becoming callous under the guise of meditation. Needless to say that when I got back to the ZM Center, not having slept at all, and having my mind run in circles the entire time, I was not my normal self. This is when Ajay introduced me to the seventh mantra and recommended me do another retreat. This next retreat proved to be a roller coaster on its own. The old conditionings needed to be watched and removed again. I understand now why Ajay asks us to do the cleaning daily. I am very much connected to Jesus and related very well to the devotional aspect of offering myself to his service. My mind this past week has become immensely centered in this devotion – I found refuge in the prayers. Many things emerged this week. I questioned myself deeper than I have ever done. What came up surprised me. I thought that I had handled these conditionings but found that they were buried deeply, and were not dead yet. I should be perfect and people around me too. I liked that others do things with perfection and so should I. I was putting so much pressure on myself to achieve perfection that I lost the enjoyment of living.
I discovered that I had been living my life for others. I had stopped caring for my needs and I now needed to love myself. I did not know how to live if I was not living for someone else.
My biggest problem is ‘’ approval of others’’. I try to impress people around me and make them happy and make them accept me. I have suffered a lot due to this reason. Now, no more.
This retreat has mercilessly shown me my own reflection. It has shown just how rolled my calendar is. I am seeing that all my life has been spent in the service to others and living in others’ identity. I have not taken time out to see and appreciate myself. In the pursuit of perfection I think that I have tried to over look things that might show me my imperfection. I now want to live in peace, free from all these imperfections in me." Thank you so much.
"What an eye opening experience for me to see how dependent I have become on my boyfriend’s approval and how lethargic I have become in my own insecurity and dependence…. During the retreat, the meditations went spectacularly well as I began to truly see light and understand what peace and love really mean. I feel as though the teachings were giving me real insight on how I would make progress toward climbing the ladder of evolution! I understood the mantras and was getting better with the enquiry… may be too good with the enquiry as I began to understand myself more and more. I didn’t really like what I saw! Your warm faces and positive answers to my questions renewed my energy and made me feel as though I could go on and on. Every day, I went to bed happy… happy because I could see progress, happy because for once, I was focusing on me. Your comments on inquiry however were extremely helpful in aiding my realizations on what I need to work on or understand in order to feel complete. I realized that I am a very insecure person (actually I have known this for a while) and that I look to others for approval on what I do, what I say and how I look and feel. I realized that being in a relationship (with Jeff or anyone else) causes me to cling and to lose my own independence. What I mean to say is that when someone offers me his love, I assume that that is enough to complete me and that I can stop worrying about loving or depending on myself… very dangerous and not at all conducive to peace. This has been like a bomb going on for me. I know meditation has cleared the way for me to rebuild…. I now thank both of you to have made me understand where my incompleteness stems from. I understand that I attempt to control the uncontrollable and that this is not conducive to peace. I understand that I look for, and believe I need, the approval of others. I now understand that the only approval I require to feel lasting peace /total completeness is from myself."
"Well… I am not really sure where to start. Part of me wants to plan out what I am going to say so that this may sound as beautiful and poetic as the “my life’s” that you have read out previously. However I realized that even that thought is one of attachment, dependence and approval. Fifteen days ago, such a realization would not have been possible; I probably would still not have attempted to deceive you. However, now I have the real reason why I shouldn’t. I suppose, to examine how the past fifteen days affected my life and my mind is probably necessary. Looking back at my life, I would have to describe myself as being quite attached to other peoples’ approval and I have always considered it to be one of my greatest weaknesses. It can be so debilitating to constantly seek approval; it limits one’s life to only that which is approved of by the majority. Being from a very western country, born into a very conservative religion and educated in a very narrow system, things like yoga, meditation and self improvement are seen as crack-pot, crazy activities; whereas beer-drinking, riding enraged animals, watching mindless T.V and picking fights is viewed as “normal behavior”. As a result of my dependence on others’ approval, I have taken just about no step towards self-development for fear of scorn. Therefore, for me to do this course has been tremendously helpful. If you had told me fifteen days ago that I would be using phrases like “peaceful completeness”, “unconditional love” and “the white light of peace”, I probably would have laughed at you. However after 10 minutes into the first session, I found myself understanding more about the nature of my mind and being, more than ever before. An illusion as transparent as that of duality has kept me blind for 21 years and in 10 minutes you made me realize that it is an illusion, for that I must thank you and your method. I also thank myself as you have stated that change is not possible unless the mind is already open to it; so thank you Jeff. Mindfulness is one of the other wonderful gifts I have received from this retreat. To live consciously in the moment is so simple and enjoyable (I made my bed this morning and loved every second of it, ask Steph, ask my mom, I haven’t lovingly made my bed in my entire life!) I come from a world where you are considered lazy if you are not driving to work, thinking about work, eating a meal and listening to music at the same time. Mindfulness is beauty. The other lesson that has been given to me is about living in the moment. “Pure joy is here and now” hit me so fully; it cannot be described. Such a simple truth has been hidden from me, partially by me, since I was 3. My dad’s favorite story to tell about me is that when I was about 3-4, he took me for a walk just after it had rained. Puddles covered the street, worms crawled in ecstasy and I ran to and fro admiring everything. Then I exclaimed, “It’s a wonderful world isn’t it?” With the seed of the truth of living in here and now planted in me, I feel like that kid again – in regards not only to beauty but also the mundane things. For that I give thanks as well. The quote “only the imperfect see imperfections” and “pain is what l get when I step out of my business” and “what is is” have helped me in seeing that I cannot and should not try to control people around me. Before these 5 days, to be told “it’s out of your control” would have made me feel helpless; now it spells relief… I feel especially empowered, oddly enough in knowing that my power is limited. That is in special regard to the activism and social work that I am involved in. No longer will I feel crushed by the world’s misery and injustice, as my duty is now clear to me. “I was born a warrior, so I ought to fight.” Success or failure of movements or protests or activism should not be as emotionally draining as has been my experience and this “mindful balance and equanimity” will go far to that end." Thank you so much.
" In the last fifteen days I became aware again of things I believed in all my life. Live in the here and now, don’t depend on people, be complete by yourself, and accept yourself and others – what beautiful lessons! All these are things I thought about many times before, but when you are in real life, inside this craziness (especially in Israel), it’s very easy to forget them. In India, I must say it’s much easier to live the mantras. What I am trying to say is that the last fifteen days, brought these beliefs back from the unconscious to the conscious again. I feel like it woke me up again from some sleep I was in. My wakeup call started when I arrived in India and it has completed in these fifteen days."
"I feel as though I have learnt a lot of things about myself. I have learnt that I have many attachments that I should let go. This is the beginning of an internal struggle I cannot hope to end in fifteen days. I have enjoyed the silence; rarely do we get a chance to be so introspective without distractions. Also I have realized that I have unconditional love for my boyfriend and have no doubts whatsoever about us being married next year, as we have planned. This time apart has allowed me to look at our relationship, and I am happy with what I see."
"Wow! Have fifteen days passed already? It feels like both an instant and a lifetime intertwined with one another. Rather than referring to this as my last fifteen days, I prefer to see it as my first fifteen days. The first fifteen days of a new world and a new life. It has crept up on me so calmly and subtly that I almost didn’t even notice at first. It amazes me stillness to realize how simple things can be and how a small change can pave the way to everything. I came to this retreat with a hope of quietening my mind, with a hope of learning new meditation techniques that could be adopted to benefit in my current meditative practices. It would seem that I got all that I had hoped for, and perhaps a lot more than I asked. Is it a dream or reality? This time I think it’s reality. I have had the opportunity to spend valuable time with myself in silence in meditation, to get to know myself all over again, to remember who / what I am. I have learned valuable skills that are sure to benefit me in every aspect of my life, as I will continue to practice them, to make them my own."
"My last fifteen days… have been bliss, like a reawakening. To me, this time has been a ‘pit stop’ to refuel and change the tyres. I had spent the past 12 months racing around, being ‘busy’ -- in the process I had forgotten about myself, to be truthful, God. A bit of history… my mother left my father when I was 18. She found peace and shared it with my sisters and I. Since then, I have been white lighting people, blessing them with love, seeing the good in everyone and believing in the higher being. I have gone through phases of loving every minute of every hour of everyday to not even knowing what day of the week it is. I needed this retreat with all of my heart. It has been a very rewarding and enriching time. It’s been like returning home after years of living in someone else’s house. The things I have learnt or become more aware of – total acceptance of myself and compassion for all. I was surprised to find the silence so beautiful. I now realize it has been a blessing for us all. To eat in silence is a new concept to me. Eating has always been a sociable occasion for me… I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed or appreciated home cooked meals so much. It will be nice for my husband as well to enjoy a meal without me chattering away in the background!!" Thank you for your time and energy!
Simon and Grant wrote to their friends
"I've just finished a six-day meditation getaway at the Z-Meditation centre here in McLeod Ganj with thirteen other students. Needless to say, I had an 'enlightening' time and am now feeling really happy and chilled out. We had the loveliest couple as teachers; Ajay and Suruchi were the embodiment of peace and love, so warm, friendly, happy and patient. To help you imagine what I've actually been up to, here's the schedule we had most of the time we were there:
6:30am - Wake Up 7:00 - Meditation 8:30 - Active Mindfulness (sitting and learning) 9:30 - Eating Meditation (sitting and eating rice pudding and bread - real slowly) 10:30 - Ablutions (hot shower time) 11:30 - Creative Meditation (drawings, paintings, poems on apt topics) 1:00pm - Eating Meditation (when you're just thinking about eating you really get into it) 2:00 - Siesta/Study (there were loads of good books there - I read three short ones while I was there) 4:00 - Meditative Yoga (hatha yoga, stretching, sun salutations) 6:00 - Evening Drink (yummy heated healthy drink) 6:30 - Meditation 8:00 - Eating Meditation (great evening meals - but no spices for us) 8:45 - From Great Masters (stories and fables with insightful punchlines) 9:15 - Q & A (since there was no talking allowed you were able to write down questions and put them in box for answers from the teachers in the evenings. I really got into this cause they always gave such great thoughtful responses no matter what the question was about) 9:45 - My life Meditation (they ask you an esoteric yet personal question and you write about. I was amazed at what came out of my pen. Suruchi said she would keep my last "My life Meditation" response and read it to future classes - I rule!) 10:30 - Yogic Sleep (breathe in peace, breathe out love - gets you off to sleep pretty quick!)
It's surprising how freeing it can be to have your day, your food and everything planned for you - no decisions to make, no worries - it just happens.
The basis of Ajay and Suruchi's method of teaching is based on their own technique for concentration and discovery called "the inquiry" and simple mantras. The idea is that while meditating and concentrating on your breath, you go through a series of mantras or realizable "truths" said to yourself (they're pre-translated for easy understanding), and if anything enters your mind or distracts you from them, you do "the inquiry" which reveals the impermanence and "emptiness" of the object or feeling you had, so you can deal with it, clear it from your head and move on. I cannot describe to you at how consistently blown away I am at the effectiveness of this technique. It may not be "pure" in a traditional sense but they made it so easy to relate to and understand, for a beginner like me, it was perfect.
I could actually blab on for hours about details of what we learnt and got up to there, but they're probably not as interesting as the results. I won’t go into all the details but I can say that on the last night of the course, I and many others on the course experienced something pretty special and for me very unexpected. So there we were meditating on the roof of the centre during sunset. I just felt really happy and content going through the mantras one by one. Probably an hour into I was up to the 5th mantra "Pure Joy is Loving Kindness", it sounds incredible corny and pious I know, but when I was doing it, I was living it. I couldn't help it but I just burst into tears thinking of my family and all the people I care for (and it's likely that if your reading this you were one of them). It was really emotional and I was quite overwhelmed but I kept going. Soon afterwards, "Pure Joy is Here and Now" and every breath I took just got bigger and deeper and I felt filled with light, almost blinded. I felt so good, so peaceful, 'high' even. I found myself repeating to myself "You must be here, you must be here" in astonishment, and what are you? I thought "God you must be here, heaven must be here, my soul must be here".
And then the bell rang for eating meditation and I jumped out of it, willingly in fact, because it felt a bit scary, but also so good I didn't want to lose the feeling of my own accord and was glad to have the excuse of something external. So those of you who know me, will know that this isn't really very like me, but it did happen and I did think it.
The course is over now and you may (or may not) be happy to know I’m still very much the Grant I always was, but am feeling very grateful for those six days. I think I’ve done a good spurt of personal (maybe even spiritual) growth and am totally energized to continue looking into this metaphysical happening that some people call on to gain peace in their everyday life, and others simply devote their lives to. Needless to say, I thoroughly recommend the course to anyone and everyone."
"What else can I say – thank you, thank you? I am grateful that my fate guided me to India, to Macleod Ganj and then to Z Meditation. I came across the green house in a very beautiful environment and for fifteen days, I had the chance to pick up the biggest present ever offend to me. This gift is ‘the way inside to my deepest origin’; hence, I find answer to all my questions. On a base of true knowledge of myself, I can go on living now, or better, start living in this new way. I can rely on the trust of myself, because it is not a blind one. Who knows me better than me? My fears, my seeking and my restlessness has come to an end and Z Meditation has opened for me new doors. There’s a lot of work to do now. The gift of peace, love, compassion, wisdom, and calmness was like waiting for me. Actually it’s waiting for everybody. It’s just that one opens the parcel and receives the insides with gratitude and others carry it blindly the whole life with them without even knowing of it. So, in last days, I really opened my eyes and got new perspectives. This joy and satisfaction will go further in the world wherever the wind brings me. It’s so unimportant, where I am and what time it is. What is important is that I am. From now I go my way, wherever it leads me and try to live the mantras, the truth and enjoy myself in my natural state of being." Thank you… Love….
"Wow! How can I explain or describe in words my last fifteen days? I will try. The meditation was very good for me and as I look at it now, I believe I have changed for good. I’m definitely more calm now, more one-pointed toward what I really want, and I want to think about myself more than about others. I know something has changed inside me; it’s still indescribable but it’s there. I think that the last fifteen days were very meaningful for me because as I learnt how to meditate, how to have my breakfast in a yogic way, and how to say the shanti prayer. I learnt a lot about myself. I think that in those few days, I learned about myself more than in my entire life, for sure. I feel that now I am ready to go out to the world, and show it what I have learnt and who I have become. I feel I am ready to give more than ever. I am ready to accept anything in any condition. I’m ready to live the moment as it is, with no doubts." I am finally ready to love myself the way I am, alone, or in any condition. I am ready finally to inhale “peace” and exhale “love” by myself – wherever I go. Thank you so much.
"This is the first time I have experienced sustained awareness – I have woken up from a dream. How could I have known that so many of my questions would get their answers here? I didn’t know that I would get a path toward pure joy. I have received so much here that it seems to be sufficient for this life time. I have got the precise meditation tools now to throw light on those dark spots in my mind. The inquiry and the mantras are the greatest discovery of my life. I feel loved from all directions – the universe has reached out to hold me in its hands! Now it is up to me to stay there using the tools I have been shown in the past week. I have some resolutions to make:
Continue practicing meditation: How could I deny myself such a wonderful gift, the gift of truth?
Love the mantras. Live the mantras. Each one carries such piercing messages aimed at my soul. I feel so transparent when I use them.
Live my life fully – living it each moment. No more worries. Worrying is such a waste of energies.
Now, I am on a mission – the mission of living in peace, fulfillment and love. I promise to myself that I am going to do it. I know that the key to continuing on this path is meditation, meditation and meditation. It will be hard work, but it is already worth it. In fifteen days, I have seen so much clarity. Imagine a lifetime!" Thank you for showing me the way.
"My last fifteen days have been with myself. And I must say I like my company. Every now and then in life, I have found myself alone and really struggled to not feel depressed about it. I have always intuited that loneliness is not to be confused with being alone, and in fact, it was this idea that got me interested in a meditation retreat. I wanted to catch hold of my mind and get at least a glimpse of the truth. To tell you the truth, it did happen. I was able to find calm within myself – by myself. So what I have learnt here is the method of separating loneliness from being solitary. And for that I am very grateful. I know now that within the folds of my consciousness is a beautiful pure joy. And I have learnt how to surface it. I also realized the extreme happiness one can derive from basic activities like eating, walking or just being, so long as it is done mindfully. Either the food served here is amazingly delicious or meditation makes it so, but I have truly savored every bite I took in the last fifteen days. Gratitude for food has never come so effortlessly! In fact gratitude for being, just existing in this joyful world is what I experienced a lot in this meditation course. The yoga was so invigorating. Especially in the end, when Suruchi left us in Shavaasana for 15 minutes. Magical things used to happen then, in those pure moments. I thought I saw the energy – white and silver – all around me today. Yesterday I felt I carried in me the universe. On the whole, it’s been one unforgettable wonderful stay at Z Meditation Centre. The last 2 days I have felt so much love and joy inside me. For the co-students, I have brimmed with love. This is so strange, because I don’t even know the names of most. But to me, each one looks beautiful and special, and really if there was anything difficult about this retreat, it was to keep myself from hugging, or at least smiling at each of them. I see each one of them glowing with purity and an infectious calmness. I vainly imagined that I must be looking so shining too. Well, I do feel sublime and new born. I am starting my life afresh. I really have shed my past. And living in the moment, I will go, trusting the fate to take care of me. With nothing to regret and nothing to fear, I live every real unit of time with sheer abandon and pure ecstasy."
"My last fifteen days have been life changing for me, thanks to the both of you. The “awakening” began for me on Saturday when I came for inquiring about the course. Seeing your warmth and compassion, I decided that I had to learn meditation from you. I’m sure that it wasn’t an accident that someone told me about Z Meditation. In fact, it was directed by the divine, I’m sure. I admit I had my reservations about meditation before this retreat, but really wanted to give it a try as a last resort in getting rid of some of my everyday baggage. I still can’t believe how much rubbish is there in my head, but it continues to be thrown out. Of the most important things I learned was living in the moment and how precious each second is. Never have I felt how it actually feels to walk – I felt my feet actually moving on the ground. Never have I appreciated the intake of such fresh air or eaten food enjoying every flavor in each morsel. I thank you; I thank you for reminding me of something I forgot long ago in some other life. Though, I still have much to work on, I can say right now in this moment, I feel free to be true to myself. I’m praising myself instead of abusing myself. I’m no longer afraid of which direction my life will take because I know that as long as I live each moment to the fullest, live the truth, and understand that pure joy is acceptance, the direction doesn’t matter. With the aid of meditation, inquiry and the yoga, I can have a mindful, truthful existence. Furthermore, I intend to give as much white light as possible as an expression of love and kindness. For many years, I’ve always wanted to know a way to heal people and relieve them of their fears and anxiety. The problem was that I had so many within myself that there was nothing I could give. Now I know I have so much to give because of how much I’m learning to love myself. Again thank you so much for showing and living. I know I have quite a long road ahead of me, but that’s ok because I’m going to live every moment of it to its fullest." Much love.
"Thank you for giving me a supportive, beautiful and nurturing environment to examine my life, and in essence, to get a grip! I didn’t come expecting to find enlightenment in fifteen days, and I did not find that. What I did, however was realize some truths about myself. Seeing these for what they are will help me change what I need to. The foremost lesson for me was to accept what I cannot change. It’s a long, long road, but I know this is the only real thing. Even when my knees are killing me from a long sitting or a difficult yoga posture, there is no other path I’d rather be on. I have experienced quite a lot in my twenty-six years and had previously thought that living fully meant trying everything – jumping into situations / people that in the end caused tremendous heartache for me and others. I had taken the existentialist approach – seeking happiness in others, places, or situations – although I was fully aware they wouldn’t last. I found out at a young age that dealing with problems emotionally does not work, so in the past 10 years or so, I have been “rational” about planning my life, trying to make it as smooth as I can, not getting engaged in messy attachments by cutting off relationships if people threatened to get too close, or by temporarily losing myself in short-lived relationships that had a clear end in sight… either because I knew I would be moving to another place soon or because I purposely picked someone not right for me. Other aspects of my life have been unbalanced – particularly the concept of interdependence. I have always valued freedom above all else, but I thought freedom meant not being “tied down” in a relationship, not being dependent on anyone financially or emotionally, the ability to come and go as I please. The new freedom that I have found here, means much more to me now – freedom from the stories that rob me of peace. People at home either criticize or admire me for coming to India, three times on my own. Some people ask me what I’m trying to prove. And when I look honestly, I think my very first trip here was partially motivated by a need to assert my independence from a family who I found to be very smothering and needy. But I can honestly say that this time I have recognized my call to this place, not to renounce my “identity” as an American or to live here permanently, or because it is “cool” to go to India, but because I have a connection here that I cannot deny. And that I don’t have to explain or justify to anyone! Let them think I’m weird; who cares? I have the courage to follow my heart and that is one of the most important lessons of the past 5 days that despite my many mistakes, addictions, bad deeds of the past, I too have a purpose here. I am learning and growing and that my time in India has prompted me to become more compassionate, kind, understanding towards others. All of these gifts I can use at any place I find myself in. I have done a few Vipassana retreats before, but I really liked this one because it gave me the chance to process situations that are disturbing. I felt that both of you really care about all of us in the room. You responded to our concerns with loving presence, although I am sure you hear the same stories in the many retreats that you do. I didn’t have to put on an act because I knew I wouldn’t be judged and this allowed me to process more fully and honestly what I need to work on. Thank you for showing me that it really is possible to integrate these principles with practice and lead a balanced, loving, compassionate life. Both of you have been an inspiration! Much love, happiness to you, although you already have it." Thank you so much!
"My last fifteen days were great. They gave me full power. I was able to focus on myself again, after a period in which I went in all the directions. In the last fifteen days I have learned about one more truth, a truth of two wonderful people, who help other people to get to liberation. In the last fifteen days, I came to know again, how hard and long is the way to the truth and I also came to know that I have the confidence in myself and I can now see again how I am walking on this path for a while and that I’m in the right direction. The last vdays showed me the dialogue I have in my head, even though I found answers to a lot of my questions. Quieting this dialog is the next thing I will seek now. Stopping my involuntary thought is the beginning of the way. I feel like a ground that is flooded with water, and I’m waiting for the water to start sinking and make the ground ready. I’m a happy person in the world, that for the past 5 days, I have been taught the truth, and they did it with so much love. Thank you very much for giving and sharing your own path."
"I believe that it was my dharma that I should attend this meditation course. It was not just by chance that on Sunday, one person cancelled for this week’s course and therefore, I could take her last place. In the last fifteen days, I learned so many useful things. Most of them I actually new before, but couldn’t put into practice. This week, I made all the effort for it and I am very grateful for the progress I could make with this help. The first two or three days, in my mind, there were more fragmented thoughts coming up than concentration. On the third day, it started to turn around. I was suddenly much more concentrated and unwelcome thoughts just came up scattered. That was a great improvement. Thanks to the mantras and the questions, I could resolve many disturbing thoughts that came up. I also enjoyed very much the silence around me, although at the beginning I thought that it was impossible to share the room, without any words. A new experience happened with the eating meditation. Before each meal, I prayed and gave my thanks to all beings. That was very beautiful and I never enjoyed eating as much as I did in the last few days. Even food tasted better than it ever did before these fifteen days. I feel absolutely great and I am very much inspired to lean much more and go deep into meditation. For me, there has been a new opening up to a beautiful world. I found so much peace, awareness, love, happiness, courage. This week a light was turned on in my heart and nobody can turn it off again I thank all of you to have made it possible to find my inward peace and happiness."
"In the last 5 days, I’ve been going through a lot of changes. I’ve noticed that whenever I have to deal with a big issue – something really important – it starts with breaking down. But, it always leads to a completely new understanding! I understood that I want to change and I feel that I did. Before I came here, I had a feeling that it would be something special. And it truly was. It felt so good when I asked you questions I never even knew I wanted to know and if I did, I had no one to ask about it. It definitely took me some time before I understood that I was here and it won’t help me run over and over again in my mind the plans of what I’m going to do when I finish the retreat. But that’s what it meant to teach me, isn’t it? I feel so happy, so calm and peaceful. I’m not afraid of myself, I’m not afraid from the future. Whatever will be, will be…” It has been 5 amazing days. I won’t give up any one of them. And I’m looking forward to use the tools you taught me. It was such a healthy schedule, so balanced. I felt that finally I have the courage to ask questions and I can find the answers in myself. I feel so connected to the people that were with me, that went through the same things. I feel complete. I have the skills to live my life better, to take only the good things, to understand that I deserve the best. I can learn more and be more open minded now. I realize that there are so many things inside my head that I don’t need. So I have so much more place for new information. And I’m going to live and appreciate every single moment. Thank you so much for these amazing 5 days."
"A white light illuminated my path to follow the steps down to the green building, called Z Meditation Centre; to be greeted by two beautiful open winged angels full of love and compassion! After spending 6 weeks, traveling in India, I arrived in dharamsala to find a beautiful place where I felt welcomed the moment I arrived. I felt such a sense of giving and receiving in this town. My heart went in search to find these angels. After 3 years of practicing Reiki, I felt in my heart that I would like to be able to share this love with others. All the situations and people in my life led me to this feeling in this last magical year. But I was aware that much work on myself would need to be done and my original inquiry was for meditation. Before the course, I made some decisions about the way I was living my life, and changes which needed to happen if I was to take this path in a serious way. My addictions would have to be dealt with and detached from – especially, coffee and cigarettes. These last fifteen days have brought a lot of cleansing within my body and mind; and have also brought me closer to God. Even though that closeness has always been there in my heart and has always been my source of love and guidance in my life, but listening to the universal truths really brought me home. I have learnt a lot about myself in these last fifteen days and I have been able to let go of a lot of survival conditionings that took me back to when I was a child. I have made some promises to myself: To continue practicing the mantras and living in pure joy. To respect my mind and body as a temple. To continue sending peace and love out to the earth.
I’m sure I have many more to write but I’m feeling quite tired and would like to go to sleep now. Good night. Thank you so much my two lovely angels for taking such good care of me this week and I am really looking forward to the rest of our time together."
"My last fifteen days were the most quiet days I’ve ever known. It’s the first time since I was born, that I didn’t have to speak to anyone, respond to anyone, tell anyone my thoughts etc. It was wonderful finding out what happened to me when I don’t speak – my mind became peaceful and quiet, there was less noise and my attention was glued to the important things about myself. It was a great gift I’ve given myself and I’m so happy I did that. It was a time for me by my own, it gave me peace and a new light over my trip. I feel my trip will be easier for me if I can accept everything and keep the peace. I want to thank you so much for the love I felt coming from you, for the care of all of us. I feel I would like to talk to you forever. It seems like you have the right answers to everything and most of all you bring a lot of joy, love and hope. Your love and peace will be with me wherever I go."
"My last fifteen days were really good days for me. I’ve heard so many beautiful things, so pure, so good. It is amazing, I think. It is so wonderful to hear such beautiful words every day. I’ve learnt so much; I have so much stuff to think about for my whole life. Before coming here, I thought that silence would be difficult for me. I don’t think it was at all. The more difficult part was my mind – using the inquiry and the mantras to root out my stories. It was fun too when I could see things clearly! I’ve learnt a lot, I am so glad that I came here. Taking 5 days off from my intense life and trying to think to get peace, it was really necessary for me and I really hope that I can do it at home. I wanted to thank you; thank you very much. You are amazing and wonderful people and it was my pleasure to meet you both. Thank you a lot for everything."
"My life’s purpose until now was to find the truth, but giving in easily whenever I had to do hard work was a repeated pattern in my life. Although my intentions were ‘true’, my will was always weak. In the last fifteen days, I thought a lot about my indiscipline and took a few decisions:
There is nothing in this universe which will make me give up my business. I will not poke my nose in anybody’s business now.
No matter how difficult I make it for myself, I will go only for a cure and never for a short-term relief. This means that if I’m tired on a particular day, I will still meditate; I will still practice yoga; I will still be mindful until it becomes a habit and then character and then my destiny.
I will continue to grow, to educate myself, to cleanse my mind and live in the present. I shall and am now enlightening myself for my own good and for the good of all beings. I understand that these resolutions are not for 2 or 3 weeks but that they are forever. I don’t expect to act as a Buddha 24/7, but I will definitely not sell myself short!
Thank you so much."
"I promise to remain loving and caring as I am; and even more! I promise to love and accept myself – total acceptance! I promise to accept my mother for who she is and not to get angry at her whenever I think she’s wrong (according to my belief)! I promise to accept others for who they are! I promise to live in the here and now! I promise to practice this technique daily! I promise to try to live my life in a balanced way and look at the world with pure observations without judging others, or minding their business. I promise to mind my own business only! I promise to cherish nature for giving me all that she has already given! I promise to try getting rid of my attachments! I promise myself to be happy!!!" Thank you so much!
"I enrolled in the retreat to get a better grasp of meditation and find the reasons behind meditation. Before the retreat, I’d read many books on meditation, but I felt that I understood it only on an intellectual level. The same was true of my attempts to understand Buddhism. I had hit a plateau in my understanding because it was only on a mental level. I knew that to advance in meditation, I needed to find some place to practice it and experience it. Through this, it was my feeling that I would deepen my understanding on a more intuitive level. It’s been fifteen days here and I’m certainly glad to say that I’ve been able to indeed advance my understanding on a deeper intuitive level. Fifteen days is a short time though. But I believe that I’ve gained enough understanding to go out and practice the technique myself. As an additional bonus, I’ve also learnt a few extra valuable insights as well. These insights have not only deepened my understanding of what I already knew but taught me a few additional things as well. For this I’m forever grateful." Thank you so much!
"Thank you a lot for showing me the way to the present. Thank you for reminding me that the past the future do not exist."
"During my last fifteen days in the Z Meditation Centre, I learned a lot of techniques of controlling the mind and doing meditation. Time schedule of the course has been prepared very nicely. The beginning and end of the session of the course with the ‘Shanti mantra’ is remarkable indeed. The breathing exercise of inhaling peace and exhaling love are very effective in controlling the mind. The stories of the master and disciple in the night session are interesting and conducive for the participants for doing meditation. The sitting arrangement in the class has been configured very nicely and almost perfect silence is maintained by the participants in the class. Over all, Z Meditation Centre has been situated at a very charming place in front of the big mountains, which is very conducive for meditation course. The accommodation facility for the participants has been made properly. The food provided to the participants was of good quality. I am very much thankful to the teacher for providing so many facilities to the participating for doing the meditation course." Thank you very much!
"I don’t want to worry anymore. I felt a big purification. This was a time of big change in my life. I hope it will enhance quality in my life. I feel that a long mental limitation has been resolved and an open space for more creativity and love in my life has been created. I am in a much better relationship with myself after these fifteen meditative days. I don’t want to think about the past and future anymore. I just want to enjoy every moment in my life. I feel that the problems in my life are no more problematic. These are the big rocks that I need to push to make myself strong. I feel light and truth and purity within me. I want to enjoy my life now. I want to have an open mind now. I feel that all bondage has been dropped – actually it was only imagined. I am free now. I want to remain free now. And to finish the poetry, I’m am finding more pleasure in writing and I hope I can do my best now for bringing pure joy within me, in my conscience, here and now; forever – for my happiness and for a better world of light. The past fifteen days have been wonderful – really mind opening. I have been traveling for a long time, and as I traveled, I didn’t fully experience the experiences. Not living in the here and now, my dissatisfaction and incompleteness grew. Many of the ideas and principles introduced were not new to me, but I began to see them in a new light. And most importantly, I have been joyful. I feel I have a strong base to grow on joyful moment to joyful moment." Thank you so much!
"Funny you ask that, I was just writing a letter to my sister about it. It was not a joy ride! When I got here, I thought I am going to learn how to do meditation. But I was offered much more. I was offered a new way of life. In a way, the ‘laws of peace’ is something that I always knew. It is so simple and yet so hard. What is, is beautiful! But living it in life – that is a whole new story. All my adult life I have told myself to accept the reality. But it didn’t work. Now, I am going to try it in a new way – through meditation. I have already seen the results. It is so wonderful! It is true what you said – it is like going to a gym. It is very hard in the beginning, it is painful, and you don’t see results. So you need to believe in yourself in order to continue. The way that you showed me sounds right and feels right. I am going to try it. It was fun being with myself for 5 days. One more thing that gave great results is the eating meditation. I was enjoying the food so much better and the taste was also so good. No matter what happens later, but I can say in this moment that this was a great gift to myself. You told us love without expectations, and I really felt the same love from you." Thank you so much!
"In my quest for truth, I have now spent almost 16 years learning Vedanta intensively and trying to follow that lifestyle. I have taken my vows and I am trying to follow them strictly. For the last 2 years, I came to a standstill. I was not moving anywhere. I was stuck in my understanding. I didn’t even know what was happening with me as I was not convinced of my understanding which I received through my previous teachers. And in these confusions, my life started drifting away from what I had initially taken up as my cherished lifestyle. A sense of utter despair started creeping in me, which led me to some other blunders. And at this point of time in my life, God came to my rescue. I was led to Z Meditation Centre on the 17th of June, 2001. Ajay & Suruchi look all care to make me comfortable. But the biggest comfort came when the course began and Ajay in his very lucid style started explaining the most difficult truths in the simplest way that even a child could understand. Suruchi also excelled in her classes. My basic confusions about the practice of meditation got cleared through these classes. These last 5 days have clearly shown me the way. Z Meditation techniques are the most effective tools I have received in my life. I have studied from various great teachers. But what I got here was incomparable. This will surely help me in my journey divine." Thank you to both of you; thanks a lot.
"There is so much to say about my last fifteen days! I have been shown of a very conscious way of living. So many times, I took my meals, silence, friends, self, my life for granted! And here in this beautiful place, I was remembered again of mindful and peaceful living. I spent one month in a Taoist monastery 3 years ago and it was helpful for receiving a lot of knowledge. But what I found here was so much love. Love for each other and all beings; compassion and kindness. I feel very strongly that my being was lifted up and my sensitivity increased; as if I love with different eyes to the world now. But the world has not changed. I have changed. I received the path to personal freedom – the way wise people write books about. In my heart, there is nothing but gratefulness. Thank you, Suruchi and Ajay, for being who you are and doing this great work of bringing consciousness to people."
"My last fifteen days here have been quite an experience. I will use it in the future to live a more meaningful life. The past 15 days have been a nice change of pace. For the 1st time in a long time, I was able to rest both mentally and physically. It’s been a time of reflection of life in general; I’ve tried to view things from a fresh perspective. What I hope to take from these fifteen days is that there is something greater, something more worthy than what I’ve been living for. I think I’ve known it all along. If I can remember this one thing, then I know I will keep on track and not forget what I learned. I want to redo this course now and ask my wife to join me in this great inner adventure."
"As I look back to the days that came before these fifteen days, I actually realize how much I needed these days at the Z Meditation Centre. These fifteen days have been to me, the first time in my life, to be able to actually listen to myself every minute of the day; to be able to meet my mind, to face it, to look inside it, to clean it. I feel like I crossed a limit, I feel like I achieved peace. I hope those truthful words of Ajay and Suruchi shall remain in me for the rest of my life. I know it only depends on me, and I want to have the courage to keep looking within all the time, to keep the strength that I’ve created for myself in these fifteen days of deep thinking. I really liked waking up early in the morning and to watch how the day is born. I liked the morning meditations, when the mind is still and pure. Today in the morning when we practiced, I felt so concentrated. I could see my own mind, breathing love and peace. I could see how it calms down. It was empty, totally empty and it felt so liberated, so clean. I love the people that are here with me. It’s an unconditional love. Even though we were not speaking, we were yet so related to each others’ feelings. I feel that silence in the retreat helped a lot in understanding and having true love for each other. Another, very important, and last thing to say is I really enjoyed the food here. It was beautiful and made like art, so delicate, and so pure. So thank you (and thanks for the ginger-honey medicine. I almost got addicted to that one) and thanks to mother earth."
"I came to the McLeod ganj with the specific view of growing and transforming my mind with the help of meditation. I always felt that meditation should be a part of everyday life and activities and it should be incorporated into every mundane thing like eating. These fifteen days have really helped me see how to integrate meditation into all hours of the day, thereby helping me utilize every minute of the day to grow and transform. Many truths such as loving myself unconditionally and I am already complete within me etc., I already knew mentally. But I now realize that meditation is the only way to break down the conditionings that stopped me from believing and understanding these truths. One major breakthrough that I felt was that everything is so impermanent – whether it is relationship or sickness, or approval of peers etc., that there is no reason to lose peace of mind over. The only constant is me, so focussing on improvements in me is the most important. Pure joy is mindful balance. Such a beautiful lesson! It has also been so enlightening to see and hear that others were also suffering from the same conditionings that held me back from my true potential. That I am not alone in my struggle to break free. This knowledge will help me in times of hardships; encourage me when I am weak. ‘It is not impossible; others have succeeded, so can I’. I especially enjoyed the creative meditations. At first, I felt it was a real effort, but once I realized that all I had to do was try my best, things flowed. From the view of art, it may not be good, but I am happy because it was my best. It reawakened a part of me I had forgotten – creativity. Another beautiful lesson in placing me in the moment was ‘pure joy is here and now’! Thank you so much Ajay and Suruchi from the bottom of my heart for giving so much of yours for helping others on the way to enlightenment. Eternal peace." P.S. love the Shanti mantras.
"Where should I start? I felt very much ‘out of tune’ when I came here last Sunday to inquire about Z Meditation. After talking with Suruchi, I felt the retreat would definitely do good to me. Having done another 10-day meditation retreat right before I left Melbourne, I thought this retreat would be a piece of cake. I now realize how shallow my knowledge of meditation was. After 3 months of traveling in ‘non peace’ with my boyfriend, I was tired, empty and felt that all I’ve learnt in 2 years was wiped away. Living in and enjoying the moments, following my gut instinct, living in peace with myself – that’s what I did for 18 months. Then ‘the incident’, followed by painful moments, which changed everything into non-stop frustrations, anger, pain and insecurity in the last couple of months. You know how happy I am now as I choose to go on my own path – the path of Z Meditation. These last fifteen days have definitely brought me back in balance. The awareness of what is important in life has become very clear once again. It needs hard work, I know. I am ready for that. I realize that only I am responsible for my own happiness. I know I will have to let go of all of my old conditionings in order to reach peace of mind. In 34 years, I’ve built up all these habits and patterns and it’s going to be a long road to find the truth within. To totally accept what is, is not to cling anymore, being independent. I understand that it was not my partner who made my life a mess. It was me. I had made my life a mess. I’m responsible. These fifteen days of full-on meditation sessions have made me aware of the fact that there is something like total happiness. Looking at you, Ajay and Suruchi, thinking back of Goenka, Dalai Lama, all have the same beliefs and the same beautiful, inspiring vibes. I have to learn to live meditation rather than practice it. You have given me the tools to do so. All I need to do is believe in myself. Believe that this is for me as well; I can do it. I’m not scared to face the few problems that I have to deal with. I will keep the ‘wake up call’ enquiry at hand, when being out centre. With all the knowledge that I gained in these days and the resolutions I will live according to, I’ll be strong enough to make the transformation into the real me. Thank you, Ajay and Suruchi, for helping me make the first steps on the path to peaceful completeness."
"I can’t believe it! Again, already fifteen days? After the last retreat I felt pretty good, but I sensed that I had to do it again to gain solid grounding. Since I didn’t want the feeling of peaceful completeness to pass, I decided to join the retreat again. I felt like I needed to hear the things again, for a better understanding and for a better contemplation of the technique. Well, so I did it! Again! And it was even better than the first time!! At the beginning, I felt like “I know everything! Peace and love? Not a problem for me…” Then I realized that there is a problem. The biggest problem is of my own mind! My mind didn’t let me focus, each time thinking of something else. Most of the thoughts seemed at first very harmless. But, those thoughts were not so naive after all… at least this time I could work on myself, without thinking of my husband most of the time, in a dependent kind of way, like last time. This time, I was free and independent. But, unfortunately, there were/are many other thoughts to get rid off… so I did. I managed to convince myself that I’m not afraid anymore of any insects. Especially big ones… I used the Mantra “pure joy is peaceful completeness” to do so… I convinced myself that nothing should disturb my peace, especially not a harmful insect! I’ve also used the Mantra “pure joy is mindful balance”, thinking of an image of a meditating person, surrounded by bugs and all kinds of snakes, lizards etc, and keeps meditating no matter what… I realized this person could be myself, in oneness with nature, without fear and with pure observation and total acceptance. I hope and know, I will be able to face those fears, and win them!!! Another important and major conditioning I managed to overcome was the thought that I should be the best. I could not stand the thought that someone else is better than me in anything. It was awful. I realized that it has a lot to do with wanting to be all the time in the center of attention. It was terrible, because the more I thought of it, the more I couldn’t let go… So I used the 6 questions to analyze, and it helped a lot in removing this foolish conditioning. But of course, the thing that helped the most, was talking it through. It made me realize that I don’t need anyone’s attention except my own. And besides, people’s attention is most of the time fake! They might just give others attention out of some kind of habit, without really meaning it. I might be doing that to others, also. I must remember that others are usually my mirror. Whatever I dislike in others are usually those things that I dislike about myself. What is the solution to this problem, then? Accept yourself, or better yet, change! In any case, I must accept this character about others! Then, what about Zohar? Where does he fit into this picture? Well, for Zohar I have the greatest love of all, but until now, I kept wanting him to change, to become a better person. I was criticizing him all the time. Each one of us wanted the other person to change. Well, not any more! Now I realize that once I stop wanting to change Zohar, my love for him would be much more pure, much more strong. Because if now my love for him is the greatest ever, imagine how strong it would be when I live by the Mantras… Well, with this optimistic and wonderful feeling of love to everyone, I conclude those fifteen wonderful days! I wish I would never stop loving, and that the number of people in my list of loves would grow every day, every moment… And thank you, James, for being one of my rocks. A wonderful rock indeed! You have helped me realize one of my basic truths!" Thank you so much!
"In these last 5 days, I have reduced the chaos in my head to its base. I think that I have constructed new fundamentals for my thinking process, a new way on approaching my thoughts. These fifteen days were purely for me. Just to stabilize my mind. And it was perfect. The meditation techniques I have learnt here have really stabilized my mind. I am very happy now that I attended this meditation retreat. I have found the root of my unhappiness and my confusion – it is my attachments with the most trivial things of life. I want to give that up now. Actually, I have given up many already. Turning the mind inwards to find my peace has been so enlightening for me. It feels good to experience that I don’t have to run after anybody now. I want to thank both of you for your hospitality and for showing me the path of meditation and yoga." Thanks.
"Initially, my Z Meditation began with all sorts of expectations that I was simply going to be “given the answers”. The answers that I supposed would solve all the questions, unlock the riddles, open the doors, and break down the barricades. But when I came to the realization that I could not sit still enough to concentrate because of pain in my legs, restlessness in my mind, I wrongly assumed that this was not for me Today however, I experienced a semi-awakening. Still light years from enlightenment, but definitely a break at the starting gate. “Dream or reality”, how simple, but never really thought about it. Is it conducive to my freedom – never? Incompleteness – these limitations my mind has set for myself. Once I could relinquish all my personal expectations of the future, I realized how important the pure joy of here and now really is. What is, is. Saying the mantras, I realize how beneficial they will be in my everyday life. Here and now – pure joy, unconditioned peace. I am happy. Thank you for teaching me how to experience happiness in freedom." Thank you.
"Over the last 5 days, a major realization came to me – just how many thoughts run through your mind every single second, every single day – and that with awareness and understanding, these thoughts can be easily removed. I had taken them to be just another part of me, but I was given a glimpse of what the other side was like. Being silent, living inside myself has been a great experience – I now realize that so many things do not need to be said, that all problems will not get solved. Once you let go, just let it be, things work themselves out. Part of me is reluctant to go back into that other world called “India” full of noise and people. Yet the other half wants to jump back and utilize my new-found skills. Thank you for my first experience at meditation for giving me the skills, awareness, understanding and yes experience at quieting my mind."
"Before I came to India, I got lost in stress, hectic activity and confusion. I was just worrying about everything. I felt sad, alone, unhappy, lost. I took two very important decisions – I got separated from my boyfriend and I applied for psychology. Some clouds moved away and I could see the sunlight again. But still, there were many dark clouds hanging in my sky. They did not know what direction they should take. After the meditation course here, now I see much clearer. Once upon a time, I just loved every human being, every tree, and every animal. I loved to do conversation, to share time with others. I sometimes didn’t even know where to go with all this love. The trust I once had in nature, in the divine, in destiny, got lost when I grew up. The result was disorientation, senselessness, emptiness, sadness. I forgot that there was this beautiful time in my life earlier. I was so pleased to meet profound love here again, in combination with peace! I felt as if I was given back a piece of my heart. I feel complete!! The meditation course has already made me more soft, more aware – and now I know that this is my only business. And I know it for sure – to give love, to share love, to live the turn-ins, to live the mantras. I will do meditation daily. It has been so good for me. I am back on track. I love myself so much more now. I love everybody so much more. I cannot describe how I really feel, but I feel you know it." Thank you so much.
"My last fifteen days? Big question. It has been a big event for me. My expectation from the course was to find a way to slow down, find the right paths for me. In the last years of my life, I have been very lost and very unhappy and confused. The course has been more hard to me than I could have imagined – but in different sense. I thought that it would be hard not to speak – I was totally wrong. Silence has been so nice. I have realized that I speak too much; and too senseless at times. It does not lead anywhere. I am not interested in this kind of living anymore. I also thought it would be hard not to have eye-contact with people – again, I was wrong. It has been very relaxing. It has been so good to have space. The hardest bit for me has been myself. I have been looking for my happiness at wrong places – in people, in clothes, in movies. This realization is so amazing that my happiness does lie anywhere else. It is in my heart. Wow! This meditation course has opened my eyes and it is so painful – and yet so wonderful. Painful because I realize that I have been searching for my completeness in wrong places. I feel sorry for myself and also for my boyfriend. We have been like dry leave in the strong wind – getting blown away wherever the wind takes us. This wonderful meditation course has taught me that I have to put an end to all this. I am myself responsible for my own happiness – and unhappiness. Nothing outside of me can make me happy or unhappy. I refuse to be a victim – to use your term. The yoga has been a great help in meditation. I have done a lot of yoga before, but not in this way. It was really good for my mind. Lastly, in these last days at the meditation center, I have eaten very good food." Thank you for everything.
"The last 15 days for me were like cure for many diseases. From the moment I got into Z Meditation, my feeling was very good. And I felt a lot of energy. Shanti, Shanti, peace. And it was a great feeling and for that I am grateful. I realize that I am in a small bubble of myself. I am the master of myself; nobody is here. Since my first meditation session, it has been fascinating because when Ajay entered the room, his presence filled the room with peaceful and loving energies. I have experienced peace and love circling around me for fifteen days. These fifteen days were a valued gift. I learned so much about myself. I have really understood the true meaning of love, kindness, joy, peace. The white light is inside me. And for that, I say thanks from the bottom of my heart to Ajay and Suruchi!"
"I must say that before I came, I was very scared. The correct answer to the question “are you ready” at enrollment, would have been “I don’t know”. But all I know was that the dissatisfaction was very strong and I had to try. What I have been given is a totally different angle to look at my troubled mind and thank you for that. I was suffering very strongly. I was very dissatisfied with the way my mind worked and unhappiness was getting strong. I thought I was unhappy with the reality. You have pointed out that this is a dream that I am unhappy with, and now I have some methods to start dismantling it and drawing back to the now. I realize I have a lot of work to do but even small bits of progress have excited me much. On the plus side, for the old mind, I have realized that some of the thinking was right thinking and I was being confused by others. I think that this is a great course for anyone. I really enjoyed the creative mediation, I am no artist, but I found it really absorbing trying to do my best with the statements. I also really enjoyed the sense of humor of Ajay and Suruchi that allowed us all to laugh at the silly way in which our minds can work. I thank you for your tireless efforts. You have given me a push in the right direction and it is now up to me to walk on it."
"A pure learning of my mind. Before I came here, I did some hard work on myself and was looking for answers for my questions. The answers I got here were six questions!! With those six questions I was able to answer all my questions. And the answers were very simple, but I had to really concentrate to understand their whole meaning for me. The most important things to learn were: Peace is to accept; pain is to resist. In this moment, it’s useless to live in the future or in the past; it’s just dreaming. When I ask myself what is the reality now and realize the moment I am living in, I can just feel my head getting relaxed – amazing. All I have to remind is that this is the only reality that exists. Only now exists. Here is where I am. My happiness depends only on me. Not on anybody else or anything else. That’s all I needed to get my mind free. The mantras, the breathing techniques and the yoga lessons helped me a lot to concentrate my mind. It’s like bringing the frequency of my mind to a low level so I will be able to understand such basic things! No doubt I have learned a lesson for my life. I have meditated before, but only now I know what destination to look for."
"I don’t want to live in the future anymore. I have the present, which is so good. Why should I walk away from it? I will have to keep practicing the mantras and yoga and meditation. I don’t want to lose the feeling of the real thing. I think I have left the past behind. I am not doing any good to anybody by punishing myself over the past. Like we learned today from the great master, “every saint has a past and every sinner has a future”. Well, I will go for the present and I am so excited I don’t want to get all stressed up because of my past and even for my future. I have myself, my love, my clear mind, my pure observation. I have to stick with it. I cannot be so involved with everything all the time. It makes me feel so stressed and angry and mad. I have so much love in me, why should I be anything but loving and peaceful? I will work more on my pure observation. It gives me peace. I will work more on my acceptance and loving kindness – that gives me the love that I already have. I want it again. I will practice more on those “turn arounds”. It gives me a relaxed mind I need to find my love for myself – the joy that comes from within. The more I will be connected with my peace, there is more chance I wouldn’t lose it." Thank you so much.
"At first, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had so much confusion; I was so restless that I could hardly keep up with myself. My thoughts were jumping aimlessly like a monkey. Living in the present, compassion and love for all beings, detachment: all these things I already knew in my mind. But only in these last few days I understood, really understood their true meaning. I feel that my clinging is getting much weaker. I feel much more confident of myself now that I truly understand that I don’t need anyone or anything from the outside. I actually feel in my heart this love and compassion that before this week I just knew they should be there. Now I feel how my love is actually expanding my heart, making room for more love, for more compassion. My mind is so much quieter. It’s not perfectly silent yet; I still have much work to do, but when I meditate, the gaps between the thoughts are getting bigger and bigger and they go away much easier Rocks – I can now see the difficulties as rocks. I’m not yet in a state of being thankful for these rocks, but I don’t expect them not to be there. When I think of the conditionings in my mind, some are still there and some are gone. It feels so ridiculous. How strongly I react to such untrue ideas! At least, I can see this now and this is the most important thing I gained in these last 5 days: the ability to look inside, into my mind. There is so much work to be done. But I have started, I know how. I know, I just know, that practicing these new tools I now have will eventually get me closer to where I want to be – happy. How true and simple is the under-estimated song: don’t worry, be happy!"
"My last fifteen days were the hardest and the easiest that I ever experienced in my life. Hard because I kept my mouth shut for whole days for the first time in my life. At first I felt like I was being punished, but then I realized I really don’t need to talk all the time, and that in fact most of the time, I waste my energy on nonsense. Hard because for the first time, I had no choice but to face my weaknesses without mercy. You just didn’t give me any other way. I had to recognize my dependency as the source of all my pain and misery. But doing that created such relief that I still can’t believe it. It’s not because of me or my rotten personality that I’m suffering; it’s because of my choice to be so attached! Once I got this understanding, I felt peaceful. Your telling me that there is a way to solve my problems, was the most optimistic moment I remember since the day I remember myself. Thank you! I felt like I found the key. Now I need the courage and persistence to keep using it. I know that if I will do so, one day the door shall open." Thank you so much!
"It’s so strange that just last week, I heard about the course from a small talk I had with a friend of mine. Actually, I didn’t know what to except from this course, the only thing I could think about is how I will be silent for 5 days…now after 5 days, I can say that these 5 days will stay in my heart for ever. All my life I felt that something is missing and I searched the missing piece in relationships, work, traveling etc, but it didn’t last for long. I never felt so connected to myself like I feel now. The mantras, each one of them, has so much meaning for me. I feel that inside them, there is the answer to the questions that were hidden inside me all my life. Even though some of the things are hard to accept, things that I’ve been raised all my life with, I know that this is the golden way. Only with accepting everything that will come my way, with living the life moment by moment, and not regretting about the past and not dreaming about the future, with no expectations from people, with feeling complete and loving myself, only then I will be a peaceful and a really happy girl/woman." Thank you very much!
"The last 5 days made me experience something which I had never experienced before. I wouldn’t say I have been unhappy before. I have had glimpses of joy, e.g. when I made presents just for the sake of making somebody happy without any expectation or when I enjoyed nature feeling free; but these were only short moments. In the last 5 days, I understood that this experience of peace and freedom doesn’t have to be a coincidence. I live in this moment, accept myself as I am without expectations and attachments and I can deepen this feeling. Yes, I can live it my whole life. I understood that too much dreaming will not lead me to anything, that it will not make me happy. I must live my dreams, follow my destiny. Why did I come to India? I asked myself so many times and couldn’t find an answer. But now, I think, I know. I wanted to free myself, become independent of all the conditionings and values that I received in my life. I used to listen too much to what people say, but although I knew this, I never had the courage to free myself of their opinions and all the conditionings. But, there was this little voice in me that told me not to surrender to all this, but to go my own way. I decided to go to India… to clear my mind and find out what is really good for me. Now I want to thank you both so much that you led me on this way. Only when I accept myself and work on myself, I can find the peace which is already waiting there for me to bring it out of its cave – to live it and to speed it."
"How many different states of mind have I been going through from day one? I have been fighting myself from day one. Yes, fighting? Compassion, acceptance, madness – I thought I was not able to make it to the end. Sometimes I thought I was not able to see clearly; I did not understand what was real and what was not real for me. It was so difficult to give up the fears, to let go and observe. I was rather closed in my own trap. And then beautiful things happened. The inquiry and the mantras – it was so marvelous. My mind cleared as soon I started doing the work. Things started to fall in place. I was seeing so clearly… Now I feel committed. I have seen the miracle happening in my mind. I am going to continue the practice."
"First of all I want to say – how happy I am that I did this course. In the last years, I have been very sad and disturbed. I wanted to find my way to peace. Often I thought why I am here on this planet. I started following certain paths, but every time I realized that it was not the right path for me. So I went for this one year exchange program to India because I was fed up of everything at home and my only hope was to get an answer in India. I thought when I was away from my old environment, I would have more time for myself. I would be more responsible and would try to understand my destiny. Until 5 days ago, none of these things happened. Surely, I became more independent but no sign of my destiny! Now I know that my divine angel (you can also call it God or destiny) has sent me to this course, because alone, I did not have any clue as to how to move forwards towards my goal. I am so grateful that I could attend this course. I have already changed for the better. I am changing and I know, it is a long, stony path but I’ll put all my energy to achieve my real business in life. These last fifteen days were my awakening time from a life long dream. But still I’m not always aware what I am doing. With practice I’ll move forwards. I liked the curriculum very much. It is thoughtfully planned so there is not too much pressure and stress. You can really enjoy it especially the creative sessions, and of course the eating meditation (the food was excellent!).These 5 days ended so fast I feel like it’s the first day. I was so overwhelmed by all this information and I am still digesting some of the laws of peace. It takes time. I have to spend a lot of time for knowing and living these rules and mantras by heart. The first 2 days I got scared about losing my ego. But I know it’s the only way to live your life peacefully, living in happiness. Wow I’m challenged to discover my inner self. I thank you both so much for helping and accompanying me. I am going to the first step in my new-born life. It was really helpful for me." Thank you so much!
"This is exactly what I needed. My body feels lighter and my mind is free. My heart is full of compassion for everybody. There were some dark spots of non-acceptance in my life and I have been able to clean them with the light of the mantras. This is exactly where I needed to be and what I needed to be doing. It truly is the first step to MOKSHA, enlightenment. Thank you for sharing this great yet simple knowledge with us. Ajay and Suruchi, you have a special place in my heart. I wish you health, equanimity and love." Thank you so much.
"I have for the past few years gone in and out of states of deep unhappiness. I have gone round and round internally trying to find some way of escaping this cycle. In fact, I believed I had never known what it was to be truly happy. I felt that this should have been my natural state and the right to happiness was taken away from me through lack of love, anger and rejection throughout my childhood. I chose to carry these feelings into my adult life, convinced I was deprived of something precious, never shown the valuable lessons of love and understanding. I forced to raise myself in this unhappy state, and had done a very bad job of it. I let these past experiences not only stay with me but began to add resentment, self pity and frustration onto an already long list of negative emotions. Because of this, I had made myself lonely and isolated. Expecting from others, from friends and boyfriends to suddenly make everything fine, had become like bad crutches for me. If only I had the perfect love, I could be whole. What a mess, eh? But I still believed in some corner of my heart that my true nature was to be happy. I had always felt the potential inside somewhere. So my external was always smiling. I read the right books, used the right words, made the right friends and smiled over my tears." Peace and love. Thank you so much!
"When your body, soul and especially mind get so much purity, you become unaware of time. I can proudly say that I really employed the last fifteen days in a spiritually productive way. And I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart. As a solid minded and realistic person, I didn’t expect to reach enlightenment in fifteen days, but what I did expect was to get another point of view about life. I absolutely got that from you. I can see things in a finer way and analyze problems in a way I didn’t even think about. I had a fear about the meditation course here, because I got retired from the army just a short while ago and wasn’t ready to enter a similar situation. I can now definitely say that this is not a military course. I was so happily surprised by you, my beloved teachers of life. You have given me inspiration for a lifetime. Your good spirits will remain with me forever." Thank you.
"My last fifteen days in Z Meditation Centre have been like living in a beautiful heaven. I have to thank you with all my heart for teaching me how I can understand myself, my feelings, and my emotions. You cannot understand what you have done to me. I am a totally changed person now. These fifteen days were the most precious time of my life. I thank you for letting me find my way to myself... I really enjoyed the creative meditations. And I enjoyed opening myself to you and to me. What can I say more? May peace and love be in our hearts always." Thank you very much!
"These last fifteen days have made many things much clearer, and understanding, much sharper. We’ve touched together, as a group and as individuals, with very true guides, many questions that I’ve been asking myself for a few years now. I’m looking forward to learning more and developing, to being a more joyful and true person, through different books of wise people, through other amazing people, and threw my own experience and thoughts (especially if I keep on meditating!). I know that my learning from this course will accompany me for much longer. Each day more and more understanding will sink in and slowly take out all the illusory roots. The strongest feeling that accompanied me these last fifteen days was love – seeing you guys give so much out of yourselves to help others find their own way. All of this with sincerity, open heart and a big loving smile. I’ve learnt not only from the meditations and the philosophy, but also from the beauty of the two of you. These past fifteen days were built from many foggy moments as well as moments of pure clarity. I understand again that all the answers are within me, the truth is there, it’s just hidden behind the never ending flow of thoughts. Once I control these thoughts, once I stop their flow, the truth reveals itself with all its beauty and light. That is the essence of meditation in my eyes. Although I still feel the technique itself is not fully stable in my mind, I know it’s something that I can resolve by sitting and concentrating on it a bit more. I have got many other benefits out of this retreat. I feel now a part of this beautiful creation, a manifestation of energy, inside nature. When I’m meditating, I feel only the energies and not the physical body itself; I’m feeling that I am a part of the truth, a part of the one truth? Today, when I was blessing and thanking for the food, I thought everything in nature has a cause or a role. The sun, animals, rain, wind, plants, each and everyone has a part to fill in this big machine; everyone has a part in making this world as complete and perfect as it is. Then, what is my role? What is my destiny? Will I ever know? It’s clear to me that I have one for the time – to be happy and loving to one and all. Other things will reveal themselves when it’s time. After this evening’s question and answer session, I came to realize the truth in what you said about knowledge from past lives. I myself told just this to James a few days ago. All these beliefs and understandings are very new to me, but still I feel comfortable with them. It feels like coming home, revealing the forgotten truth. I can’t think of a better way to finish my beautiful trip in India. This has been an amazing experience and I want to thank you again for dedicating your precious time to sharing this knowledge with others. May all of us live in peace, joy and be full of love. Thank you very much. You are in my heart."
"I have given myself one of the most beautiful gifts. I could receive silence -- this silence you find up in the pass at 5000 meters. This eternal silence is always here. You never listen to the music of everlasting peace when your mind is agitated. In this silence, I saw myself sitting quietly, listening to myself. So, gently, for fifteen days, I sat by and listened; listened to the quiet sound of the breath, to the dedicated show of its deep thoughts and feelings, to the music of the residing peace and unconditional love. For fifteen days, my dear self has sung to my ear, to my eyes, to my heart, the sweet song of my inner silence. Like the song a mother sings to a child before he goes to bed, this one will never leave me again. For fifteen days, I went up to the roof and looked at the mountain standing still, over viewing McLeod ganj valley. For all that time I observed it, I was watching its immovable balance, its strength through a storm as well as through a burning sun; facing the wind without any cluttering, standing there in peaceful completeness. In the meditation room, I’ve tried to sit like this mountain, to behave like it… a long learning ahead of me. A mountain is not permanent, Felix. It grows over a million years and slowly goes. Now, I want to become a mountain. I want to become mountain to sit on top of that one. In these last fifteen days, I was given a list of questions. A list of questions to make me realize I knew the answers to my most enigmatic own questions. Just inquire, question and witness the mind. All the evidences are there, just like on the scene of a miserable crime. Take off the dust and you will see the clear footprints of a desperate conditioning. I was served on a silver plate, the golden key to the main door of my treasure. I leave with the key. Now on, it will be up to me either to save the key for the later, or to open the door forever and find the strength and will to guard my treasure from all lethargy. Life, give me strength and will. Thank you so much Ajay and Suruchi for the golden key, the mountain and the silence. All love and respect to you both forever."
"The words are drying from me. What should I start with? I have you! Thank god! Thank myself! Tears are coming inside my eyes. I know my own history and this is why I’m so excited. I’ve been a realistic and cynical person – looking for proofs always; and suddenly, it all falls down...in these last fifteen days. I discovered the real Yael. Yael that has always been hiding inside me – from her family, from her friends; but I was always there. Now, I know I can do anything I will decide. The last days taught me to appreciate nature – nothing is jest. Everything here is divine. I am so happy! I think I’m on the right way. In the last month, I was explaining to my friends and family that I’m going through something and I was telling that I know what I want to achieve. I just don’t know the way. Now I think I’m on the right track. Before coming here, I was so scared – Scared to say clearly my values, my wishes, my thoughts. Now, I just don’t mind. I’m here – whoever wants me will get me. If you don’t want me, I don’t care. I never thought that silence can be so productive I’m sure the way I’ll speak now onwards, will benefit people around me. I want to be attentive now. In a way, these were the most important days of my life. I’m just hoping I’ll be brave enough to continue on the way – not scared of anything. For the first time in my life, I thought of what I want to say, not caring about what others are going to think about it. I felt secure here. I am detached from the opinions of others. And I think that this is a greater lesson to have you both here – to see the love you give everyone and the real care. I was very afraid the day I came here. I felt like getting into a jail, joining the army again. But now I feel It was of my blessed decision. Now, I’m not afraid anymore. These fifteen days made me take some great decisions. No more living like a sheep. From now on, Yael and only she will decide for herself. These fifteen days, if I only have enough power, will change my life for good." Thank you so much!
"I have taken some decisions and I want to share them with you: To never run away from myself. To welcome solitude and never mix it up with loneliness. To not let myself get emotionally dependent on anyone or anything. I feel complete and I don’t want to lose this feeling for momentary relief. To live in total acceptance of everything and everyone. To practice yoga, pranayama, 3-4 times a week. To meditate every day. To embark upon my next milestone, which is to master my mind completely. To eat my meals mindfully and with gratitude."
"My last fifteen days at the Z Meditation Center were very meaningful for me. Before coming here, I felt like I had lost a little bit of balance and order in my life. In these fifteen days, I have tried to eat better, sleep enough, and I have not neglected my health. So, the fact that I had 3 meals a day, a good night sleep, time to read, write and a lot of time to think… was great. Second, a few things that I have forgotten came back to my head and I hope to my life. I like the things that are really important to me – living in the moment, giving myself a chance to love myself and not criticize others, let go of fears… I also understood that I need to listen to myself, and understand my thoughts more deeply. I remember again the things that I already discovered but forgot that I had – to let go of the attachments, not to hold to the pain, and to send love and respect to everybody. And in these last fifteen days, I remembered that I don’t want to suffer anymore. I want to be happy and peaceful. Thank you so much Ajay and Suruchi for helping me understand these things, for teaching me this wonderful technique of meditation, for taking care of me when I was sick. I won’t forget this experience for a long time…" Thank you very much.
"Thank you for the beautiful Mantras and the meditation technique. At times, I have struggled as I am not used to sitting. I had pain in my knees and back. I realized I was not accepting what is. However, when Ajay said the turnaround “I accept pain”, my mind said a strong ‘no’, and I realized how strongly I was resisting pain. One day, I had a stiff back and sore knees; so I did some stretches and yoga, but too vigorously and injured a vertebra in my back. Sitting went from discomfort to painful; what you resist, persists. I had to laugh as by resisting pain, I had made it worse. I could understand the lesson and got the point. Having spent the last 12 years in the army has resulted in a painful back and although I have tried healing it, but with no success. I realize now that I can’t heal it while resisting the pain. Thank you for this realization for me. It is important. When reciting the Mantras, I could feel the blissful joy of myself saying, “Yes, yes this is true! Peace, love, completeness” ; so simple, so beautiful. Mindful eating the food was excellent and tasted great – thanks and blessings to the cooks. It made me aware that I usually overeat and I am quite attached to cakes! I really liked the creative meditation and looked forward to it each day. Many thanks and blessings. May you be blessed with good physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, wisdom, prosperity, love and laughter. Peace and harmony, oneness in the divine." Thank you very much.
"Promises I make to myself: Do meditation regularly; do yoga and all other actions (breathing, eating, bathing etc.) with awareness. Enjoy every moment of life, celebrate it. Deepen the peace and love inside myself that I experienced in the last few days. I won’t think of other people’s opinion; I’ll think for myself and make decisions which are good for me. Try to detach more from external things – from objects, persons, outer circumstances. Spread love around me, but for the sake of love only. I’ll be happy without being imprisoned by expectations. I’m free, now and forever. And I’ll keep on being free. Yes, I won’t give up this state of quietness and independence. Only I know what is good for me and no one can take away this knowledge from me or stop me from living it – neither myself nor any other person. I won’t step into anyone else’s business as this neither helps me nor him/her. I will spread love and I will help when someone needs my help. I’ll always be there especially for my friends and family, but I won’t impose my help, propositions etc. I’ll try to understand my feelings like anger, fear, sadness and after the understanding, drop them as they are unnecessary. Why worry? I will go on loving myself and accepting myself and enjoying the divinity all around me. I know it won’t be easy to let go of all the conditionings, values and habits, but now the beginning is made and even this little step gave me so much joy, peace and clarity." Thank you so much.
"The last fifteen days were the great present of the life and the destiny to me. I feel that I was searching for this source of pure water for a long time now. I had found before, here and there, a small source of water, but never an ocean like this. Thank you, thank the knowledge, and thank the awareness."
"Wow! Things have changed so much for me. I came here feeling restless, feeling overwhelmed by the chaos of the city life of India. I needed some peace, a change, so we decided to come to McLeod ganj. We met a boy in Varanasi named Johnny and he happened to tell me about the course. When I first decided to come to India, I knew that there was something calling me, what it was I was unsure of. People would ask me why India and I would say “ask me when I will be back”. I knew there was an important reason for this trip. So I happened to meet Johnny and he happened to tell me about this course, so I came to see the two of you. When I met Ajay in the interview, I knew that this was exactly what I was looking for. I knew I wanted to spread some quality time with myself, I knew I wanted to be silent and I knew I needed to figure some things out. But to be honest with you, I had no idea what I was really in for. What I found happened to be everything that I was searching for. I have always been very drawn to people who lived in the moment, to people who appreciate each day; people who love people unconditionally; people who do not judge. I wanted to become like these people, they were so beautiful to me, but I did not know how. The gift of this has now been presented to me and I am going to take full advantage of it. I’ve wanted it for so long and know it’s here now and I can make my dream come true. I’ve already started seeing a difference in my thoughts and behaviors. Things that annoyed me before, like “someone making noise during meditation”, thinking they don’t have any respect for others, I no longer see it in that fashion. I understand that people are not perfect. What is, is: I believe that. I also have a tendency to judge others – I have become conscious of this and I am shifting these thoughts. Also in the last fifteen days, I’ve become super conscious of all my thoughts and where they come from. It is so incredible to watch the way my mind is conditioned. Things have come up that I didn’t know even existed. I’ve also noticed a difference in my level of endurance. I never had endurance before. If I was working out at the gym and I would feel pain, I would stop. I did not want to feel pain; now I understand that it is my reaction I am reacting to, not the pain, the pain is just a sensation. I feel as if I can do anything, as long as I put my mind to it and don’t lose flow. This is such an empowering feeling. It’s incredible. One of the other differences I’ve noticed is that usually I feel very uncomfortable in group setting; I have performance issues. I felt I had to speak in a certain way, I had to sound intelligent; all of that has changed in these fifteen days. I feel so confident. I am not perfect. I don’t have to be anything other than what I am. These are all such beautiful things I’ve learned. I am so grateful that the two of you came into my life and provided me with such a precious gift. Thank you so much for helping me empower myself, for helping me find true happiness, for helping me find peace within myself. I promise to always cherish this gift and practice it in every moment." Thank you very much.
"The last fifteen days were amazing. It gave me wisdom. It gave me legitimacy for my beliefs. I postponed meeting with my love who was coming all the way from America. Now I feel that she also must do this course. My eyes have been opened; my soul has been opened. I have understood the beauty and power of the Silence. Not only the external silence, I was able to touch that infinite source of the internal silence. I am so grateful for that. One day before I came here, I lost my bag with a lot of sentimental symbolic things; and most of all, I lost my notebook of poems which was everything for me. In the course, I learned about detachment and its reward – the real freedom. The meditation helped in clearing my mind. I feel that I have got back the essence of all my poems." Thank you very much.
"The last fifteen fifteen days are the beginning of a new way. I’m in it now. Shy, my boyfriend wanted to give me a gift on my birthday. And he gave me these fifteen days at the Z Meditation Centre. I feel that this is the most beautiful present that anybody has ever given me. Before joining the retreat, I was afraid that I’ll meet here a Carmit that I won’t like at all. I was afraid to be by myself; I was afraid to be lonely. But I have been afraid for 26 years!! No more!!! I am happy that I ran into my fears. I met myself. The silence led me to watch myself, to listen to my thoughts, my fears. I felt alone but I was not unhappy about it. The eating meditation was wonderful for me. I have not enjoyed food so much before. The silence was like a magic to me. In the beginning, I was afraid that I would fall in love with it! I asked myself where can I find such quietness in my life? I was worried when I was thinking about Israel. After 2 days, I realized that Shy was also here and he was also experiencing what I was experiencing. We were learning about a new way of life and we could share it together. I want to create the same silence in our home also. I found out that if I can love myself, I can love anybody. I love Shy very much!!! The last fifteen days helped me experience the biggest shift in my mind. I am thankful for the Mantras. I’ll take them with me to everywhere. I have a lot of work to do but with love peace in my heart, I am going to do it. It is the beginning of my peaceful life today." Thank you very much.
"My last fifteen days in the Z meditation center were one important step in my spiritual progress which started a year ago, when I met one very special guy who showed me how to look on things, on life, and on the world. After that, I went on to this trip to India (another step) and I keep finding new and wonderful things around me. In the beginning, I did not think about meditation and when I started thinking about it, everybody told me about the Vipassana. So I went to see what they were talking about and it was nice, but then I heard about the Z Meditation and before I even knew what it meant, I felt good about it. And when I talked with people who have done the retreat, I felt the need to be here. I knew it was the right thing for me to do, especially at this point of my life. So I came to the retreat with a little bit of fear; I was afraid of being with me alone, not speaking for fifteen days. I think that I know me well, but I was confused and a lot of thoughts ran in my head. And more important, I was afraid of change. It took me time to open myself to what I heard and felt during the retreat. And it will take me much more time to really live it, but I’m ready and I think that I’m in the “promise way”. Today was the best day for me. I felt like I’m really connected to my peace, in the meditation, and in the yoga also. I spent a lot more time with no unwanted thoughts. In the yoga, I really felt my body, the hands, the legs and other places. It was amazing. I felt it so strong, for the first time in my life. I still have problem with concentration for a long time, but with a good practice it will be better. I’ll be better. So, now I’m thinking about tomorrow, the last day, and I feel a little bit sad. Just when I found my place here, I have to leave. But I know that you gave me what I needed and from now on, I depend on me. And I feel stronger because of that." Thank you very much.
"The last fifteen days have been an important lesson in acceptance. I believe in a majority of the concepts and philosophy presented in the last fifteen days. In the last two years, I developed an ability to be peaceful with life, to differentiate events from experiences, accept others and enjoy every moment of life. However, the conviction and totality in which these concepts were presented here are uplifting, inspiring and motivating. Even if I stop meditating tomorrow at 12 pm forever, my perception of life will never be the same. It’s the first time I was properly “educated” in these concepts. I was proud to have practiced myself so far. The meditation technique will help me straighten out some of the issues bothering me. I hope I will be able to carry it on with me. The experience of silence is overwhelming. I must admit that meditation is hard for me, but I still enjoyed the best quality time I ever had with me." Thank you so much.
"When I got here on the first day to do the Z meditation course, I thought to myself why am I doing this? Nothing can change me, I will still remain the same complicated incomplete me. And now I’m looking back and trying hard to remember how was it like not to accept who I am because the course has changed so much my perspective. I can’t wait to go out to the street tomorrow and show love, and to practice at the same moment everything I learned here. I feel safe now and encouraged to be who I am. I’ve learned I can be relaxed and peaceful, something that almost never happens in my everyday life. I thought meditation is something I will never be able to do and with some difficulties I succeeded, and I’m really thinking about keeping practicing that. My important lesson is peace, self acceptance and acceptance of other people. The silence was a great issue for me and a big obstacle to pass, but actually I feel so good and so clean because of the silence now. When I opened my mouth and talked today, I felt that my voice was pure, pure of everything that used to be there once, and that by clearing it, everything that goes out of my mouth from now on will be honest, loving and true. I thank you so much for these fifteen days, the atmosphere in class was so good and relaxed, everything here is so peaceful and comfortable, and the food is great. I don’t want to leave! I’m not sure if I’m coming out as a new person. That “new person” would need some time for being and becoming, but I’m on the right way." Thank you again, Suruchi and Ajay, from my heart.
" I was looking for a deeper understanding, getting to know myself better, making decisions more easily. But what I got here instead was a new way of life – a whole new way of looking at the world. I have learnt how to enjoy potatoes and a good cake equally and this is something huge for me. I have learnt how to be detached and loving at the same time. I have learnt how to enjoy the rains as much as I enjoy the spring. And I like it. I have learnt how to differentiate between ‘thinking’ and ‘restlessness.’ I now understand how restless I was before. I want to lose my fears and my clinging to bad things – and in Z Meditation Technique, I have got a great tool to do that. The silence surprisingly was the easiest part. Eating only enough at regular hours was also something I had to learn. I know I’m so happy I came here, happy that I told Boaz and Yuval to come here too, for it is a thing that 6 months ago I would never have done. But I’ve open my mind, I make myself get over the doubts, the cynical remarks in my head, the contempt towards everything “spiritual” and I’m making progress. Few days before the Z meditation course, I had a spiritual, almost religious experience and I felt God. I knew He was with me and that I was on the right way. So now I know that everything is going towards the good, towards my best possibility. But I still don’t know how and that is what is so funny about it. Thank you so much. I could see the loving kindness, the peace in your eyes and it was so good to know it can be done."
"All my life, I wanted to be a bird. Yes, I know this is not my business; this is god’s business. But this was the reality, I wanted to be a bird. My favorite song is “Black Birds” (Beatles). Black bird singing in the dead of night Take these broken wings and learn to fly! All your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise Black bird singing in the dead of night Take these sunken eyes and learn to see! All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to break free Black bird fly! Black bird fly! Into the dark of a black dead night. I feel you gave me the chance to become a bird. I learnt to fly!!! I feel more free and peaceful. I know that the real test will be when I will be out of here, not in so peaceful environment. I like the feeling that I don’t need people. I think this is one of the things that made me nervous in the last weeks. I liked the technique of the questions. I think it is very helpful and simple. I liked the silence. I liked the positive thoughts and this way of thinking. I liked to realize that there are places and people that you can speak in this positive way, without getting criticism as an answer. I liked the stories very much. Some of them I wrote in my diary. I liked to respect the food the gratitude during the meals and actually this is the respect for me – food or actually my eating habits caused me sadness a lot of times." Thanks for all that you have done to me.
"When I came here fifteen days ago, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew what I want to learn and I had a special/specific need from that course. I heard a lot of good things about this course and actually, I didn’t plan to do it faster than I was planning. I can’t say that all the time was fun. Sometimes my back and my legs pained and it was difficult to concentrate, but today I felt improvement. Suddenly the pain isn’t there and I can keep meditating. It makes me feel good. As I guessed, I didn’t have a problem to keep silence and now I’m happy that I didn’t share the room with Sarit and Karen, although they are my friends and we came together. The first two days passed very slowly but after that I didn’t notice when evenings came. I think the responsibility for this is you, both of my teachers, Ajay and Suruchi. I love sitting and watching you so peaceful and happy, with no concern on your mind. How do you do it? I wish I could become like you (mindful and happy) and feel like you. I think that the teachers in a meditation course are very important. If you don’t admire your teacher and they don’t leave an impression on you, you cannot learn much. I can say about myself that when I go back to Israel and do meditation, first of all I will think about you both. Since the first meditation class, I listened to you and thought about mindfulness, peace and love that I see in your face. Believe me, it helped me many times. I can sit here in front of you for hours and listen to you. These fifteen days were great experience for me. I learnt a lot from you both and I admire you and I’m sure I will never forget you. When you will come to my mind, I’m sure it’s going to be good and peaceful. Thank you very much for everything."
" It was a great experience for me, although it was not easy. I’m happy that I decided to do this retreat. Before it started, I thought the greatest problem for me was not to smoke; I’m a big smoker and so I thought it would not be easy, but that was really the smallest problem. The silence was also not a problem for me as I’m a naturally quiet person. I travel alone here in India and so many times it happens that in one day I speak only a few words. The real hard thing for me was the meditation. But the technique helped me so much and showed me a way to understand myself better. I have meditated before, but without this technique. I used to breathe to the heart chakra, and when thoughts came, I didn’t analyze them. It was good, but nothing compared to what I have learnt here. With this meditation technique, I can resolve the thoughts and they don’t come back so easily. I liked the yoga sessions; it is a great experience for me to see how much energy I can get with these exercises. My mind starts to run slower. It is a great preparation for meditation. The sun salutation is so great for me; it’s a way to thank the great power of sun and to get direct energy from there." I want to thank you for the great time and for the great gift. I will keep you in my heart. Thanks.
"My last fifteen days at the Z meditation center was a maturing experience, another step on my search towards awareness and self consciousness. The difference now is that it is no longer a quest or a search anymore. I have learned that all truth and perfection is within me. No need to search – just to slow down and listen carefully. It is a radiant experience; I hope I can call it a liberating experience also. In my life, I have moved in and out and through lots of states of mind – frustration, disappointment and helplessness when I don’t fine what I wish for. I normally worked myself up over people and situations and noise etc. And after that, there used to be rage towards myself – why does it bother me so much, why do I let external things influence me so deeply, why can’t I flow with what comes, why am I always making myself into a victim. For me this was an opportunity, more of a gift to remember some simple powerful truths; and the really important things in life. Also, I could clearly see how self centered I am, without a thought or love towards the environment. No compassion for other beings, no listening to those around me. The turnaround reminded me that whatever I dislike about others is because it encounters me with the same quality within myself that I dislike and do not accept. The “rock” concept is much more cheerful and effective than the problem concept. Thank you for this one! The insight that I can accept others as they are has helped me really. Most important – the understanding that I can be with myself and that it is a world full of good people. That is a huge advance for me, who has been running from myself ever since I can remember. It gives me a sense of inner relaxation and peace." Thank you.
"The last fifteen days have changed me. The process has started and I know that it is going to be a long way until I can fully live the truth. It is such a relief to realize where all the negative thoughts and feelings come from. It is such a relief to know that I can change it that I am the only person in my life who can do it. I was always seeking for unconditional love, peace, truth, freedom, perfection and joy. But I didn’t know how to reach it. In my life, I experienced glimpses of the greatest gifts that you can give to yourself and to other people. But my mind was playing games with me. I took nightmares for reality and that is finished now. I want to be aware of the external world; I want to know when I am dreaming and stop it there. Thank you for showing me how to do it. A day in the Z meditation center The bell is ringing; it is the wake up call. I am very tired, but I still try to be aware of what I am doing. I am brushing my teeth mindfully. I am looking into the mirror and smile a “good morning” to myself. It is not easy to have full concentration when you are feeling hungry and sleepy. But you know it’s an important feeling, you observe and try not to react to it. The eating meditation – how much joy! I have never ever realized before now how food really tastes. I am so happy about the taste, I chew mindfully and I am aware of the surroundings. The mountain side is always different, the action, people and animals are changing from moment to moment. I feel grateful for everything. The creative meditation is such a good mindfulness exercise for me. I was painting and drawing before. Now I want to go on with the mindful action of creativity. I want to draw for its own sake – I don’t want to do it anymore for admiration or any other results. The siesta is nice for studying. I enjoyed every second of reading and I felt peace and comfort while I was doing it. Then comes an hour of sleep. The questioning, the Mantras, the meditation and the breathing – I’ve learned so many things which will help me on my new way. Especially the yoga, I want to continue. It gives so much balance. It’s stretching, relaxing and concentration all together; it is wonderful. I’ve never thought that this is something for me. The stories of the great masters – I loved them. They were simple, funny and full of wisdom." Thank you again.
"My life! Yes it is my own life; I’m responsible for it to be a good life. I have been so eager to live in honesty. From now on, I am going to live in Truth. Nothing will happen unless I want it and I will not be dishonest towards others. I have been so polite and it has dragged me down. I will continue to remind myself that nothing outside myself will make me happy in the long run, and I will stop running for happiness. I don’t have to run anymore; what I’m looking for is inside me. So I just need to sit down for a while, alone, and find what I’m looking for. I don’t have to depend on others any longer. Although retreats, meditation and yoga classes will be needed for strengthening my confidence. It will probably be a hard struggle to maintain clarity about this new way of living, but it will be worth it. I will totally change attitude against my boyfriend also. I have loved him deeply for many years. But in the last years, I haven’t been satisfied with our relationship. I kept blaming him for everything. Sometimes we were not talking even. Probably, I had a lot of undue expectations. Now I see and understand that it was my fault. He is someone I love deeply. I just want to love him freely now! About job I don’t care for. In this moment, it is not real. It is just a dream. I will handle it when the right time comes. So thank you. You have done a lot of good to me. I will never forget, I hope."
" All my life I have been searching for the true vales which promise a good life. After being so pure when I was a child, I had this period of extreme cynicism where I believed that men were bad by nature, and that nothing in life can be good to you. I felt that there is no use to do good to people as they only think about taking advantage of you etc. I don’t have to tell you how depressed I was. Along with that, in my heart, I always remembered the child I was. It seems that along one’s life, a lot of dirt from the outside comes in to one’s heart. As hard as it was, I thought that the time had come for me to clean my heart again, to start living in the truth again. In these fifteen days, I have been feeling that all the explanation, the stories, the philosophy has been pouring inside me smoothly and easily. I felt that all the master’s talk was real and true. I could believe in him, because it was coming from a very genuine place. Let’s see what I learned. The only possible way to live life is in the here and now. Depending on other people for your happiness causes pain. It is useless to try to change other people and outside situations. The only way to love is out of total freedom and independence. Life will be always full of obstacles and it is my business to overcome them. Most of all, I realized today how complete all human beings, including me, are. We are so complicated, yet we are so amazing. I have realized that acceptance is really the sweetest living. I want to accept myself and others as they are." Thank you very much.
"Though my mind felt like soup in the beginning, I was accepting the lessons into my heart and after the 1st full day I felt a shiver down my spine at the thought that I might not have come to do this retreat. It was just by accident, but it was such a beautiful accident. This knowledge greatly puzzled me since I did not understand how it was possible for me to laugh or feel such happiness. Before coming here, there was only confusion and sadness and yearning inside. This morning, with my back straight and full awareness, eyes closed and slow breathing, something happened. I felt happiness like a child. I felt eternity. I felt immense peace and I was floating in love, though very much grounded to the present: I cannot explain this state that I was in, but what did happen was that inside myself, I began to laugh with true joy and love. I was the Buddha at that moment, as I am now, since I realized that this reality was always there; only I was blinded to it by the clouds of my mind and the buzzing of my thoughts. Coming to McLeod gang I realized that the whole purpose of coming to India was to come to Z Meditation Centre to meet you. I momentarily lamented for having taken almost 2 months to get here, until I realized that my journey here prepared me." Thank you from the depths for helping me to help myself.
"Where did the last fifteen days go? Was it really fifteen days? How beautiful! It seems that living in the moment has eluded the passage of time. Fifteen days in reflection have provided such a wonderful opportunity to apply the techniques from the previous weeks’ retreats. Fifteen days have provided for greater insights as to who I am and the reality of what surrounds me. I have experience myself on a new level and the journey is just beginning. For the first time in my life, that I was awake to remember, I have had moments of pure existence, just being. This is a glimmer of what I wish and aspire to become. The last days have strengthened me both physically and mentally. Though an hour and a half of sitting still pains me (and probably will always), I find that I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity to use this rock to strengthen my endurance. My mind is no longer a runway freight train but a calmer gentler device that is starting to see the wisdom of just being and enjoying it. The past fifteen days have reaffirmed my reversed conditionings. I do not just know that it is okay for me to be me; I am experiencing it – strengthening my belief in myself. The last 5 days have provided an invaluable time to practice in a suitable environment. Thank you Z meditation for providing me with not only the tools to grow, but the environment too. Your kind smiles and large hearts are the nurturing environment I sought, so I could plant the seeds in god soil knowing that the seeds will grow into a strong tree. So often our best interests are like delicate seeds that require maintenance, love and suitable environment to grow. How often was it that I threw my seeds on rocks and sand and yet no matter how attentive I was, the wind blew away my best efforts. The same is true when fertile ground was sought and found but after the seeds were planted, I just didn’t care anymore. For once, the harvest is ready to be sown. The seeds are planted; the roots are growing already deeper than I have seen. It is up to me to continue to cultivate and nurture so that one day the fruits will be ready to eat even though it won’t matter to me if I eat them or not by then. It is wonderful to learn so much about myself and others in the course. It demonstrates that many people seek the seeds and fertile ground. I am happy to have witnessed so many people becoming their own farmers. My resolutions from last course have not changed and are very much relevant in my life and maintaining my path. I have read them every morning (first thing) when I get up. They really are a source of inspiration." Thank you very much.
"I already got rid of all my possessions. How free I feel! … Suddenly no more fear at all… easy to go here and there without be linked to something or somebody… I read the story of Siddhartha and felt so happy by reading it… I felt so strong at that time. I was sure that I’ll take an “unusual path” (in compare of what I was told in my childhood)… sometimes I go out of my path… may be because I look foolish when I’m next to my family… they don’t understand me at all !!... Definitely I’ll stay on my path, accompanied by my quietness… Now, year after year, the people around me start to accept me as I am, and see how peaceful I am… I really hope that some of them will adopt my lifestyle… it’s just through my actions that changes can happen… I have made some resolutions about my life: 1st resolution No more smoking intoxicants!!!... That’s so obvious… how can you buy something which is expensive and at the same time totally destructive, negative – illogical!!... 2nd resolution Continue to listen to the message the universe is sending me; in each message, there is something to understand; sometimes it takes longer to grasp… I didn’t come to Z meditation… Z meditation came to me… on the right moment… 3rd resolution Orienting my way in the direction of “helping the planet Earth”… involving myself in an ecological way… sustainable lifestyle. No over consumption… 4th resolution Being myself, listening to my inner voice. Giving love to everything that belongs to the creation. Om lokah samasta sukhino bhavantu Peace to the inner and outer world."
" After doing Vipassana, liking the theory and principals of it, but not practicing it, still thinking of what great master Goenka says and his stories about Buddha and the message of it, and understanding it more and more, Karen said she had done this course and it was different from Vipassana in its techniques and teachings; and that she loved it. So I decided to give it a try. I was thinking may be it will give me a way of dealing with my anger and miseries of life and it did!!! Definitely!!! During these last fifteen days, you have reminded me of the way I used to act and think and made it sharper and clearer and also added a lot; you have shown me that I was on the right path all along. Thanks to you I have found a way to deal with my complicated mind and to work on it. I am on my way to Glory! I find this system of meditation and living wonderful! It is still a very hard way, but I’m sure it is a right way. When I chant the Mantras and think of their meaning, I agree and feel them within my heart. That is the right way to live a peaceful and free life! I’m sure that the best of best days was today, when my meditation in the evening session was so peaceful and calm and I had almost no distractions and totally understood and felt the Mantras (and especially now after you’ve cleared them out for me) in my heart and soul and felt so much love and joy afterwards. Pure joy is pure observation has helped me a lot. Pure joy is total acceptance – I feel much relief!!! This has been an issue for me for such a long time and it makes me feel lost and unpeaceful, when someone I have such strong love and compassion to, suffers so much and I don’t have the power to help him. But then you came up with a great solution! A wonderful thought of helping him to be better! And I could really feel your sincerity in your eyes when you said, you will do your best to help him and that means the world to me!!! It really does, I know within my heart, that with your help and my hard work, we can succeed and get relief! I know that with the love and compassion that you have within yourself, we can make it work! Now my work is to convince him and I’ll do my most best. So thank you ever so much! Both of you! And James! For being such loving and open and giving human beings! For sharing your love and your way with all of us! May all beings be happy! May peace prevail on earth! May all people have the chance to gain some of your knowledge and perception! AMEN! Thank you for being who you are and for showing me the way!"
Solitude is so important for spiritual upliftment. Retreating from an environment that causes distractions and contemplating in solitude always recharges the dull batteries and you come back with renewed vigor and passion. ~ Ajay Kapoor, author, "The Art of Deconditioning"