After living nearly four months in south India, Alleppey and most of the time in the Asharm of Amma, called Amritapuri, my originally booked flight back home to Berlin was coming close but I did not feel at all like returning to my previous home.
I was almost thirty three years old and as one of my best friends once said, that I have experienced in my life three time as much as a common human being does in the same time, I felt, I was ready to retire from the material world.
After many hours of contemplation and meditation I decided to apply to stay in Amma´s Ashram forever. That meant that I would have to officially apply to become a brahmacari, what is a nicer term for “nun”, in Sanskrit or simply the word for a female “monk”, that has to follow certain rules.I wanted to do this and to sit, pray and meditate for the rest of the world and until the rest of the time of my embodiment.
I thought this was a good plan as since my early days, I found that the planet was suffering too much and became too polluted by many senseless activities of the the human race. I could clearly see that the majority of humanity was causing problems for life on earth, while only a few were focusing on finding solutions.
I always believed, when there is a problem, there is a solution also, as it appeared logical to me according to the universal laws and principles, for example the law of yin and yang.
The solution that was most appealing to me, was to stop all the countless activities and to serve in joy, chant and meditate. To live a quiet and peaceful life and to do no harm to anyone.
So I stood on the top of the roof where I spent many hours doing my ashram duties, called “Seva”, to talk to Amma about my plans to stay. Seva means selfless service, its service that is performed without any expectation of result or award for performing it. Service in other spiritual schools is sometimes called karma-yoga which is basically the way how we as human beings can pay back our spiritual debts, by doing all kinds of tasks and jobs voluntarily in order to clear out our negative karma. I knew, I was very lucky to have been assigned to this kind of task. Standing on the roof in the sun and hanging laundry or taking it down, while I was chanting a mantra given to me was literally a gift, while other people who lived in the Ashram had to clean the public toilets or carry very heavy things from A to B. The mantra I was given, was called “Aum Namah Shivaya” which is adoration to Lord Shiva or also can be translated with “universal consciousness is one”. Lord Shiva is known as the Adi Guru of Yoga as he was the first one to share the secrets of Yoga to his beloved wife Parvati. When I chanted this mantra, I felt a strong energy or invisible power surrounding me. There are many ways to translate mantras. I did not understand its meaning completely back then and might not until eternity. Many spiritual seekers know, mantras are not to be fully understood by the human mind, their purpose is to calm and clean the mind from its impurities, so we might finally see the truth. I knew I had to clean up a lot and like the little prince already said: “The truth can be only comprehended by the heart…”.
When I asked Amma in my soul conversation with her, what I called “talking to the universe” back then, if I could apply to be a monk and remain in the Ashram permanently, her answer was:
“You have to go back where you came from. You will meet your true Master and you will travel the world.”
When I did my soul talk with Amma, she always spoke to me in English and I could hear very clearly the tone of her real human voice. In daily life, I never really heard Amma speaking in English. During all her teachings at events, she would always speak in Malayalam and sometimes there was someone to translate a few parts for the foreigners who were listening to her lectures. I used to be a little bit sad about the inability to understand the teachings, but I simply used to sit in her presence and meditate. I always found it was very powerful to do so and I believed that my mind would somehow get it at the end, as I believed also that I have had past lives where I spoke various languages and dialects from the Indian subcontinent. Maybe I could remember them one day. I have to admit that I did not like Amma´s answer very much. I felt hurt and rejected by my beloved mother and quite upset. I was not looking for any teacher or Guru, I had found my spiritual mother, without looking for her neither and even there were quite a few demands regarding the Ashram life, I liked to be there and did not feel a calling to travel the world, like she said. Maybe I felt very deep down in my heart that going back, was probably right, but I had difficulties to accept the guidance I heard in my soul conversation, so I decided to submit a written letter, an application to Amma via a major monk of the ashram. It was one of Amma´s devotees who was chosen to travel for her to Europe, Germany and actually also Berlin. This was what was said about him. So I kind of felt connected to him and trusted him. Amma was receiving thousands hand-written letters daily. During time of a Darshan, what is a sacred ceremony and an opportunity to see a holy person, Amma was seeing and hugging about twenty thousand people from all over India and the globe per day. I still hoped to receive an answer when I approached the English speaking monk with my letter and my request to pass it on to Amma. I luckily saw him walking across the ashram yard one day and had the chance to have a short conversation with him, which felt a little bit against the rules to me, as women and men were not meant to speak to each other and had their separate areas during everything that was happening. I told him it was urgent as I had big decisions to make regarding my future and my stay and he just shook his head in the typical way, took my letter and went away.
During the public Darshan, this procedure that might take even few days non stop, it happened that right in that moment when it was my turn to receive one of the final hugs of my beloved spiritual mother, this monk stood next to her to assist her with the process and somehow he recognised me and spoke to Amma about me with the typical gesture, covering his mouth, what the Germans do when they are gossiping about someone and the monks do out of respect, as they know that their words are basically too polluted to speak to holiness. To my total surprise Amma started to speak to me directly then and asked him to translate. She basically said the same what I heard from her on the roof. She almost repeated exactly the same words, what was a little shocking to me and then she also replied to three other questions I placed in the letter with the request for guidance. Her guidance was clear, it was not my task to become a monk and I had to return to Berlin.
I was still struggling with the plan to go back, wanted to extend the stay just a little bit but there were some heavenly interventions that all pointed me to the direction of going back on the original date. Like for example, I could not withdraw money from my German bank account, even I could see it was there. I tried to do so in different locations and various credit card machines, it was always declined. I was running out of cash money and I knew in my heart, it was Ammas way of making sure I return home.
With a heavy heart, I followed the guidance, cause I always did and only when I arrived in back in Germany and still on the airport I took some money out from the German cash machine, only in that moment I started to begin to comprehend the huge impact of spiritual intervention, heavens plan and Divine will. I thought, they simply blocked me from taking money out from my account back in India, cause they wanted me to leave. They wanted me to align with my souls plan, my life task and to accomplish what I came for and promised long before my human consciousness was absorbed by the ideas floating around out in the world of existence. I knew my soul wanted peace, stillness and quietness since the beginning. I was literally yearning for that. It was a long process of learning and unwiring of my mind and a beginning of even a much deeper journey within. It was on that roof that I was given a vision of an “Ashram” that I should build in the modern world. A place of sanctuary and for recovery from the demands of the restless times and daily life in a western world, a healing center that did not exist anywhere in Berlin or Europe at that time.
I knew for sure that this vision was no imagination or fantasy, it was my obligation, my duty as long I was walking the earth in this body.
Therefore I had finally found some kind of peace to go back to Germany and to find a place for it. But first I suffered from a culture shock par excellence. It took me weeks to stop converting the prices for everything from euros to rupees or to think for how many months I could survive in south India when I don’t buy that thing. I did continue with all my daily spiritual practices, meditations and chantings and I continued to feel the strong presence of holy beings guiding me. According to them, I was supposed to pass my Yoga teacher exam as soon as possible. I finally bought the important book that I was still missing in my personal yoga-library called “Light on Yoga” by Iyengar. We had a long study list with book recommendations at the City Yoga, which was the first Anusara Yoga school in Europe back then. These books were often quite expansive, so I had to take it step by step. I needed that one to write my “thesis” with all the answers that were required to become a certified yoga teacher after 1000 hours of training in that tradition. I studied and practiced this one for more than three years, and I was ready to also take my practical test, which I passed very well and which opened the doors to a new world for me as after that, I started to teach Yoga full time and felt pretty blessed of having a life in my little Yoga-Bubble each day, in the middle of this vibrating city.
I could not get the vision about the special modern Asharm out of my head. I continued to meditate and more inspirations were coming in. I began to look for a venue, contacted important people and wrote a business plan. I approached many of my Yoga teacher colleagues, only the best in town and asked them if they could imagine to be on the schedule when I would open such a place. Most of them were my friends and all confirmed. I also had one of my dearest friends on board with me, who was a well known medium and renowned spiritual healer, who helped with providing the guidance she was hearing as well as some of the start up capital. She wanted to join with me as a business partner and was looking forward to expand her practice away from her private rooms, where she was helping thousands of people for at least ten years. After visiting quite a few venues in the districts of Berlin, heaven had suggested to us, I finally found one that was beyond perfect. Beside the perfect price and location, it also included a tiny apartment with a bed room, kitchen and bathroom where I wanted to move in and be literally living in my little city Ashram and the holy field of it. That huge apartment was L-shaped and had a typical Berliner Salon with ancient parkett, four meter high ceilings and incredible wood art on doors, ceilings and more. I was able to convince the owner, who was a medical doctor with his own very well running practice in the west of the town, of my concept and plan to create a place for meditation and alternative healing where people could forget about their stress and find peace, in the middle of the most prominent scene at Hackescher Markt. The street where it was located was ranked at place thirty six of the most frequency walked streets of entire Germany. The venue was in the first floor with a wonderful balcony overseeing the international masses and it was my dream to hang the display board for our holistic healing center from that balcony.
Everything seemed to be flowing naturally, and I could gather the money for the start from private supporters who were willing to give a loan without costs of interest and the day arrived after few month of preparation where I met the representatives of the realtor to sign the rental contract, give them 10 000€ deposit in cash in a nice envelope and to receive the keys to my new life.
Only about thirty minutes after the signing I happily called my dear friend, and company partner to inform her that all went well, to hear from her side very bad news about her health. She had just received the results of a test she went through and it said that she had breast cancer and that it was serious. She decided on the spot to stop all approaches, plans and contributions to our place, she wanted to immediately travel to the best healers she had heard of, qualified to help her in the Philipines. Her flight took off on Thursday and my struggle began then to it’s fullest extent. I had spoken to the realtor instantly about what happened and asked if we could step back from the contract as I could not manage this without her, cause a huge portion of our income was planned to come from her work as a healer and the courses she wanted to offer. He had a compassionate heart first for our situation, but fully changed his mind when I met him at his practice to return the key also on that Thursday. He denied that he had agreed to cancel the contract and wanted me to pay not just for three months, as it was common in Germany. It was a business contract valid for two years, and he wanted to have all that money from me. It did not make sense to me, as I knew that it was a fabulous venue and he could rent it to one of the countless other applicants who were in the pipeline. He did not want to hear anything of that and felt what he was demanding was correct. We ended up in front of the court, probably two years later or so, and even there was a business agreement, the court decided for my benefit and said that contract was invalid since the verbal cancellation over the phone and believed the grave circumstances I was in. I never saw the money back for the deposit, as the court accounted that three month to him and of course there were costs for my lawyer to pay and the court-work and yes, in that week, when the healing center plans fell apart within a blink of an eye, I also became literally homeless. I had quit my room in my other shared apartment and would not move in that L(ove)-shaped dream. With the help of a dear friend and heavens intervention again, I did find a place where I could stay and dive down.
Many extraordinary things continued to happened in the past fifteen years since my stay in the Ashram and my vision on that roof. I will continue to share about it in the near future including how I ended up being in Sweden and fulfilling this long time dream right now and how I came out of all the battles and struggles on the way, the preparation and the elevation of the soul, heart, mind and body, to be ready to take on the task in new ways.
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