Traveling Teacher in East and South Asia

This article is graciously provided for republication by the author, Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati (Dr. Christa-Maria Herrmann), German by birth, naturalized British, originally studying Theology, her university studies soon expanded to Education, Psychology, Philosophy and Art and Design (Ceramics). Different teaching jobs (in colleges and universities) in various countries followed. At the center of her studies (as well as her teaching) was always the subject of 'Self-awareness'.

Travelling Teacher in East and South AsiaAfter 38 years I returned to Taiwan, and was immediately greeted by devoted Tinyu and Joanna. They had organized a workshop on the universal topic of the Five Elements (Mahabhutas) which play a great role in Sankhya philosophy, yet are by no means limited to it, but are a way of understanding ourselves and the world in which we live in its multi layers of interconnectedness and subtleties.

It was fun to share with such eager students. Luckily, I had also time to visit the temple that looks ancient but isn't. What a place of power and devotion.

But for the community ... (from "munus," meaning gift - which I interpret like living in such a way that we are gifts for each other) , so for the community of the Himalayan Yoga Tradition , the probably most important event was to open, a new place, centre of meeting; a "home for the Sangha" with Aarati. Thanks you friends to allow me to share.

From there the journey continued to Korea, to meet with Stoma, Ashutosh and dear Fuku from neighbouring Japan. Korea has a special meaning for me. As many of you know, this Swami used to be an artist, working in a special technique, a Japanese Zen technique that originally came from Korea. So needless to say, there was great joy, in seeing the great ceramic jar, right next to the retreat centre, and being taken afterwards to a centre for ceramics. Thanks you, friends in Korea.

Singapore next, a place where there are many different links to the Tradition, and I enjoyed them all. There was Satsang with the joyful community of the Swami Rama Society; seldom has one such opportunity to laugh so much in a friendship, in an innocent way. Then there was the workshop and Satsang in "Oasis holistic", a peaceful place in a buzzing city where much sharing happened with longstanding friends and Yoong and the initiates from the Tradition. We talked about relationships, and how from the point of Yoga, from the Point of Oneness, we relate to the world, to the community we live in, family and friends and finally to the young people of our times, who are suffering more than ever from depression, emptiness and even suicide... and that, the world over! Thank you, friends in Singapore.

Finally now I am in Manila (Philippines), where until now the Tradition had not reached. The invitation came from friends from long ago, and in the centre of the town, in a bright yoga-studio, we met and shared ideas about how to live in this world through yoga. What is its true meaning? What are the true teachings? We learned to meditate and inquired how to live a meditative life in this materialistic society, that most countries now share. Especially impressive amongst these people was how incredibly open they were and their questions... Satsang could have gone on for month.

But it doesn't as this Swami has to move on.

Here, too, this Swami had "history." Thirty-five years ago, this Being, was in the mountains of Luzon, the northern most island, and was walking in the mountains amongst the Aboriginals, the Igorots, the Mountain people, who lived like people did thousands and thousands of years ago. It was possible to reach these remote regions only by foot. The tribe that I visited, the Ifugao, still lived like "stone age people" My matches were fascinating to them! I sang and slept in the longhouse, with the women, etc, etc.

Now, in the workshop in Manila, was a young Ifugao woman, now a lawyer! She was 1 year old at that earlier time. You can imagine the huge jump her culture had to make and the problems that arise from that. She was learning yoga and meditation... and soon will go back to her people to care for them, including taken with her the "Way of Meditation."

What joy! Thank you, Divine Mother, for these experiences.

Randall

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