The Teaching

BY Lisa Lindblad

August 3, 2011

The three pillars of Ananda are Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta.

This Himalayan environment is Ayuveda’s birthplace, and the age-old herbal medicines are still sourced here.  The cardinal principle of Ayurveda is that there is no dividing line between body and mind and, at Ananda, drawing on the skills of qualified therapists and doctors trained in traditional Ayurvedic schools, therapies and diets have been designed accordingly.

Hatha yoga is a purist’s yoga and, at Ananda, this traditional yoga practice, designed to balance the mind and the body, is offered in two classes every morning and in a guided meditation session every afternoon.  Private sessions are also available, and the choice of yoga practice and of different meditation techniques is wide.  The yogis I have worked with are memorable.

Vedanta is the teaching.  The philosophy is drawn from the amazing collection of texts, the Upanishads, which form the core of Indian philosophy.  It is in these works, allegedly reaching back to 800 BC, that are found the concepts of karma, samsara, and the doctrines of self-realization.  Vedanta literally means “end of knowledge”. Upanishad literally means “sitting close to” the guru, the wise one.  Ananda’s third pillar of wellness is the Vedanta teaching, and it is offered by a swami from the renowned Vedanta Academy in Pune.  The highlight of my day here is the hour in the morning and in the afternoon when, in a small group, we sit with our brilliant teacher and open ourselves to the challenges and the stunning revelations found in this deep body of knowledge.

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In the narrow places of life, it is important to be still. In those precarious moments, we need a steady walk and an absence of noise. We need to seek a wider perspective and to stare our options squarely in the eye.

There are places on earth that lend themselves to this.

 Photo:  Rebecca MacGregor

Kumaon, Indian Himalayas

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Meditations #64