IAM Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique®
~ Experiences of Brisbane participants
Shanthy held a weekend course at the house of Mekala and Sri at Westlakes in Brisbane. Twenty-seven people attended, some traveling from the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. The only cost was Shanthy’s air fare which was divided among the participants. This worked out at $30 per person. Each person brought their lunch, and morning and afternoon tea were provided.
After a week of high temperatures we were blessed with cooler weather for the weekend and could all fit comfortably into Mekala’s large shrine room and adjoining living area. This was a wonderfully intimate space in which to receive Amma’s great gift. Those of you who attended the course at the Gold Coast retreat will know that not all of the full technique was taught on that occasion. Also, in the large gymnasium on the retreat site, conditions were not ideal. The acoustics were terrible and despite the young swami’s patience and dedication I had trouble hearing a lot of what was said.
At Mekala’s last weekend some of us found that we had indeed missed parts of the technique during the Gold Coast training (although different people missed different bits!). But even in the best of conditions I imagine that it’s difficult to maintain 100 per cent concentration all the time, so a refresher course is a valuable opportunity to refine and deepen one’s meditation practice.
Shanthy is all we could have hoped for in an instructor. She was relaxed, which helped us to relax, and she has a wonderful sense of humour. She began by telling us some of her own experiences with Amma, and before long we had a very strong sense of Amma’s presence in the room, a presence that remained all weekend. One of the highlights each day was the opportunity to participate in Shanthy’s pujas.
Each morning , she invoked Amma’s energy followed by some rituals which were recited in Sanskrit . She also gave an explanation for the Sanskrit mantras whenever she recited them, which enabled us to feel a part of the puja. We really felt every moment was so precious and blessed by Amma’s presence. 108 Names of Amma was chanted after a beautiful session of Patha puja and offerings. Each evening was concluded by giving thanks for Amma’s presence and a short arati followed by Shanthi mantras. These were very special, and we all felt that we were indeed in the company of one of Amma’s priestesses.
The weekend course started at 9 am and concluded at 4 pm on the first day, and at 4 30 pm on the second. Each day included a question and answer session.
NOTE: Attendees do not have to be devotees of Amma. Not everyone present at the Brisbane weekend was a devotee. Shanthy takes this into account.
The programme was well balanced and no-one felt bored or over-stretched.
Shanthy concluded the course by making all of us to dance together, around a lamp lit in the centre and representing Amma, and as we danced we thanked Amma for the most beautiful gift that Amma has given to all her children and for making it freely available. That experience was really blissful, joyful and peaceful.
In conclusion, it was a wonderful experience all round, not just for the instruction – although that is of inestimable value – but to get together, share experiences, and know one another better. In the short time since the course, some people have already sent in accounts of feeling the benefit of their meditation practice, both physically and mentally. I’ve certainly noticed a change in my own practice since learning the extra seven minutes that were omitted from the Gold Coast instruction, and also in gaining a greater understanding and refinement of the stages I had already learned.
Our thanks to Shanthy, and also to Mekala for making her place available when she was about to fly to India for six weeks (just two days after!).
Most of all our thanks to our Divine Mother who sends us all that we need (including cool weather in the middle of a heatwave).
For more details, please contact an instructor for the IAM Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique® or get in touch with a coordinator at your local MA Centre for the course availabilities in each states.