IAM Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique®
~ Experiences of Tasmania participants
"Although I had no prior direct experience with Amma, and the blessings of Her guidance and compassion, I felt that I had come to know something of Her through the devoted words of my new friend Pavitra.
In the weeks leading up to the IAM Technique workshop, Pavitra had become somewhat of a spiritual influence for me as a novice practitioner of meditation. Through a beginner’s class that she had been leading, Pavitra had encouraged me to attend the workshop.
Having made the decision to attend I informed my wife, Kim, who was immediately interested enough to also seek an invitation.
Despite our keenness, it would be only honest of us to say that we both felt a degree of trepidation. Fear of the unknown can be a powerful force, and Kim and I certainly had no idea what to expect.
Upon our arrival we were greeted warmly, as one has come to expect of our beloved Pavitra. Reflecting back, it’s as though there was an air of expectation amongst those arriving - as if we were all about to receive an unexpected gift that no-one had imagined receiving.
As we entered the theatre to settle in we saw before us a place of devotion. Elaborate with garlands and a photo of Amma but not obtrusive in any way. As the smiling face of Shanthy, our teacher, welcomed us it was clear that a Presence was embracing us. An air of peace and tranquillity permeated the room that helped to overcome our nervousness. It did not take us long to realise that Amma Herself was with us and was helping to guide the way forward through the next two days.
Throughout the weekend we listened intently, practised diligently and laughed out loud repeatedly. Shanthy’s knowledge of the Technique and the beautiful, calming and non-confronting way in which she nurtured us was a credit to her wonderful being and to Amma’s grace and giving.
Thankyou Amma. Thank you Shanthy and Pavitra. I’m sure that I reflect everyone’s feelings when I thank you all for such a wonderful gift and deepening experience."
Tony and Kim – Devonport, Tasmania
"I have just completed the “I AM Technique” offered for the first time in Tasmania. I was very interested in doing the weekend course as I have been practising yoga and meditation for 4 years and I have also taken part in Amma’s retreat in Melbourne in 2002. I almost didn’t make it to the weekend due to work commitments. Just when I thought I wouldn’t be able to go, everything changed and four people I needed to approve or cover my weekend off, all consented! I was thrilled and told my sister-in-law how wonderful it was. She immediately said she wanted to come too even before I had explained anything about the course. She had no experience of yoga, meditation or Amma before the weekend.
We were the first to arrive at the hall. Pavitra, the Tasmanian co-ordinator, gave me the job of registering every one as they arrived. It was a wonderful start to the weekend as I got to greet everyone and familiarise myself with all the smiling faces arriving through the door.
Both days opened with Shanthy chanting the 108 names of the Divine and a beautiful Puja to invoke Amma”s presence to our gathering and bless our actions and thoughts through out the weekend. This usually set the tone for the rest of the day. Shanthy was very patient and encouraging as we learnt to chant in Sanskrit.
The 10 yoga asanas were given to us and we completed each exercise under the watchful eyes of Shanthy. Although I had had previous yoga experience each asana felt as if I was
doing the exercise for the first time. There was intensity in every movement and to focus on the breath awareness.
The second day was devoted to the meditation technique. Shanthy’s morning Puja was made special for me as she asked if she could use my fruit platter as an offering. I had spent extra time lovingly preparing the platter for morning tea and felt honoured that it was part of the offering. (We ate it later and it was delectable).
I felt that the “I Am Technique” brought together all the training that I had learnt in yoga classes. The technique consolidated and expanded my knowledge and all the teachings I had led up to the receiving of the “I AM Technique”.
Shanthy, during the weekend, told us stories of her life and Amma’s influence in her life. Her devotion was very inspiring for me, her stories were full of warmth and humour and at times I was moved to tears. I could easily see why she was selected by Amma to undertake such an important role. After meeting her for the first time, I found myself discussing the marvellous effect Amma’s first visit had on me and she convinced me I should share this with the group. I had not shared any of this with many people but on Sunday I found myself telling the group what a profound effect Amma’s first darshan had on me.
The weekend concluded with Shanthy leading a dance and a song. I felt totally energised by the whole weekend. When I arrived home my 2 year old daughter gave me a big hug and said, “I love you mum”, for the first time and somehow the weekend felt complete for me."
Ros - Tasmania
"I went to Amma's retreat in April 2004 in Melbourne. When I arrived there I was surprised and delighted to find that for the first time at a retreat there was an opportunity to learn the IAM meditation technique. This was to be taken during the retreat in the early morning before the programme and later on in the afternoon.
As I didn't want to miss a moment of being with Amma, at first I thought it would be a bit difficult and that I was in some way missing out on the time seeing and being in the presence of Amma. I forgot that she is present everywhere and in all things and in all moments. (The first of many resistances I was to encounter at this retreat!).
The swami who took the course was young and beautiful in every way and one could feel the presence of Amma both in him and through his teaching. He emphasised that this was a "crash course" and that it wasn't a substitute for doing the full course over 2 days, but that it would be no less valuable. With my trusty friend Robbie with me, we navigated the meditation technique together, negotiating the long hours and sleepless nights that are synonymous with the Amma experience. Thankfully due to Amma's grace we rarely felt tired during the retreat. This was to happen later!
At first I really queried the confidentiality of the practice and felt resistance when I read the instructions that accompanied, in particular the legal jargon which frightened me. It took me several months to understand the reason for maintaining the purity of the practice. Off we went back home with the knowledge that we must practice faithfully and try very hard not to miss a day. I took this very seriously and really enjoyed the meditation. I often felt peaceful, connected and enthusiastic.
At the same time I realised that several things were arising in me which seemed to be long held beliefs, patterns and attitudes which no longer worked for me. Sometimes this appeared anything like bliss, but at the same time knew I could not question the wisdom of The Mother. After about 5 months I experienced the return of a severe chronic pain issue which leaves me reeling. I thought that I had been healed of it the year before. It took me 8 months to feel more comfortable in the body, yet during this time I had forgotten much of the technique.
When it became possible to learn IAM again, I KNEW it was right for me. I actually approached it as if I had never done it before and I SO enjoyed learning it again and the wonderful, compassionate and caring way that Shanti taught it. It was a beautiful experience. I love practising it and can't wait for the next day to do it again. I find it very powerful and light-filled.
I do not question anything that comes(or doesn't come)from it, being content to let Amma's grace and wisdom weave its magic in the way Her light will."
Janet Fee - Devonport, Tasmania
"My first meeting with Amma was in April 2004 at the Melbourne Retreat in Kyeton. This was the beginning of my love and devotion to our Divine Mother.
Amma had made it possible for us to learn an abridge version of the IAM Meditation Technique at this retreat. This was completed over two days, in morning and afternoon sessions. I was really excited about this opportunity but also disappointed that I would not be able to attend the talks that Amma would give throughout the day.
However disappointment soon turned to joy as I found myself absorbed in all that my friend Janet and I were being taught.
It was good having Janet with me as this gave each of us the opportunity to talk about certain aspects that worried us and enabled us to fine tune the asanas and generally just share out thoughts on how we felt. I was a little worried about signing the paper saying that I would do this technique daily as I had never been very diligent with my spiritual study and I was a little worried about letting Amma down as well as my self. However I went home and began using this wonderful gift and immediately felt the benefits. This meditation has really made an incredible difference to my life in many ways.
I never thought that I would be given an opportunity to do the full version of the IAM Technique however when I found that my teacher Pavitra had organized Shanty to come to Devonport and teach this Technique to those wanting to learn and those wanting to do a refresher course I immediately signed up. I thought that it would help with any mistakes I may have been doing.
Sunday was the day for us to join in for the refresher course, and from the first moment of Shanty’s intonation of the 108 names of Amma I found myself transported back to Kyeton, wrapped in Amma’s love, so tangible was her presence in this room.
Imagine my surprise and happiness to learn that it was the full version that was being taught. I thought that this version would not change how it worked with me but I have never been more wrong. I found the full version gave me so much more. My first meditation that evening was an incredible experience. I felt that Amma was sitting with me, so intense was this feeling that I was surprise to find that I was there on my own. Each day I so look forward to my time in meditation with Amma it is so very special.
Thank you Shanty for your wonderful patience love and devotion in teaching us this Technique and above all to our Divine Amma whose loving grace has given us this Spiritual practice that uplifts and attunes our soul enabling us to grow more spiritually."
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.