Dear brothers and sisters, This past weekend we were witness to a breakthrough and a new record in giving Self-Realization in our region: over 600 seekers received their Self Realization in 2 days at the International Festival in Houston !!! It was an incredible event, organized and executed with great care and passion by the growing Houston collective, with help from Austin (5 Yogis), Dallas (3 Yogis) and New York! (1 Yogi).
Set up in a park, with tents on the green Mother Earth who generously purified our vibrations continuously, the festival saw thousands of people mill around its various sections - this year's theme being China (India was 2 years ago). One interesting aspect that struck those of us coming from
outside of Houston was that this was not a seekers fair, but just a cultural event with music, food and entertainment. In Dallas and Austin we've so far stayed away from such events, thinking that it would probably be too distracting and people
would have their attention on other things.
Instead, we got a lot of "professional seekers" in an area who probably were unable to remember us from the myriad of other tables offering something that in their eyes was similar, and who would probably be hard to convince to stop from their never ending seeking. San Antonio, and now Houston, courageously jumped onto non-seekers festival and the results have been amazing (if you remember, San Antonio used to consistently give Realization to more people than in Dallas and Austin at their Festival of India - as I'm sure they will do again in less than two weeks). Contrary to
expectations, despite the music and food (or perhaps because of them), people
were very-light hearted and got their Realization very easily (also because they
were not professional seekers), which was a pleasant and uplifting surprise.
During the first day we had less than 10 chairs set up in our tent, with 3 sandwich-boards surrounding the altar and the chakra chart. It quickly became clear that they were not enough, as people started to spill onto the surrounding area, more than doubling our space, eager to receive their Realization even while sitting on the earth. During the second day we had a total of 14 chairs, and still they were not enough.
There were moments when, with all the Yogis present working at full capacity, some of us on two people at a time, there was still a thick cordon of people behind us standing and waiting for their turn. You turned and you thought to yourself - this is hopeless, how are we going to give Realization to all these people? And yet they stayed, some went, some came back, and without feeling any tiredness we kept spreading our Divine Mother's vibrations to all who desired it. Pictures can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/2fhxrv
Some stories from the Yogis present:- The Sahajayoga public program at the I-fest was the biggest event held in Houston recent times. About 600 seekers got their
self-realization. It gave such a great satisfaction to experience the joy again and again when new seekers got their self realization. Just to look at the smiling and surprised faces of seekers when they felt the cool breeze flowing out of their hands and heads was a great experience. It was a wonderful collective effort and all of us Houston yogis, and our brothers and sisters from other cities of Texas enjoyed every moment of it. - We were short on volunteer wristbands initially and wondering how we will be able to manage. But later on, once the I-fest started, the event co-ordinator (Don) himself came over and gave us some extra ones. He even suggested that once we are inside, we can just recycle the wristbands. We were instructed on how to wear the volunteer bands "loosely" so they could be exchanged between volunteers - a "hint" we were given in secret by one of the organizers! - At the end of the first day, Don (event co-ordinator) came over specially to our canopy (me and Mandar were present) and congratulated us on the crowd he noticed throughout the day. So impressed was he that he told us that he organized such festivals throughout the year and gave us his card and asked for our email address so he can keep us informed about more events. - A seeker got his realization the first day. Apparently he had tried other types of meditation before and was aware of chakras and the subtle system. He could feel the cool breeze, but did not seem very impressed about it. I did not think much about it, but the next day, the same guy showed up again
and was seen meditating near the side of our tent under a tree, looking very
peaceful! - Honestly, the response at the fair was more than anticipated. But thanks to all the Yogis and their sincere efforts, it looked like we had done this together many times before. I am glad that Yogis from Austin and Houston could come down. It was a great weekend! - Thanks to Dallas, New York, Austin collectivity' s for their support in this special days here in Houston I am sure that our beloved Mother sent you here to spread her message. Her love was expressed in every person that was coming to experience our delight at the simplicity, beauty and sweetness with which our Mother can get Her message across.
It was a unique moment to feel so much love and how radiant we can get giving realization to others. Most of the people were very receptive and open, plenty of joy once they could feel the peace within. Was simply wonderful just like to be at the presence of Her and feel Her Lotus Feet in our heart. God bless Houston collectivity because all they stay supporting each other every moment. - "the wind showed the way"The morning of the first day, yogis had made the booth beautiful, with saris hanging from the canopy in a beautiful arrangement. .. but to their surprise, a huge gust of wind came just as the first seekers started to arrive... the saris were all blown down, to their surprise! It was realized later that once the saris were removed, our booth was made more visible from all angles! Though the beautiful decorations had to be sacrificed, more seekers were "shown the way" by the wind! - "ice cream for Realization"At the end of the festival, two yogis headed to one booth as it was closing down to get an ice cream, but the booth said they couldn't take money any more as the fair was already over. So, they offered the ice cream for free to the yogis, but they yogis said "We can't take
it for free, you have to take something from us...." The ice cream vendor agreed, and the two vendors got a very clear "cool breeze" on the top of their heads as a gift! - "you can't judge a book by it's cover!"Another moving experience was when one yogi gave realization to a very skeptical young woman... it seemed as if she would not even take realization. .. then, when she did get her realization, she had a tremendous experience and felt as if her whole head opened! - "it can't be free! "During most of the festival, all the chairs were full of new seekers getting their realization, and there was always a crowd of people observing or waiting for their turn... After one yogi finished giving one seeker realization, he appropached someone waiting and asked if he'd like to give it a try.. the seeker asked "how much do you charge?" After hearing
that it was for free, he surprisingly said "no way!" and before you could blink, he was sitting and waiting for the cool breeze! - "the skies were cleared for us" One huge gift of the Divine was the weather! Thunderstorms were predicted for the first day... Houston thunderstoms, with their immense power, would have surely left the booth empty (if the booth was even able to stand the storm!!).. but, as the Divine in Her Glory, would, the skies were cleared and the weather was absolutely beautiful all day - allowing all the 'Houston seekers to "come and get it!" - Because we w ere pressed by time, I "rediscovered" a method used by Shri Mataji in halls for people who felt
hot above their heads: forgive. So every time I worked on someone and I could not feel the cool breeze above their head after a minute or two, I would ask them to say a few times "I forgive everyone". Without fail, the vibrations would start immediately above their Sahasrara. - I was working on a man who at the end did not want to come out of the meditation. He did not speak, did not open his eyes, did not move, even at my repeated bidding. I honestly thought he had falled asleep, so I left him alone and started talking to his wife. When I was done, he opened his eyes and all he could say was "wow!" He explained how he felt a lot of heat in his whole body, broke into a sweat, and then the heat was gone and he felt tremendous coolness coming out of his body. He got up from his chair, shook my hand, and said "I am a new man!" - The most moving experience of the fair for me was when a large Mexican family assembled near me, and a teenage girl broke away from the group and sat down to give it a try while the
rest watched with interest. After working on her for a little while, since the vibrations were not present in the Sahasrara, I asked her to forgive everyone.
Still no vibrations, despite continuing to work on her for a while afterwards.
Then it dawned upon me that she had not really forgiven. So I whispered in her
ear to try again, but this time to say it from her heart, and to really mean it.
Very shortly afterwards, the vibrations started to flow in her Sahasrara. I
finished the workshop and started to talk to her, asking her to feel the breeze
above her head, etc. She did, but she continued to keep her eyes closed. After
talking to her for some time, I wanted to show her something so I asked her to
open her eyes, which she was continuing to keep firmly closed. When she finally
did open them, tears came streaming down and I realized that all that time she
did not want me to see that she was crying. I cannot describe the look in her
eyes at that moment. She had forgiven, whatever was there, and there was such a
big relief, clear-out, wonderment, and gratitude for her Realization. Her sister
immediately sat down and eagerly received her Self Realization in no time. It is
happenings like these that reminded me of the tremendous difference we make in
these people's lives when they get their Realization, whether we or they are
fully aware of it at that time or not.