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Sadhguru…does the word conjure up the image of a bearded gentleman sitting in the woods, cross-legged and observing silence? If it does, then you will be right but only partially. This South Indian guru does indeed sport a long, flowing beard but he is also a terrific speaker, a certified helicopter pilot, and an avid motorcycle rider. Add to it the occasional golfing trip as time permits and you now have a better picture. Here is a guru who leads life to the fullest and shows by example that one does not need to be a recluse to achieve spirituality.

Sadhguru’s homespun truths have aided millions around the world in their quest for peace and spirituality. His witty retorts and deep throated laughter mask a seriousness, a seriousness that I first encountered in 2011 when I attended his Inner Engineering program in Concord, California. Not knowing what to expect, I entered the program with few preconceived notions. Occasionally, skepticism crossed my mind in the days leading up to the program. What could a forty-something learn that is new about spirituality? And what does “engineering” have to do with all of this anyway? However, I was willing to spend a weekend. In the grand scheme of things, I figured a weekend spent with a “guru’” may not all be wasteful, and even if it was, it was just a weekend.

Suffice to say that that one weekend upended many of my assumptions and fallacies. In an atmosphere crackling with vibrant energy, Sadhguru’s talks tore down walls, uprooted beliefs and cut through to the essential truth – that the source of all wisdom lies within oneself. Over the course of two days, I saw my fellow seekers laugh, cry, and occasionally get hysterical as the master guided the audience through a 21-minute yogic practice. Distilled from ancient sources and adapted to modern needs, the Shambhavi Maha Mudra is an intense yoga sequence that has the ability to prepare oneself to achieve greater levels of consciousness and bliss. Yoga, as Sadhguru points out, is not about contorting one’s limbs or standing on one’s head. In its ultimate form it is ‘union’ with a higher power, a longing that every human being feels. Our individual abilities may vary, and consequently our material success, Sadhguru said, but the ability to attain bliss is universal and achievable.  

Sadhguru’s teachings are not rooted in any one religion or philosophy. The yogic science that he transmits transcends narrow identifications. Bay Area residents are lucky that this globetrotting guru will once again be in their midst to share his wisdom and techniques, an ability to “engineer” oneself to bliss and happiness. No prior knowledge is required.  Just an open mind and a small investment in time – if nothing else we owe it to ourselves for a chance to be blissful. It was an investment that has reaped rich dividends for me and continues to do so.

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