Thursday, January 19, 2012

Isha "Bhava Spandana" experience

The Bhava Spandana Program (BSP) offered by Isha Foundation is described in their website as "an opportunity to experience higher levels of consciousness". It is an "experiential" program and this has drawn me to it, as I consider myself to be an "always thinking" person. Also this program involves stay at the ashram for 3 days and I thought it would be a nice experience, much like a vacation. Isha does not reveal the agenda of their programs to the participants. So there is always a surprise element in their programs and BSP is no different. In fact, it is nothing like I imagined. Thus my assumed "vacation" turned out to be a "revelation" of sorts. For some of the participants, it was even a transforming experience.

The way the program is designed shows the thinking and innovation that went behind it. It is almost like watching a movie with twists, turns and suspense and only in the end you can connect all the dots. I am not sure if a yoga program like this is being offered anywhere else in the world. Another aspect is the meticulous planning that went in. The script is executed to perfection by a dedicated set of volunteers and teachers. Their passion and involvement is truly inspiring and heart touching.

This is my second visit to the ashram. Just in December I attended the "Adi Yogi Alayam" consecration which witnessed a participation of around 12000 people. The ashram was quite crowded then and I did not feel the serene atmosphere I expected. But this time, I could very much appreciate the beauty, calmness and profoundness of the ashram. The very sight of the Veliangiri mountains made me lost in their beauty. The ashram looked pretty cute and the "Spanda hall" where the program happened is beautiful. I guess my awareness and receptivity improved this time for I could even experience "Dhyana Linga" in a much better way.

Programs such as this help to form good habits. You sleep and get up at a regular time. You eat food together sitting on the floor. You can make good friendships and have some interesting discussions. In short, you can experience a healthy and enriching life for 3 days. Isn't this encouraging enough?

So what are my experiences and learnings? A summary  -
  1. The program helps us to shed the emotional baggage of the past which we often unconsciously carry with us. Personally, I do not have much of a problem here but I know many people overloaded with emotional baggage. Even for the unemotional me, the program offered deeper insights into human psyche. It improved my understanding of human emotions.
  2. The program encourages us to face our fears. It constantly puts us out of "comfort zone" and breaks the limitations we so carefully build around us. 
  3. The program urges us to "experience life" not just "think life". When we live life more consciously, experiencing it moment by moment, we will see how beautiful it is. A little awareness can really make a big difference. I was trying this "mindfulness" stuff even before this program but without much success. This program gave a new boost to me in this direction.
  4. Most importantly, the program makes us to see the whole world as part of ourselves. If we can see the person next to us as part of ourselves (remember Jesus saying "love thy neighbour"?) then really it adds a whole new perspective to our experience. We become more humble, more graceful and so more human. 
As one participant put it, this program "unsettles you". And unsettles you for good. I recommend it for everyone (BSP requires that you do Inner Engineering program before it). Go with an open mind, expect the unexpected and you would find yourself appreciating it in the end in more ways than you can imagine.



10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree totally these were the 4 best days of my life.

arun said...

Best days in my life..still i rejoice the moment..tkz for sharing .

Narayanaswamy S. said...

nice

hipurcurious said...

Can i know the cost of undergoing this program?

Phanindra KSM said...

@hipurcurious: I am not sure of the latest prices. Please check: http://www.ishayoga.org/component/program/index.php?option=com_program&task=filter&Itemid=&cat=0&program=0&rejuvenation=0&advance_program=0&children_program=0&event=0&country=India&country=USA&city=0&locale=0&date=0&start=&end=&Submit=Search

manoj hirway said...

As of May 2016, the cost of the programme is 3500/- per person.

manju said...

going to attend bhava spandana next week..excited..the cost is 3500

Anonymous said...

BSP
ISHA IS A CULT AND BLACK MAGIC JAGGI IS A WITCH AND SORCERERBSP...I did BSP at the ashram near McMinnville, TN. I feel that anyone thinking of doing it should know more about what will be expected of them...and what it was like for me. Soon after I arrived, I asked several times if I could have a schedule for the weekend....I can't remember the exact answer that I was given as it was vague, and after asking several times and not being given any kind of itinerary, either verbal or written, I got it that there was not one for me to have. Odd???
  
  
   
I have no idea what time I got up in the morning or went to bed at night. I do know that there was a huge lapse of time between waking up in the morning and going to bed at night. When it was time for the workshop to resume after a meal or a break, all the volunteers would start clapping their hands...that was the signal to go back down to the meeting room. They came and searched the rooms and bathrooms to make sure everyone had returned to the workshop. Before I was allowed to go in, I was stopped by a volunteer who then called someone on the phone about me. A few minutes later a volunteer who lives there, someone who leads the Inner Engineering workshop came down to talk to me. I was strongy told this could not happen again !!!!  Still, at this point, I was glad I had chosen the rest. The night before we had stayed up until what must have been about two in the morning. This was so we could attend an entertainment event (required) where they had a skit...there was some music with someone who was actually a great musician played the violin, and some other music that I probably would have really enjoyed if I had been able to sit somewhere else besides the floor...if it had been a party where I could use the bathroom when needed, or have a snack or something to drink during the entertainment.
    Throughout the weekend, there were quite a number of people crying or sobbing uncontrollably. Sometimes a volunteer would come over and attend to a particpant who was sobbing, or throwing their body around in wild and/or jerky movements. There was also long lapses of time after a kriya so people could cry, throw their body around, or do whatever they did emotionally....
    At all times there were volunteers standing in the back, or near the door....I would see them stopping people who were walking toward the door, You absolutely could not leave early to go to the bathroom or go back to your room. And during breaks, there were volunteers standing at the edge of the property where the buildings were so no one could go for a walk, or walk down toward the cars, or walk away from the group.
   .  And so it was...some other people had a completely different experience from me at BSP and found it life-changing....that clearly wasn't my experience !!!!!

Anonymous said...

BSP
ISHA IS A CULT AND BLACK MAGIC JAGGI IS A WITCH AND SORCERERBSP...I did BSP at the ashram near McMinnville, TN. I feel that anyone thinking of doing it should know more about what will be expected of them...and what it was like for me. Soon after I arrived, I asked several times if I could have a schedule for the weekend....I can't remember the exact answer that I was given as it was vague, and after asking several times and not being given any kind of itinerary, either verbal or written, I got it that there was not one for me to have. Odd???
  
  
   
I have no idea what time I got up in the morning or went to bed at night. I do know that there was a huge lapse of time between waking up in the morning and going to bed at night. When it was time for the workshop to resume after a meal or a break, all the volunteers would start clapping their hands...that was the signal to go back down to the meeting room. They came and searched the rooms and bathrooms to make sure everyone had returned to the workshop. Before I was allowed to go in, I was stopped by a volunteer who then called someone on the phone about me. A few minutes later a volunteer who lives there, someone who leads the Inner Engineering workshop came down to talk to me. I was strongy told this could not happen again !!!!  Still, at this point, I was glad I had chosen the rest. The night before we had stayed up until what must have been about two in the morning. This was so we could attend an entertainment event (required) where they had a skit...there was some music with someone who was actually a great musician played the violin, and some other music that I probably would have really enjoyed if I had been able to sit somewhere else besides the floor...if it had been a party where I could use the bathroom when needed, or have a snack or something to drink during the entertainment.
    Throughout the weekend, there were quite a number of people crying or sobbing uncontrollably. Sometimes a volunteer would come over and attend to a particpant who was sobbing, or throwing their body around in wild and/or jerky movements. There was also long lapses of time after a kriya so people could cry, throw their body around, or do whatever they did emotionally....
    At all times there were volunteers standing in the back, or near the door....I would see them stopping people who were walking toward the door, You absolutely could not leave early to go to the bathroom or go back to your room. And during breaks, there were volunteers standing at the edge of the property where the buildings were so no one could go for a walk, or walk down toward the cars, or walk away from the group.
   .  And so it was...some other people had a completely different experience from me at BSP and found it life-changing....that clearly wasn't my experience !!!!!

Anonymous said...

Several things are clear from these videos (1) Isha is a religion with its own rituals, temples, idols, etc, (2) Isha is a cult, (3) Vasudev is a dangerous narcissist and his Isha cult is especially dangerous. It is dangerous - if for no other reason - than because of what happyd has noted above: the indoctrination of little children into Jaggi worship.

The Isha "volunteers" or, more accurately, "zombie slaves" I know are not happy people. They have lost everything they once treasured in their pursuit of Vasudev's particular brand of "enlightenment." Yes, they tell themselves, how fulfilled they are, but they are hollow inside.

Jaggi Vasudev is laughing all the way to the bank. He has money, fame, and acclaim. His followers have a delusion. May they one day wake up.