September 2015 By Suma Varughese Rohini and I have interacted through many media, including email, sms, phone, Whatsapp and facebook. I reviewed her lovely book Free Fall, for Life Positive, an analogy about the spiritual quest, through the adventures of a parrot. It is a charming, poignant piece of fiction and taught me quite a lot about parrots. Like most on the path, Rohini writes. Her other book is The Only Way Out is Within, (both published by Hay House). She also counsels, holds workshops, retreats, and wellness and mindfulness modules for corporates Through all the interactions, I built up a portrait of an essentially blithe and joyous person. However, we met face to face only last year when she and her colleague, Thathgath Roy, held a workshop on the Enneagram at our Delhi Life Positive Expo. It was a delightful experience. She and Thathagath held the space effortlessly, and infused the learning with fun and laughter. I warmed to her still more. Excerpts from the interview: Looking back, how do you think you have changed since your advent into spirituality? It is only when you look back in fact that you realize how the whole paradigm shifts. The focus changes from an interest and absorption in the outer to an interest in the inner. The definition of empowerment changes. When you first begin to understand that truly the only way out is within, the whole axis on which your life is revolving, turns. It is a moment of Grace. Briefly, can you share how you entered the path of spirituality? My entry, if you can call it that, happened very subtly. Because of a family crisis, my father having an unsuccessful knee surgery, I decided to learn reiki to help him. As I am sure it is with most people, this excuse became the reason to start on my own inner journey. Highly excited by reiki and its healing benefits, I did all levels, and in a few years was teaching it. It also opened the door to many other systems of healing. They just flowed. Art of Living. Hypnotherapy. EFT. Theta Healing. Kinesiology. Bach Remedies. Rebirthing. At the perfect moment, they entered and did what they had come to do. At a certain moment, though, which in fact was an utterly contented moment, a small voice of restlessness questioned whether this was the real spiritual journey I was supposed to be on. Prayers for guidance led me to the pointings of Advaita. Nonduality. Something deep within acknowledged that this was the path of Truth. Everything else fell away. My master, Mooji, found me. How did you change after Mooji? To be in the embrace of a living master is a blessing that cannot be gauged. It is Grace. After meeting Mooji, tremendous clarity, ease and peace came into my Being. Resistances dissolved. Doubts melted away. It was as if someone laid a hand on all the scars that remained and smoothed them out. He was the example of an enlightened one that I had always been searching for: an embodiment of love, spontaneity and joy. He is that which he points to. Questions melted away. Above all, being in the presence of a master, you recognise the intrinsic silence that you yourself are. You realise that you too are that which he is: Presence. It is a gift beyond compare for a seeker. How would you define yourself today? Actually I am trying to do the opposite! Not being confined or defined as anything or anybody. If I meet someone and can point them homewards, I feel honoured. How would you define spirituality? Spirituality is the journey of returning Home. There where you have always been. The Self recognising itself. Of the seeker becoming the finder. How has spirituality influenced the way you live your life? Everything subtly changes, Suma. These are not conscious or wilful changes. Expansiveness happens. As the person dissolves, the personal fears, vulnerabilities, insecurities and problems have no relevance. You begin to live from a different centre. You realise you are not that to whom life is happening. You are life. One with it. How has spirituality helped you in your relationships? A spontaneity, a freshness, love permeates everything you do. There is no separation. You relate from your heart, not your mind. Judgements are replaced by a sharing of love, which is the intrinsic core of each of us. Have you made any changes to your diet and eating habits? Yes, these happened magically. Again they were not thought out or calculated. I became vegan. An invitation to a retreat I attended made it happen. I felt the rightness of giving up certain foods. It was easy. How far do you feel you have progressed on the path? It has been the most joyous understanding to realize that there is nowhere to go! It’s all right here. There is nothing to be gauged or measured or ticked off. There is no striving or struggle left. Whatever has to happen ahead, will. In its own organic way. It’s all in God’s hands! What is your daily routine like? I do not really have a set daily routine. Apart from a few essentials, like attending a yoga class, I am open to whatever the day brings. Often, I have people visiting and seeking counsel. I love to meet them. Other days, I read and write. I listen to music. Music is on from the moment I wake up. I enjoy all kinds. The small group I mentor is my family. We have joyous gatherings, workshops and retreats. I enjoy cooking. Intuitively and simply! I enjoy the openness and lack of planning of days. It all works out perfectly. What are your priorities in life? Love is. How do you view work? It’s my joy. What I do is guide people Home. What can be more joyous and fulfilling than this? I feel so honored to be chosen to do this. What spiritual practice do you follow? No practice as such would be one answer. I could also say it’s a 24×7 practice ; the highest meditation of all: just Being. Are you saying you are enlightened? I am not saying anything like that! What is the state of enlightenment like? Have all your negative feelings disappeared? Are you free of all limitations? What role does memory play in your life? Is there no one there? Are you unconditionally happy? Since I did not answer yes to the first question, I cannot say what the state of enlightenment is like. However I can say what it is like for me at present. Negative feelings have not disappeared. Limitations are there. Everything is there. But it is seen for what it is. And nothing sticks. Hurt comes up, irritation appears, judgements surface. All feelings come but they do not greatly affect you nor do they last. It is a very child-like way of experiencing. There and then gone. Everything is very spontaneous. Memory is getting dimmer! The past does not have much of a hold. No matter what you experience, it doesn’t leave a deep imprint. This applies as much to pleasure or pain. That is not to say joyousness is not joyous. It is. But it is not constantly held on to or desired to be repeated. It is the same with uncomfortable feelings. I cannot say there is no one there but yes, the domination of the person is dissolving. Becoming irrelevant. Identity is getting increasingly diffused. There is no pull of identity, no story to which experiences attach themselves. And when something new happens it is therefore very fresh, responded to very spontaneously, without history or past. Am I unconditionally happy? True Happiness IS unconditional. It resides within, is your essential nature and depends on nothing external. Share a little about the process of ‘coming home’ with Mooji. For me it has been a very gentle, imperceptible process. One will never know the workings of Grace or of a master. Both are the same thing, of course! I can recall a particular meeting. In Delhi. Mooji bid goodbye, walked into the lift and then came back to where I was standing. Looking into my eyes, he hugged me and said, ‘ Things will be different now.’ They were. Such are the blessings of a master. But it would be irrelevant to name one or other event or meeting, because blessings flow not so obviously. It can be a look, or not even that. A distant blessing. We recount them in form while they are actually formless. That’s why the biggest blessing is to be surrendered to a master. Once you are, everything happens perfectly, spontaneously, as it is needed. When did you realize that you had come home? What was that experience like? Coming home is not an experience or event. It is just a profound understanding of what already is. A shifting into your intrinsic natural state of peace, love and joy. Of just being. It is available right now to each of us. What are some of the experiences that have given you the maximum value? Every experience came at a perfect moment. It’s difficult to categorise any as more valuable than another. One thing is clear: every single thing that happened brought me to this moment. And I feel profound gratitude for each and for where I am today. Home.
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