“Do not go searching for a Guru. When the pain of ignorance within you becomes a scream, a Guru will come in search of you.”
That is precisely what happened to me, quite literally.
I always considered myself a spiritual seeker. But I could never find my place within spiritual or religious communities; no matter how much I tried, it never felt right. I always had too many questions, and the answers offered wouldn’t satisfy me.
Even though I considered myself a spiritual seeker all my life, the last thing I thought I needed was a guru.
When my friend sent me a link to some guru speaking online, I was in the middle of chemotherapy treatment. I couldn’t listen much to this person before I burst out in a rant. So I wrote a couple of pages ranting on-How only uneducated people can have a guru; what makes me who I am, why would I ever listen to some stranger who has no idea who I am.
These couple of pages that I wrote were my cry of ignorance.
As mortality was staring straight in my face, I desperately wanted to know where I was going after this life and why I’m here in the first place. But on the other side, I was pretty clueless about where to search for the answers.
My patient friend sends me another link, gently but firmly asking to give him a promise that this time I will watch the video, saying that it is not a guru but a scientist in conversation with a wise man. Reluctantly I agreed.
I remember, It was the third day after the chemo treatment. I was quite feeble. While lying in bed, I start listening to the video with my eyes closed. It was a video of Deepak Chopra in conversation with Sadhguru. The second I heard Sadhguru’s voice, I felt an immediate attraction. I felt a connection beyond words, and the love affair had begun.
I sought out every Sadhguru video and publication that was out there back then. I devoured each word of his and was hungry for more.
One of the first things that came my way was Brahmananda Swarupa chant. Back then, I knew nothing about the chant other than verbal translation. But, the sounds of the chant seemed gentle and nourishing. So, I would play it for a prolonged amount of time, humming along at times. Sometimes I would just stretch out on the floor and let the chant take me away for a couple of hours.
The second thing I was able to do was Isha Kriya meditation. It was very supportive to my mental well-being. Chemotherapy was quite brutal to me. I was experiencing terrible neurological side effects, manifesting in impaired cognitive function and times of severe depression and suicidal thoughts. I was well aware of what was happening to me and the detrimental effects of chemotherapy. But I refused to take antidepressants.
Before I went to chemo treatment, I thoroughly researched potential side effects and figured out how to holistically assist my body with herbal remedies. And that is how I supported myself. Holistic remedies, conscious food choices, Isha kriya, and the magic of chants were pulling me through one of the most challenging times of my life.
Because of the chemo, my immune system was incredibly weak, and it was essential for me to restrict physical contact with other people. So, shortly after I was done with it, I was able to take the Inner Engineering course online.
And that is how I would describe my experience of the program – I felt like it was a library after an earthquake in my head. All the books with the knowledge are there, inside, in a massive pile on the floor. And someone just came and placed them neatly, in perfect order, on the shelves that they belong to.
As I was going through the program, it became clear to me that happiness and joy radiate from within me and are not dependent on outside situations. No one can be in charge of it but me.
And that wasn’t just a philosophy, or idea, or a topic for discussion. To me, It was a living truth.
After completing the program, I felt liberated, free, overflowing with happiness and joy. I felt complete, grateful to the master, and in no need for any additional programs, until one day… I was walking along the ocean, content and happy, listening to Sadhguru through my phone.
And he said something like that (I’m loosely quoting, forgive me, Sadhguru if I get something wrong) If you die prematurely (as something terrible happens to you, a car accident or someone takes your life), you might not depart entirely, you might linger around.
It stopped me in my tracks (literally and figuratively speaking). Lingering?!? That wasn’t my plan at all. I was ok – stay or go, but lingering around wasn’t in my plans at all…
Now I had another burning question inside of me. HOW would one know when it is THE time to go? And IF there is, How do I know it is my time? At this moment, I knew that I had to see the guy, the master, the guru himself to ask this question. I knew I had to see the guru, my guru, Sadhguru.
I couldn’t travel far with the port for chemotherapy sticking out of my chest, to be realistic. So I set myself a goal – I had to live for at least one more year, so I can take the port out of my body and travel to India to see Sadhguru.
One night I was casually scrolling through the newsfeed on my phone and I saw that Sadhguru himself was going to give a 4-day program in Tennessee. I was so thrilled!!!!
I got to my computer and started filling out the forms without thinking twice. I didn’t care what kind of program it was or how I was going to get there. All I knew was that Sadhguru was there, and I must see him to find the answer.
As I was sprinting through the forms, I stumbled on the required field – It was a prerequisite that I didn’t have – Shambhavi Mahamudra.
I called the center, asking them for exemption, but they wouldn’t give it to me, of course.
I was extremely relieved when I found out that right in my area for the first time, there would be an Inner Engineering Total program conducted by a teacher trained by Sadhguru with initiation into the Shambhavi Mahamudra practice. I was able to sign up for both programs at once in 15 min. It was quite incredible.
I wasn’t excited to take the second Inner Engineering program at all. I went because I had to. Moreover, to learn some yoga practice that I never heard of seemed unnecessary. But, boy, was I wrong! Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya was the best gift I could receive. The gratitude I have for this program can’t be expressed in words.
The program was amazing, even though for me, it was extremely physically challenging. Towards the end of the third day, there was a special process offered. During which, something profound happened. It felt like a lot of my body limitations were broken right there and then.
By the last day of the program, I knew I was lucky. Lucky to be alive to be able to receive what was offered there, even though I had no idea what it was, but by my experience, I knew it was something very special.
By the end of the program, I was initiated into Shambhavi Mahamudra. What a gift! It was magical! I conducted this practice twice a day for 28 days, and on the 28th day, I was in Tennessee attending the Bhava Spandana program with Sadhguru.
2016 – Bhava Spanadana.
I can’t say much about the program without revealing its content.
All I can say is that it was what I was unknowingly seeking for and far beyond. My questions were answered, I was showered with grace, and I got so much more out of this program than I could ever expect.
Right after the program, I insisted on removing the port for chemotherapy from my body (doctors insisted on keeping it for 3 years). I had to do some negotiating, but I’m so happy I did what I did.
It seemed like my quest was over. I got my questions answered; I met the master, so now I could just continue living and rebuilding my health.
But to my surprise. Several months later, after preparatory Sadhana, I was traveling solo to India.
2017 – Yogeshwar Linga Consecration
Going to India for Yogeshwar Linga consecration wasn’t a decision for me. It was more like a calling.
One moment I just knew I had to go. I still remember this moment. It was in a Trader Joe’s Parking lot. I came home after my grocery shopping, filled out the forms, and shortly after I was approved, I booked the flight and an Ashram stay.
It was my first time in India, by myself. I didn’t tell my parents about my travels, to not worry them. Because my immune system still was very weak, and it was not advisable for me to travel overseas. But I felt very strongly that I must go. I just had to.
I stayed in Coimbatore for several days before and after my visit to the Ashram.
After participating in consecration, I truly felt like my life wasn’t wasted.
The consecration of Yogeshwar Linga was magnificent. Witnessing Sadhguru in all its glory is impossible to put in words. and being part of the consecration is a blessing beyond my belief.
After the consecration, I felt a strong feeling of belonging. I felt tied to the place; I felt like part of me was there, forever and ever. And that was incredible!
After Mahashivaratri, I was on my way home. I thought that it was a fantastic experience, and now I’m complete. I checked all the boxes now for sure. I felt no need to be physically present at Isha Yoga center again.
But shortly after I arrived in America and started sharing my traveling experiences, I caught myself saying, “Next time I go to India….” and I thought to myself, “oh, oh, girl. It is far from over”. At that moment, I knew there was far more to unfold.
After I came back, I went on nourishing my body to recovery, with deliberate food choices and the yoga practices I learned.
Shortly after, I learned Surya Kriya. But I wasn’t able to practice it. It was too difficult for me. My poor body had a lot of work ahead to start functioning properly again.
Yogasanas was the next practice I learned, and it was a real game-changer for me. Practicing asanas didn’t just improve my flexibility but gave me strength, tremendously improved my joint health (after Lyme disease followed by chemo, I got arthritis), and gave me overall balance.
After adding Yogasanas to my daily Sadhana, I revisited Surya Kriya and found it to be a beautiful experience.
I was very content with my practices; again, I felt complete. I heard about shoonya meditation, Shakti Chalana Kriya, and Samyama. I knew eventually I want to take them. But I thought there is no rush, maybe 5-6 years or so…
The next thing I know, I’m sitting in Mahima learning Kaka kriya 😆
So far, every program with Sadhguru was just happening to me. It was almost like a swirl of events that would take me and place me there; I wouldn’t say against my will, no, I was eager to learn and wanted to be there, but it was almost like a strong current just would pick me up and carry me over to where I was supposed to be. It was beyond my strength to swim against it.
Shoonya Intensive program – 2018
It made me feel very empowered. Truly powerful tools are offered there that made me feel even more in charge of my body and mind.
My morning sadhana was expanding slowly but surely, one practice at a time, making me better, stronger physically and mentally, more in control of my well-being.
Once again, I thought I was complete and happy, with no particular need to pursue any other practices. At this point, I was actively volunteering for all local Isha programs and events and at the III in Tennessee. I had a full life and barely any time to spare when I found myself in preparatory Sadhana for the program of a lifetime – Samyama.
2019 – Samyama in India
While staying in the Ashram before the Samyama program, I had kind conversations with other participants. We all talk, you know. The one question that usually would pop up, what was the most challenging part in preparation for Samyama?
And almost everyone would say food. It was very surprising to me because I didn’t feel any significant adjustments in my diet. I even had a dessert every day that was 100% in line with dietary requirements for this program.
When I shared the way I usually eat and prepare my food, how I substitute certain ingredients in my cooking, several people encouraged me to share my knowledge on the internet to be accessible to others.
And it happened to me before as well.
And just like with everything else, deep inside, I knew I’m going to do that; I just had no idea when.
Samyama experience was amazing, and I lost all track of time. I went to it with no particular expectations and left transformed.
No words can describe how grateful I am to Sadhguru for coming into my life, picking me up, showering grace upon me, and making me realize the true purpose of life. 🙏🏻
No words, no words… 🙏🏻
I’m eternally grateful for the gifted opportunity. 🙏🏻
So I was caring all with my life. When 2020 hits the world. All of us had to adjust. My business took a big hit. I had to downsize, let some people go, move offices into my house, and move the warehouse into a much smaller facility.
So with all this chaos going on, I decided to jump on another project. I designed and built PositivePranic.com, and at the same time, I started a PositivePranic Youtube channel where I’m sharing my original recipes, the way I approach food, and my life experiences.
Even though I share my recipes in most of my videos, and I love my recipes, I want everyone to try them; the most important message I’m trying to convey through my videos is the approach to food.
Because even though the recipe is important, the way you do it is the most essential part of the interaction between you and the food.
We should enjoy the food we eat without being paranoid about the calorie count or the number of carbs, fats, or whatever the latest dietary fad is. It makes me very sad when people look at beautiful fruits and see sugar or look at the fresh off-the-ground vegetables and see carbs. This is sad. That is how insensitive to life we became.
FOOD is LIFE
The blissful experience we are able to have with the life we call food (if one can only perceive it). It is the most intimate and sensual experience one can ever have. All our senses are acutely involved when it comes to food.
It doesn’t matter how much one person loves another, how blissful and orgasmic the intimacy between two people is; they will never become one in the physical realm. But the life we call food is willingly becoming part of you.
It is merging with you most miraculously, transmitting its energy through that glorious body of yours.
If one experienced it fully, how can you resist not to experience this thrill over and over again! How can you ever look at food preparation as throwing a bunch of ingredients in a pot?
Food preparation is the most beautiful offering I can give to myself and everyone around me. It is nothing short of magic, a witchery, foreplay, a form of meditation, an experience of oneness with creation itself.
So that’s what I feel for now.
What awaits? I have no idea. I just wake up and try to do my best. Day after day.
I learned not to expect, but to take life as it comes.
Be Alive 🌱,
❤ Love, Julia