I believe in synchronicity. An odd sequence of events aligned to bring me to my first weekend workshop with Gurudev Amrit Desai (Shri Amritji) in Tampa, Florida. I was one of 200 people who came to learn from this world-renowned Yogi Master, founder of Kripalu Center of Yoga & Holistic Health in Massachusetts. Dressed in Traditional, long, white embroidered Kurta, Gurudev glided onto the stage, his silver-streaked hair flowing in loose cascades around his narrow, chiseled face, which had an angelic glow. As his Indian-accented words floated out to me, his energy and enthusiasm were contagious and his delivery, humorous and disarming.
I had an uncanny sense that he was speaking only to me and that no one else existed in the room- a highly unusual sensation that, I found later, was shared by most of the other participants. Everything Gurudev said- pure, clear teachings- resonated deep within me, creating a continual series of “a-ha” moments. He shared techniques that connected me to a sense of myself I had long forgotten.
About five months later, I attended another workshop, this time at the Amrit Yoga Institute in Salt Springs, Florida, which is in the midst of Ocala National Forest, nested alongside Lake Kerr. By the end of the two-day program, I felt amazingly calm and happy. Instead of being a bundle of fractured energy, I felt centered and quiet; my energies integrated, full of purpose and direction. Everyone around me was feeling joyful, and we bonded together in this ocean of loving energy. In talking to Gurudev’s son, Malay, I heard myself offer to help reach more people who could benefit from Gurudev’s teachings. (At the time I owned advertising agency.) Suddenly, I was in Gurudev’s house, sharing ideas with the master himself. The process seemed ethereal and dreamlike.
I did not have any inkling that that meeting would change my life forever.
Synchronicity continued to be at play. Fast-forward to eight months later; I was sponsoring a weekend with Yogi Desai in Naples, Florida, tied in with a fundraiser which drew more than 350 attendees. In a follow-up meeting, Gurudev told me: “You should be trained and teach.” I was surprised, as I thought to myself: I’m a marketing professional, a journalist, a writer. “You are a teacher”, Gurudev insisted. “A Yogini. Do a meditation class.” I listened. I went on to become a certified in Yoga Nidra, then Amrit Yoga and beyond.
This book is the fruition of an intention to disseminate information about transformational opportunities that were catalysts for monumental change in my own life, and I’ve witnessed how they have touched so many. The format is a presentation of stress-reducing methods, along with deep philosophical understanding of ancient teachings assembled from a multitude of Gurudev’s writings, articles and discourses (darshans). The focus has been primarily on organizing his work in a way that reveals its inner depth more fully.
Often, spiritual practitioners attempt to teach the secret of life- of cultivating the ability to enter the present moment- through a major jump from thinking to being. Such a massive shift from form to formless can be too wide a chasm to navigate successfully in today’s high-intensity lifestyles. In this book, you will learn a sequential unfolding, from thinking to feeling to being. Gurudev’s breakthrough approach, passed down through his lineage, is far more adaptable and accessible for anyone to activate rapid change in today’s tumultuous lifestyles than anything currently available.
To enter the Zero Stress Zone, you will access an esoteric world of sacred teachings in which you’ll become more directly connected to an understanding of the truth of existence. These ancient practices, attained by honored yogis and sages thousands of years ago, are demystified and explained by Gurudev in approachable way, so that you can apply them practically in your everyday life.
In the process of compiling the book, Gurudev met with me every month or so to review the chapters and refine then to reflect a clearer communication. Sometimes, while working together, we would co-create concepts based on his original works; other times. I realized it was to deepen my understanding to enhance my abilities to communicate them. To make the information more relevant, I interviewed students who have been transformed by Gurudev’s teachings. I have included a few of their stories and experiences throughout the book for heightened insights and enjoyment.
My own major breakthrough was the recognition that I no longer had to live my life on an extreme see-saw of manic highs and lows.
Through the practice of this work, I’ve entered a neutral state where I remain perpetually content, productive, and healthy.My life mission has become focused on helping others connect to their own source to expand inner skills and supercharge their lives. As a personal development coach, author and motivational speaker, I am gratified to have opportunities to share transformational tools to effect positive change. In reaching my own increased levels of awareness, I’ve embraced a loving intimate relationship with a caring man that reaffirms the mysterious ways of walking the walk…and I continue to learn.
My intention through this project has been to honor and respect Gurudev’s teachings, as he is the carrier of the energetic flow of his lineage to Swami Sri Kripalvanandji (also called Swami Kripalu) and Lord Lakulisha (known as Dadaji). It is to shine a beacon on ancient methods as guiding lights for many to navigate and transcend challenges, fears, and frustrations of our ever-changing modern world. I feel deeply privileged to have had so many hours upon hours of time to spend with Gurudev to explore, ask questions, reflect on the essence of the work, and experience and observe my own continual growth. After several years of working on this project, I’d arrive at the next session confident that the book was now complete. But then, as we reviewed chapters together, Gurudev- in his own inimitable journey of transformation- would have more insights and a new level of clarity that would send me back to revisions. The process continually enhanced and expanded communication of the essence of the work.
I am humbled to offer the book as a culmination of this process and a reflection of more than 55 years of Gurudev’s commitment to living within the spirit of his ancestors and sharing his deep perceptions in a way that make them accessible for all of us. May you find within these pages the gateway for yourself to discover your path to personal purpose, good health, fulfillment, and happiness. Jai Bhagwan.
January 2, 2017 Click here to access the audio excerpt