I met a lovely Indian lady, when I was about 19 and running yoga classes at University. Before the crazy seventies got hold of me and shook me ’til my teeth rattled. Swami Jyotirmayananda, my teacher, had told me to ask her to come and talk to the students. She was a delightful Indian ‘Bai’ who talked sweetly of things yogic; when she finished I wound up the meeting then went chasing after her on the way to the car park with her driver. Wish I had a home movie of it… picture the scene… serene little Indian lady, shawl around her head, walking and contemplating, then breathless running, footfalls getting closer, suddenly wild-eyed youth, dishevelled hair falling round his shoulders, ‘Please…’, her startled eyes look up at me, ‘…er… what do I do?… to become realised, to understand what I am?…’.

Anandamayi Ma
Anandamayi Ma

Me & some of my friends at Uni were Yogi chasers. We used to go see all sorts of people. Sure we were hippies, kiddies of the seventies, but we studied philosophy too so I’d like to think we were…choosy. No weird stuff. I mean, we did the Hari Krishna temple in London in about 10 seconds flat… I look at Mick, he looks at me, we crack up giggling and make a run for it! Swami Satchidananda was great but he rambled on a bit as I remember, nothing to get your teeth into. Ok if you want to make nice Beatly songs about peace and love, not a lot of good if you want to sit down & focus, meditate. Oh didn’t I say, we were ‘experience’ junkies as well. Ideas have their place, but experience is all.

Anyway, she decides I’m not mad, grins at me, weighs me up for a moment, then says ‘Just… see light inside, in your head, here’, pointing to brumadhya inbetween the eyebrows. Then walks off. Her half-remembered face reminds me of Anandamayi Ma, who comes in at the end of the story.

Enlightenment… to see light.

Now they’ve got new stuff.

’Be in the now’ they say. I’m an intellectual sort of chap, so I try and get my head round it.

I mean, I try and experience the truth of it as well, of course. I’m supposed to be a yogi.

But I think too. Time exists. Doesn’t it? Albert Einstein said so, and he was

‘considerably smarter than me’.

So when I think of the ‘now’, I go all kind of stuttery, tripping over my thoughts from moment to moment, trying to grasp that elusive moment…. now! no…now!…got it, oh no it’s gone… there it is….coming …here it comes….NOW…aah… it’s gone!

The present moment is all there is. Of course.

Past is memory, it may have happened but I have no connection with it that I can really understand. Not like a book that I return to chapter five, check out some detail of what happened.

Future is just a complete fabrication. The plot of someone else’s movie. Don’t even think of going there unless you’ve got one of them fancy de Loriens with the wing-flappy doors.

Maybe we should call it  ‘the Always’. That feels better. The present moment, sure, but spreading out in all directions. It won’t end, only to become the ‘next’ present moment. It is.


I stretch my senses, whispers on the edge of hearing, ’…. this is everything that is, always, and you will never find an end to this moment stretching out into forever’.

035I first read the words of Anandamayi Ma years ago. A great soul, a saint. She said these words to Yogananda (of ‘autobiography of a yogi’ fame) when he met her,

‘Before I came on this earth, I was the same. As a little girl, I was the same. I grew into womanhood, but still I was the same. Ever afterward, though the dance of creation change around me in the hall of eternity, I shall be the same.”




6 thoughts on “Always

  1. Tony!
    It seems you have made one big full round of a Yogic tour.
    That too from the age of 19 years.
    Yes I remember those days of the hippies and a craze to know of Yoga and Yogis of India. I think even I was of the same age.
    Over the past few decades Yoga has changed the face of the world and all over the world people are adopting it and have learnt many a things, more so on the physical body part than the spiritual aspect. As it gives a sort of mental bliss they tend to do Yoga. In a way its Good.
    As Anandamayi Ma showed you at the Bruhmadhya – the entrance to self bliss and the realization of the light, very few are blessed to have come across.
    You are a blessed one Tony to be in the Path.
    Do read My Quotes and one or two poems which tackle the subjects.
    I wish you all the very Best in the Path which only Love shall bring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thank you for your kind wishes, and yes, although I’ve done many crazy things in parts of my life, I’ve always returned to the Yoga path. My first teacher and now my current mentor were students of the great Satyananda Saraswati, himself a student of the great Sivananda of Rishikesh, your namesake!!
      I do feel very privileged to be on this path. More than I can say.
      It wasn’t Anandamayi Ma that I met (that would make me very old indeed!!) though I believe Satyananda met her while he was a young man. I saw her face a few years back in a picture and I was completely blown away by it and experienced great happiness for the rest of that day! What a saint she was, that she can still have that effect through a picture. No the Bai I met … her face in my memory of that incident in my life is like that of Anandamayi Ma.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Indeed Meenakshi, a beautiful book. I guess you would say that Yogananda was a Bhakti yogi, very devotional, and because I’m not so much, I found it beautiful and inspiring. I refer you to my reply to Shiva, above, re my teachers. I say I’m not a bhakti yogi but these days I love to sing Kirtan, so maybe I discover a devotional side to myself!!
      Nice to have made contact with you, well met!

      Liked by 1 person

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