Daaji left for his usual walk in the rainforest surrounding his house at 6 a.m. The walk is interspersed by short halts, not only for attending to the plants on the way but also for picking up dried leaves that have fallen on the pathway.
Back home from the walk, he was delighted to receive a gift of plants from Santosh Khanjee, who had just arrived from the USA. With child-like joy and enthusiasm, Daaji added them to his collection of plants in Kanha.
At 1.15 p.m., he met Dolly Nicolai and a few other members of the wellness team in his office. Dolly updated Daaji on some initiatives and programs planned by the Yoga team. She informed him about the Saturday Retreat offered twice a month to interested participants by the Yoga team, which encourages people to visit Kanha and savor the offerings and benefits of Yoga and the Wellness Center. These events are therapeutically planned to address health conditions related to blood pressure and diabetes.
Daaji suggested planning this retreat for every Saturday and also including similar programs for thyroid and pregnancy. He also asked for a calendar to be put in place, indicating the time and venue of all the Yoga programs in Kanha, so that visitors become aware of and utilize the opportunity during their stay in the ashram.
He then suggested combining the wellness and Yoga offerings of Heartfulness since the programs are complementary to each other.
In reply to an e-mail, Daaji clarified why, in Heartfulness, we begin with the last three steps of Ashtanga Yoga instead of Yama and Niyama.
The Heartfulness Twist to Ashtanga Yoga
No-thingness does not mean the absence of mind, intellect, ego, consciousness, and physical existence. The ultimate achievement does not deny their presence. The ultimate blossoming only shows us the beauty of all that is, since there is a great shift in the understanding of the body, mind, intellect, ego, and consciousness. They are the vehicles that become finely tuned with the inner being we call the soul.
Meditation is the pathway to ultimate nothingness. Meditation helps us refine the mind, intellect, ego, and ultimately consciousness. A person with refined subtle bodies cannot harm themselves or others by any means. Right and wrong, good and bad are easily discernible by such a mind. With sharpened Viveka (discriminative intelligence), a developed mind becomes the perfect vehicle.
Having begun the eight-fold path of Ashtanga Yoga with Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi, we are able to appreciate Yama and Niyama. Whereas if we begin with Yama, it is like putting the cart before the horse.