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Saturday, February 20,p. I started the year off thinking I had cleverly tricked myself into writing on a regular schedule because I convinced Catapult to give me a column. For the first column installmentI wrote about the meaning of keeping a headache diary. In the secondI wrote about my uneasy relationship with a body in constant pain and learning a meditation called the body scan. In the thirdI wrote about weathering chronic pain in the pandemic without the one thing that consistently helps me, swimming. I think about the aunties often.


Gurus make me nervous. For many of us, instead of being leaders who can take us from darkness into light, they have become synonymous with corruption. Gurus like Bikram, Sogyal Rinpoche, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Osho and Pattabhi Jois, are just a few recent examples of absolute power corrupting absolutely, even if you are enlightened. But, Sadhguru, who is a motorbike-riding, Akubra-wearing, sunglass-sporting year-old dude, has not only grabbed the attention of 5.

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I was intrigued. What is it about this guru that has made him so revered in the West and what does he have to say about karma, an Eastern concept that has captured the imagination of Westerners so fully that is has become part of our lexicon?

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Dr Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, adds that surpassing the limits of ordinary human experience through transcendence requires a teacher. I was instantly relieved. The humility of it made me excuse moments where the book goes beyond the limitations of my ordinary Western brain, like when he writes about sitting in a cave and perceiving the energy of a dead monk whose left leg was amputated nineteen hundred years earlier. So, I suspended my disbelief and listened as he explained that karma is often misunderstood, especially in the Western world.

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From the moment we are born till this moment, he explains, all that we have seen, all that we have heard, every thought or emotion we have experienced and action we have performed or not performed — inaction matters too — has a consequence on the person that we have become.

The person that we are is also the result of our connection to one another, to the world around us and to our history as humans. You might have forgotten what your great, great, great grandmother looked like but her nose might be sitting on your face. Your body remembers. From the perspective of karma, this means that the outcomes in our lives are the consequence of our own behaviours, the behaviours of those around us and of those who have come before us.

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Despite this, we can learn to control one ificant aspect of our karma from this point onwards. So this is the karma. His book aims to help us mortals choose a more joyful inner landscape regardless of our circumstance.

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It happens on global levels and it happens on personal levels. I think the West has adopted a of constructs from other cultures which are now part of Western dialogue. The term guru is another one of these — somebody is a fashion guru, a beauty guru or a guru of the stockmarket.

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The Indian term originally referred to someone who is a spiritual teacher or a master, but Khalsa points out anyone can call themselves a guru. An action taken 24 years ago however has had lasting karmic consequences, complicating the reputation of this guru too. InSadhguru was accused by his father-in-law of murdering his year-old wife Vijaykumari, mother of his thenyear-old daughter.

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To complicate matters, Sadhguru said her death was the result of mahasamadhi during meditation. The police report, which dismissed the case, said a doctor present at the time of death noted Vijaykumari most likely died of a heart attack. Good guru, bad guru, good karma, bad karma?

It is as hard to reduce the human as it is the concepts. And this is what Sadhguru, in his book, suggests.

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I tell people: You are not studying with me. I have nothing to teach. I want you to get lost! Get lost how? Into ourselves, into the present moment, into the experience of being human because we are the only ones who can free ourselves from the karma of our past.

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Please try again later. The Sydney Morning Herald.

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By Sarah Berry May 31, — Save Log inregister or subscribe to save articles for later. Normal text size Larger text size Very large text size. Dr Khalsa, a researcher in mind-body medicine, agrees. this article. Mindfulness Yoga Wellbeing.

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