The Pathless Path

Erin Yamuna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truly there is no single way,
No logical steps,
No laid out stones to show me where to go

Surely there is only eternity
Stretching out before me,
Leading me home

Nothing ever has been,
Can be,
Ever will be
For sure 
Except the will of God

And I am completely at the mercy of Her plan for me,
And this is a great blessing
Because only She knows the best way for me to go,
The best friends & family with whom to journey,
The best situations to help me grow,
And the best fulfillment of destiny for me this lifetime

In the end, it’s only Her,
And in the beginning and the middle, too,
So how very, very blessed we are to be on this journey,
To travel this road,
To walk this pathless path

How incredibly lucky I am
To have this opportunity
To exist in this body
On this planet
In this moment in time

How wildly grateful I can feel
When the tears dry from my face
And the doubts subside
Long enough for me to see the magnificent blessing
That is this life
And all that this embodies
And how it expands
From here until forever always

My heart is breaking
Again and again
All day long
Tears flowing
For so many reasons

And somehow I am learning
By the grace of God
To simply allow this life to live me,
To trust that God is in control

God knows best
And I can relax and let the flow flow

Nothing can go wrong
Because it’s all divinity,
And only perfection can exist,
Even though I may perceive otherwise

How can I grow strong enough in my faith
To be able to say “THANK YOU” for everything?

How can I surrender my life to GOD?

To the Most High,
To the Supreme Friend,
The Source of All,
The Knower of All,
Who knows me completely
And also cares for me completely,
Watching over me in every moment
And loving me perfectly,
As only God can love me.

Step by step,
Footprints in the sand,
Praying,
My attention on God always,
I move forward with great reverence
On this pathless path.

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The Hero’s Journey

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“The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which the radiance shows brightly. What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There’s always the possibility of a fiasco. But there’s also the possibility of bliss.”

~ Joseph Campbell

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Medicine Songs in India

The other day I gifted my friend Raj here in Vrindavan with a Medicine Song healing session.  It brought SO much JOY to my heart to be able to do my WORK here in India!!!

Erin Healing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our session, the adorable little Russian baby who lives with Raj came over to say hello and enjoy the blissful vibrations.

So sweet!!!!!!!  So blessed!!!!!!!!

Erin Healing Baby

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From the Beginning…

This journey began with an intention to spend time with Amma at her ashram in Kerala.

Amritapuri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In early December, my friend Daniel (with whom I am traveling) and I received news that Amma had requested that as many as her devotees as possible be at her ashram as we moved into 2013.  We both knew in our hearts that we were being called and bought our plane tickets as soon as we could.  A few days later, we found out that Amma’s North India tour was scheduled to leave the day after we arrived at the ashram. So it became clear that actually we were going to India to go on tour with Amma, which I admitted to myself with a bit of hesitancy because the tours are well known to be INCREDIBLY challenging on ALL levels.  I remember reading one of Amma’s biographies, “Amma: Healing the Heart of the World” by Judith Cornell in which the author describes the tour and how everyone was getting sick and how intense it was and just the extreme austerity and massive karmic burn of the whole thing.

THEN we found out that Amma had combined her North and South India tours into one, and so it was looking like we’d be on tour with her for seven weeks.

I informed loved ones, had a bon voyage party in Fairfield, traveled to Arizona to see my dad, and traveled to Wisconsin to see my mom, brother, aunt, uncle, and cousins.  I raised funds to pay for my passport, visa, and plane tickets.  It was an amazing and miraculous time…truly, all the wind in the Universe was at my back, and I was in complete awe and amazement at what was happening…by the Divine Mother’s grace, I going to INDIA!!!

We began our pilgrimage with an epic two day journey.  We left Fairfield at 3:30 am on December 29th.  Our friend David drove us from Fairfield to the airport in Moline, Illinois…then we flew to JFK in New York City where we waited nine hours for our next flight to Saudi Arabia…in Saudi Arabia we had two layovers, one was eight hours long and one was just one hour long.  THEN we flew to Cochin, India, and took a 3 1/2 hour cab ride from the airport to Amritapuri, Amma’s ashram in Kollom, Kerala.

We arrived there on New Years Eve at 5 pm and had just enough time to drop our bags at our friend Anaghan’s flat and then head to the main hall…we walked in just as Amma did…amazing, divine timing.

That evening, we were so blessed to receive darshan (hugs) from Amma…only the people who had arrived that day received darshan, so we were really lucky because there were thousands of people there and just a few were able to hug her that evening…and after she hugged me I asked her, “Mother, tour?”  “Okay!” she responded with a huge joyful smile, head wobbling (which I had never seen her do because I had never seen her in INDIA before!)  I then walked over to where my friend Anaghan was standing and told him what Mother had said, and that now I just had to figure out how I was going to pay for it because I had just found out that afternoon that we had to pay for the tour in cash.  His friend Danny who was standing next to him said, “You can pay with a US check!”  So just like that, the deal was sealed.  I was going on tour.

The next day we ran around the ashram a million miles an hour all day collecting everything we needed for the tour.  Her devotees are to wear only white when on tour, so we stocked up on white attire, mosquito nets, toilet paper, and a million other little things that we would need.  That night we left at 3:30 am.

Erin and Daniel Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We headed to our first stop, Bangalore, where we slept for a few hours in one of Amma’s schools and then continued to our first destination, Pune, where Amma held two full days of public programs.  We spent about 35 hours or more in the buses those two days, so already by the time we arrived we were already pretty exhausted.

And that’s how the tour unfolded….packing and unpacking over and over…spending countless hours in the buses…stopping every so often so people could eat, use the restroom, etc…travelling in a HUGE caravan with about 700 people in all that consisted of 11 buses, a couple of trucks filled with Amma’s ayurvedic products, an ambulance from Amma’s hospital, and Amma’s camper.  Below is a photo of me on the bus.

Erin Bus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were some incredibly beautiful moments, like when we stopped alongside the Bhavani River and Amma gave a discourse and we all sang bhajans together.

Amma Bhavani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And another amazing moment on the tour was when we stopped for lunch one day and Amma fed us all.  Each plate of food was passed through her hands before being passed to us as sacred prasad.  How incredibly BLESSED we were to be fed by the Divine Mother herself!

Amma Feeding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The roads are SO bumpy here in India, and many times we would only be able to go 35 miles an hour or so…and we had to stop quite often to keep all of the vehicles together.  At night we would sleep on the floor in the classrooms of some of Amma’s schools.  One night I looked around and estimated that there were probably about 200 women sleeping in this one large room!

We attended two full program days in Pune and two full program days in Mumbai and the entire experience was austere beyond austere.  So without going into any more details, I will just say that in the process of travelling over 2,000 miles in this way, Daniel and I both became ill.

By the time we got to Delhi, neither of us were feeling well enough to continue on the tour, so we stayed for a week at the amazing Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital to rest and heal.  Nature made it exceedingly clear that this was what we were to do.  I first visited the hospital on Maharishi’s birthday (photo below of Ram, Julia, Veda, and me).

Erin Ram Julia Veda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend Ram invited me to the birthday celebration there.  (Maharishi was his great uncle.)  He sent a car for me and when I saw the words “Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital” a huge flood of relief and gratitude flooded over me as I thought, “Oh thank GOD, they’re taking me to the HOSPITAL!”

The next day I again returned to the hospital (which I would describe more as an Ayurvedic clinic than a hospital) to receive some Ayurvedic treatments, hoping that I would be able to rejuvenate myself enough to continue on the tour…the next tour stop was Calcutta and I fully intended to be ready to go by the time the buses were to leave the following day.

The next day came and I was upstairs in the computer room checking my Facebook when I received a Facebook chat message from David, a friend in Fairfield.  He told me that Daniel was very sick, and wondered if I knew.  He continued, letting me know that Daniel was at the Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital!  I responded, in absolute AMAZEMENT, “I am at  the Maharishi Ayurveda Hospital!!!”  If not for this, I would not have known that he was there!  I immediately went down to the desk and asked for Daniel’s room number.  I knocked on his door, announcing myself… “Erin!!!”  He opened the door in absolute amazement.  I didn’t have a cell phone at this point, so he was really concerned that he had left for the hospital without being able to tell me that he was leaving.  But Nature had organized it PERFECTLY, and there we both were.

We realized that we both needed to stay in Delhi and rest and heal.  So that evening we gathered our belongings from the school we had been staying at with the others on the tour, and informed the man in charge of the tour that we were staying in Delhi and that we may or may not be returning to the tour.

That night we enjoyed an amazing dinner at Ram’s house and were so blessed to meet his beautiful family.

Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After dinner, in the sitting room, Ram invited a few people (including me) to sing for everyone.  And just then, someone went upstairs to bring Maharishi’s 103-year-old brother down to the sitting room to enjoy the music.  So I got to sing for the entire family, including Maharishi’s brother!  He is in the middle in the photo below.  Ram is on the right.

MMY's Uncle

Erin Singing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then spent a week enjoying DELICIOUS food, wonderful accomodations, and amazing company.  We were delighted to discover that our friends Veda and Julia were ALSO there, so we got to spend some time with them, and also with the Lucas Family who we met and came to love during our stay there.

I was so, so grateful to eat such delicious food (including an abundance of incredible fresh fruit) and have fresh coconut water delivered to my room each morning.  I was also so grateful for the amazing staff who took EXCELLENT care of us, laundry services, hot showers, and some of the best Ayurvedic doctors in the world reading my pulse every day and teaching me about Ayurveda.  The entire experience was just SUCH an incredible blessing.

fruit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a week in Delhi, I was feeling much, much better, and it was time to continue on with the journey.  Daniel, Julia, and I decided to travel together to Vrindavan, the childhood home of Lord Krishna, kirtan, and bhakti yoga.  It’s been a wonderful experience visiting many sacred sites in this area…especially the Maha Samadhi Murthi of Neem Karoli Baba.  And it has also been wonderful soaking in the gorgeous devotional music in the Sri Sri Krishna Balarama Temple here.

Krishna Kirtan

ISKCON

erin pillman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During my time here in Vrindavan I have learned SO MUCH about the true meaning of bhakti (love, devotion, and surrender to God) and have experienced so much incredible sacred music that accompanies this bhakti here in Vrindavan. Next we will head to the Maha Maha Kumbha Mela in Allahabad, and after the Mela, much is still waiting to be discovered.

It is not yet clear to me how long I will stay here in India, but I know that I will continue to be divinely guided every step of the way. And as this pilgrimage continues, my intentions are strong and clear. I am here to purify my heart so that I may be a clear and present channel of God’s grace. In this way, by God’s grace, the music and abundance that I am here to share will be able to flow through me in their purity, blessing the world with Love in many forms.

This pilgrimage has continues to be so full of miracles and blessings, some blissful and some quite challenging.  And for all of this I say THANK YOU.  This journey has been so mind-blowingly transformational on so many levels, way, way, WAY beyond my comprehension.

And thus, it continues…

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Maha Maha Kumbha Mela

Our flight to the Kumbha Mela is officially BOOKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s going to be WILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We fly there in the morning on February 8th and will be at the Maha Maha Kumbha Mela (held only once every 144 years!) for over a week…over 100 million people are expected to attend this year…please pray for me!!!  😉  We’ll be bathing in the Ganges on February 10th, the most auspicious bathing day, and also on February 12th, which is the Saraswati bathing day.

I feel SO BLESSED ~ a HUGE thank you to everyone who is helping to make this possible for me ~ I am SO grateful ~ sending so much love from my heart to yours, and infinite blessings to you from Mother India!!!!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

Here are some images of this year’s Mela:

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colorful kumbhImage

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Anandamayi Ma

anandamayi ma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since I can remember, I have experienced a huge spectrum of very intense emotions.  And many times throughout my life these emotions felt like more than I could bear.  They have lead me on many journeys…oftentimes into deep, dark sorrow…sometimes into incredibly joy and ecstasy…and everywhere in between.

During my journey here in India, I have experienced many intense emotions, including a lot of deep sadness, and this has brought me back something that I have often wondered about.  When I am experiencing this deep sadness, am I purifiying myself by releasing OLD emotions, or am I creating NEW sorrows in these situations?  In other words, is the situation being created for me so that I can experience a certain emotion in order to RELASE that emotion from my system, or is the situation creating NEW emotions that I will have to release at a later time?

And if it’s true that the old emotions are coming up to be released, does that mean that there is a finite amount of old stored emotions, and are they stored in my body somewhere?  And is depression simply extreme sadness, or is there more to it?  Do the same rules apply to depression as they do to sadness, or does depression have a more significant physiological aspect to it?  Maybe depression really is a disease, and therefore not to be treated the same way as actual emotions?  A lot of unknowns here to grapple with.

I first started thinking about some of this when I moved to Fairfield in 2008 where I learned TM and first heard the term “unstressing” which is used to describe this.  After learning TM, I was crying and crying SO much, and everyone kept telling me that I was “unstressing.”  At first I was very skeptical because I could point to very “real” things that were bothering me to explain why I was feeling upset.  But as I spoke with more and more people who had been meditating for some time, everyone seemed to have the same explanation for the extreme emotional reaction that I was having.  I had recently learned to meditate, and I was “unstressing.”

I asked Daniel what he thought about all of this, and he said that he thinks that we are always on a path of continuous purification, and the purification constantly wantsto happen.  So when we are upset, we have the choice to either resist it, and thereby create more stress, or to allow the purification to happen.

Later that day, this gorgeous passage from Radhanath Swami’s book “The Journey Home” spoke to me so specifically about all of this.  Especially the part where she says, “By sorrow does the Lord dispel sorrow and by adversity does he destroy adversity. When this is done he sends no more suffering, no more adversity. This must be remembered at all times.”

I hope you will enjoy the following passage from “The Journey Home.”  And if you love it, you might love reading the rest of the book as well.  I read it on my way to India and it’s become one of my favorite books.

Radhanath Swami was told that Anandamayi Ma, who was the guru of Prime Minister Indira Ghandi, was born in an obscure village in East Bengal at the dusk of the nineteenth century. From childhood she was indifferent to the trappings of the world and at times she bewildered her family by her spiritual trances. As her followers spoke to Radhanath Swami about her ecstasies, miracles, and compassion, Radhanath Swami became more enthralled than ever. Just then, everyone rose to their feet as a petite lady appeared in the assembly wearing a simple white sari. Greeting them with folded palms, her eyes glistened with joy and she sat on a chair. Thin and frail, she nonetheless emanated an unearthly power. Although the lines of time were drawn upon her wrinkled face, it shone like a playful child’s. She appeared wise and sober, like a universal mother, and yet she also radiated the exuberance of an innocent little girl. Although her demeanor was as soft as the flower she held in her hand, one could feel that she possessed an indomitable willpower.

 Smiling upon them, she led everyone in chanting God’s names, all the while clapping her hands. Then, after several moments of silence, she spoke words of love, wisdom, and selflessness. “Love is everlasting forgiveness,” she began. “Wisdom is to see everything in relation to the whole. If you understand that everything belongs to Him, you will be free of all burdens.” Gracefully touching her hand to her heart, she closed her eyes. “All sorrow comes from the sense of I and Mine. All sorrow is due to one’s keeping apart from God. When you are with Him all pain disappears. By sorrow does the Lord dispel sorrow and by adversity does he destroy adversity. When this is done he sends no more suffering, no more adversity. This must be remembered at all times.” Radhanath Swami’s heart was deeply moved by the affectionate exchange between the Mother and her children. A breeze rustled the leaves of the surrounding trees. Looking up, Anandamayi Ma paused from speaking and gazed on a chirping sparrow. With glances and smiles, everyone relished her tender mood. “The world oscillates endlessly between pleasure and pain,” she continued. “There can be no security, no stability here. These are to be found in God alone. Suffering is sent to remind us to turn our thoughts toward God, who will give us solace. Whenever you possibly can, sustain the flow of the sacred Name. To repeat His Name is to be in His presence. If you associate with the Supreme Friend, He will reveal His true Being to you.” Her gentle glance awakened faith and hope, and her simple, unassuming nature brought peace to Radhanath Swami’s heart. Although she considered herself no more than a child, everyone present accepted her as Mother. In the time Radhanath Swami spent with her, He saw renounced sadhus, yogis, and swamis, who typically keep a distance from women, sit at her feet seeking her blessings.

And you can click here to watch a GORGEOUS video of Anandamayi Ma (surely one of the most grace-filled beings ever to bless our planet with her divine presence) set to Snatam Kaur’s song “Long Time Sun.”

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Vrindavan

Currently I am discerning what to do next.  I’ll be in Vrindavan for at least another week, and after that the Universe is wide open and ripe with infinite possibilities!  On February 6th Daniel leaves Vrindavan to travel to Delhi to meet his friend David and they are flying to the Kumbha Mela together.  I’m invited to fly with them, but the plane ticket is around $200, which seems like a lot, and plus I haven’t yet managed to arrange a place to stay once I get there, so I’m hesitant to book the flight.  They will probably book soon, so surely the clarity will come at the perfect moment. 

In other news, I bought a voice recorder!  I left both of mine at home for whatever reason, and a few days ago I realized how much I wanted to be able to record these songs that are continually flowing to and through me.  And also some of the amazing bhajans that I am hearing all around me.  It was quite a miracle that I was able to find one in the bazaar here in this little village.  Lately I have been singing a lotand recording some of it, which feels REALLY good.  The realization is ever deepening MUSIC is SUCH a huge part of my dharma, so everything that I do is in service to my music.  And I am learning more and more every day about how to truly make music my top priority. 

I have also REALLY been enjoying spending more time alone lately.  Especially walking around, just letting intuition lead me and letting Nature organize beautiful, magical adventures for me, and angels everywhere I go.  And I love to sing as I walk.  I am remembering how much I love, love, love traveling alone which causes me to interface more with my surroundings which creates such a different experience (so much magic!!!) than when there is always a buffer of familiar friends around me.  Of course I LOVE traveling with Daniel as well, and so I’m enjoying both a lot right now.  Daniel and I will probably part ways though sometime in the new two or three weeks.  For sure by February 22nd when he flies to Hyderabad for Panchikarma.  Although I am totally unsure of what the rest of my journey here in India will look like, I am SO excited because I know that it’s all going to be amazing. 

And the idea of going off on my own feels okay because I finally feel pretty acclimated/integrated here in India, which is a HUGE relief.  It took awhile to get used to the million big and little things here that are so different from what I am used to.  I’m even used to walking on the left side of the street now, which was SO uncomfortable for me at first because they DRIVE on the left side of the street, so there is a continual stream of traffic whizzing right by as I walk, horns blaring, just barely missing me sometimes!  But they really are amazingly skilled drivers here.  Somehow all the chaos here works.  It’s quite astounding.  I remember hearing a story of someone who said that visiting India made him believe in God because there’s just no logical way to understand how this country functions.  So he decided that there must be a God organizing all of this, pulling the strings from above and making it all work.

And I am REALLY enjoying Vrindavan right now and meeting some AMAZING people.  Today I had lunch with Daniel, Julia, Rob Cox, and Vaiyasaki Das and his wife Kishori Devi Dasi.  Rob Cox is an incredible, kind, wonderful man who wrote the Veda Lila and spent A LOT of time with Maharishi.  He’s teaching me so much about bhakti and so much more…I’m a happy sponge soaking up so, SO much.  And Vaiyasaki Das is basically (from my perspective, anyway!) the godfather/grandfather of kirtan in the West, and Kishori is such a sweet, gorgeous angel, so full of love and bliss…I just met her and already adore her.

Erin with Vaiyasaki Das and Everyone (1-26-13)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After that I walked over to the Neem Karoli Baba ashram to sit with his divine presence and love at his maha samadhi murthi and also near the bed where he used to sit with his devotees.  He has been blessing me A LOT.  I had an INCREDIBLE vision the other night while I was sitting beside the bed, imagining what it would have been like to sit in his presence while he was still in his physical form.  It’s amazing how many beings are continually blessing me and supporting me on my path in every moment.  It’s truly incomprehensible!

After that I met up with Daniel and we had the most AMAZING satsang sitting in the grass at the beautiful MVT ashram here…every day in Vrindavan feels like springtime, and the weather today was absolutely perfect today, so it was the perfect evening to sit outside.  We talked about so many things and I am just SO grateful for Daniel’s incredible wisdom and unbelievably supportive friendship.  He is a gem among gems, and I am beyond blessed to be on this journey with him. 

I told him about my dream last night where I was walking along and suddenly I accidentally bumped into Amma.  I hadn’t even realized that she was there!  She told Security to have me leave.  Daniel said any dream in which the guru comes to us is a blessing, and I feel the truth of this.  It was like she was telling me that it was SHE who decided that it was time for me to leave the tour so I can stop regretting my decision (which I have been to some extent…just a bit of heaviness in my heart because I love her SO much and have been missing being near her…wondering if maybe I made a mistake by leaving the tour) because actually it wasn’t even my decision it was HERS.  She’s always orchestrating this big divine play; it’s so clear.

Then I had a gorgeous confirmation of the whole thing when a leaf fell from the tree and landed just a few inches in front of me, right between Daniel and me.  It landed right after JUST after I said that I really AM always doing my best.  “That’s what we do!” I said, feeling compassion for human beings everywhere.  And then the leaf fell.  Wow.

erin leaf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So life is GOOD here in the land of Krishna, Kirtan, and Bhakti.  I am learning a LOT and really feeling the LOVE.  Love is the most powerful force in the Universe.  Amma said that in her discourse in Mumbai, and I am really feeling the TRUTH of this.  At the end of the day all these details and all this knowledge is transcended by devotion, by LOVE.  It’s so powerful.  It’s like the ultimate trump card.  I am so, so grateful, and looking forward to more and more and MORE!!!

Infinite love and blessings to you, from my heart to yours.


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