As I wandered around the spacious campus of Isha Foundation, the first thing I was asked was to take a dip in the Kund (energised water pond) on the extreme right of the entrance. It is a place where the water is energised by mercury that will help to give relief to the bathers. I went in, draped a lungi around me and then took a dip in this energised water. With a statue of the Naga right in the middle of the pool, I did feel a difference and just melted into the experience.
I, then, swam to the left and stood under a cascade to further cleanse my body, mind and spirit. A few meters away is the mighty stone statue of Nandi, the bull, painted in black. Behind Nandi was the Dyanalinga. This is the main area reserved for people to do dyaan and meditate around a huge Shivalinga. You have the statue of Bhairavi at the other end where worshippers can offer prasad and light a diya.
Dyanalinga is a perfect place to sit silently and meditate as well as a brilliant place to go inwards. Mediate means to sit silently by just watching your thoughts and not interfering with it. No holding them back but just watching them like a silent witness. You can also do japa or chants but you just need to watch your breathe or be in shunyata, total sense of nothingness.
The whole idea is to reach this nothingness, this state of no mind and no thought, just the silent witness. When the body and the mind both collapse, only the witness remains. This moment is the real you and this is where you feel one with the whole existence. This is also called inner engineering. I tried this for a while but got a bit restless and walked away to offer prayers at the statue of Ma Bhairavi.
I, then, strolled into the dining area for my dinner which was a meal of appam and tomato rice served in the style of the Bandar like they have in the golden temple.
We all sat cross-legged as food was served on our plates. After a prayer where we all had to hum and recite ‘Om’, we started our meal. Each one had to clean their own plates and very silently, walk out.
The facilities here are excellent. The rooms are small but very well lit with an AC and bathroom. There is a cafeteria, bookshops, shops selling artefacts, soaps and clothes, and a grocery shop so that you are well-fed throughout the day. Food is vegetarian and one is advised not to smoke and consume alcohol during the stay. For a donation amount of Rs. 2550 for six nights, I think it is a steal and a great bargain.
Lots of foreigners patronise this place unlike in Baba Ramdev’s ashrams. Sadhguru is popular amongst the westerners. After all, his book “Inner Engineering – A Yogi’s Guide To Joy” is a New York Times bestseller.