This morning, July 16, 2019, I participated with over two hundred people in the consecration of a new yoga shrine at the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, PA. The Sri Vidya Shrine, as it will be called, is dedicated to Dakshinamurti, one of the major saints in the Himalayan Tradition. As you may know, the Himalayan Tradition is the foundational tradition of yoga and is the theoretical and practical ground of the Fond du Lac Center for Spirituality and Healing.
All the rituals and the prayers and participation of those present reminded me of the rituals and ceremony involved in the consecration of any new cathedral, especially a Catholic Christian cathedral.
The main difference, though, in the Himalayan Tradition a shrine is much more similar to Christian shrines like those found at Fatima, or Lourdes, or Medjugorji. These shrines have significance and power because they are alive with the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, according to Christians. People experience the presence of a great soul and powerful being of love and peace at these physical sites. They are not like other shrines, where there is no living spiritual being. Those shrines are just physical attractions and have only the power that the tourists bring to the space.
The Sri Vidya shrine likewise, according to Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, the Spiritual Head of the Himalayan Institute, has a living presence in the great saint and sage Dakshinamurti.
When I entered the sanctuary of the shrine where the concrete symbol of Dakshinamurti sat on a simple altar, I felt a distinct presence that seemed to look right at me and accept my presence. I felt encompassed with purpose and love, a deep concern for who I was and a great affirmation of my presence and life. I know this may sound strange to some of you, but it is the same sort of feeling that people have told me they get when they enter The Center for the first time.
In scientific terms, a concrete energy pattern was quite palpable in the Sanctuary of the Sri Vidya Shrine and it is quite palpable in The Center. Maybe, as a quantum physicist might say, it is just the energy field created by the mingling of the essential oil fragrances with all the meditation and love that is practiced at The Center. But the Himalayan Tradition believes that this energy field, this force, is actually an intelligent being.
Just like the Christian shrines dedicated to the living presence of the Divine Mother in the form of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Sri Vidya shrine is engulfed in the living presence of the great soul, Dakshinamurti. So too, The Center is engulfed with a living presence of all the quality souls that have passed through its doors—Buddhist monk Phra David, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Spiritual teacher Brugh Joy, Himalayan Institute teachers, Rolf Sovik, Shari Friedrichson, Sandy Anderson and Luke Ketterhagen and many less recognized saints and sages, like S. Helen Renzelman, our visiting and staff yoga teachers, and our health practitioners.
All of their intense work at seeking truth and living the holy life has made The Center, which is dedicated to the Divine Mother and her extended repertoire of angels and saints of many religious traditions, a special place, A New Shrine.
I am privileged to be part of two living shrines—the Sri Vidya Shrine at the Himalayan Institute and The Center in Fond du Lac. Come to visit our Fond du Lac shrine either by taking a class, or by being served by one of our healing practitioners, or by sitting in meditation in our dedicated Meditation Room.
Feel the love and acceptance and power of the presence of the Divine Mother here at The Center.