Gauri was a name given to me at the tender age of 11 years old by Swami Shankaranda, a teacher of meditation, Self-inquiry and Kashmir Shaivism. I began attending Satsung at the Shiva School of Meditation on Saturday evenings when I was in primary school. Being so young I didn’t understand the profundity of the kind of information I was learning and what the environment actually gave to me. But I knew that I always left feeling content, positive and warm.
As I got older I began to grow a greater appreciation and understanding for the knowledge I was learning and only recently have begun attending more frequently again.
I believe joining from a young age transformed me into a more aware human being. This was unconscious initially, however, as I grew older I was reminded of ways in how to stay centered and calm throughout whatever challenges life threw at me. I don’t think anyone is able to hold this state permanently at all times, as feeling emotions is a natural part of our configuration. However, these teachings and meditations taught me the importance of inner peace, checking in deeply on my emotions and feelings, and gave me the strength to know whatever happens in life there is always a way to get through it.
Gauri directly means white and pure in Hindu. Gauri was also another name for the wife of Shiva.
Self-Inquiry is taught by Guruji (Swamiji), and it is something I have responded to greatly. My mother began teaching me when I was quite little. Basically it states that blocked energy is the result of our reactions. If we are able to move through this blocked energy and release it, we will respond better to situations life throws at us.
I have found this extreamly beneficial when I am finding that I am acting on my emotions when faced with a difficult circumstances. This could be to do with relationships, work or self doubt, etc.
It begins with checking in deeply to your chakras. I usually just examin my four main chakras; navel, heart, throat and third eye. Analyze where you feel the tension sitting. Which has the greatest contraction? Each chakra exhibits an area of your life. (Eg, Navel - action & will, career drive; Heart - Love, feeling, emotion, relationship and family; Throat - Communication and expression; Third eye - Inspiration into life issues, wisdom and intuition.)
Once you have found where the emotion lies deepest, you begin the self-inquiry with A & B statements. Accurate (A) statement is a statement of your present thought and feeling, not on the story, but on how you feel. Some statements may feel true, others may not. Say them anyway. If you notice a sense of relief after a certain statement you have probably hit the nail on the head. You may then move onto Beneficial (B) Statements. These are statements to uplift yourself, such as ‘I am okay,’ ‘I have the strength to deal with this,’ or ‘I am in touch with the Awakened Self.’
I highly recommended Swami Shankarananda’s book ‘Happy for no Good Reason.’
Swami Shankarananda taught at the Shiva School of Meditiation and Yoga in Melbourne, Australia, which closed down early 2015.