By Swami Dr Snehananda Jyoti on 07-01-2016
Our life needs to be simple, intense, and intentional that is lived very close to nature. When my wife and I wound up our handsome jobs in the USA, and came to spend most of the time in our life’s last stage – setting zone – in India, we felt we had a special inner call. I was born and brought up in India; she was born and brought up in the USA. This fact ideally suited our cherished goal of East-West Awakening, that integrates the very best from the East and the West. We always lived a simple life in the USA. Because we believe a simple life is the only one worth living. We currently live an intense life in the midst of persons coming from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and religions. Our purpose is to live an intense life in all its diversity as world citizens, while affirming each person that comes to our life as one is, and witnessing to the unity of humanity. We are grateful to the animals that enhance our life, especially our cows that give us wholesome milk, cooking gas, and fertilizer, and our dog, Tantran, with full of love, that alerts us to everything in the surroundings with his short and benign barks.
With regard to food, we have a vegetarian diet in the ashram though we make very limited accommodation for an inmate in the ashram who has difficulty. On the whole, we believe the vegetarian life is the way to go. We consider milk and eggs to be part of a vegetarian diet. The spirit of the ashram does not allow imposition of any view or ideology on anyone. I spend most of my time meditating, reading, reflecting, landscaping, gardening, or meeting with persons who come to see me. The atmosphere in and around the ashram is one that helps persons foster the kind of growth and development so they can become what they are capable of. On Wednesdays, I spend my time in silence and solitude in learning and experimenting on how to get closer and closer to the higher source of energy (God) and humanity, and what to write for the Thursday article for Indian Thoughts. Often I do not have a clue on what I am going to write. So I go to bed around 9 p. m., and spontaneously get up around 1 a. m. on Thursday and write on I think I need to write on hoping it will be beneficial for my readers. If I am satisfied with what I write, I think there is a greater chance for the readers to appreciate it. I am aware many of my well-wishers think that I am wasting my time and talents spending an enormous amount of time working on the land. They think that I take too seriously my vocation of being a bhoomiputran (son of earth). Little do they know that this endeavor of mine not only keeps my feet firmly planted in the earth with the overwhelming majority of persons who are farmers in the world but also affords me the opportunity to learn from nature that currently for me is the best better teacher in the universe.
So where are we? We are wherever we are. Because where we are is the very destination of the many thousands of miles of journey our life of pilgrimage consists of. For me it even not only figuratively but practically coincided as I began my journey from Kerala long ago and came back to Kerala, certainly one of the most beautiful landscapes of the world. And the only thing worthwhile doing is to spend every moment of our life in the way we think best not the way others think how we should impress this world whose attention span for even the greatest celebrity is very short-lived. So shall we store up our treasures, where certainly our hearts are, in a place where “neither moth and woodworms destroy them nor thieves can break in and steal”?
About The Author
Dr. John K Thekkedam (Swami Snehananda Jyoti) spent most of his life as a clinical psychologist in USA. He began his public life as a Jesuit priest. Quite attracted in distinct philosophies, he left the society and founded 'East West Awakening'.