My name is Shardamata or Elizabeth. I am originally from Canada. I started to practice Kriyayoga meditation in Canada 2 years ago in September 2004. At that point I had had Fibromyalgia for over 15 years and had been unable to work for over 5 years due to debilitating pain and fatigue. A Disability Assessment Centre had certified me as totally disabled in regards to all forms of employment. I had difficulty walking, sitting and standing, memory and concentration problems, a herniated disc, degenerative disc disease, carpal tunnel syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome. I had severe headaches most days and almost constant back, neck, shoulder, hip and leg pain. Doctors told me my condition would not improve and I needed to learn to accept it and to work with them to find medications that may alleviate the symptoms to some extent. But nothing helped very much or for very long and I was reluctant to take medications due to the short and long term side effects. I tried many other forms of treatment. Some alleviated the pain to some extent but only for a few hours. None changed the underlying condition and the treatments had to be repeated again and again at considerable expense.
I believed that my body would heal itself as it always had in the past if only I could find the key. I believed that everything that happened in my life happened for my higher good so that I could learn from it and change and grow spiritually. But I was feeling defeated by the unrelenting nature of this illness. I just couldn’t get past the constant pain and fatigue, the lack of energy, the inability to function. I felt hopeless.
Then I saw a flyer advertising Kriyayoga meditation classes. I felt immediately drawn to it because it was a spiritual practice that promised to give unshakeable faith in Truth, boundless peace, patience and willpower, to cure all disease process of the body and mind and to accelerate the process of attaining God-Consciousness. I decided to try it and to give it my all.
For the first 2 weeks, I attended 2 classes each day in and near Toronto, the city I lived in. For the next 6 weeks, I attended a Residential Healing Retreat at the North American centre in Kitchener, Ontario.
At first, I had to lie down for the entire class and could only do many of the steps to a very limited extent. But from the first moments of the first class, I felt a great sense of peace .On the 3rd day of classes, I took pain medication for a severe headache for the last time. Since then I have used Kriyayoga meditation to try to accept all conditions of the body and mind and have not taken any medications. By the 5th day, I was able to sit for a few minutes during each class. I also had more energy and was able to walk a bit further each day. By the 10th day, I had the confidence and alertness needed to drive on a very busy stretch of highway to get to class. I was sitting and participating more in class, pushing myself to the limit. By the end of the 3rd week, I was taking a short walk each day without the aid of the cart I had needed previously for support while walking. I was helping with kitchen work for a couple of hours each day and resting less each day. By the start of the 6th week, I was running the kitchen at the Healing Retreat. I was up at 4 am each day to start the food preparation.
At 6 am I attended the first class of the day. The rest of the day was equally busy… finishing the meal preparation with the help of others, going for a walk, driving those without vehicles to a bank, a phone or a store or wherever else they needed to go, shopping for food, preparing food for the evening meal, attending 3 or 4 more meditation sessions throughout the day and the evening and helping new participants to settle in.
At the end of my 8th week of practice, I returned home. I no longer had chronic fatigue. I had energy. I was stronger. I had somewhat less pain and was able to tolerate the pain far better than before. I was no longer depressed. I was excited about the future and was happier and more at peace than I had been in many years.
I had decided during the Healing Retreat to go to the Kriyayoga Institute in India to continue my meditation practice in the supportive atmosphere of the ashram under the guidance of Swami Shree Yogi Satyam and his team of Kriyayoga teachers and devotees. I went with the blessings of my family and my doctors who were all very pleased and amazed at the improvements in my condition over the past 8 weeks.
I knew that in addition to wanting to heal my body further, I wanted to advance spiritually as far as I could in this lifetime and to do that I needed to dedicate my life to deepening my practice of Kriyayoga and to live under the divine guidance of a self-realized master. I also wanted to spend my life helping Guruji in his mission to spread the knowledge and practice of Kriyayoga to the villagers of India and then to the rest of the world. I left for India two weeks after the Healing Retreat ended and I have been living and practicing since then here at the Kriyayoga Mother Centre.
I no longer have any symptoms of Fibromyalgia. Chronic pain, chronic fatigue, chronic headaches, chronic sleep problems, difficulty sitting, standing and walking, muscle weakness and depression are all gone. I have also lost about 80 pounds of weight even though I eat much more than I used to.
I have met many wonderful people in India at the ashram, in Jhunsi, in the city of Allahabad and in the villages and cities where we have held Kriyayoga meditation programs. I appreciate the openness, the kindness and generosity of everyone whom I have met here. India is now my home.
I am happy with life. I feel at peace. I formally joined Guruji’s mission over a year ago as a renunciant monk. I know that I will be practicing Kriyayoga meditation for the rest of my life and that this life will be more exciting and challenging than anything else could ever be. I feel blessed to have found Swami Shree Yogi Satyam, Gyanmataji and Shantimataji and all the rest of their team, my new family of Kriyayoga teachers, renunciant monks and devotees. I can no longer conceive of a life without the daily practice of Kriyayoga meditation and without the loving support of Guruji and my new family of Kriyayoga practitioners.
I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to tell you of my experience of Kriyayoga meditation and to thank all of you whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know for your kindness and your hospitality especially those whose homes I have had the pleasure of visiting and staying in.
I encourage each and every one of you to learn and to practice Kriyayoga meditation. It will change your life and the lives of your family, your friends, your community. Eventually our practice of this great and ancient Indian Spiritual science will change all of India and the rest of the world. I bow to God, to the Gurus and to all of you. Pranaam