In Memory of Swami Veda Bharati

Swami Veda BharatiThis article is in memory of Swami Veda Bharati, who passed away on July 14, 2015. When I met him in 1971, he was called Dr. Arya and he was the scholar in residence at the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy under the direction of Swami Rama in the suburbs of Chicago. As someone new to the science of yoga and meditation, I was captivated by the beauty of the harmonium, the smell of incense, the art work of India, and the beautiful garments Swami Rama’s followers wore.

In one of the very first yoga talks that I heard was from Swami Veda Bharati. He talked about the importance of transitions. We all know about the importance of major transitions in our lives – birth, walking, running, the first day of school, the first graduation, (in my case, Bar Mitzvah), graduation for high school, college, (in my case, graduate school), marriage, divorce, children, grandchildren – you know the rest.

Swamiji talked about transitions like the one from sleeping to waking, eating meals, taking out the garbage – things we do everyday. His point was well taken. We must learn to celebrate our transitions and pay attention to their importance. We must be mindful of these transitions and allow them to unfold in the present moment.

If you come to the Mindfulness in Healing meditation sangha you will experience the invitation of the bell of mindfulness to signify the transition from one phase of practice to another. When you arrive at the Pine Street Clinic and take your seat, you listen to the sound of the bell which marks the transition into the invocation and a period of silent meditation. Another bell is invited at the end of the period of silent meditation and there are several other bells of mindfulness that mark the transitions into other phases of our being together.

So, as my heart weeps for this final transition of Swami Veda Bharati, I also remember with much joy all I learned from him. He was a true teacher and compassionate being. He will be missed by thousands of people all over the world.

Will you please join me in memory of Swami Veda Bharati?

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