Taking Sannyas

December 2016 I took sannyas, which for me translates to daily living in my spirituality. My full sannyas name is Prem Nameh, which translates to 'bowing to love.' In my daily world, I choose Nameh, 'I bow to what's present.' Nameh is pronounced, Nahm-eh.

The name came due to listening to a favorite musician Snatam Kaur. Specifically her song Aad Guary Nameh (see this link to listen, at about minute 5:30 she speaks to the word Nameh).

I learned of sannyas from the Osho community. Osho talks about sannyas this way:

“The sannyas movement simply means the movement of the seekers of truth.” “...to live life in its totality, but with an absolute condition, categorical condition: and that condition is awareness, meditation.”
“The sannyas movement is not mine. It is not yours. It was here when I was not here. It will be here when I will not be here. The sannyas movement simply means the movement of the seekers of truth. They have always been here.”

To hear Osho talk about sannyas, check out the audio file titled "Osho-The Heart Sutra 10" found via this link.

The road to Path of Love

 Kim (me, left) and POL staffer Jagriti (right)

Kim (me, left) and POL staffer Jagriti (right)

Perhaps I'm a bit of a personal development workshop fiend. Over the past several years, I've felt the desire to engage in experiential group work. My most recent experience was with the Osho inspired community, Path of Love.

Going into various workshops, I set an intention or have a clarity around what I'm looking to address. For this 7+ day workshop (October 2016 Path of Love workshop in Loveland, CO) I wanted to address this alter-ego part of myself I've come to refer to as Spike.

Prior to this time in Loveland I experienced a year of incredible transition. In brief summary, I attended a week-long shadow work training, where I intentionally worked on further releasing the child sex trauma which I believe is directly connected to my sometimes lack of safety around men. Soon after my grandma, who was like a second parent, passed with me closely by her side. Attended a deeply rich grief ritual experience lead by Sobonfu Some. At my grandmother's memorial gathering, my mother entered the hospital and almost died. Put my 14 year old kitten down, ended a loving 12 year relationship and decided to move my life to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

This version of myself, Spike, shows up when I'm not addressing (or feeling I can tend to) my needs. Spike can have a growling, stern, stubborn, harsh, feisty, sometimes aggressive, inflexible, punchie, defiant, perhaps a strong masculine feel. I have been aware of how Spike hurts people, is hard to be around, in short person folks don't want to be near this version of me. Scowls often fill Spike's face as if to say, don't FUCK with me. And, in truth ALL Spike wants is to be deeply loved and heard.

Along with wanting to work with Spike, I had a strong awareness of an energetic block that was getting in the way of me living a full or big life. Meaning, I've known and felt that I want to be seen and lovingly share myself with the world perhaps in a public way. As I thought about this life direction, I could feel how there were things standing in my way. Within this Path of Love workshop, I opened and releasingly shed some pains I thought I had already dealt with. I heard how many more areas continue to want to be heard and felt.

In previous inward looking workshops, I connected to my little self. In coming to know about this emotional, vulnerable, innocent self I could hear so much more of my inner world. And along the way I came to believe that this little self, or my little girl, was a place to visit only in extreme circumstances. Almost like when alarms go off that's when to address or spend time with this part of me. I also attached to a belief that I wasn't my strongest self if I lingered with this part of me. Being with this part was similar to when I live in a victim-mentality.

Thankfully, within the Path of Love (POL) workshop this part of me was eagerly and lovingly encouraged to be seen and felt. There were spaces for her to be heard and loved. In ways it felt like this part of me has been sitting on a lonely playground desperately looking to be sat with, safely and lovingly held. During my time at POL, she had her time to be nurtured and further set free.

I honor the intentional work I've done prior to POL. Getting to this point has been in the works for some time.

So what exactly happens during the Path of Love week? If it feels like I'm being vague, that's on purpose. I'm intentionally not defining all of the experiences so that anyone reading this can have their own first-timer experience. To summarize, I came to know myself through love filled spaces where I was invited to feel all that's in me. There were times of quiet, meditative spaces, as well as explorative talking times in groups and one-on-one. Another big element I'm so grateful to have experienced is connecting to my physical body; engaging my body so helped me connect to myself. Finally, the largest gift was the return to my relationship with the Divine.

I now know that so many of my sadness stemmed from a false belief that the Divine was unavailable. Within the POL experience I heard and felt the essence of the "I will find you" scene from the movie Last of the Mohicans. In feeling back to this movie, I heard the Divine speaking to me reminding me that no matter what happens I will find you, I am with you.

Post POL, there have been a number of methods to stay connected with the facilitators and participants. The POL experience stays with me through utilizing the post-POL tools.

Here is a brief video recorded hours after leaving the loving container of the Path of Love workshop.

Below is a video testimonial of the Path of Love experience. He speaks about following that inner longing and reaching beyond our personalities.

The little seedling that could...

In all the different versions of my farming life, this current version gently feeds me far beyond my stomach. From late February to late May, I am able to have what I call a backyard art studio where I work with “my babies” – the seedlings. For me farming connects me to the magic of possibilities. It takes belief and hope to grow things. Belief and hope in ourselves and beyond.

In complete truth, farming is how I reach and dance with Spirit (God, the Divine, Creator, etc.). Spending time with the seedlings reminds me that I’m not in control. I can help facilitate growth by watering, moderating the temperature with fans and heaters, providing more food (fertilizer) when needed and gush love on the little beauties. Yet ultimately, there are so many pieces that are out of my hands. I love being reminded that I’m not in control. It actually let’s me off the hook. I can relax.

I marvel at the days when I wake up less than sparkling and hear the message, ”Just go be with your seedlings.“ Simply visiting them and tending to their needs often helps return me to center. Nestled inside the hoop houses, you can feel the oxygen, smell the living soil, and absorb the many shades of green. My wife will comment on the difference she sees in my face after a visit. It’s as if I’ve visited with an old friend. And I have. I can find me, my grounded self. The self that lovingly reminds me that things will work out as they need to. I got into this work to connect with my gentler self (not the crack-the-whip, “you’re only ‘worth it’ if you wear yourself out” self).

Growing up, I was the kid who would walk into a room and energetically beam my love to everyone. That ‘hello, world - I love you’ vibe hasn’t been front and center all my days. Thankfully, through the internal and personal work, I feel myself embracing and sharing that version of myself more freely. Farming or the seedlings have definitely helped with this.

So much of seedling time is experiencing the birthing part of the circle of life. As the seedlings grow they smile back at me, like this gem: A young cucumber plant’s first set of ‘true’ leaves shares a heart (at least, that’s what it feels like to me).

The glow in the early morning inside the womb-like hoop houses dazzles.

The colors and the way the dew clings to the young plants delights.

You might wonder how I feel about selling the seedlings (these beauties that have brought me so much joy and connection). To me, the seedlings are like little soldiers ready to grow and feed others. And honestly, by then they've grown and expanded (in size and in their daily needs) that I'm ready to shift my focus on growing our own home garden. Plus, I really like creating all types of consumables; be that cooking, growing food, notecards, kid's hand puppets, mandala coloring books, and facilitating connections. This version of creating feels like I'm part of a process, contributing to the human community. I lovingly nurture the seedlings and know that they'll go on and be part of others' world. My heart loves feeling connected this way.