Ryan Chartrand

Students have the chance to escape the stress of summer school and attend a free meditation session July 21 at the Yoga Centre. The meditation will be guided by Sai Maa’s Master Teachers.

Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi (she goes by Sai Maa) in 2004 brought Ananda Jyotir Diksha to the West to help participants find Divine Light, which comes in different forms to everyone, she said.

Whether it is God, Jesus Christ, Buddha or any other God or gods, it doesn’t matter. The purpose is to be a united world.

Sai Maa has meditation CDs where she guides in a soothing voice about how to connect with our Divine Light.

An audio clip on the Web site for her non-profit organization Humanity in Unity features a nine-minute meditation titled “The Church Within.” Sai Maa shares how to find oneself, but offers humor to lighten the mood.

Sai Maa said that she doesn’t want disciples following her – she wants “people to awaken to own mastery,” said Jill Benton, 65, who has taken sessions from Maa.

The idea of meditation and finding yourself may sound far-fetched, but it should.

“In the West, we like to be taught. We are trained to inspect and are constantly chasing the buzz, that splash of excitement that we’re alive. It’s more difficult (for the West) to come in touch with our soul,” Greg LeVeille, 58, said.

“We’re human doing what we need to turn that energy into true being,” said Amy Swanson, owner of the Yoga Centre.

It is because Sai Maa is so “high” that she is able to help other people find their God, according to Christy Malony, 59. She is so advanced in the mind that she can guide and heal people.

Nancy Reinstein, 61, organized the workshop for the weekend of July 21 to 23. She’s been meditating with Sai Maa since last year and says she is a more centered person.

“I can go into a meditated state more easily because of Sai Maa,” Reinstein said.

LeVeille and Reinstein have Ananda Jyotir Diksha meetings at their home twice a month.

LeVeille has been meditating for 40 years and shared that he has surpassed the stages of enlightenment, where he has not eaten for 10 to 20 days and has the ability to tell people their past, present and future life stages. LeVeille said this all matter-of-factly, as if anyone can do it.

They can.

Sui Maa said all it takes is blocking out all worldly thoughts and focusing on yourself, on the Divine Light.

“Joan Strom, 46, went to her first meeting at Leveille and Reinstein’s home. A resident of Los Osos, Strom has meditated on her own for 10 years, but never had felt anything like Ananda Joytir Diksha before.

“I was amazed. I experience a sense of expansion in my own meditation, but never for that length of time. I couldn’t think about other thoughts. Even when I tried to think about work, I couldn’t,” Strom said.

LeVeille, Reinstein and Benton performed Diksha on the group, concentrating their energy on each person for three minutes.

One must attend a workshop in order to learn the correct way to perform Diksha on others, by using one’s hands to share one’s own light and become one vibration.

This may all seem crazy, but Benton said “we all think that at first because we’re not raised to put so much merit in the mind and the non-thinking.”

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