Relative to other modern-day yoga and meditation teaching, the Yogic practices taught by Sherpa are kept as straight-forward, down-to earth and practical as possible so that they are as accessible as possible – and this is part of their wisdom.
They also have a depth and transformative power often lacking in modern day Yoga, meditation and mindfulness teaching. This is because the Transformation Yoga, Pure Meditation Foundation and Optimal Breathing taught by Sherpa are part of the teaching of Mata Yogananda Mahasaya Dharmaji.
Mataji Yoganadaji is a Self Realized (enlightened) British woman who is spiritual head and founder of the Self Realization Meditation Healing Centres (SRMHC’s), of which there are several worldwide (the headquarters, or ‘Mother Centre,’ is in Somerset, England). Mata Yoganadaji is a Guru to thousands of people around the world, including Paul – founder of Sherpa – and is a Guru in the original, sacred, meaning of the word. ‘Guru’ means ‘dispeller of darkness.’ In a practical sense, this means that the Guru has trodden the spiritual path to enlightenment; i.e. transformed all of their personal negativity and suffering (analogy: darkness) into positivity and awareness and then shows others how to do it through their teachings and, if they’re genuine, their example and their very life.
‘Enlightenment’ is realising and reaching your full potential
Having said that, it isn’t the purpose of this blog/article to get into what ‘Enlightenment/Self Realization’ is, perhaps other than to say that from my perspective, it is about human beings realising and reaching their full potential. Just think what you could do if you had realised and reached your full potential as a human being – not just physically, but also mentally – fully developing the power of the mind and willpower to achieve the results you need. Mata Yoganadaji’s teachings emphasise engaging fully with the modern world (for example, the SRMHC’s are on Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest) with positivity, dynamism and focus, not sitting around all day in Meditation! From a business perspective, the people who run the SRMHC’s are the most highly performing and productive people I know.
This blog/article is also not a definitive guide to Gurus, other than to say that a) having a Guru is a very personal thing and b) a very liberating thing. Yes, liberating! That might sound counter-intuitive to the spiritually sceptical, but it is my experience that if a Guru is the genuine article (i.e. one of those very rare people on this Earth who are Enlightened/Self Realized and have the purpose of being a teacher of Enlightenment), rather than bind you, brainwash you or have power over you, they will do quite the reverse and teach you how to free yourself from negativity and suffering and help you relax into a natural state of peace and positivity, awareness, flow and insight. This is my experience of fifteen years of having Mata Yoganadaji as my Guru and following her teachings.
But don’t take my word for it. If you’re not sure about the Guru thing (which is natural), please be assured that if you undertake the Sherpa training, it does not mean that you have to accept Mata Yoganandaji as your Guru! Having said that, there is nothing to stop you doing so if you feel so inclined – as mentioned before, it is a very personal thing and completely down to what feels right for you.
The enlightened, ‘spiritual’, source of the Sherpa training
So… what is this blog/article about?
Well, for me it is a way of acknowledging and honouring the spiritual origin of what I train people in and it is very important to me personally that I do this. Without that enlightened source, the teachings would be ordinary and mediocre. In a way, the enlightened source is my unique selling point. To me, it is the most amazing USP, but one that is not easy to explain or convey in words.
‘Spirituality’ to most people is a pretty amorphous thing. However, to me it is about integrity, respect, truthfulness, understanding, empathy, forgiveness and not judging or criticising others – all forms of unconditional love, or, in other words, our highest qualities as human beings. It is not about religion in which there is always dogma.
For me, true spirituality is also not about expecting others to ‘be spiritual’ once they have undertaken some training or teaching that comes from a spiritual source. You are welcome to undertake the Sherpa training and live life just as before. There is no expectation, obligation or assumption that you have to be a ‘better’ person in some way. You are free to argue, fight, tell lies, disrespect, judge and criticise… all you like! (I’m not assuming you are like this by the way!). It is entirely up to you how much of the training you take into your life. For example, taking the training for the sole purpose of making more money is absolutely fine. It is all taught unconditionally and with the understanding of the unique difficulties and struggles people face in their everyday lives, including their struggles to manage stress and achieve happiness.
If you’ve got this far in this blog/article then let me congratulate you. As far as Sherpa is concerned, it is a unique piece of writing. Virtually all of my other content is more results and business-oriented and more focussed on the practical, material benefits of undertaking the Sherpa training and applying the practices. And this is the beauty of training from an enlightened source – it doesn’t exclude anything. It doesn’t say that money is bad or being materially successful is to be frowned upon. What it does say is that money and possessions – like anything else – are to be enjoyed and made the most of.
Self knowledge – the key to maximising your capabilities
The Sherpa training comes from the wisdom that life is all about balance. Balancing work, rest and play. We kid ourselves when we think we can work 18 hour days for days on end and still maintain peak performance. As human beings, we generally have limits. I say ‘generally’ because I do believe that if the power of our minds and willpower is developed enough and we are intuitive enough to know how best to use it, we can transcend limits that we previously thought to be immovable. Most of us aren’t quite there yet!
But you will enhance and maintain performance at work if you look after yourself and attend to your overall wellbeing and the Sherpa training supports people to do this. If you are an 18 hours a day person whose bordering on burn-out, initially, you may have to settle for working fewer hours, but this is likely to be quickly matched, or even surpassed by an increase in quality of work as you function closer to your peak. If you put the Sherpa practices into your life and develop self knowledge, you are then more likely to understand your capabilities and how to maximise them. Self knowledge is the key here.
Positivity, passion and enthusiasm create resilience to judgement and criticism
At this point, I want to touch again on spirituality. Often, people who are into spirituality are sensitive types and are therefore timid about talking about it, particularly in a work environment (and especially when they are trying to market to corporate!) for fear they may be judged or ridiculed, And, of course, they may. Personally, I’ve now got past this and part of the reason for that is the wonderful amount of change for the better that has occurred on every level in myself – though the application of the SRMHC / Sherpa Yogic practices in everyday life. This personal transformation (from a younger man prone to stress and anxiety and frequent mild depression into a somewhat older man who is so much more relaxed about life and who feels a combination of love, joy and peace 99% of the time – I’m not kidding) has fuelled my passion and enthusiasm for sharing these teachings with others over and above any timidity or fear of judgement or criticism.
Every person has their own truth
Another potential hurdle for the sensitive person who senses the suffering of others and has something that works really well for them personally is evangelism. Evangelism contains arrogance and judgement of the other person’s belief being wrong. True spirituality and again the source of the Sherpa training is that every person has their own truth and that by no means does one spiritual path or belief system fit all.
So, the Sherpa training may or may not be for you. But, if you are open to it and willing to give it a try – like it has been for me – it could very well be the best training you’ve ever done.
I warmly invite you to book Sherpa and to come along.
by Paul Beard – founder of Sherpa