Deprecated: Non-static method nggMediaRss::add_mrss_alternate_link() should not be called statically in /homepages/13/d168846385/htdocs/ on line 288

The Stillness of a Lotus Pond

September 26, 2009 by Lightwaves

whiteliliesDiane Taylor shares her experience as a participant of one of the Ashrams’ most popular courses, The 10 Days of Yoga.  Her reflection on the Mantra and the stillness that followed is reflected in the water lilies that called her that day.


I have never spent so much time looking at myself and uncovering things that have been buried for so many years as I did during the 10-Days of Yoga this summer. I cried so much- it was as though something had broken the dam inside me. I passed the first 3 days tired but relieved to know that I was connecting with a part of myself that had been lost for too long.

On the fourth day we met in the Temple for the workshop on Mantra Yoga – at this point I was unaware of how a spiritual practice could fit into my life. After days of hot and sunny weather I awoke to find clouds sitting low on the mountains and a moist chill in the air. We began the morning chanting Ahh Ooh Mmm (AUM). Swami Saradananda, the workshop facilitator, led us through each sound, giving us time to reflect after each.  My voice joined  the voices of those around me with such harmony  that I no longer heard my own as being separate. As we chanted I thought of the previous Life Seals workshop and my struggle with the notion of balance and how to find and maintain it in my life.  The longer I chanted I realized that without any thought or intention my mind was quiet and my breath was even and balanced.  The sounds came with ease and joy- I had achieved a sense of peace and balance that I was searching for through the Mantra!

As we chanted, a sudden and fierce wind picked up. I could see the waves on the lake churning. The windows rattled while rain pelted against the glass. The unsettled weather continued throughout the morning as we sat safe and sheltered in the Temple. As we broke for lunch, the wind and rain let up- the wind that had accompanied our voices, like us, was now silent.


"My photos captured what I felt that morning and I often look back at these as a reminder of my experience in the Temple."

I left the Temple and went to sit for a moment beside the lily pond outside. The colors of the lotus flowers were so bright compared to the gray sky and the surrounding. I leaned my small, point-and-shoot camera over the edge of the pond, later surprised at the quality of the pictures whose beauty still astounds me.  Just like the photos, I never imagined the beauty and stillness I found that day in myself through the mantra.

I am now busy from September to the end of November with workdays lasting at least 10 hours long. I am challenged to find time for myself and to maintain this balance that I achieved during the 10-days. The Mantra has become the practice that I have kept up with the most. I look forward to the times that I can reconnect with myself through my voice as I chant and the stillness that follows. I am so grateful for this time I spent at the Ashram and the time now I can enjoy quietly with myself.

With light and love,

Yasodhara Ashram will be hosting the 10-Days of Yoga Retreat, from October 1st-11. For more information call 1-800-661-8711, view our online course catalogue, or email


  1. Dear Sweet Diane, How very exciting to find your reflections here! How beautifully written. It is wonderful to hear how deeply mantra spoke to you and I’m happy that you are able to maintain that practice in your life. I am honored to have spent the 10 days with you (and the rest of the group). I believe all of our lives were deeply touched and changed forever. You are a very sweet and beautiful person. It’s special that we all continue to keep in touch!
    (aka Sherri)

    Comment by Sherri — September 29, 2009 @ 11:33 pm

  2. Thank you very much for sharing your reflections. Very inspiring to read!

    Comment by Monica — October 1, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

What is 11 + 10 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)