After I Graduated

By Kathleen Lubanski, RN/NP

I graduated from the Ananda Meditation Teacher Training in July 2014.

The seeds that were planted while I attended the meditation IMG_4155teacher training are starting to sprout. What do I mean by this? Well, my desire to know more about spirituality has grown.

Upon returning to my home in the desert, I felt renewed and happy.

I resumed my daily sadhana practice with enthusiasm. The most profound personal change has been to focus on the positive, and to answer questions thoughtfully, not reactively.

Creating time in the morning to read spiritual literature like Metaphysical Meditations before I start my day is a “must.”  At night, I have been re-reading Paramhansa Yogananda’s Autobiography. I feel I am now better able to understand this book, and it has more meaning for me.

A month after I graduated, I was asked to create a stress-relief and relaxation program for selected hospital employees and community members. It took a month to create a 6-week course. The program consists of pranayama exercises, humor, and guided meditations.  Thus far, I have taught 9 classes to 90 individuals. Those who have participated include managers, clinicians, and auxiliary staff. The evaluations have exceeded my expectations.

I am grateful for having been given this opportunity to teach and inspire others to learn ways to relax and meditate. I wish I could have taken photos of the participants’ faces at the beginning and at the conclusion of the classes. At the end of the course, many were happy or smiling, and they have fewer frowns and facial wrinkles. Many have said they appreciated learning techniques to simply “let go” and enjoy the stillness and calm within.

In addition, I continue to offer a weekly meditation group at the Wellness Institute.

The month of March 2015 has been creatively engaging.

First, I enrolled in a 2-year program called the “Sacred Art of Living and Dying.”  The goal of the program is to educate individuals about the importance of living an authentic life—a basic tenet supported by Ananda.

Second, I visited Paramhansa Yogananda’s Encinitas residence and gardens.  I enjoyed seeing Master’s pristine residence. I was particularly touched to see Yogananda’s bedroom with his polished brown shoes at his bedside. I felt his beautiful presence of love and peace still permeating the room.

Third, I started a meditation group in a low-income area. The offer to do this came literally “out of the blue.”  One never knows where Spirit will direct your efforts, when you are willing to serve.

The seeds for knowing truth were planted during my teacher training at Ananda, and the desire to know more is growing. I find that I am becoming more discriminating as to whom I want to follow for my spiritual growth.

I am grateful and blessed to have had that type of training from Diksha and the wonderful supporting staff. I eagerly look forward in revisiting Ananda in the future.

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