Ambika Devi

My Quest to Tame the Mind

I have been on a quest to help people learn to relax with the teachings of Yoga and Meditation since 1977, when I negotiated entrance into my first Yoga Teacher’s training. Since then, I have completed five paths of certification and a masters degree in this field of study. When I requested this, the reply was,

“You can’t yet.”

“Why not?” I protested.

“You are not yet 18.”

My comeback was, “I will be when we graduate!” and this got me into the first course that set an important cornerstone in the foundation of who I am becoming.

I teach people to relax and to find the state of meditation. This began when I was six years old in a new school repeating the first grade. I had not learned the alphabet in my original school due to a teacher in distress and my parents pulled me out when an offer for a redo came through from a local Quaker school. There I was taught the art of meditation in once a week session of sitting along with my primary level schoolmates.

The comfort of knowing that every Wednesday morning would begin with an hour of silence nestled in the quiet of a big stone building dubbed The Meeting House, always got me through the midweek hump with grace. I came to think of this weekly gathering as a time for peaceful contemplation and relaxation.

Now decades later, I teach people how to have a better relationship with the mind. Yes, I just said, “The Mind.” The reason is that we yogis do not envision the mind to be swimming around inside the confines of our bony skulls. Instead, we see the mind as a unified field of possibility where each and every one of us is connected. I wish we were taught this as little children.

I do believe that this is what many doctrines make an effort to teach us with regards to the idea of oneness. However, much of the mystical wisdom gets lost in translation when it comes to thought and manifesting the love and honoring of all that is. Yogi’s embrace everybody’s different flavor of spirituality and find their way to this realization of what we really are. This happens through the practice of meditation. In this unique state of being we become aware of who and what we really are. This is self-realization.

Yoga embraces all spiritual paths as it is not a religion but rather a science. This is why the world of physics that I left behind—before embarking on a study path in university. Instead, I chose the path of studying the ancient and often cryptic teachings of the Vedas. We all crave a sense of oneness and loving others the same way we love ourselves.

We know in theory that cherishing life is a positive focus and that gratitude for what we have increases our powers of manifestation. Perhaps the line gets a little fuzzy when Yoga teaches of a divine source. What I have learned is that this supercharges all forms of happiness.

I have been investigating and writing about meditation for more than four decades and I continue to experiment with easy methods to help people find this peaceful state of being. Along this path I have wandered outside of the traditional choices of sitting up straight, closing the eyes, and focusing on the breath. Perhaps it is the power phrase of my zodiac sign Scorpio, “I create,” that cheers me on and encourages me. My mission is to help people tap into their sunshine-inner-child who just wants to play. This has led me to explore a drawing meditation in which I became certified in 2016 called Zentangle™.

My early childhood roots of loving paper animation and pop up books led me to the ancient art of Origami whose roots are arbitrary. It is believed that paper art began in China and that the folding of paper into models and shapes originated sometime in the first or second century. I love sitting and folding a tiny square of paper into a variety of forms. This has been known to solidify friendships at many sushi bars over the decades.

In my 20s I was visiting a Japanese garden with a friend in Pennsylvania when we came upon a birthday party of eight year old children in a chaotic frenzy at one of our favorite peaceful, shaded spots. I approached a distressed looking adult to inquire as to what was going on. She replied that the garden was supposed to provide a representative to teach origami to the birthday party gathering for her son’s celebration. Unfortunately this artist had taken ill and was unable to show up. The mother was frantic.

I decided to step in and offer to help. She had a stack of beautiful origami paper and I said that I could wrangle the group. Without hesitation she handed me the paper and I took off folding a jumping frog while talking to the kids about origami. The pack of wild-ones began to settle in my story-telling and became fixated on the swiftness of my hands. I asked them questions about what it feels like to be calm and to offer me ideas about frogs and amphibians.

The energy of the party shifted into joy and play as we created a grouping of adorable tidily-wink type paper models. When everyone had a tiny jumping frog, we raced them. I received a hug from the mother and squeals of delight from the children. My friend looked on in amazement. This lit a light bulb of realization in that moment and I vowed to explore many more possibilities outside the box of what I had been teaching as a yoga and meditation instructor.

Years later in the writing of my master’s thesis, I included my unique discoveries of using many beloved crafts as tools for teaching meditation such as: Crocheting, Bead-work, Zentangle™ and Origami.

Go grab a piece of paper and fold along with me in my Origami Jumping Frog video.

As you fold your piece of paper, let yourself smile. Watch the play of thoughts that try to disturb the mind and respond by giggling and squealing as you invite your inner child come out and play!

Do you want to help your organization relax and feel more connected with greater levels of concentration? Engage me to speak at your next convention or event. Send me a message and let’s get started or Visit my calendar and Book Your Appointment with me now!

Many blessings, love, and magick always, Ambika Devi