Sneha- Self-Love and Oil
On December 11, 2016, after the Ancestral Teaching Class on Ghee, I attended Vedika Global's Awakening Community Circle. It is a unique platform offered by Vedika open to everyone to participate in and share around a common theme selected for the occasion. It is a wonderful opportunity to discover unity in the infinite experiences and ideas expressed within the circle. This is a donation based offering by Vedika to awaken the community to our oneness.
The topic of the circle that I attended was “Embracing Sneha (Self Love) for a Life of Well-Being.” Sneha is Sanskrit for not only self-love but also an Ayurvedic term for internal and external oleation. An appropriate theme after the Ancestral Teaching Class on ghee. Ghee is a magical good fat essential to an Ayurvedic way of life for internal and external oleation. It brings about well-being and happiness when consumed internally or applied externally.
Sreedev and Karen led the Awakening Community Circle. We began by cushioning our seat of love - The Heart. Karen guided us through a restorative yoga posture of cushioning our hearts and led us through a meditation after which we shared our experiences of comfort, vulnerability, discomfort, or areas of physical pain or mental resistance in the posture. The idea of how much are we in touch with our own heart was explored.
Our second activity was a contemplation on Love and Oil. Each person in the circle described Love or Oil or both in terms or expressions we best identify these with. As Sreedev wrote our our terms and expressions on the chart, we discovered how much alike love and oil are. Almost all the words used for love could also be easily used for oil and vice-versa.
Our third activity was another fun activity which I had not done in a while. We made “Soul Cards” and “Vision Cards” out of magazine cuttings and scrap book material. We enthusiastically used our scissors and glue to create a vision to reflect our love for ourselves and others. We labored in meditative silence with love to create love. It was a beautiful experience and seems even more so as I write about it. We made Soul Cards and wrote love letters to our deepest self. We put these in heart stamped envelopes provided by Vedika and Vedika posted these to us after the New Year dawned. I just got mine and it brought on a smile that lifts my heart and makes my day. I had brought along a colleague to this Awakening Community Circle and she too just received her card. She shared about how positive it made her feel. It is true…"Love is all you need.” It all begins with self-love. Abhyanga! (An Ayurvedic technique of loving self massage with warm oil!) and Sneha! (same term for love and oleation!) My Soul Card is going to be a very cherished reminder of this.
We finished off with a Hopi story of where the the Creator hid our essence. Karen read it out and later shared it with us by email. A beautiful tale of how it is all inside of us.Then, we were gifted a jar of ghee. It is the most nourishing thing next to love. To top it all, all the sharing and activities were accompanied by a serving of laddoos (sweets made of flour, ghee, nuts and delicious Ayurvedic ingredients that melt in one's mouth and just bring about so much love) and chai (Indian tea made Ayurvedic Style) that were beyond delicious in this loving Awakening Community Circle.
I am looking forward the next one.
The author Sukhdeep Kaur is a student of Acharya Shunya, and serves as a core volunteer, supporting in the A/V team of the Vedic Spiritual Studies Program in bringing Acharya Shunya's teachings to students all over the world.
Learn more about how you can study Vedanta with Acharya Shunya in her Vedic Spiritual Studies Program.