More on Aaravindha Himadra
(positive feedback from a long-term student
and see here for another in a similar vein)

Hi Sarlo,
I have heard from a friend you were in communication with that we can write a response to the anonymous letter someone sent in to your website. I very much appreciate the possibility. Thank you very much!
I am one of Aaravindha’s longtime students and have been his seminar organizer since 2010. I guess that I have experienced him and his wife Ashayrah on a personal level as a friend as well as a teacher probably the most. It saddens me to read a review like that about someone who has been such a wonderful teacher to so many people. I would therefore like to put that into a more balanced perspective and not allow the account of one person to override the very different experiences of huge numbers of people. It seems easy today for someone like that to hide behind anonymous masks and use review sites to discredit good people.
As Aaravindha is training meditation teachers, and I as many others, have gone through his training, these situations are a good learning for all of us. Defamations like that can happen to everyone who is publicly teaching or coaching.

Most people are true gems loving and kind hearts and it is a joy to have a community of people like that. The greatest challenge for every teacher is probably dealing with the projections of the students. Some are of the benign kind we all have sometimes to certain degrees and some really get weird. I think everyone who has attended any kind of spiritual seminars has experienced that there is a diversity of attendants, some are very grounded and down to earth and some are not very well grounded in any kind of reality.
I think I have seen every kind of unresolved mother or father issue projected onto Aaravindha over the years. The patience and love he is dealing with that is extraordinary. He is soft where he can be and firm where he needs to be. A true teacher of compassion and standing in his inner knowing. When someone puts him on a pedestal, he always reminds the person of their own beauty. In difficult situations when people present their sadness, fears, and victimship he holds the lightness of being and helps them find that in the presence of the challenge. He is very humorous and can take the heaviness out of a situation easily, sometimes he even appears rascal-like. I have seen his devotion always go towards the highest good of every person. If a student needs to see their own beauty, he is there to help them find it. If a person is too fond of their ego, he is there to challenge it. He never makes the teachings about himself, they are always directed to empowering the true nature of his students. He embodies what he teaches and displays the playful and yet powerful presence of a free human being. Very advanced but yet not out of this world. An example of the potential that is within the reach of all of us.
He lives in this modern western world. When he is not writing or taking care of the needs of the community and individuals, he works on his house, in his garden, likes to cook and eat conscious but well and he has a sweet spot for a good coffee. He is living an inspiring relationship with a wonderful woman for 30 years. Ashayrah supports him and always generously shares his attention with the hundreds of students and Aaravindha’s strong call to his Dharma path. Ashayrah has accompanied him day and night on every journey and to every seminar since Aaravindha taught more publicly from the late 90ies. She devoted her life to this shared path we are on and her welcoming and open heart for everyone has made her an angel-friend for many. And yet, like in any human several decade-long relationships, they had their own trials. But they always resolved them developing their love to a deeper level of understanding, Love, and companionship. A true inspiration for many who know them. Nevertheless, their private life belongs solely to them and it is not for outsiders to make assumptions about because they simply can’t.
There is one paragraph I would like to comment to in that „review“ which I feel is important to address:
“The most "sacred and secret" technique he teaches is at the end of a seven year training course (his fee is 1,600 EUR per training and you have to go through all of them to get to the sacred technique). This technique is supposedly not available anywhere else in the world (except from the Immortal Masters he supposedly knows in India). However, somebody who went through the whole training told me that this meditation technique is actually written about at length in a book called Samyama that you can buy on Amazon for $12. The author of that book has been teaching meditation for 30 years. [Sarlo adds: this book is by Yogani, author of many inexpensive books on spiritual practices and meditation techniques.]”
There is a good reason these most sacred techniques are only taught after many years and not just to everyone who wants them. One reason is that they simply would not work. They are very much based on your ability to be in transcendence and function on a deeper level of silence, which can only be attained through years of practicing the meditation techniques in the right way and working on the inner development of certain “divine qualities” that are inherent in every human being, but covered up by mental overlays comprising of patterns, false beliefs, resistances, etc.
This is the way any responsible teacher would protect the sacred and deeper knowledge of a tradition. The western mind wants everything right away and is trained to get it through ambition, greed, emotional manipulation or money. But the most sacred things only reveal themselves to the ones who have moved toward living gratitude, generosity, humility, kindness, patience, clarity, honesty, compassion, show mental and emotional stability and are ready to carry more responsibility.
A big part of the teachings and path is to develop these qualities and deepen the meditations. This cannot be achieved over night or through one or two seminars. It takes years. And it takes devotion to the knowledge and daily practice. In Aaravindha’s teacher training, there is only one seminar per year, and the reason is that people need the time in-between to study the unbelievable huge and deep amount of knowledge given and practice their techniques. Every seminar is 10-12 days and starting at 7 am and ending at 9 pm at night. We have word for word seminar transcripts from some of the seminars and one was printed for the attendants which turned out to be as thick as the New York Yellowpages with similar thin paper and font size. And that was just one seminar!
Once the knowledge of these seminars is mastered’ to a certain degree the deeper teachings can begin.
I think the most understandable way is to compare that to martial arts traditions. Some teachings can only be accessed once you have mastered certain skills and are ready to learn more. You start from the first Dan and then train and practice until you master your skills. It is not up to the student to determine that, but to the ones who maintain the stewardship of the tradition. If it would be any other way, the knowledge of a tradition would quickly degrade. This happened to most once pure teachings. It is the responsible thing to do to guide the student as well as protect the knowledge.
The book about Samyama that was mentioned in the review does not teach the knowledge the way Aaravindha does. There are many subtle and not-so-subtle differences. But you will find out yourself if you are willing to embark on that path with the true virtues of mind and heart.

Only a handful of people have reached their full potential and enlightenment on their own in the last 2000 years. When the veils get thin and you navigate through uncharted waters, it is good to have guidance or you can easily get lost.
Unfortunately, true teachers are very rare. This is probably why many people today go from one teacher to the next in search of someone real and if they searched in vain concluded that they need no teacher. I once felt like that myself… and then met Aaravindha.
Enlightenment does not happen through coincidence; if lightning strikes you, your meridians get burned and harmed, but it will not cause you to enlighten. Those are tales and misunderstood metaphors that people took literally. Enlightenment comes through a process of purifying your mind from false beliefs and patterns, the development of wisdom through discrimination and the support of beings who see your sincerity and selflessness and help you on the path. This is tradition. Those who came before you and have achieved mastery support the ones who step into their shoes. This happens through passing on pure knowledge, efficient and potent techniques, unseen blessings and through you meeting a true living teacher who can see where you are and where you need help to move further. If you don’t have that you are left to guessing, making many mistakes you could have avoided and learning from sources you find online or in books. A lot of it consisting of corrupted older knowledge or newer knowledge someone basically just made up.
A true teacher is like a midwife of consciousness, assisting the birth of your divine self in life. Aaravindha is one of those rare gems. He is a friend, a teacher, he is humorous; he is kind but he also can be fierce if he needs to be but always only for your own sake. The birth contractions on each of our paths are always a call for a higher choice. Sometimes we have to let go of things that our ego does not want to let go of. Those are the tests your High-Self put in place for you to discriminate over and that will determine if you are ready to be trusted with more responsibility and spiritual power.
We don't always get what we want or expect. These are good moments for spiritual growth and development and focusing on what is of true value. Most of us try to do that to our best ability. But there is always a certain percentage of people who get very aggressive when they don’t get what they thought they should have or are denied access to something. This could be different things like knowledge, techniques, relationships, positions, attention, affirmation of someone's beliefs. Haven’t we all experienced people like that touching our lives? That is the vulnerability of the ego. And if we are honest with ourselves, haven’t we all felt tastes of rage here and there if our ego was threatened? It is part of the human journey. The only difference is how fast you can find the highest road to deal with it. For some people that never happens and they allow their wounded ego to remain in a chronic spiteful tantrum that flares up, again and again, trying to lash out even to the hand that tries to help them.
Luckily over the years, the percentage we had of this was relatively small. I would say about 0.5 % out of a huge number of people who have come to Sambodha and Aaravindha’s seminars. 99.5% are very delightful beings who appreciate the depth of knowledge and having Aaravindha as a living human teacher. Here are testimonials about some experiences, if you are interested in reading those accounts: or even more here in German:
I guess every teacher or tradition has to live with a certain percentage of negativity. We were lucky that the percentage of it has been low. What I would ask the reader, is to only rely on personal experience! Don't believe what someone else writes. Don’t believe the negativity in a review nor take what someone else says for granted. Follow your own discrimination and sharpen it. Practice the techniques and knowledge and meet Aaravindha in person. Then see if it works for you or not!
If you don't, you miss something you might have been searching for a very long time. There is always a reason for that initial spark you felt. Find out for yourself why it was there!
Best wishes on your path,
~ Alexa Weidner ~

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