Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy is a book that changed my life.
When I discovered it in 2016, I didn’t know who Sadhguru was, and I certainly had no idea how broadly I’d travel with him or how much he’d teach me.
And it would never have happened if it weren’t for my wife and my love of books.
Before the Covid pandemic, my favorite way to spend a Saturday was with my wife, shopping for used books at Deseret Industries, a chain of Mormon secondhand stores here in Utah.
It’s amazing what you can find on the shelves at the DI—incredible what people give away: rare and first editions, signed copies, brand new bestsellers, books more than a hundred years old, foreign versions, and self-published works.
Also remarkable is what you can find inside many of the books themselves: photographs, love letters, receipts, airline tickets, bank statements and sometimes even cash.
Every visit to Deseret Industries is a treasure hunt, and I always leave with armloads of books, most of which are priced between 50 cents and two dollars.
Buying books so cheap has spoiled me, and it’s not often that I treat myself to paying full price for new books. Sometimes on our date nights, my wife and I will go to Barnes & Noble. As part of our special evening together, we both pick out a new book.
One date night, my wife’s selection was Inner Engineering. I bought Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicity in Everyday Life by dream expert Robert Moss.
My wife loved Inner Engineering so much that she signed us up for an in-person event with Sadhguru in Carlsbad. There we learned a method of Kriya yoga and meditation.
That was May of 2017, and I’ve observed this 21-minute practice every morning and evening since. I get so much peace from it. And it helps me be less of a jerk than I would be without it. I’ve written more about this here.
The following year, my wife and I traveled through India as part of Rally for Rivers, an event Sadhguru organized to raise awareness and catalyze action to heal the country’s polluted and depleted rivers.
I love that Sadhguru’s work is about so much more than simply learning to be mindful—a big part of it is about preserving and restoring the environment and eradi
cating human suffering. It is, I think, spirituality applied.
I’ve visited Sadhguru’s ashram in Tennessee—the Isha Institute of Inner-sciences.
My wife and I have trekked with Sadhguru in Tibet and Nepal to sacred sites including Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.
And as I write this, my wife and I are journeying with Sadhguru for a few days on motorcycles as he explores spiritual America. He’s posting videos regularly to Instagram about what he’s learning about Native American spiritual traditions.
Sometimes Sadhguru is playful, and other times he’s serious and even fierce. He’s always intense.
Having spent time with him, I’m acutely aware of just how often I live with less than full engagement.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned from Sadhguru is that if we want to improve the quality of our lives, we must learn to deepen our experience.
Beyond anything we will ever acquire, achieve, learn, or even become, without a depth of experience, life will never be as rich or as full as it could otherwise be.
Life’s fundamental yearning is to expand. For various reasons, we often find ways to resist that yearning, or direct it in unhealthy or even destructive ways.
There’s a Sanskrit word “jivanmukti” which means “the soul that’s fully awake in this lifetime.”
Meeting and learning from Sadhguru has not only made me aware of that possibility, it has inspired me to pursue it. And for that I’ll be forever grateful.
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