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Nishi Sharma Reviews Inner Pilgrimage by Raji Lukkoor
Inner Pilgrimage: Ten Days to a Mindful Me by Raji Lukkoor is a multidimensional spiritual journey— using Vipassana meditation—a secular tool that Raji thinks can change anyone’s life dramatically, forever. When you immerse yourself in the goose-bump arising, spiritual experiences of Inner Pilgrimage; be sure to keep your senses and sensibilities open, so you can navigate through the unpredictable sensations in your body. The description is so picturesque and captivating that you feel as if you have plunged into Raji’s sea of words and encountered a spiritual experience so deep that it feels like your own experience.
Vibrating and passionate, thrilling and incredible, Inner Pilgrimage is an inspiring tale of ten days of Vipassana mediation that practitioners can use to expel fears, materialistic delusions, frustrations, relationship problems and many more inevitable sufferings of existence—a complete flushing of life’s ills.
Inner Pilgrimage is divided into three sections—Senses, Sensations and Sensibilities—that lay out the author’s journey of eventual self-transformation through attention to the physical sensations.
Vipassana, the quintessence of this book, was rediscovered by Gautam Buddha two-and-a-half centuries ago, and focuses on the relationship between mind and body. It is an observation-based, self-exploratory exposure to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind that is filled with love and compassion.
Initially, Raji seems somewhat skeptical of becoming a hermit for ten days, away from the coziness of her home, but she remains firm. On day one, her spiritual odyssey starts with the pre-requisite teachings of Vipassana, the three jewels of Buddhism: Buddha or acknowledging enlightenment within self: dhamma or living in the present moment, and sangha or refraining from evil. She discovers the milestones of an individual’s spiritual journey including: sila or morality, samadhi or concentration, and panna or wisdom. By day two of practicing anapana or the awareness of the natural breath, the author experiences an “Aha“ moment during which she feels as if she is “moving effortlessly, floating, gliding in the joyous nothingness of a grand immensity that appears to stretch to infinity.”
On day four, she discovers anicca or that the true nature of sensations varies from moment to moment, Sankhara or reactions, and Adhitthana or the determination to remain motionless. Moving forward, she continuously scans her body for sensations, which emerge in the form of pain, numbness, creepy-crawly, pricking, pins-and-needle type sensations, and so on. Sensations arise; “they pass away. They arise; they pass away”–incredible sensations, larger than life!
On day seven, she learns the challenging sweep–en-masse technique, which involves scanning the whole body for sensations in one sweep, from the top of her head to the tips of her toes and then back up. She feels strong sensations across her body in the form of pressure, rippling sensations and pin-pricks. She does not react to any sensations because now she knows that this is the key to maintaining equanimity in the midst of sensations. On the final day, she learns the second half of the Vipassana practice, Metta bhavana and Dana. Metta bhavana invokes the feeling to share the purity and wisdom developed during the ten days with all beings and Dana invokes charity, generosity, or donation.
On the eleventh day, a transformed personality with a renewed vision of life, Raji is eager to go home. Come on readers, let’s jump in and accompany Raji on her journey of self-discovery and attain enlightenment.
Title: Inner Pilgrimage: Ten Days to a Mindful Me
Author: Raji Lukkoor
Publisher: THIRD EYE
Paperback: 176 pages
Price: Rs 195/
Publication Year: 2011
Available: Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd.