Talk The Walk with a friend..

I am an American living in India and residing in an ashram since 2002. The place where I live is an inter-religious community composed of spiritual aspirants from around the world who come to do their sadhana in the presence of the great enlightened sage Chandra Swami Udasin. I am a brahmachari and have chosen to live a life devoted to meditation, prayer, service and other spiritual practices in order to progress towards the direct realization of the Divine.

Dr. Srivastava and I became friends about 3-4 years ago during one of his visits to the ashram for satsang. Chandra Swamiji introduced us indirectly by giving me a copy of Sachin’s little booklet on stammering which Sachin had recently presented to Swamiji after also dedicating to him.

I have had a stutter for as long as I can remember and in fact have no childhood memories without it. The severity of my speech impediment has fluctuated over the course of my life, as it does for most stutters I have learned. Fortunately I have always had plenty of understanding and patient friends who stood by me regardless of my impediment but also have nearly always had quite a lot of anxiety as the backdrop of my life experiences due to interactions where I failed to be understood properly or because of the subtle rejection from others I experienced when stuttering and the accompanying pain that this caused.

My friendship with Sachin has been a great blessing and I do not doubt that it is and has been a form of divine intervention to help me heal the ‘old wounds.’ He has freely shared so many resources with me and has been a stable and enthusiastic support in rediscovering my voice.

So early one morning at Sachin’s invitation we headed for the mountains, just the two of us, with a few litres of water and a couple boxes of sweets and namkeens for nourishment. Our destination: the Badraraj Temple not too far from Mussorie. What a hike! The views from the very beginning were spectacular. Winding stone paths, steep ascents, pine trees, cool breezes and sprinkling raindrops now and again. We made our way to the isolated temple at a very peaceful pace. Once arriving we enjoyed even more majestic views of the surrounding valley and rivers and took a little time to meditate before heading back down the other side of the mountain.

It was my first hike in India and was a real treat to finally get the opportunity to wander along the mountain trails instead of just admiring their beauty from a distance within the ashram confines. During the hike I attempted to be more aware of my speech habits, the one’s that I knew needed to be investigated more closely.

One of the things I became more aware from Sachin’s assistance was that I still often avoided eye contact when I blocked. Over the last few years I had made improvement with this old habit and had seen that it only reinforced negative feelings about myself and was a form of fear of other’s reactions as well as non-acceptance of myself. So, I have been learning to try to be more courageous. To remain concentrated on my listener’s eyes during my stuttering and to also not to anticipate being rejected and project that on myself, from them, and also to have more compassion for my listeners. All in all it was a very enjoyable day and I would highly recommend it to all who get the chance.
Anant Chaitanya

9 Comments

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  1. Reekrit 6 years ago

    Dear Friend
    You have seem to have forgotten to mention your name. Your journey seems to have be very difficult indeed. Not many of us choose to tread upon the path of true enlightenment. It is extremely remarkable to give up your native country and settle down in India. Apart from stammering, it's very pleasing to hear that you've decided to renounce all worldly pleasures. But why does stammering pose a difficult proposition. You can find a lot of enlightenment in stammering, if you know where to look.
    When you find it, it will seem just a like a bad habit, as any other.
    Dr. Srivastav must've told you a lot about the ways to accept and cope with it, but you really have to accept the fact that it's not much of a big deal. Try and get your message across to the other person, and she/he'll connect to you in a way that you can never imagine!
    Sir: I guess I called you when you were with our dear friend. Thank you!

  2. Profile photo of Sachin
    Sachin 6 years ago

    @Reekrit- Sorry, his name not being there was my mistake. Just corrected. Yes, Ananta is a very dear friend..

  3. Profile photo of
    admin 6 years ago

    Wow! Sachin, I think you should convince Anant to write more often. I am sure he has a lot to share with the rest of us!

    And next time PLEASE let us know whenever both of you are going on a trek. I want to do this Bhadraj trek once more 🙂

  4. Profile photo of
    admin 6 years ago

    It was really nice reading Anant's story. It's difficult to live a life in search of divinity, away from all the materialistic world…

    I wish I could somehow converse with Anant… Is it possible to connect with Anant thro' internet ??

  5. Profile photo of Sachin
    Sachin 6 years ago

    @Harish- you will have to come to Dehradun, I am afraid! Anant lives a very rigorous ashram schedule of sewa and sadhana.. starting 4 am.. Has limited access to Internet. Does not have a cell phone. In fact, I have learned from him how to prioritise our needs in life..what really matters and what is truly optional..and he serves a realised soul. My stammering gave me some great friends at last!

  6. Profile photo of
    admin 6 years ago

    A true saying by Buddha "It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.Then the victory is yours"

    It needs a lots of courage to win this battle on ourselves & Ananta is on this way to conquer himself.

    God Bless you!!!

  7. Anonymous 6 years ago

    Interesting experience shared by Anant. Enjoyed it.

    Hope he continues to observe, experiement and share experiences in his life and speech.

    Regards,
    Yadgar.

  8. Anonymous 6 years ago

    amazing photos, Sachin!

  9. David Blanco 3 years ago

    Dearest Anant Chaitanya,
    Thank you for your nice and sincere post. I enjoyed reading it. I send you best regards from Hong Kong, from me and the Chinese students. I hope to see you in September.
    Om Hari Sharanam 🙂

    David Blanco

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