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Interview in Parlour Magazine
Rameen Peyrow was recently interviewed in the August 2010 issue of Parlour Magazine. See the article here.
I remember from a very young age watching adults around me live their lives. I was fascinated by how hard everyone worked to achieve a foothold in what they could call an accomplishment, and what they would do to receive some kind of acknowledgement and praise in the form of money or status. Working 14-hour days, taking work home, cancelling important family dinners, and putting friends to the side, I saw people trading their evenings and weekends for a crowded mind, thinking about what comes next, how to keep a hold on tiny amounts of elusive greatness. Sound familiar?
This crowded mind has become my life’s work. Not only in helping my own internal world, but also in helping those around find space in their lives and their overactive minds. I did not intentionally set foot down this path; however, my path of Yoga has led me here. If you’d asked me 10 years go what achieving greatness meant to me, my response would have been “living in a cave.” Therefore, at the age of 20, I set my intentions to go to India and find my cave.
Why the cave? Simply, I’d become disillusioned with the typical 10 to 12 hour workdays. I realized that my ife, or lifestyle, was much more important than material gains. I knew there was an experience inside that exceeded external wealth. This insight came from my father who taught me to meditate, at the age of five, ultimately setting me on the path of questioning, who am I? Why am I here?
Now, you’re probably asking the question, what does this have to do with achieving greatness? I’m getting there, but as my Guruji or Yoga teacher in India taught me – slowly, slowly all is coming…
In my late teens I began to see that it was not just the people close to me who were struggling to find the answer to the riddle of greatness, it was actually most human beings. I started to ask myself: why is it so important to achieve greatness, and what do we truly gain from the pursuit? Is greatness about accomplishing something within our lives that others recognize? Is it wealth? Is it our health? What about happiness and freedom? I started to wonder if it could be able simpler things, like being kind to everyone, being kind to the planet, being kind to OURSELVES. What a novel idea!
I decided to go to India…
I began to find insight to my questions when I arrived in India. Inundated with noise, poverty and chaos, I felt I had arrived home. On the surface, it seemed like typical hustle and bustle, but just beneath the surface was a rhythmic ease. India gave me an opportunity to see a new way of living, a way of life that did not revolve around the external gains that I may have perceived as accomplishments.
On my journey to find my cave, in between intense Yoga and meditation practice, I heard of a swamiji living in a cave not far from where I was staying. I made the pilgrimage up a small mountain where I found swamiji. There wasn’t even room to stand in his cave. Swamiji had left his life as a journalist in hopes of living a more simple, inspired life. One day he decided he could walk no further with shoes on his feet, and at that moment, he took them off. While walking across India barefoot, swamiji developed a new relationship with himself. He cleared his mind of clutter and set the intention to free himself, to liberate his mind, and to leave the rat race.
Still to this day, I remember the smell, the simplicity, his bed made of hard tile, and the mountain of money he showed me – yes, mountain of money – that people had given him out of respect, and in exchange for his wisdom and amazing stories. Here was a man who couldn’t care less about money and it was flowing like a river through his cave.
With my daily visits to see swamiji I realized that achieving greatness or “success” comes from the inside out. Once the mind becomes calm and relaxed, then life simply unfolds with ease, and it becomes easier to do what we are inspired to do.
I’m not suggesting you quit your job, remove your shoes and pray for the universe to pay your mortgage, but I am asking you the question – who are you, and why are you here? If you can contemplate these questions daily, the clutter in the mind will slowly make way to a space where you will be able to find your own expression of greatness…
Teacher TrainingSATTVA School of Yoga Teacher Training Program: Finding the Teacher Within.