Thursday Satsang via Zoom: “Unlearning” with Pandit Tejomaya – August 27, 2020
Thursday Satsang via Zoom – August 27, 2020
“Unlearning” with Pandit Tejomaya
7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
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Two young aspiring students approached the Guru in the hopes of even just some brief teaching. The Guru opened her eyes to survey the students and asked them “What is your background, what is your experience?” The first student proudly listed the volumes of books he had read and the many teachers from many traditions with whom he had studied. The second student said that he had absolutely no experience. The Guru closed her eyes and then said she would accept them as students. The first student asked excitedly “O Blessed One, how much will the teaching cost?” To the second student, who was sitting quietly, she said “It will cost you $1.” He bowed. To the first student, she said “It will cost you $1,000.” He said with outrage “Why does he only have to pay $1 and I have to pay $1,000? It is not fair!” She replied, “Because before I can teach you, you must first unlearn all that you think you know, and that will take a long time.”
We will begin to explore the topic of “Unlearning”. Pandit Tejomaya will join us virtually from his forest home in British Columbia where he is actively engaged in the sadhana of “unlearning”.
From his earliest memories, Pandit Tejomaya, born Tim Burns, felt called to a spiritual life. A Christian upbringing in the Roman Catholic tradition instilled in him a deep love of the Sacred, of Ritual, of Devotion, of Divine possibilities. He entered the Dominican Order of Preachers following undergraduate studies in philosophy at the University of Minnesota. But the Guru had other plans for his spiritual life, and so he left the monastery and returned to the world.
A few years later, Tim was diagnosed with stage III cancer and underwent six months of chemotherapy, followed by a year of close medical scrutiny. This period, he recalls, remains the fiercest, most transformative spiritual experience of his life. Through his long, raw purification of the soul, he was taken to a first experience of union with what he used to call God but what he to be so vastly beyond anything he had been taught that there were no words to describe the experience. Tim began searching for an “organization” that would help him understand and go deeper into that experience.
Although he had lived his adult life within a few kilometers of The Himalayan Yoga Tradition’s “Meditation Center”, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and had practiced yoga in its modern physical sense for many years, it was not until moving to Canada and meeting Pandit Hari Shankar Dabral that Tim came to learn of the Tradition. There is the old saying that when a student is ready, the teacher will appear.
Tim was initiated in the Himalayan Tradition by Swami Veda in 2008. He was initiated as a Pandit by Pandit Dabral, and received the name Tejomaya in 2012. He took the vows of a Vanaprastha, or Forest Dweller, in January of 2017.
Pandit Tejomaya resides on Gabriola Island in the Salish Sea of Canada’s British Columbia where he lives a life of sadhana and devotion.