(I sent myself an email with that subject line, too.)
In the “About Me” section, I received a comment asking about how I learned how to do what I’ve been practicing at home, and I responded that it was basically by osmosis, and that I’ve been adding things as I find them.
And then there was this other post I made about how sometimes it’s nice, coming from a “rules” background (I am so Rules Girl), to find a nice, clean set of how-tos every now and again.
This is what I’ve been searching for, all along:
It’s a set of three fairly lengthy videos, filmed at a seminar at the Ramakrishnananda Institute for Vedic Studies, and it appears to be taught to a primarily Western audience. Ove the course of the videos, Indra Devi (a female pujari!) instructs her class on the philosophy and spirituality behind Hindu worship practice, the proper setup and supplies for both temple and home puja (plus some more specific words, which I’ve forgotten), how to perform a puja, mantras for each, and the specific manner and mantras to use to make a food offering. It clears up about eleventy billion unanswered questions I had swimming around. For the curious and confused, I’d recommend watching all three. There is also an extensive course in raja yoga, and one in mantra yoga. Any of these courses can be taken in person as well (the Institute is in Manhattan, which is far away for me, but I imagine somebody who reads this is closer!)
And you can also download a copy of the handouts for the videos. I feel like hugging somebody. Whew. I started out yesterday feeling kind of down, losing my focus, etc, but now I’m feeling better. (Also, I celebrated Rama Navami at home with my husband, in a beautiful, quiet sort of way, giving it all my best shot, and I think that was some much-needed focus and quiet. Hooray for not trying to force things.)
I think it was Tandava who said at one point that though one may not find a guru, or take a long while to find the right guru, there will be a number of good teachers along the way. I think that Sri Ramakrishnananda Babaji Maharaja is (for me) one of the more notable ones, and someone whose wisdom I appreciate.