When I left my parents’ home in my early twenties my mother called me an ‘adventurer’.  That word in the fascist Spain of the sixties meant many things, all of them unbecoming for a young lady. At that time in Spain freedom was the enemy of the regime and education was in the hands of the Church.  Yet, in spite of that state of affairs my father decided to send me to a French private school where I received a very liberal education.

My first escape from Spain was to work as an “au pair” in London taking care of a lovely family of four children.  The excuse was to perfect my English but the real reason was to enjoy the freedom that London had to offer me. But after one year of glorious independence I received my parents’ ultimatum that it was time to go back home.  I remember I cried the day I left.

Back in Spain I found a job with an airline and so again my thirst for freedom and travel was somewhat quenched. It was inevitable then meeting my husband in a far away country, Canada, which is now my adoptive country.  There I had the good fortune of meeting very special beings, first my Zen teacher Roshi Philip Kapleau and then Swami Vishnudevananda, the founder of the Sivananda organization.  I took my meditation and yoga practices very seriously attending numerous retreats while at the same time taking care of my family and a successful career in an international bank. It was a very hectic time and the traveling I did for the bank kept my illusion of freedom alive.  As I visited many countries I struggled with the ethics of the banking system and the high interests that were being charged. These practices came into full collision with one of the precepts of the Buddha: right livelihood.  I finally resolved my moral dilemma by resigning from my job.  Now I was free to live in accord with the higher values I was learning from my teachers.

Although I went back to work as a part-teacher my lifestyle changed considerably.  There was a lot of reducing, simplifying and slowing down as well as more time to be with my young daughter and pursue my spiritual practice. I was starting to realize that running here and there and making more money was not giving me the freedom I was looking for.

Now in my seventies I even have more time and no pressing business to attend but I am freer than ever to move in any direction.  How wonderful! To finally slow down and yet to fully enjoy what presents itself. In my search for freedom I had forgotten that I had always been free and what looked like a search for freedom was none other than an inner call for liberation, a call to go back home.  Now as I go about my life I know that every move I make is an answer to that call.  So what need is there to go here and there? I am always home playing the game of searching for my true home.








About suryasanmiguel

I'm a Yoga teacher and educator. I was born in Madrid, Spain and came to Canada in the 70's to study but remained here. I received a degree in Education from McGill University. In my student's years I had the good fortune of meeting my Zen teacher, Roshi Phillip Kapleau and I studied with him for 15 years attending numerous retreats. In 1988 I was also very fortunate to meet Swami Vishnudevananda at the Sivananda Yoga Camp in Quebec where I became a certified Yoga teacher My interest in Budhism and Hinduism also led me to meet several Tibetan Lamas and study their teachings and traditions. I live presently in Montreal, Canada but travel frequently teaching Yoga and giving workshops and lectures on spiritual related topics.
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  1. ambapivoines says:

    Querida Surya Un placer leerte. Gracias.

    Me podria apropiar tus reflexiones.!!

    En el periodo de la “cave life” tuve tiempo para la intronspeccion, para preguntarme CUAL sera el proximo camino a seguir, , por que esa necesidad de “errancia”.. un alma de gitana y un corazon libre !!!

    Sigo en ello y deseo encontrar la respuesta para satisfacerme plenamente….

    Te deseo un feliz dia. Un abrazo con muchoooo viento fresco !!

  2. amyness says:

    very interesting journey Surya!! I still look a the notes from last summer from your talk and how you said we need to “take care of ourselves” and laugh more……as a victim of violence,your timing to remind us to “come back home” in every “move we make” is a honourable SIGNAL to not let life or other abusive, oppressive people pull you off your path or take up psychic space.For me, (and i feel “right livelihood” has not been upheld in my life because i “let others force me on odsp whcih became a “crutch”, only encourgaing me to NOT work and iim fighting adn fighting to work ( check out m y new website for refelxogloy – and try to get peopel to hire me….Others are in postion to judge and i REFUSE to accept norma card and others beliefs about me.. i just wont eat it anymore.maybe see u on the mat. i deserve life, im deserving of life lol and i refuse to let other croooks put guilt onto me….om peace peace peace

    • amyness says:

      ps again they tried to make choices for me in hair school in 2003 put words in my mouth and misdiagnosed very very unfairly…peace in teh valley, surya……..and im very competent and intelligent and im am introspective. THANK YOU.

  3. Anne Erde says:

    Thank you for your life story and for the confirmation that freedom is always available wherever we are, whatever we are doing. I enjoy receiving your posts and was happy to see you when I was in the Bahamas in January. Namaste. Anne Erde from Boston.

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