Ramguru: Charter’s Very Own Aspiring Yoga Master 

Sophia Lopez, Features Editor

   A wise Buddha once said: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

   What if the student who was ready, is already a teacher?  

   Pines Charter’s very own Mr. Ramphall walked the path of a student once again, during a period of uncertainty in his life, highlighted by the abundance of love and losses. He was desiring peace of mind above all else, unaware that he was more than ready to rewrite his mindset. 

   Ramphall was raised in Trinidad and Tobago with ties to India. Having absorbed the interest in spirituality from his mother, he sought comfort in the familiar and knew the first step towards balance would be searching for a guru. Someone to guide him through the meditation process.

  He didn’t have to wait long. One afternoon, Ramphall stumbled upon his teacher on a shelf. Yoga master Paramahansa Yogananda appeared before him, smiling shyly on the cover of his book written specifically for westerners, Autobiography of a Yogi. Ramphall’s guru had already taught millions the art of meditation through books and warmly welcomed beginners. In every page, the book juggled concepts of life, afterlife, and purpose with compelling words that only a yoga master could masterfully wield. Ramphall felt the long-awaited rush of hope, stemming from the intimacy of being understood. “I felt that, at last, I had found the door that I was seeking. Thankfully I had the courage and the good sense to walk through it,” he says with a laugh.

    Finding and connecting with his guru meant the next step wasn’t far. On the back of the book was an email address, inviting those inspired to learn proper meditation under the techniques of Yogananda. Ramphall wrote to the Self Realization Fellowship in California as soon as he finished reading, and was granted the opportunity to receive a home study kit with 162 lessons. He became a true student of yoga right then and there; dedicated to learning everything.  As he puts it, “It meant realizing that the way out was in.”

   It took him 2 years to complete the kit, and just as he was about to finish, Ramphall received an invitation to the meditation world convocation in 2015 hosted in Fort Lauderdale. It was such an incredible coincidence, almost too good to be true. There he learned the potent secrets of the most powerful meditation technique, Kriya yoga, and met with other individuals who each had their own stories. 

  It was an otherworldly experience, and Ramphall became an official Kriyaban. His ” sixth sense” or intuition, became fine-tuned through the countless hours of meditation and mindfulness exercises. “As a physics and chemistry teacher, I have benefitted from meditation by becoming calmer. One can only be efficient when calm,” he says proudly. The door Ramphall walked through opened the possibility to guidance from within, and he now views life through a more joyful lens. 

   Ramphall’s success also comes from embracing that he has more to learn as a student, but is ready to share his experiences.

 Here are 2 of his top tips that he learned himself: 

(1) Develop your intuition by meditation. Use this newfound enhanced ability to solve your life problems.

(2) Remain calm, no matter what the circumstances. You are of no use to anyone if you’re hysterical and out of control. Cultivate kindness and freedom from anger. Calmness, pridelessness, quietness, humility, kindness, and evenness of temperament–these are the ornaments of proper inner behavior.

  It’s been almost 10 years since Ramphall first started meditating. He has never been so in sync with himself and his surroundings. The one thing that resonated with him throughout his spiritual journey was the comfort that, “you don’t have to acquire anything. All you have to do is improve your knowing.”