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Walking Home with Baba

The Heart of Spiritual Practice

Rohini Ralby

176 pages
Bancroft Press

Rohini Ralby spent several years as head of security, appointments secretary, and personal assistant to Swami Muktananda, and in their many hours alone together, this world-renowned guru taught her, one on one, the essence of spiritual practice. In Walking Home with Baba, an expert guide to spiritual practice, Rohini draws on that experience and her subsequent study and work as a spiritual teacher to convey, in clear and concise terms, what spiritual practice truly is.

Spiritual practice is walking home. It is retracing our way back to God–to Absolute Truth, Absolute Consciousness, and Absolute Bliss. Until we take this path, we will suffer, trapped within a false identity–our lower self, which is nothing more than a set of ideas. The way out of suffering and back to God passes through the Heart. The Heart is not the physical organ or the seat of emotions, but the place within, where the manifest emerges from the unmanifest. It is the ground of our being.

Walking Home with Baba recounts Rohini’s experiences on the path and explains exactly how to get to and rest in the Heart. Its odd-numbered chapters are explicitly instructional, offering tools and techniques for spiritual practice. Its even-numbered chapters recount significant vignettes from Rohini’s own spiritual journey, especially her years with Muktananda. While the instructional chapters provide detailed guidance in spiritual disciplines, the narrative chapters convey the lived experience of traveling the path and being the close disciple of a great Guru.

Walking Home with Baba is also a practical, even quintessential companion to the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Rather than offer an exhaustive commentary on every sutra, Rohini distills the key principles of classical yoga by focusing on selected sutras and explaining how they relate to daily spiritual practice.
After a chapter recounting her final experiences with Baba, including his death, Rohini closes the book with a list of suggested readings, and a compilation of her own aphorisms–pithy, often witty one-liners designed to shake us out of our ignorance. For clarity, she provides a glossary of spiritual terms.

Walking Home with Baba is the expression of decades spent practicing and sharing the practice with others. Its purpose is to teach us how to free ourselves from misery and recognize who we truly are. Though Rohini introduces tools she has developed over the years, she returns again and again to the essential principles of practice. In Walking Home with Baba, she provides a practical guide to real, abiding happiness.