Interview with Sigrid Lindemann (Radio program)
- Karthik: Hi listeners, this is Karthik from the Auroville Radio. I'm here with Sigrid Lindemann. And Sigrid, can you introduce yourself to our listeners?
Yes – my name is Sigrid Lindemann; I came to Auroville in '87. And my journey to become a therapist and teacher, for homeopathy and hypnotherapy, started exactly then. Before, I studied mathematics. And when I came to Auroville, I got to know about homeopathy my first days here; and then studied kind of ‘advanced’ homeopathy in Mumbai with Dr. Shankaran. Dr. Shankaran and his group was long-term associated with Auroville and Auroville homeopaths. And I am teaching his method in Germany since 2004: advanced training to homeopathic doctors, in certified courses. And so I go every year to do that, and through that earn my pocket-money to live in Auroville. So I can give a free service in homeopathy here to the Aurovilians. And this I do since 1997. (Every day, basically.)
So in 2009 I came across hypnotherapy, and invited the teacher, Yuvraj Kapadia, who actually is also closely related to Auroville. He met the Mother as a child, and also taught his course in hypnotherapy in the Ashram. And he is quite a unique personality (!) – he brought his course here, and 25 Aurovilians did the whole training in hypnotherapy; and since then anther 10-15 are in the process of finalizing this program.
And I stayed in association with Yuvraj Kapadia, became one of his trainers in India, and have now completed the teacher training in transpersonal regression therapy – that's an advanced method which combines certain techniques of hypnotherapy with Gestalt therapy, trauma therapy – so it's a very advanced and compact method, transpersonal regression therapy.
And the benefits of it all is of course to become a more complete person; to – as we say also in Integral Yoga – connect all the parts of the being around a central being. And this center being is connected to the psychic being. And the psychic being is the being which continues to manifest in different lives, different learning experiences in different lives. So in transpersonal regression therapy, we trace this. And again this teacher, in Holland, Hans __, is well aware of Auroville and Integral Yoga, and he has met people who have been in the Ashram; he has met people who have met Mother. So when I came there, I was very [well] received, and Sri Aurobindo's books were really there.
So I feel extremely grateful to have these three teachers who are all so connected to Auroville (though they're not here, but they're very connected). And to offer therapy in this line is exactly the way that Auroville and Sri Aurobindo's philosophy, and Mother, are writing. How they see it, how they experience it. So the therapy is just a kind of facilitation of an otherwise natural process – but okay, why not: sometimes you can have somebody who just helps you to go through it with ease, and so, to heal. To transform your life.
- Okay. I think many people confuse ‘hypnotism’ with ‘hypnotherapy’. But what exactly is the difference, and what do you see as the potential of hypnotherapy and all that?
See, hypnosis – show hypnosis – is done for show; it's not for therapy. So we use a hypnotic state to do therapies. What means ‘therapy’? Therapy means you want to change your perspective. Now, you cannot change the past. But you can change the way you evaluate what happened in the past. So maybe as a child, I thought, “parents are quarreling because of me” – because I touched that little vase and it broke down; and now I'm making a whole big thing about how I should never touch vases, and how I should not do, and how I should behave... “Now my parents are quarreling because of me,” and I feel very small and take many conclusions, because of all this.
But in fact maybe the parents quarreled because of some financial situation with the uncle, which, as a 3-year-old, I'm not aware of. I just made the mistake of assigning what happened to me – what all children naturally do. So now when, in the hypnotic state when you go back into the memory of this, you realize that actually they are talking about something else. Because now, you add your consciousness as an adult, in it. And you understand: no, that is not about you. As a 3-year-old you have no way of understanding finances and uncles and all this, no?
So you can re-evaluate, and then you can undo all those decisions and conclusions you took at that time. At that time you had one consciousness; now you have another consciousness. And once you change your belief system, you can do more for your potential. You're less limited.
It's what we do in ‘inner child’ work; but then we can even go to past lives. And in Auroville, of course, these things have a further meaning. So in the normal context you just say you work on your fears, on your limitations, and develop your potentials to become... happy in your life, and going for what you like to do, without being hindered by any baggage. But in Auroville, we see therapy to connect to the psychic being. And to see the bigger picture, of the lives of many incarnations.
And then, “Why did you come here?” Through the usual story? Like for me, it is for many others: you come here and you just feel, “I am at home here, and I want to come back.” Now, how strange is this? How you can reason this? It's totally out of logic. And it not only happened to me 30 years ago, not only happened to people who met the Mother, but even today. Even people who have all their life set up, on their own, and they have their profession, and they're fine – they come here and they're like, “Oh, I should be here.”
So Mother wrote that for the people in the Ashram, they know each other from some past life. So, okay, maybe when we come here, we sense something, some connection with this place, with the people here, with the purpose of Auroville, to which we connect. Maybe not from this life: maybe from some other past lives. Why should you feel home in India when you're not born here?
So we can only say this can only be a past-life connection. That's why some people can learn Tamil and speak Tamil and understand Tamil as if they were Tamil! And why Tamils, some of them speak German and like Germany more than anything.
- Hm. True.
It all happens here. So we can connect, and we can guarantee on different levels, some of our past lives may come in the front here. And... join, you know?
- Also in hypnosis you have like – they talk about a ‘dream state’?
See, normally in transpersonal regression therapy, we say, “we are all in dream-states and we're trying to wake up.”
- Yeah? So dreams, psychology, and hypnotherapy – how are they connected? Can you say something...
It's all connected, no? When you regress, or when you're in the hypnotic state, you just re-live a different experience of this life, or a pre-natal experience, birth experience, or past lives. So many recurring dreams are actually past lives.
- (Skeptically) Very interesting.
So the past lives which didn't end well, they are still playing up in this life to be solved. So let's say somebody has a fear of drowning, but has never gone swimming in this life. How can he have fear of drowning? So it can be a pre-natal experience or birth experience, exactly with the same symptom of drowning – and it can also be a past life. And it can also be both.
So now he can go X numbers of times to the pool and he will never put his head under the water, and he will never change his fear of drowning. So then we can do a regression and solve it.
- It's mostly connected, I feel, to the aspect of letting go? Because it's already like the remains of a fear which is created, but then we're not able to let go of it, even after that.
No, you cannot let go of things which they are not solved. They keep coming back. So you have to face it. You cannot separate yourself from it; you cannot say, “it is not me.” You don't have to identify by it, but if it keeps coming back, it has to tell you something. So then you need to solve it.
- How can people contact you?
Through the 3-day – or actually, now it's a 2, 2½ day hypnotherapy workshop. It's a first dip into all this knowledge. So in the first day we do the theory of the mind, so we see how the conscious and subconscious connect, and how the hypnotic state is created naturally, and how we use this natural process to sort of make it stronger. And reach a place where mostly we say, “Oh, this is like deep meditation.” It is (!). It is like a deep meditative state. So we have people in the course who say, “But 20 years I tried to meditate, I could not have a calm mind – but here it is done in 10 minutes, with somebody reading a script for you!” Because we just go with the psychological process.
So it's very simple to reach that state. And for me, two days hypnotherapy is like going to Vipassana. You learn something essential about how you function as a human being. How your sensations, your emotions, your mind, your body – how it all connects. What are the processes. What are the processes of how disease is created, and how you meditate, and what is the original healthy state. And I always say, we are like Stone Age men: our immune system and body are like Stone Age men. Our head is already far in the future, and we can use computers, artificial intelligence, oh yes – but body? Still a Stone Age man. So let us understand how this functions. And then we can just live better.
So again, these workshops – the intro, level-1 workshops – in Auroville, and it's free for Aurovilians. (Unless of course you want to contribute.) And then I'm also starting to teach regression therapy already in India – probably also in Germany – hopefully in Auroville. Because it completely goes with what we learned, and it completely goes with Mother's and Sri Aurobindo's work. So many times I open a book and read something that, “ok, this is exactly what you're doing.” Okay but no wonder – our teacher's also very connected. He may come in August  for the bonfire. (15th of August.)
Yeah, so, a friend of mine is translating his books into German here in Auroville; I translated also my homeopathy books, here. For me, Auroville is a place for this kind of research, and study, and experience. Not only books: I practice what is in the books. How to work with past lives, how to work with different incarnations. How to discover the thread of so many lives. And learning, just amazing stuff!
- Thank you.
And Auroville is a great place for it.
So I created a unit in Auroville, with my friend Christine who I know for 30 years, as a platform for Aurovilian therapists, so that they can work in India, and also in Auroville for outsiders. For these, normally we have to have a structure – so we have this unit. So Aurovilians come for free, for the workshops, for the sessions; and others contribute and they can come here and get sessions, and can get the Level 1 workshop. And you will just find us on auroville-holistic.com. It's “auroville”, bar (middle bar), “holistic”, dot com.
And you find all what we offer there: there's yoga classes, there; I give hypnotherapy, I give also trauma therapy workshops, wellness workshops, health coaching. And in general a holistic approach to health. We have acupuncture, we have Qi Gong, we have osteopathy; we have like 6 Aurovilians now who are part of our platform. They'll be someone else joining also for osteopathy (second osteopath) soon.
And we have amazing therapists here in Auroville, but we miss out a little bit on the marketing side. We don't say what we do. But we should! I'd like also to organize a ‘come for one month of learning in Auroville,’ like in September, and then people give workshops, and people can come and stay here and learn so many things in a short span, and very... You know, in Auroville, we are in a very condensed place. We are a village full of therapists (!).
- Thank you very much for everything you shared, and for your service in Auroville. Anything else you'd like to say to the listeners?
Be curious! So much to explore in life. If you're interested in Auroville, maybe some past life is waking up!
- Thank you.