Monthly Archives: August 2016

Education for Personal Growth

matrikaBy Matrika Gast

I found true education and personal growth only when I encountered Swami Nirmalananda and the Svaroopa® Sciences.  In high school, I learned that “educate” is related to educere, Latin for “to lead forth that which is hidden.” I was thrilled by this! More and more education — that would lead the best of me (covered by adolescent issues) from inside to outside. I would bloom. I would fly with brightly colored wings. College, graduate school and becoming an academic myself left me still looking.

Foundations taught me how to align myself and others in primary spinal openers, poses that I had already fallen in love with.  Already certified and teaching in another yoga style for six years, I was stunned at the challenge of Foundations. I had to learn to learn in a new way, an exponentially deeper way. Experiential, embodied learning was beyond me. I had been dropped into a foreign land with a language I’d never heard before. No way was my facile mind going to carry the day.

Yet, though uncomfortable and frustrated, I somehow knew I belonged in this strange land. Trainings, retreats and conversations with Swamiji have begun to lead forth that which had been hidden in me all along. The first step was dissolving my delusion that I could depend on my analytical mind to figure out the right answers. I had to slow down, lean inward and really look inside myself to get a sense of what is deeply inside.

shiva - CopyWithin me emerged a resonance with Swamiji’s teachings, which inform all Svaroopa® Sciences programs, both meditation and asana. I began to experience the knowing that I am the Self, and everyone is the Self, whether they know it or not. It’s the knowing that Shiva is being me, and being you. Even when you’re having a bad time, Shiva is having a fine time being you. That teaching has helped dissolve many opaque layers of contracted attitudes, behaviors and identities. Through the past 12 years, my Svaroopa® Sciences education, slowly and surely, has led “the hidden” in me into the light, inside and outside.

For me the greatest amazement of this education is seeing that its process is more than just great teachings. The ingredient of a Great Teacher, the presence of the Guru, is essential. Decades ago I had a friend who had a guru in another lineage. I could see she was a successful, intelligent, respectable and professionally respected individual. But when she talked about the power she felt in the presence of her guru, I figured some part of her was just nuts. I knew I was never going to be that, well, off track. I certainly had no inclination to go in that direction!

IMG_20160205_205505 - CopyThat memory is a measure of personal growth, fostered through Svaroopa® Sciences education. It’s led forth the knowing of what IS, in myself, in my family, in friends and students — and in the world with all of its wonder, miracles and tragedies. Along with the teachings she carries to us from her Baba, Swami Nirmalananda’s presence is the fire beneath the pot transforming all ingredients into pure nourishment.  And I’m eating my fill.

Manifesting with Grace

Lisa HansenBy Lisa Hansen

When I read Swamiji’s July contemplation article “The Power of Manifesting,” I couldn’t believe the timing of it.  Swamiji is speaking directly to me, as this topic has been fresh on my mind.  As is often the case with many of us, right?   Then I remembered, ah of course, she is Guru.

I have been doing a lot of inner work for the last several months.  I’ve been learning language skills online, in order to better use my mind.  The result is I feel better and better, yet it may be time to wind that practice down. The reason I say this is because I have been asking Swamiji for help with manifesting.  I feel like I have been in a holding pattern of non-action.  My emotional and mental work has been the action part of my day, including my yoga practices of chanting and meditation.

I now realize I have been sitting and “waiting” for the universe to deliver to me what I have asked for.  As if my business would just grow by itself!  As if my excess weight will magically fall off!  This article was exactly what I need to shine light and wisdom into my naive perception, just what I need to break through this stagnation.

IMG_20160209_092614 - CopyI have been asking Swamiji for help with my business recently, and also with weight loss (I laughed when she used the weight loss analogy in the article).  I feel like she is answering me – with this article.  She said to set an intention and, “still, you have to roll up your sleeves and do it!”  It was one of the missing pieces for me.  Now it seems so silly to expect to increase my business and lose weight without doing my part!   I can clearly see now that manifestation is a co-creating experience:  one must participate along with God by taking action.   I feel a renewed energy stirring up inside of me of INSPIRED ACTION!

My work is all about helping others.  That is how I started out to build what is now a prosperous business.   Somewhere along the way, my motive became about materialistic gain.   I can also see that I didn’t have balance between being in service to others and self-
care, so burnout happened as I gave, gave, gave.  In other words, I didn’t have a yoga Stairs 2 - Copypractice in place, nor a Guru, to replenish what I was able to give out.  My vessel became empty.  I can see that now.

It had come effortlessly in the beginning when I was in service to others, but manifesting became a struggle and hard work.  I am renewed now, to serve others graciously AND keep it in balance this time, taking care of me, too.  I can see that what was missing was Grace.  With Divine Grace, manifesting with the right motive happens with ease.  Your actions are fueled by that Grace.  Thus, actions are not depleting, they are replenishing!

I am full of deep gratitude for this clarification!