Gratitude for Sacred Ground

karunaBy Karuna Beaver, SVA Board Member

When I started Svaroopa® yoga, Swami Nirmalananda was Rama Berch. She used to tell us to look for a Guru. Back then, I could see she would be my Guru. I’m delighted that I was right! I am eternally grateful to her and the practices that set me on my path, a pilgrimage to deeper and deeper discoveries about my Self.

That was especially clear a few days ago, as I wrote in a new meditation journal, “A clean page, just like every day in meditation. A clean slate. A chance to let go of externals and focus inside, guided by mantra, by my Guru and by the masters before Her. They have given me the gift of shaktipat, so that I can see who I really am. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and this is what I am most thankful for.”

Our fall fundraising theme is the Power of Pilgrimage. I am thankful that you and I are pilgrims on a journey to sacred ground. This is an inner pilgrimage, to discover the One Self being you, being all. The spot where you stand is sacred because you are standing there. In every moment, you have a choice in how you see things. Swami Nirmalananda says, “…begin to see the sacred in everyone and in everything. It can be found in so many moments of your day.”

When you look inside and see you are Divine, you see everything differently. At our Thanksgiving table, we took turns telling each other what we were most grateful for. I saw my family and friends for who and what they are — Divine Beings — and expressed my gratitude to them. I expressed my gratitude for our Guru, who gives me my own Self. I owe everything to Her, and to the yoga organization that carries her teachings. This compels me to give back to the Source.

As you journey into your 2016 holiday season, how do you see your way forward? When you choose to see the Divine in yourself, and in everyone and everything, you experience a radical shift. This is at the core of all sacred pilgrimages. You learn to use your mind differently. How you decide to use your mind and how you experience this season of light are up to you. It is only a decision away.

candle-in-handYou might decide to keep doing what you’re doing or you might heed a call to Do More Yoga. The practice of dakshina, supporting the Source of these profound teachings, is priceless. If you have been one of our Ashram donors, you already know the inner freedom that arises from dakshina. It has a way of dissolving lingering fears. I am grateful to all of you who have decided to give back to Source or are considering it now.

Celebrating the power of personal pilgrimage, $3,600 has been donated thus far, at the half-way point of our fundraiser. Still, we have a long way to go.  You can decide to help take us farther. While your gift expresses gratitude for all you receive, it does even more. It makes Swami Nirmalananda’s teachings available to all who yearn to know their own Self.

Monthly donations, in any amount, support your Ashram with predictable income. These contributions enable us to budget and plan effectively. Increasing your monthly donation, even by just a small amount, expands the horizons of what the Ashram can give — to you and to the wider world.

Your one-time donation supports the practices and the teachers who support you. Stepping into the practice of dakshina by offering any amount stands you firmly on sacred ground. Please join me in this powerful pilgrimage so we can all move forward together. Click here to donate.

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