By Jayaa (Julia) Djaic
With Swamiji coming to Australia for a Shaktipat Retreat, I knew I would have time to sit in her presence. Looking into her eyes, I would immerse in her teachings — and in her state. Before her arrival, we received information from the Ashram to support us. While I already do the recommended practices, the information still made me feel wrapped in the Shakti, nurtured and cocooned. Something was building inside me. With Swamiji in my life for more than 11 years, I have received the gift of deep Shaktipat many times. Her presence and Grace have transformed my life. Yet this time was different.
Of course, it was different from Teacher Trainings. While they are deep and wonderful, you still you apply yourself differently. Listening to her satsang audios online, I experience great benefit reaching into many layers. It changes my state, keeping me connected and in the flow of Grace. But this Shaktipat Retreat was a deeper way to surrender. And I was ready, more ready than I have ever been. My heart and mind had been working on surrendering into a new level of inner transformation. My inner yearning was much stronger.
From the moment we gathered, I felt cradled. Chanting, mantra repetition, puja and teachings propelled me deeper and deeper. I was being filled from the inside. Each day’s practices took me deeper into meditation. My body was in pain, truly uncomfortable at times. Yet it did not stop me diving inward. With mantra repetition, mantra took on a life of its own. I was drawn downward and inward at the same time. My experiences grew stronger. Previously, such experiences may have prompted my fear. But as Kundalini did her work, my total surrender left no room for fear. And it was wonderful. The anguish and pain that my body and mind were holding onto was purged.
Since I was last at the Ashram in 2016, Kundalini had been working in my body in the form of stomach bandhas (locks). In this marathon of Grace and surrender, Kundalini blasted through my heart and opened my spine in other problem areas. When Kundalini put me into a version of Fish Pose, my head locked backwards. Tongue movements opened my throat wide and breath flooded my body along my spine and into every cell. It was an ocean of breath. It consumed my whole body like a tidal wave. I felt peace, love, gratitude flood in, cleansing and changing my internal landscape. And there was something more that I can’t find words for.
My body became suddenly, deeply still. I felt empty and full at the same time, with an energy all around and within me. Intense presence and pressure between my eyebrows worked in my brain. I could feel Swamiji’s presence acutely, yet I felt that she was holding my hand, guiding me gently. The pressure in my head was almost painful, yet there was peace too. I could track the electric blue current sparking in deep brain crevices. I am eternally grateful to be changed forever. I have been given what I would liken to a new Porsche, filled with jet fuel. Equipped with the tools Swamiji has given us, I am seriously testing the accelerator.
Others report similar transformations. Amanda Cahill says, “There are no words in the human language that can come close to the greatness that I felt during and following the Shaktipat Retreat experience. Two days after the retreat, all I can say is that if I were a battery, I have gone from 25% full to overflowing. Thank you, Swami Nirmalananda, with all my heart!”
Daya Ma Amanda Ahern concurs, “Shaktipat with Swamiji was a life-defining experience. It has undoubtedly opened the door to kindness. And to my SELF — finally! I now have absolute certainty that I love God and God loves me no matter what I think or feel, or whatever else is happening in my life. Thank you is way too inadequate.”
Leanne Michelle Cox, as well, found the Shaktipat Retreat to be “an amazing experience.” She describes her meditations as “deep, much deeper than before.” She explains, “The Shaktipat lasered in and opened up new areas in my body. Swamiji’s discourses explained things in an easy-to-understand way, making me yearn for more. I left the retreat more grounded, more centered and yet propelled forward like never before.”
“The physical time was only two days,” notes Mimi Saunders. “Yet when I left, I felt a lifetime had passed. I am not the same person. So much gratitude I feel towards Swamiji.”