By Sakalananda Goss, SVA Business Manager
I had a good job at a college and a condo in a trendy part of the city. I spent my leisure time with caring friends and family. By all normal accounts, I had a great life in Calgary… but I wanted more. I wanted to invest more of myself into yoga. I made the decision to move to Downingtown and live in the Ashram.
It has been an incredible two years of transition into Ashram life and having my days revolve around yoga. Yet this change on the outside was not enough… I still wanted more. I struggled with my inner turmoil around wanting more. After all, I lived at the Ashram and worked for the Guru. How could I want or need anything more? Yet something was still not quite right. There was still something missing. I still wanted more.
During a recent five-day retreat with Swami Nirmalananda, the asana practices focused on aligning our head over our spine and heart. We studied the chant “Shiva Manasa Puja” (Mental Worship of Shiva). These practices opened my heart so that I could bring more of it into my yoga practices. I started to repeat the mantra with more feeling. My seva has been infused with more devotion. Every moment of the day is becoming more and more aligned with Grace.
Still, I knew there was more. I knew that my mind could very quickly pull me away, as I had witnessed so many times before. I wanted my mind to be more engaged and cooperative in my sadhana. I started to do more mantra throughout the day. At one point, I consciously decided to allow Grace to flow through my mind. I envisioned being the Lord of my mind and having Swami by my side; it was as though I became Arjuna on the battlefield of my mind. Swami Nirmalananda was Krishna being my charioteer. She was providing guidance and Grace. What a gift to invest my mind into the practices. Investing my mind in Grace. Investing my mind in Consciousness.
When I decided to move to Downingtown two years ago, I thought I was pouring all of myself into this process. Now I realize that I was pouring myself as much as I could. Since then I’ve discovered there is so much more of myself that I can invest. Now I continuously look for more ways to invest myself. What part of my life, of myself, of my Being, do I not want to NOT be infected with Grace, NOT be affected by yoga, NOT be immersed in the Self? I have decided that I want it all.
I have done the same with my finances this year. When I put together my personal budget for the year, I kept asking myself, “How can I manage my money to get closer to God? How can I invest my money into finding and being my own Self?” What a wonderful way to look at this powerful resource, money. I made the decision to continue to tithe 10% to the Ashram and to allocate other funds for additional donations throughout the year.
Your Ashram Board of Directors have also made the decision to invest more into the Ashram. Jointly, they have contributed $22,000 in matching fund donations. Please join us in giving more to the Ashram. Any donation you make will be doubled! You will invest in your Self as well as support the Ashram in helping others know and live from the One Self Being All.