By Shuchi (Sue) Cilley
I’ve been taking Meditation Teacher Training (MTT) programs for eight years or more. Every time takes me deeper and deeper. Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation Teacher Training programs saturate me in the Self. And they give me the tools to help others turn inward to take the same path.
MTT is an expedition, exploring the ancient sutras written in Sanskrit. Those multi-level packets of intelligence come to us across the ages. Layers of experience and revelation are packed within their vibrations. Exploring them is a never-ending source of delight for me. There’s something new unfolding all the time.
Swami Nirmalananda’s teaching is infused with Grace, the cosmic power revealing your own inherent Divinity. Her words describing the experience of Self help me understand. Yet it’s actually the experience of Self, to which she opens me, that enlivens the words.
In MTT, I learn to put my words to these experiences, so that I can express them to my students. It’s the ancient tradition come to life right here in modern-day America. Transmitted from Guru to disciple for untold generations, these teachings have never been lost. Their power is undeniable. MTT is to sit in that unbroken flow.
Is the course hard? I’d say no, not hard, but intense. The intensity works on clearing the density of my mind. A lot of that needs to be done! There are two parts to the Guru-disciple relationship. While Swamiji emanates Guru’s Grace in abundance, the disciple is responsible for Disciple’s Grace, which is self-effort. MTT is saturated with Guru’s Grace, yet the student’s self-effort is also essential.
In MTT, I’ve written and given a lot of mini-talks. They are valuable preparation towards putting together the talks I deliver when I teach. In my first MTT, I had no idea we’d be writing anything. I showed up with a notebook and pencils. Those in the tech stream showed up with electronic devices.
Giving my talks to our small group and listening to others’ talks was invaluable. Giving and receiving compliments and coaching gives me perspective, leading to improved teaching. MTT wonderfully prepared me to go out and teach. It gave me deep internal preparation plus a very clear road map, a robust syllabus, practice in every segment, and deep support.
I have “learned” to give these ancient teachings from my heart, using my mind, offering my voice. It is a blessing to study with Swami Nirmalananda, a brilliant teacher, a Guru, who ever and always propels me into this infinitely deep well of Beingness, Knowingness and Bliss. Plus, she offers me the structure to share it with others, in the same way she learned to do. We follow in her footsteps.