By Lajja Mitchell, SVA Board Member
In my first Svaroopa® yoga class, I benefited physically and emotionally. So I kept returning. I also began to visit the Ashram website regularly. I read Swami Nirmalananda’s monthly articles and listened to her online audios. I went to her programs in Massachusetts and even traveled to her programs in Downingtown PA.
Through the years my mind has become quieter. I am less judgmental, I am more open and less defensive. I have more compassion for others. And my glass is no longer half empty!
This profound change in my outlook is due to Swamiji’s teachings. They have awakened me to my own Self. She says it is “the mystery that is hidden inside every human heart and being.” This perspective informs all of Swamiji’s teaching. Warm, lighthearted and down-to-earth, she makes the mystical teachings accessible through examples from our everyday lives and relationships. I am forever grateful to experience this Grace through her teachings and presence.
Because she has taken vows as a swami, she receives no compensation. We students do pay tuition for programs, retreats and professional trainings. As with any institution of learning, however, the total cost of the physical and technological infrastructure exceeds tuition. That’s why I make a monthly donation to our Ashram.
Years ago, I took a course on finances and retirement planning. The instructor stressed the importance of giving and the need to consistently give. That was the first time I set up a recurring gift. That was my first realization that giving to something that I believe in should not be an afterthought but a forethought. Adding a charitable line to my budget was doable. That charity got a benefit, and I did too. It felt good to give. Now, a decade later, I am still giving to that charity. And I am delighted to have also become a monthly donor to our Ashram.
It’s very exciting to see that so many of you feel the same way. Over the first 10 days of our Make a Promise campaign, 11 donors in our SVA Community have increased their monthly donations by $ 46.00 on average, an increase of $6,156.00 in the upcoming year. We are enormously grateful to all of you.
If you have not yet increased your monthly gift — or made a monthly pledge — please consider how the practices of Svaroopa® Sciences have benefited you. Of course, there is no way to give back for the Grace we receive. But you can promise yourself to express your gratitude by supporting the Ashram operations that make possible Swamiji’s work in the world.
Whether you increase your monthly pledge or decide to add that budget line item, give from your heart. Or make a one-time donation, in any amount. You know what is right.