By Rose Koerner, Interviewed by
Phil (Krishna) Milgrom
“It was such a special experience being in Lokananda,” shares Rose Koerner. “But when you move away from that, it’s hard to keep up the intensity of the opening.” So, after Foundations in June 2018, Rose practiced Ujjayi and meditation daily as her Teacher Trainers had recommended. She also attended yoga classes yet still felt herself slowly slipping downhill. “Being away from Swami and all,” she recounts, “the intensity of the opening eventually began to dim a little. I knew I had to do more.”
To stay inwardly open, Rose turned to the audio recordings available on the Ashram website. That was and continues to be her saving grace. “Now when I listen to the recordings, they remind me of how I felt in the Foundations training,” she explains. “That helps me stay strong and consistent in my living practice. The more opportunities I have to remember the wisdom in which the practices are rooted, the greater the connection I have with the practices as I go about my daily life.”
Rose appreciates the chronological organization of audio recordings on the website. She could easily find Swamiji’s talk from the Swami Sunday during Rose’s June Foundations. “Listening to the same talk that I heard at Lokananda especially helped revive the connection,” Rose says. “Since I’d heard it live, there was more sensory information locked into it. Now I can remember more of my profound experience more easily. It seems even more powerful now. Listening to the audio at home is a good way to remind myself of what I learned in Foundations.”
Even before Foundations, Rose listened to Swamiji’s recordings while commuting. She drives 30 minutes to and from the school where she teaches 6th graders. Listening to the recordings was an excellent way to continue learning more from Swami. She also found it a good way to deal with the stress of the commute. “It helped me feel more stable while driving,” Rose describes. “I can listen to something much more enriching than the daily news, which could stress me out, and more enriching than whatever music pops up on the radio. Then, when I listen at home, I have a notepad in front of me and jot down things that stand out. Sometimes I draw a picture to interact with the talk a little more.” Whether in her car or at home, listening to the audio recordings keeps Rose’s Lokananda Foundations experience fresh and alive. It keeps her closer to Swami. Listening to those recordings also keeps her rooted in the teachings that she cherishes as nourishment for her spiritual life.