Gratitude to My Guru

By Peter Gallagher

What brought me to Svaroopa® Yoga was physical pain and mental exhaustion.  What kept me coming back to my local classes was the relief that I was getting.  Some 18 years ago, I went to a weekend workshop with Swamiji, then known as Rama Berch.  Besides the wonderful hands on instruction in the poses, she reawakened my keen interest in the spiritual.  From the beginning, she presented “Truth” with clarity, consistency and love.

Trust is a funny concept.  On one hand, it is earned; on the other, it is given. For me it is the reaching out from what I know to what is unknown.  When life falls apart, as it sometimes does, I retreat from the edge of trust back towards center, to what I know experientially.  By following Swamiji’s oft-repeated advice to do more yoga, I have an action plan to once again move towards Inner Source.  With time and practice, I do not retreat as far as I used to.

Fear and, less often the lack of fear, tells me where my boundaries lie.  Utilizing Swamiji’s many gifts to us enables me sit with the not-knowing and soften into it.

Often, it seems to me that what she has written was specifically written for me.  For instance, in her September Teachings, she writes, “You don’t have to change your life, merely add a new dimension to it – your own Self.”  She gives me permission to travel at my own pace. 

Simultaneously she reminds me of all the benefits that I have received from the practices and teachings she has given us.  Ladling more yoga into my life has improved the quality of my life…outside and inside.  The call to do more yoga is not shouted or demanded.  Rather, it reaches into me as a loving reminder that it is time to turn towards home.

Getting older is an adventure.  The gradual loss or sudden decline in physical abilities can be disconcerting.  Doing my Svaroopa® yoga and meditation practices positively affects my physical wellbeing.  More importantly, they enable me to become aware of capital-S Self and my small-s self simultaneously.  These practices reliably and consistently quiet my mind and allow joy to arise. They are a gift from Swamiji that keeps on giving. The pace I travel is my own. Fortunately, the quality of Grace is unchanged.  It is fully given, never pulled back.  I benefit each time Swamiji through her words and actions calls me back to the Source.  For the gifts that I can perceive, and for those not yet unwrapped, I am truly grateful.

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