By Kim Zikmund
I honestly didn’t know what to expect in the Shaktipat Day component of my Level 2 Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). I was inexperienced, both as a student and as a teacher. I didn’t even recognize the profound changes that were happening within me.
A year later, I again received Shaktipat from Sadguru Swami Nirmalananda in YTT Level 4. From her teachings throughout the four levels of Svaroopa® YTT, I had a better understanding of the physical and mental changes that need to happen within me. I welcomed those changes.
I knew that I wanted to stop looking externally for things to make me happy, whole and complete. I yearned for the teachings, the chanting and the physical changes. I knew deepening these personal practices would bring me to know my own Divine essence. I just couldn’t get enough. My second Shaktipat experience was a profound one, making me realize all I needed was right there inside of me. I didn’t need to look any further. Rather, I simply needed some help to go deeper.
I received that help a few months later by attending a full weekend Shaktipat Retreat. From many other students, I’d heard about the beneficial effects of Shaktipat. I was overwhelmed with excitement to attend, and the retreat exceeded my expectations. It helped me delve deeper into my Self. It was a rich, fulfilling experience that made me realize I’d changed. Yet I didn’t actually change. I was just reacquainted with ME! This lovely revelation presented itself at the opportune time. I left that retreat knowing who I was and how that flow of Grace is always there for me anytime I need it.
Two weeks after leaving the retreat, my father became very ill. He has a chronic disease, and I truly thought this was his time to leave this earth. I didn’t have the opportunity to savor that Shaktipat flow of Grace. I was thrown into long driving trips, early mornings and late nights. I was supporting my parents, emotionally, physically and spiritually in any way that I could. During this time, however, I noticed how I was just floating through the crisis. Not attaching emotion to everything happening around me, I became present in every moment. I was fully aware and watching things through a very different lens. I was tapping into an inner source of strength. It flowed from within and gave me the opportunity to be there for my parents when they needed me the most. That flow of Grace didn’t need to be savored. It was there, and I tapped into it.
“When I say, DO MORE YOGA, I mean that your yoga doesn’t stop when class ends. Yoga pervades life. Life becomes yoga.” This is one of my favorite quotations from Swamiji. With deep gratitude I thank her for helping me on my journey and look forward to attending many more retreats.