By Frances (Jñani) Amery, interviewed by Lissa (Yogyananda) Fountain
Taking Foundations of Svaroopa® Yoga, then YTT 1, became a launching point to learn yoga philosophy. Like a sponge, I soaked up teachings such as the 36 tattvas (Kashmiri Shaivism levels of reality). Rather than studying the poses, I soon realized I wanted to focus more on the sutras (philosophy aphorisms). Then, not long after completing YTT 1, I fell and broke both legs. While recuperating, I took Gurudevi’s “Yogify Your Life” phone course. It gave me access to the teachings I was longing for.
A few years later, I tripped and broke my foot. This “fortunate fall” was pivotal. Once again, as I convalesced in bed, I was able to study yoga philosophy with Gurudevi. I listened to the Shiva Sutras online. I felt totally supported by the sound of Gurudevi’s voice delivering these profound truths. Even though I do not recall many details, the sutras got layered into me somewhere. It was amazingly fantastic!
Conversing with other yogis about the Guru, I had a sudden and clear inner knowing that Gurudevi is indeed my Guru. I realized I had had this inner knowing from the moment I first met her. Being in her presence, I feel drawn inward with a strong force like the tractor beam in the old “Star Trek” shows. This force is called Guru’s Grace. Guru’s Grace shines through her words and teachings.
They help me in my daily life, in every way. By having a Guru, I feel my thinking process and behaviors are being restructured. For instance, I was always an ethical person. In grade school, I was the first to fess up about any mischief! Yet practicing the yamasand niyamas with Gurudevi’s guidance has brought me deeper. My understanding of myself and my world is clearer. As time goes by, ever deepening insights unfold. The inner lnowing was always there; I just couldn’t yet perceive it.
Gurudevi is my teacher. She understands me in a way no one else does, which startles me at times. During her Year-Long Programme discussions, I feel her speaking to me directly, no matter whom she is addressing. It’s like the spiritual DNA of the lineage is in my very constitution. This makes Gurudevi my spiritual mother. She holds the promise of all that is yet to come — enlightenment in the midst of life. And I love this promise: it excites me and keeps me focused on this inner path. I am grateful for the great gift of a Guru! I’m so blessed to have crossed paths with Gurudevi.