Category Archives: Fundraiser

What’s in Your Wallet? – by Peter Gallagher, Board Member

By Peter Gallagher

PeterGAs a SVA Board Member I find things happen to me without my even wishing for them — things that continue to open me effortlessly to the knowing of my Self. Being a part of the Ashram seems to take the pressure off of my spine just as doing the Magic Four daily takes the pressure off my spine. That’s why I contribute time and money to our Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram; our donations take the pressure off the organization that effortlessly opens us to the knowing of our own Self.

Lokananda, our new “bliss place,” is slated to bring us together as a community in a new way. We can think of it as a wonderful prop. Just as our plaid blankets and blocks support us in releasing our spine from tail to top, having our own space for Svaroopa® yoga and meditation teacher training, for public yoga classes and satsangs, for deep retreats will change us in new ways. I don’t know specifically how Lokananda will change us, but I’ve got a good sense it will be in a good way. Making a financial contribution now to our Capital Campaign for the renovations will directly enrich the lives of others in your community that you know and like!

I have only seen our newly renovated 130-year-old Lokananda in photos. Even so I am amazed to see how what was a this less-than-optimal building is now our sweet, fresh comprehensive home for the teaching and practices of the Svaroopa® Sciences . I can equate it to how our own less-than-optimal bodies and minds are transformed to health and well-being when renovated by the shakti!

So what are you carrying in your wallet?  Are you carrying this building in your wallet?  Will you carry this building in your wallet? I know that Lokananda gives me as well as our whole community a place that will pull all of us closer to the Self. For me, a reverberating principle is to support this Place of Bliss for current yogis and for those who will come later.

Opening my wallet to help fund the renovations that have already brought this building to a new life is an opportunity. It gives me a chance to express my gratitude for what has already been accomplished. It is the letting go of fear and the trusting of Grace. In this one place, we will all gather as a community of yogis grounded in bliss. As our Lokananda absorbs more and more bliss program after program, when we enter Lokananda for training and teachings, the bliss-saturated structure will serve as a force to propel us inward to the knowing of our own eternal bliss within.

Please take a look into your wallet now. Is it holding a place for all of us to gather, to learn, to transform? Can you find a much-needed contribution to support Lokananda as a place of bliss for yourself — your Self — and our whole community? How great to join our voices in an affirmative “yes” chant in answer.

Tapping into Eternal Bliss by Kristine Freeman, SVA Board Member

IMG_8137Not yet having become enlightened, I live in a bliss-deficit. I need places like the Ashram, and now Lokananda, to boost my bliss. I know that the yogic goal is that the bliss of our own spiritual essence will fill us at all times and in all locations, but I’m not there yet. And that is why it is so important to me to support the creation of these sacred spaces. We who live in a bliss-deficit need to be embraced by these sacred spaces so that we can tap into our bliss within.

Ashrams exist for this purpose. Continuously since ancient times, ashrams have enabled seekers to turn inward to the bliss of beingness. Their sacred space creates a spiritual setting that gives us easy access to our own Self, so we can take our Self home with us when we leave. When I’m in our Ashram’s physical space, the environment inevitably supports my own opening inward.

I had such an experience during a recent visit to the Ashram. Walking into the meditation hall, straight from the airport, I unexpectedly felt pulled to the floor. Tears streaming down my face, I was suddenly and acutely aware of my bliss deficit, and of my absolute need to be in this physical space saturated with the Shakti of deep practice. It was as though I had been walking through a desert and suddenly found water. Walking into the sacred space of the meditation hall triggered a deep inner opening for me, first into the awareness of the startling depth of my bliss deficit and then into waves of gratitude for the existence of such a spiritually nourishing space and the privilege of being in it. Writing about it now brings me right back into that powerful spiritual space, into that experience of reconnecting with my Self. Priceless.

Yes, that experience is priceless. Yet physical structures do not exist in the world without costs!

So please join me in supporting our Capital Campaign: Lokananda – Place of Bliss in whatever way you are able. As each of us yogis donate in accordance with our individual budgets and in alignment with our hearts’ yearning to open to our own eternal bliss, we pave the way for ourselves and others to receive the same sacred transformation. Together we support the building that will house trainings, programs and retreats going forward. We support it, so it will support us now and others to come in the future.

Click here to support the Capital Campaign today.

Choosing to Grow? – by Swami Nirmalananda

 

You sculpt time by your choices.  This is obvious when you miss your turnoff, especially when the next one is 20 miles ahead.  It will take 45 minutes longer to get there.  While you might not say you made that choice, you had been choosing to pay attention to something else or simply to be unfocused while cruising along.

Yoga is the science of consciousness.  You spend time doing practices which make you more and more conscious until you go beyond merely conscious and become Consciousness-Itself.  No amount of thinking can get you there, yet you must not abandon your mind along the way, so beautifully described by yogis in the personal stories they share in this issue.

Becoming conscious is not always easy.  You begin to notice things you didn’t notice before, including tensions or pains in your body, your mind, your heart or your life.  You’ve got work to do and it’s all inner work.  I’ll compare it to the remodeling we’ve undertaken in our “new” 130-year old building, Lokananda.

Fortunately the structure is sound.  Our town required structural testing, which the grand old dame passed with flying colors.  But her plumbing was leaky and her nadis (energy currents = electrical systems) needed some work, plus her roof will need some TLC soon.  But she’s coming along well.

Even more heartening, response to our Capital Campaign is building.  Yogis have already given and pledged almost $30,000.  On October 10, we will house our first immersion at the Ashram’s new campus!  Not only will you will enjoy reduced Housing & Meals costs, you will stay in a dedicated spiritual environment.

In the same way, the remodeling you’re currently undergoing absolutely leads to where you want to go.  There’s some debris to clear, new ways to see and be — yoga makes you all new.  Do more yoga.

Click to donate or for more info, or call us at 610.644.7555

OM svaroopa svasvabhavah namo namah

Lokananda – Your Bliss Place – by Karuna (Carolyn) Beaver, Board Member

Karuna BeaverWhere is your place of bliss? Is it where your do your yoga or meditation? Or perhaps there is a special spot in nature that calls you back again and again. Maybe your bliss place is inside you, a place that you notice that your mind becomes still. Perhaps it is both outside and inside, just as our guided awareness in Shavasana directs you.

My “outside” bliss place is my stack of blankets next to my puja (altar) where I meditate every morning. I settle onto my blankets, settle into my mantra and settle into my Self, my “inside” bliss place.  The bliss of meditation keeps me coming back for more, the “more” I know I am. Luckily, my bliss isn’t restricted to my meditation spot. More and more often, I take it with me everywhere I go, because I recognize my bliss IS me. Yet I do notice that my “outside and inside” bliss can be deeper when I am in trainings or on retreat.

I remember opening my eyes after a deep Shavasana in my early days of Teacher Training, feeling that things were bigger and brighter. What I’ve come to know is that I am “bigger and brighter.” The practices, the teachers grounded in these practices and the energy that is grounded in our practice space has helped me see this.

The “Siva Sutras, and Swami Nirmalananda’s rendering, explain it this way:

Lokaananda.h samaadhi sukham — Shiva Sutras 1.18

The bliss of Self-Knowingess is experienced in its fullness in every place and every time.

In Sanskrit, loka means location, and aananda means bliss. Samaadhi is a deep inner absorption and sukham means full of sweetness and ease. A yogi can live in the easy and constant bliss of Self-Knowing; such a yogi also transmits it to everyone nearby. A place that houses the deep practices of yoga also absorbs and transmit this blissful energy.   With Swami Nirmalananda, we are fortunate to have such a yogi serving as our Master Teacher and Guru. She is based in the bliss of Self-Knowingness, and all the practices she teaches come from this deep well.

IMG_8210Now we’re also fortunate to have a dedicated building to absorb the bliss from Swami, from all the practices and from all the yogis who come. This place is Lokananda, our new teaching campus for Svaroopa® Yoga and Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation. Lokananda can be YOUR bliss place and you can be a part of it.  In October Lokananda opens its doors to our retreats and professional trainings, including providing our housing and meals.

It’s been a year-long process to remodel and update this lovely and historic building, which sits right in the middle of downtown Downingtown. It’s been an expensive process, too. Those of you who have remodeled a home know that there are always unexpected costs. We were able to fund the building purchase and the initial remodeling through donations and tuitions from our meditation-based programs. Our many sevites, including Swamiji’s seva, helped create the surpluses which we’ve invested in a new campus for your immersion experience.  Not surprisingly, there were cost overruns for the renovations, so more funding is needed to finish many needed tasks.

Ashram programs are residential “yogimmersions.” Many yogis have asked us to once again have our own yogic space, so we searched over a couple of years. We found it, bought it and have moved in, but we need your help to truly make this wonderful old building into a fully functional yoga home. Your financial support will fund the overruns, remodel and furnish the upper floors for residential use, and provide funding for repairs we know are coming, including a new roof.

At our annual retreat last July, the Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram Board of Directors voted to conduct a Capital Campaign. This is in addition to our annual fall and spring requests for donations, which are essential for our ongoing operating expenses. Capital Campaigns are time-limited and happen only when there are extraordinary needs: for buildings, equipment or other major expenditures.  Certainly we have extraordinary needs, and we’re calling on you, our extraordinary community of yogis. We’ve set a cautious and conscious goal of $150,000 in the campaign we’re calling Lokananda – Your Bliss Place.

What it would be like to have programs located in a space that grounds and holds the energy of bliss to support you? Imagine yourself there, in the place of bliss.  Now imagine that you can make it happen. I have just made the largest financial pledge in my life to a non-profit organization (yes, your donations are tax deductible). I am already imagining myself there. I can already feel the bliss. Join me in our Bliss Place. Dig deep and give what you can. You can make a one-time donation or make a pledge over two years. And when you do, know that you are supporting the bliss of your own Being. You couldn’t make a better investment!

Click here to learn more or to offer your donation in one of four levels.

Your Bliss Place – by Rudrani (Rosemary) Nogue, Board Member

Rudrani_GaneshpuriAt the Ashram with Swamiji, I have deep experiences of inner bliss, because the sacred “location” where Guru’s Grace and shakti are grounded is a catalyst to my opening inward to Self. Location is such an important support for connecting with our inner bliss!

I first learned this lesson years ago practicing yoga in another style. My husband and I had three growing sons living at home and space was limited.  My morning asana practice took place on our bedroom floor, and my husband had to step over me as he got ready for work, which didn’t work well for either of us.

When our sons left home and I discovered Svaroopa® yoga and meditation, I knew I needed to claim a dedicated yoga space. Thus, a spare bedroom has become sacred space, a true “yoga room.” Through daily meditation, chanting, asana practice and arati to pictures of Swamiji and our lineage, it supports me in looking inward.

After years of being hosted in commercial locations, our Svaroopa® yoga and meditation community needs our very own sacred space for teacher training, programs and retreats.  It is time for us to claim our own “sacred space” in the world. Lokananda, the building that we purchased in Downingtown last year, is nearly ready to provide this environment.

Our completely renovated first floor is already housing public programs in Downingtown including chanting Sri Guru Gita and holding satsangs and local yoga and meditation classes. The shakti is accumulating and concentrating in the building. The renewal of Lokananda on the first floor has been funded through revenue from meditation programs and donors.

Now we are working to improve the upper apartments (two are already vacated) so you can be immersed in an ashram environment during teacher training, yoga and meditation programs and retreats.  In turn, having a building dedicated to yoga and meditation supports our Guru and our Teacher Trainers. This historic building needs care, both inside and outside including a new roof, and preparing the upper floors to house you.  Now your financial support in our capital campaign is needed to complete this renovating/remodelling project.

Our capital campaign goal of a $150,000 is a big one — requiring support from each and everyone. The funds that you give will have a direct impact on what can be renewed and how long it will take.  Please join me in donating. Together we can claim our own sacred space and ground the Guru’s Grace in it to support our journey, individually and as a community, into the Bliss of Beingness. Choose the method that works best for your budget, either a lump sum or a pledge over a period of time. Now is the time to step up and lay claim to your own Bliss Place.

Click to donate or for more info, or call us at 610.644.7555

OM svaroopa svasvabhava.h namo nama.h

Keep the Current of Grace Flowing – by Kevin Maloney, Ashram Business Manager

Kevin wwwBy Kevin Maloney, Ashram Business Manager

We had our Grand Opening at Lokananda, our renovated 130-year-old building, on September 12th. The event went very well, with a steady flow of traffic through the day. Some people who had a lot of yoga experience came in, and some came in with no yoga experience. People who were what I would call “seekers” came in, and people who said they had no idea why they stopped in just decided to open the door and enter. It was certainly an event of community and diversity.

DYMC front 1509During the event, one woman said she suffered from PTSD.  Swamiji sat with her and told her what a great accomplishment it is that she simply survived the first 35 years of her life. And then Swamiji indicated that perhaps there is a better way moving forward.  As I observed all this, tears came to my eyes. These were not tears of sadness. While I could see the pain this woman was feeling, what touched me was the beauty of what was happening. Pain walked in the door and it found some relief and sanctuary at Downingtown Yoga. She became the first person to enroll in our new monthly membership.

As I drove home after the event, I thought about all you yoga and meditation teachers we train spread out over a large geographic area. I could see people in pain, or people who just know something is missing in their lives, walking in to find true relief from suffering. The experience I witnessed is a microcosm of a much larger effect that Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram has worldwide. There are many organizations that offer much needed relief including food, shelter, clothing, medicine, etc. That help is so important, yet it is temporary. What SVA provides is an opening for true transformation. By deeply looking within one can alter everything about their existence.

Being on the administrative staff at SVA is a challenge. Each staff member gets stretched to their limits. I have been in operational management for a couple decades, yet being the SVA Business Manager is certainly the most challenging position I have held. However, through the day-to-day flurry of activity, deadlines, staff issues, technical issues and the like, a gentle light keeps peeking through the chaos exposing the underlying current of Grace that flows through all we do. Many times it is hard to see that gentle light amidst the activity. Nevertheless, it is always there.

I personally feel very fortunate to spend my working hours at SVA. I came on board almost a half year ago. At that time I could have easily followed the money trail but I chose instead to jump on board here. Or it may be more appropriate to say that I was guided here and I simply allowed it to happen. If you are still and really look, usually you can see that what has brought you to the current moment has had meaning, no matter how it looked when it was actually happening!

IMG_8210The last thing I would like to mention is potential. The staff and DYMC now operate out of the beautiful first floor of the Lokanada building. I am amazed at how the efforts and generosity of so many have made this a reality, from nothing to reality in such a short time. As I look at the rest of this structure, the other levels of this building, all I see is potential. We do so much at SVA with the local community and with the Svaroopa® community at large. This building has the potential to serve the needs of students and teachers in so many ways. The rallying cry has gone out to realize the full potential of this building. I look forward to guiding the logistics and mechanics of the process. I look forward to helping realize the potential here.

So I join my voice to that of the SVA Board.  Please give generously to our Capital Campaign to support the costs of refurbishing the building and to complete the renovations of the upper floors. You will be an instrument of Grace in creating comprehensive sacred space for so many others as well as for yourself as you participate in trainings, programs and retreats going forward. Donate as guided by your heartfelt desire to spread the transformative teachings and practices of Svaroopa® Sciences and the Grace they carry worldwide.

Click for more information or to offer your donation now.

Sustaining Our Ashram by Saguna Goss

Join Saguna is supporting the Ashram's Next Steps. Click the image above to donate today.

Join Saguna is supporting the Ashram’s Next Steps. Click the image above to donate today.

During my last few years as a Board member for Master Yoga Foundation, I was aware that the organization was being challenged; it was facing the chaos of dissolution and destruction. Then came a stage of creation, with the huge transformation of working closely with our Ashram, which led to the Consolidation of the two sister organizations, which is now complete. A lot was going on; it was very interesting and exciting. In hindsight I can see how my mind was really entertained with details, looking at problems, coming up with unique solutions. But now, in the stability of completed consolidation, our Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram stands in the space of beautiful sustenance. It’s time to keep on keeping on. This is the stage of Vishnu, the cosmic force that sustains the world.

Last February, in our yatra to Ganeshpuri, India, I came to

Saguna Goss

Saguna Goss

know and appreciate Vishnu through Swamiji’s daily satsangs. In the past I’ve been drawn to Shiva, with no interests in the other forms of the Divine. But now it’s Vishnu. I am in the Vishnu stage of my life: sustaining a job, a home, relationships, and my various connections to the Ashram. Vishnu’s role of sustaining the universe is not as glamorous as Brahma’s creating or as Shiva’s destruction of forms that can no longer contain the “Sakti. Those forms of the Divine used to capture my mind. But now it is Vishnu who, in all his incarnations through eons, undertook the sustenance tasks that maintained the world. It’s not particularly sexy to do the tasks that sustain life. Yet this aspect of Vishnu is so beautiful and so precious. Nourishing and sustaining the earth flows from Vishnu’s open heart.

I have the beautiful gift of Shaktipat from my Guru and I need to sustain it. I am grateful now for the Vishnu support in my practice, to sustain my practices of the Svaroopa® Sciences. I now see all strands of my life woven together into a sustaining tapestry. And this is because it is the Ashram, also in the Vishnu stage of life, that sustains me in my life.

So I no longer give seva and financial support to the Ashram from fear and urgency. I give to the Ashram because it’s continuing existence is important. Please join me in setting up a monthly donation— or increasing your monthly donation, and know that your one-time gift in an amount that works for you is also very welcome. This is the time to give, to ensure that our fully created, stable Ashram flourishes. Then you know you are sustaining its life it every day, just as you would water any garden.  In supporting our Ashram in this way, you can count on being able to harvest your own sustenance.

Be an instrument of Vishnu through such continued support. This is a great time to support the Ashram as you would nurture any relationship that you cherish.

Why I Give by Matrika (Marlene) Gast

Join Peter is supporting the Ashram's Next Steps. Click the image above to donate today.

Join Matrika is supporting the Ashram’s Next Steps. Click the image above to donate today.

We Board members make phone calls to other donors in our spring and fall fundraising campaigns. Anticipation of a fundraising call can agitate the mind. Board members of any organization will confess to an aversion to asking for money. Yet in reality, every Ashram campaign brings me a gloriously different experience.

First, it’s my joy to call previous and current donors just to say thank you. I am truly and deeply grateful to each and every donor — past, present and future. Each of us who gives financially, at the level allowed by our circumstances, sustains the Ashram. This infrastructure, in turn, supports Swami Nirmalananda in passing on the sacred teachings by which she lives and serves.

Matrika (Marlene) Gast

Matrika (Marlene) Gast

We community members benefit. Everyone we touch benefits from our growing basis in Self. We more and more make our choices and take action from that deeply open, divine place. Thus healing, transformation and even illumination ripples outward to our families, to our own students (if we teach) and into our local communities. In this context, a phone call to express gratitude is delicious.

Inevitably, my conversation with the yogi turns to what she or he is grateful for. In the last few weeks everyone spoke of how much they cherish their relationship with Swamiji and the Svaroopa® sciences, how much they value her teachings:

“Swamiji is such a conduit of Grace. Teaching yoga in the context of Swamiji’s teachings, I find that my students make such quick progress in healing. I just want to see the Next Steps be ample finances so that Swamiji is freed up from having to manage any administration tasks, so she can turn all of her attention to teaching and writing. She can just be a Guru. I believe that’s the most important next step in attracting more people out there to the Svaroopa® sciences.”

“Because of Swamiji’s teachings I am compassionate in my relationship with members of my local community. I am more accepting of what is, not fighting to get things to be different. I accept that, as a yogi, I am different from my local community — and perhaps especially because I am a Svaroopa® yogi. Yet within the Ashram community I feel that I am a good fit.”

“I love sharing Svaroopa® yoga and I love seeing what Svaroopa® yoga therapy does for my clients. This yoga is so powerful. One of my students works in an accounting firm, and even in tax season she came to class, even on April 16th this year. She tells me, I’m coming to you because I want what you have.’ Swamiji and her teachings are part of my daily life. She has done so much for me in helping me find my Self. I listen to NPR every day, and I donate to NPR. Why wouldn’t I give money to support Swamiji and the Ashram?”

Another Svaroopa® yoga teacher and yoga therapist related a miracle story about one of her clients who had been in constant pain for 15 years. The client cried during her first session. The tears came because, for the first time in that whole span of time, she felt no pain. When I asked this Svaroopi whether she had any questions or concerns about the Ashram, she just wanted to know the mechanics of increasing her monthly donation.

I thought yoga was all about the poses when I first started practicing. Now I know it’s so much more. It feels to me that the “More” arises because we are all in relationship to our Guru. It’s a relationship that fosters — or uncovers — unconditional love. That’s the basis of connection within our community. So all interactions are infused with pure joy and Grace, which reveals The Truth, that at the core of each of us is the One Self.

Please contribute, with a one-time gift in any amount, or by becoming a monthly donor, if you have not already done so. Support the structure that enables Swami Nirmalananda to spread the teachings ever more widely.

Click here to donate.  New monthly donors receive a thank you gift from Swami Nirmalananda, as do those who increase their monthly donation.

On Solid Ground by Kanchan (Connie) Mohn

Join Peter is supporting the Ashram's Next Steps. Click the image above to donate today.

Join Kanchan in supporting the Ashram’s Next Steps. Click the image above to donate today.

We stand on the solid ground of the Divine.  We all do, whether or not we are aware of That at any particular moment. We depend in so many ways on our Guru and on the Ashram activities to support our efforts to rest in the experiential knowing of our own Divine Essence.  Our Guru and our Ashram are always there for us, always available via the material structures: the Ashram, Downingtown Yoga & Meditation Center, trainings and retreats in PA and all over the world, and our virtual Ashram (website).  And the Guru/Self is always available to us in the subtle realms.  Always.  There is no where that It is not.

Can we say the same about our availability, our willingness to support the Divine, to support Love?  Does the Divine need our support to survive?  No. Does it

Kanchan Mohn

Kanchan Mohn

respond to our support and availability? Yes, a hundredfold.  Take a moment to consider what you have given in relation to what has been given to you, what is always offered to you.  Staggering, isn’t it?

So we stand on the solid ground of the Divine, and we also stand on solid ground financially now, as Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram. Does that mean support is no longer needed?  No.  Swamiji is still intimately involved in the practical operations of the Ashram.  Too much of her time is taken up with these concerns.  She works very long hours, and still she remains committed to our experience of the Divine, and to making the experiential knowing of Self freely available to us in so many ways.

Swamiji’s bountiful, unswerving efforts extend the powerful teachings of her lineage and priceless experience to us. You have experienced it.  You know it. There’s no question that we all have unimpeded access to our Guru, to the lineage of Gurus and to the Grace that flows through them…to the extent that we make ourselves available. Through the Ashram and its programming, Swamiji makes it easy for us to stay in consistent contact with her and to the experience of the Divine.

Yet we live in a material world and it takes funding — financial support — to sustain the Ashram, and the programming through which we receive these incalculable benefits. That’s just the way the world works. Swamiji does everything possible to create an Ashram, physical, virtual, and ethereal that now embraces our worldwide community. No matter where we live or where we travel, we have the gift of contact with our Guru, with Self, on all levels.

Through SVA, Swamiji is committed to teaching and guiding all of us on this path toward Self-realization in this lifetime. To continue to do so, she and the Ashram must be supported even while on solid financial ground. That comes about through my commitment and your commitment to financial support.

Please join me in ensuring the continuance and even the expansion of all that the Ashram and Swamiji give to you, give to me, and give to the world beyond. Please take the next step to become a monthly donor or to make a one-time contribution.  If you are already a monthly donor, please consider increasing the amount. When you do so, notice the transformative effect in your life, yourself and your capacity for accessing your own Self.

Time Expands by Peter Gallagher

Join Peter is supporting the Ashram's Next Steps. Click the image above to donate today.

Join Peter is supporting the Ashram’s Next Steps. Click the image above to donate today.

This time of year is the most stressful for me, as I am a tax preparer for individuals and small businesses.  There’s a time commitment, with a very close deadline. The famous April 15th looms! A lot of work must be finished in a short time.  Many decisions need to be reached that will have an impact on my clients’ current and future finances. It is important for me to reach clarity within this time of stress.

So even though I have less free time now, I’ve learned to make time for my Svaroopa® yoga practices.  I may have interests in A, B, C and D, but I can only choose A and B. So I’ve learned to push aside C and D, and choose A and B, representing daily yoga practice and work. I used to choose only work. The biggest change for me has been

Peter Gallagher

Peter Gallagher

that I now make time for yoga, even when I have no true free time.  The time that I spend in my daily yoga practice actually creates a sense of more spaciousness for my work.

Most of my clients are long term. In many cases I’ve been involved in major decisions in their lives, including those involving births and deaths.  Because my clients are comfortable with me, I make space for them, and the extra space has been an important part of my work. My tax preparation and financial work is very much a form of service. With yoga, I am now less attached to the income aspect of my work. It’s also the gift of nearing retirement that enables me to be more interested in service to my clients than on my financial rewards.  The relationship part of my work with them has become more important.

It is becoming a member of the Ashram Board that has sparked this change most. I’ve stepped up to a new level of commitment to the Ashram; I give more time and more financial support.  I wasn’t expecting that, with this greater commitment to the Ashram, I would be taking more time for my personal yoga practice, and simultaneously placing more focus on allowing more time for clients.

Paradoxically, within the compressed time period of tax session, I am experiencing a sense of personal expansion. My relationships with clients, family and even strangers are better. Learning to give more to the Ashram has been a great benefit in my life. I am experiencing expansion during the tax season, a time I normally experience compression. This surprising phenomenon gives me an experiential understanding of the Grace that our lineage promises.

All has happened because of my relationship to the Ashram and my relationship with our Guru, Swami Nirmalananda. Through the teachings that she passes on to us, I’ve learned to take a step a forward again and again. Some of those steps, in fact, seem to be five steps to me.

Won’t you join me on this incredible journey? I invite you to take your next step forward in the form of committing to a monthly donation — or increasing your contribution if you are already a monthly donor. Or perhaps a one-time contribution works best for you.  Your support, in any amount, is welcome with great gratitude, and enables the Ashram and Swamiji to sustain unmatched service to you, to me, and to our whole community, spreading ever farther and deeper into the world.