By Swami Nirmalananda
I was looking for words. Words to describe the incredible change in our YTT program. Words that convey my delight about how much more powerful it will be than ever before. Words that help you understand the new levels that will open for yogis who dive into the deep end with me. I was looking for words.
I always begin with contemplation, letting my mind be filled with consciousness. Consciousness-Itself is the source of words, the form of intelligence itself. “New” and “improved” doesn’t work any more, not even when they put it on the outside of a box of detergent or package of munchies. Plus we have the move toward heirloom veggies and Grandma’s original recipes. Who says “new” is at all “improved?”
So I won’t say that this incarnation of YTT is improved over the previous one. I stand by all I’ve done to marinate the teachers I’ve had the opportunity to train. But marinating has to happen faster. This is Kali Yuga. Time is of the essence. After all, this is the age of the quick pickle!
My dad used to grow cucumbers, the little pickling cucumbers, and then make his own concoction for the pickle juice. It took a couple of months for them to come to perfection. Every summer day, as a kid on that interminable summer vacation, I’d ask, “Are they pickles yet?”
Are they teachers yet? How quick can a yogi be transformed into a teacher? The first Teacher Training I took was 25 hours. I graduated with a certificate but didn’t feel ready. I taught, but felt like we were all just going through the motions, a pantomime. So I took another Teacher Training. And another one. And then Kundalini showed me the way. Thank you, Baba.
Now you can make pickles in a couple of hours. And they’re good! Is this “new” and “improved?” We have to turn out teachers this way.
So I was looking for words. I could see the whole of what I’ve birthed, but how to describe it? “Streamlining” is what I’ve been calling it; it’s the word that Chiti (consciousness) keeps giving to my mind. So I went to the thesaurus.
Modernize, update — yes, I’ve modernized our Teacher Training, but that could easily mean dumbing it down. Modern doesn’t always mean improved. And yoga doesn’t honor the updates; it honors ancient knowledge and systems. Yet the sages, through the ages, came up with new and updated ways of teaching the ancient truths. So this is modernized and updated, yet the essence is unchanged. A tricky thing to accomplish.
Reorganize, rearrange, reschedule, move around, reorder — yes, I reorganized the schedule, moving things around, putting them in a new order, so all these words are true. Yet they don’t cover an essential piece, which is that the new order gives new meaning to all of it.
Revolutionize, reform, restructure — ah, this is closer. It is a revolutionary new way to approach it, but it’s not new information. It’s revolutionary information, spinal release, tail-to-top, core opening, but we already knew that. Yet the re-forming of it, into a new structure, gives it a new power. New potential. Amazing new vitality!
Make more efficient, sort out, simplify — check. More efficient, as in getting there quicker, with less energy expended. Making it easier and more accessible. Simplifying the profound. Isn’t that what shaktipat is all about?
Develop, upgrade — yes, these are best. Develop means that everyone who has ever taken one of our programs has contributed to our latest development. Upgrade means you get a new system, one that does the things you already relied on and yet offers more. Easier. Quicker. Cheaper. And still deep and profound.
While all this describes our YTT Upgrade, it is now extending itself to all our programs. The force of upliftment is pouring into all our programs. “Faster, easier? Of course,” says Shree Kundalini. “Deeper and more profound? Piece of cake!”
I am looking forward to this.
This California girl that I am, I know how to ride a wave.