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Let Us All Blossom Forth Together by Prakash (David) Falbaum

Prakash (David) Falbaum

Prakash (David) Falbaum

Two and a half years ago a seed was planted within me during my first Svaroopa® yoga class. At the time, little did I know what that would mean.  But now I know the seed was the beginning of the explicit knowledge that I am Divinity itself.

I was 49 years old at the time and was as far from any type of spirituality as I believe a human being can get. I considered myself an agnostic at best and spent most if not all my time building walls to keep myself safe from what I thought was a world out to hurt me at every turn.

Fortunately, I was in back pain as well, and to help with that I found a Svaroopa® yoga class near where I live in the Twin Cities. At first, I concentrated on asana, and my tailbone began to open. As fear started falling away I picked up japa and meditation.  With physical opening I had so many changes so quickly that I emailed Swamiji. She answered my email!  Again, I was shocked. I was a new student, yet the Master Teacher and Spiritual Leader of our organization took the time to help me out.  This response was not what I had been exposed to with the religious practices I’d grown up with.

Then came a calling from within me, and I began to offer seva and donations. I initially wanted to give back to Swami and the organization that was giving me so much, but the more I give, whether it’s a financial donation or my time offering seva, the more I get. These practices have allowed me to become more seated within my Self, as I become aware of the more subtle levels of Divinity within myself.

I started my yoga practices as a fearful introverted person, and now I have blossomed forth into a loving, giving, gracious person. Swamiji and the lineage have provided the seed and practices to make the seed grow. All the practices from asana to meditation, to seva, being in the presence of Swamiji and the highest teaching nurture the seed, establishing me in my own svaroopa, more and more of the time.

Thus, as I have given more of myself and increased my monthly donations, I have continued to Blossom Forth. The more I give, the more I blossom and know my Divinity more and more of the time.  I now serve on the Ashram Board and am continually amazed at how the Ashram exists as a living, breathing form of consciousness enlivened by Swami Nirmalananda.

Thanks to the generosity of so many other sevites and to the generosity of monthly donors and annual donors, the Ashram serves our wide community of yogis on our chosen paths under the umbrella of the Svaroopa® sciences. I know that for me to Blossom Forth into the ever-deeper knowing of my Self, it has been essential that the Ashram has been nourished by Swami Nirmalananda’s dedication into stunningly beautiful bloom. Under her unwavering stewardship Svaroopa® yoga teacher training has flourished into a new era for those of us whose path it is to bring the magic of our asana practices into the world. Supporting her work in this transformation via our Consolidation have been talented Trainers, staff and sevites. And now we have a consolidated organization, a brand new website providing easy access to essential information about the various Svaroopa® paths to the knowing of ourselves as Self. And the Ashram is poised for even greater expansion to serve those of us who already benefit from Swamiji’s teachings as well as seekers who are on the brink of finding the Svaroopa® sciences.

Please join me in giving financially to support the current and future work of Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram, for the experiential knowing of your own Self. Give through monthly donations or your annual donation — or both.  Let your own sense of gratitude for what you have already received blossom forth into ongoing financial support, so that each and all of us can continue to blossom forth and fresh seeds can be planted in new places.

Blossoming Forth by Amala Cattafi Heinlein

amala-photo“Growth is expansive, yet also expensive,” commented Swami Nirmalananda, which resonated deeply with me. Most people think about expense in terms of money, an immediate hot button that lands us in a place of fear and anxiety. Yet, in that place, how perfect it is to consider Blossoming Forth at the same time! Expensive, yet expansive.

I want to share some thoughts with you from the Board perspective and also from a personal perspective. I hope you find it resonates with you.

As Board Chair I have been focused on everything needed to make our new building, Lokananda, a reality: the property search, the contract negotiations, the financing, the inspections, the zoning, and host of details needed before settlement. Thankfully, I had a lot of help. I am also grateful that the whole Board could see that this acquisition is the next step in the blossoming forth for our community.

We are currently working with the architect and contractor on turning the first floor into a bright and airy space for Downingtown Yoga, with space for both meditation classes as and asana classes, and eventually space for more Ashram residents and guests. Lokananda will be your space, your community center, and it will soon vibrate with all the love and Shakti that flows so easily from Swamiji’s presence and teachings. Our expansion is all for you!

This seva project was so amazing because I felt all of you so deeply throughout the process, even though it was also one of the most difficult things I have ever experienced. For me personally, it brought up fear and anxiety — to get everything right. The fear came in overpowering waves that attached to me like leeches with each small task that had to be completed. It would subside for a moment upon completion, but return with a vengeance at the next task. I knew that this mental and emotional pain was a massive karma burn. Expansion is expensive!

I know you all experience moments (or longer periods) of fear, anxiety, despair, anger, stress, even while you also know you are expanding toward the knowing of the Self. It can feel like being stuck in the mud; it’s so hard to see through. Yet every plant that blossoms forth must first rise through the mud. It doesn’t stop. It knows the sun is just a few more inches. This beautiful path has taught me, not only how to keep going, but that the mud is also Shiva.

Please sit for a moment and reflect on what the Ashram means to you, and what we bring to you. Then, please, open your heart, peel off the leeches of fear and anxiety that may attach to you when you hear the word “donate.” Then let your gratitude and generosity flow.

Click here to support the Ashram and support your practice.

OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo namah

Continue to Blossom Forth by Rudrani (Rosemary) Nogue

Rudrani (Rosemary) Nogue

Rudrani (Rosemary) Nogue

My inner blossoming began when I started on the Svaroopa® path in 1999. For a long time, I didn’t notice I was starting to blossom, as I had always been very fearful and “in my head.” But when I look back from how I am now to see how I was then, the difference is vivid.

My path has not always been smooth. Countless times I have bumped into my “small-s self.”  Yet even when flower buds open gradually and the change is too slow to detect, still they are blossoming forth. I was slow to know the inner blossoming that I yearned for was actually happening, and that it would continue to unfold.

Now I continue to do my part by being steady in my practices, including japa and meditation, serving on the Board and being open to Swamiji’s flow of Grace.  Another steady practice I started several years ago is donating to support the Ashram and my Guru, Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati. I knew instinctively that the right thing to do is to give financial support to that which has supported me and continues to blossom forth my inner Divinity.

The offerings of the Ashram through Swamiji are ultimately about you and for you.  The Ashram exists so you will blossom inward.  In this way you can experience your Divine Essence on the inside and then bring that awareness into your life. So many offerings come under the umbrella of the Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram. An amazing variety of Grace-filled paths support you blossoming into your Divine Essence. Everything Swamiji does (whether understood or not) is to support your inner blossoming.

Yet each of us must also do our part. We must participate on this path in whatever way works for us. For you it may be practicing the practices, reading SVA email communications, using our beautiful and efficient new website, or taking teacher training and yearlong courses, workshops and Shaktipat Retreats.  Hidden within, each bud has the potential to fully blossom. But without sunlight, water and fertilizer it will not be able to actually bloom. Your ongoing practices and participation, as well as being open to the flow of Grace, are the ingredients you need to blossom inward.

In order for Swamiji and the Ashram to continue to serve you in so many varied ways we need your financial support. In the end it is all for you.  The more you support the Ashram and Swamiji, the more they can continue to support you. It is an amazing circle of giving and receiving.  Neither can grow without the other. Give a plant water, light and fertilizer and it will blossom. We need your contribution so the Ashram can continue to blossom, in order to support you growing and blossoming. The great abundance of teachings and support offered through Swamiji and the Ashram is all there for you – use it, practice it, open to it, bask in it, bloom in it and support it.  Please join me in offering a financial gift so both the Ashram and you can continue “Blossoming Forth.”

Blossoming Forth by Swami Nirmalananda

289A dynamic process is under way at the Ashram, with growth and changes in our staff as well as a new building for our local Downingtown programs. Many exciting developments make this blossoming forth tangible and obvious, a flowering that comes from the hard work of our teachers, staff and sevites and the generosity of our many donors.

The yogic process that happens to you on a personal level also occurs at the organizational level, for organizations are nothing but groups of people committed to a shared goal. This process is a reflection of the cosmic process, the blossoming forth of Consciousness-Itself. In honor of this, our year-end fundraising campaign is titled “Blossoming Forth,” described as “unmilana” in an important sutra from Kashmiri Shaivism.

Look at three ways that this blossoming forth is happening right now:

  • Cosmic Level: Consciousness is blossoming forth as this marvelous, multifaceted universe by contracting from pure expansive Beingness into individualized forms, including ants, trees, elephants, you and everything else that exists.
  • Personal Level: As a contracted form of consciousness, you yearn to know your own essence and seek a path of discovery. Svaroopa® yoga reveals your own Self through a profound process of blossoming inward.
  • Organizational Level: We are shifting gears, which is welcome news in a process that began with Master Yoga’s Reawakening (two years ago) and led to the Consolidation of Master Yoga and Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram last year. Now we are Blossoming Forth into the world!

We need your support at this dynamic time. Growth is expansive, but it is also expensive. We are adding staff members in order to expand our ability to be responsive to you. In the new year, you will find many new retreats and trainings, both for teachers as well as for yogis who want to deepen their yoga. We are expanding our local Downingtown facility and programming. We are expanding our Teacher Trainer faculty. Plus we have our new website, new taglines and my recent return to traveling and teaching. All this means we are reaching more people, people who want to know their own Self.

In this expansive time, our focus remains intensely personal. This is about you; this is about how you experience your own Self. As our organization blossoms into its own future, its purpose remains unchanged — to support your blossoming into your Divinity.

Support our expansion through your donation, especially important at the end of the year, both for your financial planning as well as the Ashram’s. So many of you helped us survive the recent challenges; now help us thrive! Donate now, in any amount, as a one-time donation or a monthly pledge that provides continuing support.

We are able to serve you because of your generosity. Please help us accomplish our purpose more fully, in this blossoming forth of the Ashram and the Svaroopa® sciences.

With love and blessings,

Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati

Click here to make a donation today.

Yoga In The World by Kristine Freeman, Secretary, SVA Board

kristine

Kristine Freeman

There are days when I long to be one of those cave yogis. You know, the ancient ones, who stepped away from the world to intensely focus on their practices. And yet we’ve been told that even these cave yogis weren’t really on their own. They had a community supporting them.

The community who benefits from the teachings must support the teacher (and the organization) for both to continue and thrive. This is why I continue to support Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram with both time and money. As a yogi in the world, I value the yoga and meditation teachings that I have received. I am grateful for the experiences of my own Divine essence, experiences made possible by my choice to be in relationship with a Living Master, Swami Nirmalananda. The poses, the meditation, the phone courses and the Shaktipat retreats — each has helped me to access that sacred inner space. That “empty fullness”…inside and outside…all at the same time.

I’d like to be able to live from that space. Would you? We’re not going to get there alone. It’s going to take Grace, the Grace that is channeled through our Master Teacher and the organization she created to support us.

We need your support to continue to bring Svaroopa® yoga and meditation into the world. Please join me in making a contribution to our Yoga in the World campaign today.

With love and gratitude,

Kristine Freeman

Keeping Svaroopa Yoga and Meditation in the World by Prakash (David) Falbaum, SVA Technology Team Leader

davidf

Prakash (David) Falbaum

Even though the Western world loves yoga and meditation, the yogic lifestyle is not a mainstream lifestyle. As a yogi, most nights I get to bed by 10:30 pm, and every morning I wake up well before dawn to get in my daily practice — including asana, Ujjayi Pranayama, and meditation — before I start work at 6:30 am. Ujjayi and asana keep me moving through the day energetically and pain free, while meditation, japa, and the support I get from Swami Nirmalananda and the Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram keep me in a state of bliss and immersed in my Self.

This yogic way of living was not always the case for me either. I spent much of my 22-year career as a research scientist in pain, tired, maybe hung over, gobbling pain pills, and at odds with many of the people I worked with. Meetings were always a contentious affair with arguments erupting. As a result, we could never agree to move projects forward.

Slowly and surely my attitude about work has changed, and I owe it all to the practices I have learned as part of the Svaroopa® yoga family. As I become more and more immersed into my Self, I have noticed that meetings are calmer, decisions are being made easier, and work is becoming a more pleasant place to go. My co-workers still think that I’m a bit crazy to get up at 3:30 am for yoga and spend much of my vacation time and money for training. However, they notice enough change in my state and energy level that they want me to teach a class at lunchtime, and they are asking questions about meditation and Ujjayi.

yoga-in-world-logoIn my own life and work I receive way more than I could ever give back. So I offer seva, devotion, and dakshina (donations) to Swamiji and the Ashram. Our donations are a big part of the finances that sustain the Ashram and enable Swamiji tocontinue to bring the Svaroopa® Sciences teachings to us. I hope you will join me in donating during our Yoga in the World campaign. Your contribution, in any amount, goes toward keeping the Ashram financially strong and the teachings, which we all cherish, supporting us now and in the future. Even more, your donations ensure that the Svaroopa® Sciences continue to reach ever more deeply into the world.

Click here to support your Ashram and support your practice.