Tag Archives: Donation

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.

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.

Getting More & Giving More by Karuna (Carolyn) Beaver, Board Member

The Next Steps logoWhen I attended my first Svaroopa® yoga class, I had an experience that kept me coming back for more.  One yoga class did it for me; I was hooked.  My body felt better than it had in such a very long time. Yet I had no idea what I was ultimately in for.

The fire lit in that first class has propelled me through years of training, teaching, meditation, philosophy study, seva, and, most importantly, a deepening relationship with my Guru. It’s been a process, one that I have cherished.

carolyn_beaver

Karuna (Carolyn) Beaver

Your Svaroopa® journey is different than mine, precisely because it’s YOUR journey. But it’s also the same as mine. It’s a process. Yoga is a process, just as raising a family or growing a garden are processes. All of life is a process. With love and care, all things begin, grow and develop.

You wouldn’t expect that your back pain would be cured in one asana class or that you would reach enlightenment after one meditation. It’s a process. And the Ashram, your yoga organization, is the cornerstone of your yogic process.

I wonder where would I be, even who I would be, without my yoga practice.  Where would I be without the Ashram, the strong foundation that supports my practice? I know the answer. The support and care that I get from my yoga organization, as well as the gifts I give through my time and my donations — both have helped enable continuing growth and development — for both of us.

Please join me in making a significant donation to our Ashram’s “Next Steps.” Take your next step by being a donor for the first time, or increasing your monthly donation or giving a more generous one-time donation than you think you are capable of. Trust me, you are capable, in large part because of the support you receive.

The Next Steps – by Swami Nirmalananda

Birth.  Death.  Infinity. 

The Next Steps logoThese compelling words riveted my attention in the prologue to a weekly television show when I was 10 years old. I now realize that they held the promise of my future as a teacher focused on the infinity part of the equation. Yet the Ashram itself goes through the same life cycle it names, having been birthed in 2009 and now in its sixth year of service.

The moment of birth is a compelling moment but then the real work begins. I was trained in the continuing support needed by a growing organism, first by my children, then by my Guru and now by the yogis and teachers that I serve. Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram needs the same kind of support, including a financial lifeline that keeps it alive. You provide that lifeline.

We’re shifting gears just parents who watch their child begin school.  We’re no longer changing diapers, now managing the many tasks needed in a busy day, as the Ashram moves into “Vishnu mode.” Our February yaj~na (fire ceremony) in Ganeshpuri was dedicated to Vishnu the nurturing force and sustaining power of the Divine.

What does it take to keep an Ashram going?  The phones and emails need to be answered, the programs housed and taught, and yogis informed, enrolled and inspired to do more yoga.  There are articles and E-Letters to be written, new courses to be designed and presented, free programs to offer (both in-person and on the phone). Meals must be served and cleaned up from, plus the cleaning that comes from having a lot of traffic moving through every room we occupy. I cannot do all of these things, I confess, along with shoveling the snow or mowing the lawn. Funding this Divine work means you are taking care – not only of the teacher – but also of everyone who comes to study here. Their upliftment uplifts the whole world.

The Next Steps is our focus for our spring fundraising campaign.  We need your support. Yet you are likely to find that the Ashram’s next steps synchronize perfectly with your own.  Especially, your monthly donations provide a steady stream of funding that makes us able to plan for your future.  Please offer a one-time donation or pledge a monthly gift in any of these donation categories;

  • Swami Support – supporting me personally & my work in the world
  • Free Programs – supporting free programs (in-person, telephone & online services)
  • Next Generation – training teachers (for poses as well as meditation)
  • Mother Ship – supporting our home base (buildings, computers & other infrastructure)

It is a profound privilege to share the bhasma (sacred ash) from our Vishnu yaj~na as a thank you gift to yogis who increase their monthly donation or begin a new one. As an alternative, you may choose the japa (mantra repetition) recording I made last year for your thank you.

Donate at www.svaroopa.org/donate or call us at 610.644.7555. Every gift, of any size and frequency, makes a difference. Thank you.

OM svaroopa svasvabhava.h namo nama.h

A Heartfelt Thank You by Karuna (Carolyn) Beaver, Board Member

Blossoming Forth logo-vertical

Click the logo above to make a donation today.

I’d like to express a heartfelt thank you for your donation to our Blossoming Forth fall fundraising campaign. “Unmilana” is Sanskrit for the blossoming forth that occurs on multiple levels. It describes an unfolding and coming forth. It describes the opening of the eyes or the process of making things visible. It describes making explicit what has been implicit or hidden within.  It also describes the blossoming forth of gratitude from the Board of Directors of Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram.

More than a year ago, SVA opened up to expand and include Svaroopa® Yoga under its carolyn_beaverorganizational umbrella, blossoming forth a consolidated organization serving a multiplicity of needs. We all had our eyes opened in the process, watching both the bumps in the road and the clearing of a path. It made explicit what was implicit – the Grace that underlies the practices of asana and meditation is the same Grace that supports us all.

Once again, through your donations, you have shown that the Grace that supports you is the same Grace that supports our organization. Because this organization is yours, you support the organization. As Swami Nirmalananda taught in a recent phone course, this mutual support is an important part of every relationship in your life. When you receive support, you offer support.

Your financial support makes a big difference. It enables SVA to hire and retain teaching and administrative staff whose job it is to serve you. It enables the creation and maintenance of a beautiful new website, both to inspire as well as to inform you. It enables both stabilization and expansion of our course offerings, many at newly-lowered rates for 2015. It enables you to keep doing the yoga and meditation that you love.

That’s why I make donations in both our fall and spring campaigns, as well as send a regular monthly donation. I love my yoga. I love my meditation. I love my yoga buddies. I love my students. I love my honored teacher, my Guru. This organization has given me so much. It has given me my Self. When I receive support, I offer support.

As Swamiji wrote in her first letter about this campaign, organizations are nothing but groups of people committed to a shared goal. She explained that yogic processes happen both to individuals as well as to the organization itself. Your support – financial, volunteer and in other ways too numerous to mention – keeps SVA afloat, as both you and the organization travel down the river of Grace. Thank you for all that you do.