Tag Archives: support

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.

Gratitude by Amala (Lynn) Cattafi Heinlein, President of SVA

Blossoming Forth logo-verticalWhat are you grateful for? Have you thought about it today?

Here is my short list:

  • I am grateful for my Guru, who with a word, or a glance, or just being within proximity, removes the knotted ropes that my mind binds me with
  • I am grateful for my Guru, who has opened the door to Grace within me, and is taking me (sometimes slowly, sometimes in the super express lane) to the knowing of the Self
  • amala-photoI am grateful for our amazing community, all of you, who time and time again bring me home
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to do seva, to serve on the Board with this most amazing and committed group of yogis, who never lose sight that all we do is all for you. This also includes all of the staff and sevites who are so dedicated and loving
  • I grateful for my family, even when they drive me crazy (which at the moment is most of the time! LOL), because they are the Self also, they are the Guru.
  • I am grateful for this experience of embodiment, even though it is not always perfect on a physical level, it is perfection itself!
  • I am grateful for everyone I meet, everything I can see, touch, taste, hear, or smell
  • I am grateful for what I don’t yet know, even when my mind wants to stress that I don’t yet know it
  • I am grateful for the emotional pain I am currently in the midst of, as I know it is part of the expansion process
  • I am grateful for my mind, even though I still easily become enslaved by it, because it is also Shiva, and it is beautiful
  • I am grateful for fear, because it gives me the opportunity to face and walk through it.. and getting to the other side of it is ecstatic!
  • I am eternally grateful for this path, our lineage, the teachings. How did we all get so lucky to have found this opening, this map, to Self-realization?
  • And finally, I am grateful to you who open your heart time and time again to offer your donations to keep this organization not only afloat, but sailing forward! Don’t stop now, do it again! The organization survives, and thrives, on your donations and your participation, and even if you don’t realize it, so do you….

Click here to support your organization and your practice.

OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo nama.h

Lets Blossom Forth Together

Matrika (Marlene) Gast

Matrika (Marlene) Gast

We as a community of yogis have shown, over the past two years of Reawakening and Consolidation, that when Swami Nirmalananda planted the seeds of the Svaroopa® sciences, she established a perennial garden. Year after year this abundant garden blossoms forth with delectable fruits of right action, strength, knowledge that is full of light as well as enduring friendships. I remember one yogi, on a Yoga of Food phone course, who talked about how she felt a sense of being loved by the vegetables she was about to eat. Swamiji replied with a teaching: the abundance of the earth that nourishes arises from the pure love for us who embody Divinity, even if we don’t yet fully know that. Those teachings from Swamiji meet my experience with knowledge full of light, and I recognize that, no matter where I am, Self within is alive and well.

For me our Ashram offers refuge from whatever tendrils of “not knowing” still bind me. This place of refuge exists in Swamiji’s home in Downingtown and in the courses at The Desmond. And it also exists in our own homes through our internet access to free audios, online articles and publications as well as phone courses. Our Ashram is a garden that continues to blossom forth with abundant nourishment, wherever we are geographically, and wherever we are in the unfolding of our lives on the path of this profoundly transformative yoga, inside and outside.  Through Swamiji’s teachings the tendrils of “not knowing” relax their grip. More and more freed from this constraint, our hearts open and our bonds amongst us arise from the recognition of Divinity, inside and outside.

In my own life, I have noticed this in relationships with family and friends.  There was a time when yoga practices for me were all about being inward, even withdrawn. Asana doused the fire of back pain and let me float in Shavasana. When work or family life was difficult and chaotic, it was so easy find relief and renewal in Ujjayi and the Magic Four. At first the “outside” could feel even less appealing, and in relationship I was still guarded and hidden in my little-s self. But gradually and inevitably, the brilliance of Swamiji’s teachings on all levels has melted the encasing frost of my fear. Fear of what? Maybe it was of the outside world, in any form, conflicting with my desires for things and people to be the way I wanted them to be in order to fulfill my needs.

The thaw was first noticeable in Meditation Teacher Training when I went out to lunch and could feel the peace and sweetness of Divinity in each and every person I saw — at the grocery store, with dueling shopping carts! Last night, to celebrate her birthday, I took by 14-year-old granddaughter and her best friend to shop at The Mall — and I just loved being with them. On this Svaroopa® path I walk along without losing my Self, the Ever-Arising Sweetness and Clarity of Pure Being.

Really, there is nothing else on the planet like our Svaroopa® sciences. They work in us as a community to blossom forth. We can foresee how, with our ongoing financial support, these teachings that Swamiji authentically brings to us are poised to reach ever more deeply into the body, minds and hearts of yogis worldwide as they discover her through audios and articles on our new website. That’s great.

But also great is that each of us, as individual persons in community, continues to grow into the knowing of ourselves as the Self. While it’s great to be able to see that Divinity in everyone, it’s a blessing to be with each other in programs, on calls, in teacher training, in our local Svaroopa® communities. Then the Grace is so palpable. As we speak the same Svaroopa® language, it’s so easy to understand one another and to stay in connection with Self. It’s effortless to bask in that Divine glow inside and outside.

That’s why I continue to be a monthly donor, year in and year out, just as Swamiji and all of our teachers continue to serve us with the teachings. I also celebrate with a special financial gift twice each year.  So I invite you to join me in this joyful practice of dakshina. Celebrate how much each of us, as well as yourself, has blossomed forth individually and together. If you have already donated, thank you!  If not, I urge you to offer financial support so our Ashram — our refuge — can reach out to all others who are seeking this same transformation through Swamiji’s teachings, even if they don’t know it yet. Imagine the fullness of our closing mantras with all of our voices now, along with all who could be joining us, chanting:

Om. Peace. Peace. Peace to all.

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

Receiving & Giving Support by Peter Gallagher

Peter Gallagher

Peter Gallagher

I am often distracted by the contradictions that I experience in being me, a unique form of contracted consciousness. Thankfully, I first found a Svaroopa® yoga teacher and then Swamiji. Physical pain got me in the door. At first the relief that I felt from the beginning encouraged me to continue classes. It was, however, the mental and emotional release and personal spiritual reawakening that kept me coming back for more.

Just as I need the support of Swami and the Ashram in order to blossom into my Divinity, the Ashram needs our support to blossom into its future. Just like you and me, the Ashram is a form of Consciousness, a form that supports our discovery that we are a form of Consciousness. Consider how the Ashram has supported your inner expansion. Could you be who you now are without the enlivened and embodied teachings you have received through Swami Nirmalananda and the teachers she has trained?

Through the efforts of our teachers, staff and sevites and the generosity of our donors, we have truly blossomed as an organization, quickly moving through the Master Yoga Reawakening into the Consolidation of Master Yoga and the Ashram. We are now entering a new phase of expansion into the world. This growth brings new challenges and opportunities, and to be successful the process requires your participation. Your donations and seva are needed by the Ashram as it comes into full bloom, fulfilling its work in the world.

I personally experience the gifts of the Svaroopa® Sciences; they just keep on giving me more and more. Because of the gratitude that I have for Swamiji, the teachings and the Svaroopa® yoga teachers I have studied with, I serve on the Ashram Board of Directors. My gifts to the Ashram are my skills, my time and my donations. I give them to assist Swamiji and the Ashram in their purpose, which is to assist you in realizing your Self. In return for what I give, unlooked-for, I live more in my Self in the world.

Both Swamiji and the Ashram are dedicated to serving us. We need to provide the financial support to allow their work to blossom forth, both in us and into the world beyond. Please support this blossoming forth with your generosity. Consider a one-time gift or a monthly donation to fully nurture this new blossoming.

With love,
Peter

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.