Tag Archives: swami

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.

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

Landing in Ganeshpuri by Karuna Beaver

carolyn_beaver

Karuna (Carolyn) Beaver

We have arrived in Ganeshpuri — all 37 of us Svaroopis. It has taken us weeks of preparation to make it here, but Ganesha has cleared the obstacles, and we have all arrived safely.

We have landed in a place that removed obstacles for our spiritual leader, our teacher, our Guru — Swami Nirmalananda — who has been coming to Ganeshpuri for nearly 40 years. We have come to join her here to deepen our practices in a place that shimmers with shakti. We are all here to soak up the incredible energy field that is Ganeshpuri. We are here to take a dip into the flow of Grace that emanates from this little village north of Mumbai.

And we are here to pay homage to the lineage of the Svaroopa® Sciences, in the place where the ultimate originator — Bhagawan Nityananda — attracted a following of devotees and disciples, including Baba Muktananda, Swamiji’s Guru. We are in the place where Bhagawan Nityananda chose Muktananda to carry on his teachings. We are in the place where Swami Nirmalananda sat at Baba Muktananda’s feet, absorbed in his teachings, and was inspired to develop the asana practice and deep yet accessible yogic teachings she has brought to the West.

We are lucky to be here, and we will be in touch with you often to share our personal experiences over the next two weeks. We know you will feel the micro-waves of energy we’re emitting from here. In this way you join us in our journey from your own home. You are all here within us in our hearts.

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.

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.”