Tag Archives: Swamiji

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.

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

When the Guru Received Shaktipat by Priya Kenney

289When the Guru received shaktipat, my future changed dramatically. So did yours.

When the Guru received shaktipat, a spark was lit from a long line of sparks, and it’s sparking still.

When the Guru received shaktipat, her Baba gave her everything, just like she is giving us.

When the Guru received shaktipat, I was 20 years old. Maybe my heart jumped for joy. Maybe a shiver of recognition ran up my spine, Kundalini taking a brief practice run for what was to come many years later.

When the Guru received shaktipat, she wasn’t a Guru and she wasn’t even Rama yet. She was a lot like us. A lost soul getting found. It’s hard to imagine what she must have been like 38 years ago because she is so established in herSelf now. I think she just might have been a lot like us.  Look where she is now.

If you are lucky enough to be near Downingtown Yoga Meditation Center, you might have joined Swamiji to celebrate her Shaktipat Anniversary on Saturday, May 31. I spent my day in contemplation and gratitude for my Guru’s shaktipat and mine and yours. It’s because of her shaktipat that we are all in this together. We were always our big Self, but she is the one who is bringing us the light of that knowing, just like her Baba did for her. She went through it all, just as we are doing now. She can take us there because she walked the path, every step of the way. Jaya Guru OM.

My Spiritual Birthday by Swami Nirmalananda

289My life is full of milestones, yet they all began on the day I received Shaktipat from my Baba. Everything followed so naturally, like water flows down a river. I rafted the river of Grace.

Before Shaktipat, I explored the outer universe, but to no avail. I tried everything that was available in the 60’s and 70’s, a wide variety of offerings! I came to the inescapable conclusion that nothing really worked. I began to question the value of life itself, but continued searching for something that had meaning.

After Shaktipat, I explored the inner universe under my Guru’s guiding hand. I found that the entire outer world is nestled within and all of it has meaning! Every single grain of sand, every single person and even every single problem has meaning. But I had to find it within before I could see the meaning-full-ness that was staring me in the face.

Now my life is full of Grace, every moment saturated with the Divinity that was hidden within. All revealed by my Guru’s Grace. Please join me in celebrating my 38th anniversary of receiving Baba’s gift, Saturday May 31 at Downingtown Yoga Meditation Center from 7:30-9:00 pm. Click here to register.

NOTE: Swamiji asks that you refrain from giving her personal gifts, but instead (if you wish) please support her sharing of the gift that she received with others. Click here to donate in honor of Swamiji’s Shaktipat Anniversary.

The Mystical Teachings Have Changed the Way I Live by Rudrani (Rosemary) Nogue

Rudrani (Rosemary) Nogue

Rudrani (Rosemary) Nogue

A yoga student gave me a greeting card a few years back. It said, “The way you live your life has changed how I live my life.” The way Swamiji gives so generously of the mystical teachings, which she learned at the feet of her Guru Muktananda, has changed how I live my life. And, the way I live my life keeps evolving, the more yoga practices I do and the more I avail myself of Swamiji’s Grace. I couldn’t go back to how I used to be even if I wanted to — which I don’t.

The more I dive into practices and programs, the more I get bite-sized pieces of understanding that guide or push me along to my inner Self. These include practicing and teaching asana and leading group meditations, my own meditation and japa, chanting the Guru Gita and listening to Swamiji’s talks online, the year long course “Guru & Self,” offering seva and taking more training (I recently retook Meditation Teacher Training). Everything I do is designed by Swami Nirmalananda who, along with my own efforts, is birthing me into who I really am.

Back in 1999, when I started training with Swamiji (then Rama), I came to learn yoga poses to teach. But this path I have been given is so much more than what I originally came for, more than I even knew was possible. I have been given mystical teachings that, for centuries, were secret teachings. Having Swamiji as my Guru has put me in the flow of this living lineage, through which the teachings have been passed from teacher to disciple for thousands of years. Swamiji has been charged with bringing the yogic mystical teachings into the world. Mystical teachings are not mainstream; they are not popular and they are not for everybody. But they are for me, and my guess is that they are for you, because you are reading this.

How do I live my life now? I am more ME. I am more present, more aware, more at ease, more kind and more clear. I am more able to be aware when I am not Self and I know how to get back. I am more willing to risk. Recently, after Swamiji’s Shaktipat weekend that I hosted in Calgary, I had my first clear experience of speaking up louder when I was inner connected and teaching a yoga class. Clearly, more of my Self had been uncovered through the mystical mystery of our Shaktipat weekend. This allowed me to be Self-connected and speak out at the same time. It was time to speak up and be heard, and something had been cleared that allowed me to do that.

So now it is time for me to use my stronger and clearer voice to ask you to donate during our April Fundraiser, “Yoga in the World,” to support the continuing flow of the mystical yogic teachings into the world. Please join me and my husband with your donation to support the rare gift of a living, accessible Guru who imparts mystical teachings in an understandable way.  Because this path isn’t mainstream, we depend on donations for one third of the income needed to run SVA. From your deep gratitude and your deeper Self, please make an offering so the Ashram can flourish and continue to offer the secrets of yoga to you and to our community. Click here and make as meaningful a contribution as you are able, to support the generous way that Swamiji imparts the mystical teachings to us.

Taglines (Installment #2)

Svaroopa® Yoga: Deceptively Easy

flowerSvaroopa® yoga gives you more than a workout does, but with less work. This yoga is leveraged. You don’t think you did anything, yet you actually did more than ever before. You get huge results for a little bit of effort.

Svaroopa® Yoga: More than Exercise

flower4Svaroopa® yoga is not excerise. It’s a scientific maximization of your body’s capacity, dissolving the tensions that inhibit your body’s natural functioning and inherent healing capacity.” (from Yoga International)

Svaroopa® Yoga: Support and Release

flower3You don’t push to make the pose happen. In Svaroopa® yoga, you prop and align, then allow the changes to develop. Physical changes are the beginning of a profound deepening, which provides magical internal changes. All levels open up simultaneously: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

Svaroopa® Yoga: Living in Ease

flower2Even after a workout, massage or hot bath, your tensions return within hours or minutes. Svaroopa® yoga dissolves the deeper layers of your tensions, to allow you to live with ease all the time, not just when you are doing yoga. That ease is your birthright.

Svaroopa® Yoga: Full Spectrum Yoga

flower5Svaroopa® yoga opens up the full spectrum of your being. Spiritual insights and profound healings happen without any sweat. Slower yoga, consciously aligned and leveraged for multi-dimensional openings, means you get it all.

Svaroopa® Yoga: Mind-Body Yoga

flower6Use your body to work on your mind, clearing away the thoughts and emotions that cause your stress and tensions. Along with amazing physical improvements,  Svaroopa® yoga clears multiple levels simultaneously, to open up access to your own deeper essence, named “svaroopa”.

Svaroopa® Yoga: Beyond Your Limitations

flower7The quality of life is not based on how much you do but on how much you let go; not on how far you go, but on how open and easy you are. Svaroopa® yoga dissolves physical limitations as well as mental, emotional and spiritual blocks, to open up the way you live inside your own skin.