Monthly Archives: June 2013

Social Media, the Svaroopa® Yoga Way: From the mundane to the sublime

by Sarvataa Christie

Sarvataa

Sarvataa

My life is seva. My focus is deepening my Guru-disciple relationship. My use of social media also includes these practices.

When I first realized Swamiji was on FaceBook, I hesitated sending a friend request. Finally, I did, and I was so excited (and nervous) when she accepted! I was afraid She would really see me. Little did I know, She sees me anyway; really sees me. How wonderful! Swamiji says that she loves to get to know us in this personal way through FaceBook. I certainly love visiting her page! This was one of many steps toward a deeper relationship with my Guru.

I love sharing SVA videos, daily E-Quotes, photos, blogs and various other SVA content on my FaceBook page. It brings a deeper understanding for me and accessibility to my students and friends.  It keeps me connected to my yoga community; each time there is a “like” for something I’ve posted, I have that chance to connect with a fellow Svaroopi, my yoga buddies.   As a bonus, I am reminded to visit that post again myself; layering it in there. It is even more delicious when a yoga buddy posts the E-Quote, too — yet another chance to contemplate it and deepen my understanding (or just remember what it said!). It is the gift that keeps on giving!

As Sharada Macdonald added, “The posts still my mind, and social media usually activates it.” It is such a treat to utilize the external to turn inward!  Sharing Svaroopa® yoga via social media is a way to focus on the highest thoughts; thoughts of God, the Divine and the Guru.

Svaroopa® social media turns the mundane into the sublime.  It is a way for me to stay in touch with my community, my yoga family,  to get and to give support, to keep up to date on what’s happening with our global community and to deepen my relationship with Swamiji. It’s an easy and fun way to market my teaching schedule, as teaching is part of my practice of seva.  When I receive something in my inbox from the E-Group, it brings me inward every time. How sweet!

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Grace Dissolves Fear

by Judy Goodkin

Judy

Judy

As I drove up the long winding, tree-shrouded driveway to the Temenos Retreat Center on Saturday evening, I realized my fear was absent.  I’ve been looking at my fear a lot lately, seeing it as my knee-jerk reaction to so many of my life’s events, major and trivial.  So when the announcement came about the celebration of Swami Nirmalananda’s Shaktipat anniversary which would include an extension of her sannyasa ceremony, as well as an honoring and celebration of administrative transitions, my fear began to set up roadblocks to doing what I knew I wanted and needed to do.  I remembered Swamiji’s essay on what it meant to be here now, and knew I had to be in my guru’s presence.

So I acknowledged my fear & drove to West Chester anyway.  Warmth enveloped me as soon as I stepped from my car.  I joined a group of Svaroopis on the patio, some had driven down from 2 hours away and some were “locals”, like me.  More would arrive to join those already in attendance for the Shaktipat weekend.  Hugs, sparkling eyes, warm greetings all around.  Everyone so filled with gratitude and relief to be here now.

The evening began.  Chanting.  Then the satsang:  Swamiji telling us what we needed to hear, all of us hearing what we needed to hear. Swamiji talked about the guru disciple relationship, “a relationship beyond words”.   I thought, yes, the need to be here now!

She spoke of Baba and illustrated with a story, his teaching, “Only he who obeys can command.”  We were also there to celebrate Swamiji’s resignation from being President of both SVA and MYF , so she can return her focus to serving as Master Teacher.  We also honored Amala and Shuchi, the new Presidents of the SVA and MYF Boards, who do what they are asked to do with full hearts.  I couldn’t help but notice I was accepting this transition without a ripple of fear, only joy.

Shuchi and Amala, looking to me like two sisters, began abhishek, the bathing of the Nityananda murti as we, the onlookers, were bathed in the chanting.  Chanting along with a recording of Baba’s voice! What a blessing to hear his slow, deep rumble, Om namah shivaya.  Om namah shivaya.  What a blessing to be here now.

The chanting continued as Swamiji had her head shaved.   I was in the presence of an Enlightened being.  What sheer joy.

Then came the opportunity to place flowers on Nityananda’s murti.  The chanting of Om Guru Om vibrated quietly as we bowed before Nityananda and then before Swamiji.

Overwhelmed with gratitude, I bowed before Swamiji.  How can I ever express my gratitude for her Grace, which she gives so freely? How to explain the sweet space that is present when my fear is absent?  When I experience moments without fear, there is clarity, and I feel only love and joy.  That night, for me, was a night without fear.  There was only love and peace and the guru’s Grace.

Comings & Goings

by Swami Nirmalananda

Goings

Last Saturday night’s ceremony was deeply meaningful to all who attended, featuring Swami Nirmalananda’s head-shaving to celebrate her departure from being President of both Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram’s and Master Yoga Foundation.

IMG_7177 cropped

We’ve been fortunate to benefit from her continued teaching for the Ashram, even while leading Master Yoga’s Reawakening.  She’s led the February India trip as well as our Year-Long Programme and Shaktipat Retreats, and continues her many free programs and calls.  Yet we’re looking forward to having her return to Shrii Guru Gita project and other projects that have been on the back burner.  The Ashram Board has asked Swamiji to continue as a Board Member.

Monthly Donors & Shishyas may request a lock of Swamiji’s hair from the ceremony.  Simply mail a SASE to Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram, 1400 Hampton Drive, Downingtown PA 19335. We will send the care packages out on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for information on how to become a Shishya member.

Comings

Sharada

Sharada

We are happy to announce that Sharada (JenMarie) Macdonald is now serving both sister organizations as Business Administration Manager.  She is assuming many of Swamiji’s Master Yoga administrative responsibilities to provide needed support for their hard-working staff while continuing to lead the Ashram staff and sevites.

Sharada has worked closely with Swami Nirmalananda for more than two years, as well as providing assistance with some key projects in Master Yoga’s Reawakening.  With Sharada serving the Ashram as well as Master Yoga, it means we are deepening our collaboration between our two sister organizations, providing cohesive leadership as well as economies of scale, recognized as necessary by both Boards.

We are very excited about Sharada’s proven skills and dedication as well as her ability to build a team, with both staff and sevites, and how this will support our community.  If you have any questions, concerns or congratulations, please contact our new Board President, Amala Cattafi at amala@svaroopavidya.org or Sharada at sharada@svaroopavidya.org.