Tag Archives: Guru

Take What You Like And Leave The Rest by Sheynapurna (Sandy) Peace

foundations_mediumMade familiar from Alcoholic Anonymous, “take what you like and leave the rest” can apply in many situations, particularly Svaroopa® Vidya Yoga & Meditation. Although we are never, in this program, forced to ascribe to a certain philosophy, those yogis who are uncomfortable with alignment of Swami Nirmalandanda as their guru (or a guru, or any guru), can take this message to heart. The yoga you know and love is not changing.

The yoga philosophy offered has always been Kashmiri Shaivism – the same teachings I received during my YTT in 2003/4. Swami Nirmalananda can deepen the teachings, offer Shaktipat and take us further in the Self, but this is not, will not be, and has never been required of Svaroopa® yoga teachers. Take what you like – leave the rest.

Part of the 2013 India trip was held on the beautiful campus of the Himalayan Institute, and most of our fellow travelers came through that organization. The Himalayan Institute has a spiritual leader, but most of our travel mates were not very familiar with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait.

HI offers Meditation, yoga asana, ayurveda, philosophy. Some develop interest in areas they didn’t expect to like at first – and others joined the group simply to experience Kumbha Mela and India. The program appealed to them. Their students take what they like and leave the rest.

To my fellow yogis having no interest in a guru or those who have their own different guru; to my fellow yogis who are happily absorbed in their own religion or spiritual path – you can take a breath and turn to the aspect of Svaroopa® yoga that opens your body and opens your heart. Take what you like, leave the rest.

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The Grace-full Moon

By Kanchan (Connie) Mohn

Guru Purnima 130722Guru Purnima, the full moon of the Guru, is celebrated as the day the world got its first Guru (Shiva). This was the day that people first came to know that through the Guru, through Grace, they can be Self-Realized.

On this night every year, the moon is at its fullest and Grace is at its fullest. What a perfect night to make a pilgrimage to Satsang!

This past Sunday, our meditation hall at Downingtown Yoga Meditation Center was filled to the brim with yogis bearing flowers, gifts and hearts full of Divine Love; wanting nothing more than to honor their Guru, Swamiji, while she honored her Guru, Baba Muktananda. Self honoring Self.

Swamiji offered illuminating commentary on Shiva Sutra 2.6, “Gururupaaya.h” — the Guru is both the path and the goal.  “The Guru has done what you are doing,” walked the path you are walking.  The Guru is “the embodied reality who shows your future to you… the goal.”  She went on to promise, “My Guru freed me, so that I could free you.

With these words lingering in the air, Swamiji led the crowd in chant and deep meditation, followed by an invitation to greet her personally.

Then slowly, ever so gently, sweetly, one by one, the yogis in the room approached their Sadguru, bowed and offered their gift, their gratitude. In turn, Swamiji honored and celebrated everyone who came forward by offering a flower and a soft “Om namah Shivaya.”  Self honoring Self.  Profound silence filled the room, palpable and timeless.  Grace-filled hearts were opened wide.

Sadgurunath Maharaj ki Jay!

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.