Tag Archives: Kundalini

Concentrated & Continuous Grace

By Rukmini Abbruzzi

RukminiYou’ve chosen to have Grace in your life.  If you haven’t, you wouldn’t be reading this!  You also get to choose how much Grace you have in your life. How often and how deeply you experience your own divine Self depends in part on your own practices.   And it also depends on how much support you allow yourself to have from Swami Nirmalananda, from her presence and from her teachings.

Swamiji offers programs that support you in the way that works best for you.  Would you like to take a weekend away from home, and dive deep into your own bliss in the presence of and with the support of Swamiji and other yogis?  Then the concentrated Grace of a Shaktipat Retreat might be perfect for you.

Or, do you prefer to stay home, and receive Grace in a continuous flow over the course of a year?  Then a year-long course like the I Am “Siva course may be just right for you.  You can choose between them because both are coming up soon – or you might even want to do both!

Shaktipat Retreat
Align yourself with Grace at the Conference, then dive even deeper and immerse yourself in Grace at the Shaktipat Retreat, October 6-8, 2013.  With the openings you receive at the conference, you’ll be profoundly prepared to receive Shaktipat Diksha from Swamij Nirmalananda, the initiation that awakens Kundalini, the Divine power that dissolves your limitations.

Yogis share the results of their recent Shaktipat experience:

“This is my second Shaktipat and I received gifts from the first of inner knowing…and a higher sense of integrity that have remained with me. This retreat reinforced those as well as leaving me with an ability to be present in each moment more fully even when the moments are challenging. Also I received great joy at both Shaktipats which not only stays with me but is cumulative! I can’t wait for my next Shaktipat!”  – Tirtha Richards

“I had no earth-shattering changes.  However, I feel my meditation is clearer, and I am happier, more patient and more at peace.  Not earth-shattering, but certainly worthy results!” -Beth Richardson

This Retreat is not only open to yogis who attend the conference! All the practices of the retreat prepare and support you to receive Shaktipat.  And Shuchi Cilley and I will be there to assist Swami Nirmalananda, and to support you, every step of the way.

I Am “Siva: Year-Long Programme
Our multi-media format allows you to choose a level of participation that works with your budget for both money and time:

option #1 — monthly articles
option #2 — both monthly articles and audio recordings
option #3 — monthly articles, audios & phone calls with Swamiji and the rest of your study group
option #4 — monthly articles, audios, phone calls, PLUS the July weekend retreat

Whew!  That’s a lot of options!  All designed to fit your budget for both money and time…

Whether you are a new yogi, experienced Svaroopi or are coming from another tradition, this year-long course lays the foundation for your studies in Svaroopa® Vidya, your experiential knowing (vidya) of your own Self (svaroopa).  Swamiji created this course to take you beyond mere understanding to the experience of the Divine Reality that is your own Self.

Yogis share their experience of taking a year-long course:

“I think the year-long structure allows ample time to really draw as much as one can out of the articles/recordings, before the next set comes along. The year-long format provides the opportunity to savor and integrate.” – Purna Schmidt

“I like the consistency of the yearlong program.  The spacing of the article, recording and talk fits nicely in my busy life.” – Pooja (Erica) Andersen

FREE CALL:  If you’re interested in the I Am “Siva course, join Swamiji for a free intro call October 16: 7:00-8:30 pm (Eastern Time).

Or perhaps you want Concentrated and Continuous Grace.  You can of course, have it all!  When do you not want Grace in your life?

Questions?
If you have any questions, or if you’d like to enroll in a Shaktipat Retreat or the I Am “Siva course, please contact the sevites on our Enrollment Team at enroll@svaroopavidya.org.

Advertisements

Yogis Report on Japa

by Pooja (Erica) Andersen

146Why japa? If you are asking this question, you are not practicing japa or maybe not enough of it yet.  Jump start or support your japa practice; join in the Japathon!, a free chanting event on September 28th, the Ashram’s birthday.

I recently spoke with four yogis in the Svaroopa® yoga community about their experience with japa.  Each of their accounts expresses how japa is manifesting changes in their lives.

Saguna Goss says japa is her lifeline. “It’s such a key tool for my mind, a mind that needs so much TLC… I don’t know what I would do without it. I am infatuated with mantra and japa.”  Her voice conveyed such intense enthusiasm and she even commented on how exciting it was to be discussing it.     Saguna first started her japa practice 4-5 years ago when she was finding it hard to consistently carve out 30 minutes a day to meditate.  She decided to commit to 5 minutes of japa each hour throughout her workday.  In the beginning she set an alarm to remind her to practice.  At first she didn’t always have time to stop doing what she was doing to practice, but noticed that by making the time to do even two japa breaks in her day she got results.

Today her japa is more spontaneous.  She does japa throughout her day, often while driving or routine activities.  She added, “Now when I am struggling with something, having an emotional reaction to a situation, or notice I am not based in my Self, the mantra just appears and brings me back to my Self.  It is my ‘tool on the go’ for my mind, and it is so easy. It gives me my Self, because it is my Self.”

Purna (Amanda) Schmidt was inspired to do japa by the 2009 Svaroopaâ Yoga Conference.  She had a very difficult start.  “My mind was all over the place in the beginning; it resisted and wanted to stay busy. But I kept at it and made it part of my daily practice. Now I look forward to it.“ Purna uses her regular japa practice to prepare for meditation, doing silent and out loud mantra repetition from 20-60 minutes. She finds that silent japa occurs spontaneously, in the midst of her daily activities such as driving, chopping vegetables or doing simple chores.  Her whole practice has shifted to a deeper level.  She attributes the shift to japa.

Purna continues, “Japa practice causes me to want to do more japa, and it continuously becomes a richer and deeper experience. It has shifted my desire for practice towards the non-physical practices; yet I also experience physical changes and openings from it.  At times I can feel rushed and harried, and say, ‘I’m only doing ten minutes of japa,’ but once I start, everything expands and it’s effortless to continue for longer.”

Pat Morrison told with me that when she sits to do japa, “It’s like I am living and breathing the words. It evokes an incredibly strong experience of the sacred, and being one with my mala.  Japa clarifies my mind, and eases my way into meditation. At times it initiates the flow of Kundalini up my spine.”

Pat also said at first it wasn’t easy for her to practice japa.  When she first began, five minutes a day was difficult for her.   She struggled with a busy mind and not wanting to sit for any length of time.  When Pat said this to Swamiji, she suggested Pat begin to dedicate  a round of mantra on the mala to Swamiji, and another round to Shiva, to Ganesha, to her husband, and so on.    This technique she said got her through the rough and awkward beginning.  Her practice today, about 5 years later, includes 25 or more minutes a day, often as her meditation preparation.  Now she looks forward to japa and loves it.  She said she encourages others that are just starting out to stick with it if they find it hard in the beginning.  They may find, like she did, that they end up loving it.

Sheynapurna Peace said japa gives her the ability to function in life while experiencing the Self.  She followed with, “I remember that I have a tool, and when my monkey-mind gets going, mantra is there to smooth my path.  Mantra doesn’t fix outer things, but I can feel it re-training my mind.”

Sheynapurna carries her mala in her pocket at work, a medical office, so her scrub tops have large pockets.  While waiting for a patient, walking down the hallway, or seated at her desk, she finds her hand in her side pocket and her mind engaged in mantra.   She said, “It’s such a simple practice but calming and grounding.  I love to recite mantra at my desk while looking at my mini-puja with Swamiji, Muktananda, Nityananda and Ganesh.  This practice has changed the ‘feel’ of my work area.”

Sheynapurna has been repeating manta for about 10 years. At the 2009 Conference she attended a few sessions which inspired her to create a more regular practice, saying that what you put into something is what you get out if it.

While each of these yogis has her story, so much of it is my story too.   I have been focused on  japa for the past 4-5 years, and my practice has deepened.  It is no longer something that feels uncomfortable or awkward; it’s quite the opposite.  Japa has become part of me and my life:  my sacred “tool on the go.”  Om Namah Shivaaya is almost like my personal radio station that I tune into, or it tunes me in. The mantra consistently sweeps me up into it and returns me to that solid place of knowing my own divine essence.  The portability of the practice means I use it to cultivate the ability to function throughout all areas of my life, while remaining immersed in the knowing of my own Self.

Up to the point of conducting these interviews my own experiences of japa has remained private.  It’s just not something I have talked about with the majority of people in my life.  I have often thought to myself that if my husband, kids, family, or work associates had any idea how much I am focused on my manta they would be shocked.  But, then again, if I shared what repeated in my mind before I started practicing japa  they may have been just as shocked.   So I felt privileged to have the opportunity to have such an honest and pure conversation with each of these yogis in our community about the sacred practice of japa in their lives.

Maybe you will find part of your story here, too.

Did you find you could resonate with any of these stories?  When I ask you now “Why japa”, what is popping up for you?  Is it the mantra? Is it the Self?  Are you practicing japa?  Why not?

Click here to join the Japathon!, a free community japa event via conference call, September 28th at 10am.

Shaktipat

by Theresa Morrison

Swami DarshanWhether concrete or subtle, yogis receiving Shaktipat from Swami Nirmalananda experience a range of openings, expansions, and revelations that are real and profound.  Please enjoy these yogis’ descriptions of Shaktipat from recent Retreats with Swamiji.

Robin Blankenship describes her experience of Shaktipat as the movement of energy through her body:

“My Shaktipat retreat was a very deep and intense experience. I now feel Kundalini go all the way up into my head during yoga practice and meditation. It used to be blocked at my neck and shoulders. [I] experienced Shakti in my body as a source that is ever changing and moving. I experienced it as a moving part that is now unstuck.  I continue to have access to this experience of Shiva as constant change.  It is helping me to accept change… in my life and not be afraid of it.”

She summarizes that the experience of Shakti moving freely throughout her own body had a direct effect on her spiritual practice and allowed her to have new insights into the nature of movement and change in her daily life.  This has allowed her to become unblocked and unstuck.

France de la Fontaine shares some particular experiences of blissful from her recent Shaktipat Retreat:

“On Sunday morning, I woke up and I felt pure joy and peace, no fears. I imagine bliss this way — since, in meditation, I can have a glimpse of this state… the other thing that I felt on that Sunday morning was the impression that the world was in my belly. It was very special.”

France goes on to describe that Shaktipat opens her heart and helps her to “progress on the path of illumination.”

Beth Richardson recounts her own experience of progress.  She writes, “I feel my meditation is clearer, and I am happier, more patient and more at peace.”

Whether momentary or enduring, these experiences of clarity or Self offer glimpses of what is possible. They encourage further seeking and practice.

Susan Daniel shares, “The Shaktipat Retreat continues to provide motivation to prioritize a daily meditation practice.”

Dhananjaya King says that he has found a new “willingness to stay in the present rather than constantly looking toward future events.”

Shanti Ellan Catacchio describes a beautiful transformation that she attributes to the effect of Shaktipat in her life:

“We have taken down a fence that was in front of our cottage, and I have moved from hiding-out in the back yard, out of sight, to the front yard, enjoying the view and people walking by.  My Mother put that fence up 50+ years ago.  I am more comfortable in my own skin than ever before.  I am more aware than ever before. [I am] closer to Self.”

The particular effects of Shaktipat manifest differently for each individual, but there is an undeniable power in this transfer of energy from Guru to disciple.  Swamiji gives Maha-Shaktipat, the awakening of your own energy of transcendence, Kundalini.  Whether direct (in person) or indirect (through an intermediary, such as a photograph), this transmission of Shakti is a life-changing experience.  It deepens each time you receive it, all through the loving act of Grace, given by the Guru.

The Shaktipat Retreat, offered several times each year by Swamiji, is an intensive, nurturing experience designed to prepare each individual to receive this initiation most fully.  Through chanting, meditation, and a series of teachings each student is given the tools they need to understand and open to the Grace.

Swamiji confers Shaktipat three distinct times over the course of each retreat weekend, likening the energetic transfer to that of a burning candle sharing its fire with one still waiting to be lit.  Amongst other things, this powerful gift leads individuals to a fuller realization of themselves, empowering them to live in the experience of their own Self as Shiva.