by Theresa Morrison
Whether 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.