Tag Archives: Swamiji

There or Here – Do More Yoga! by Rob Gold

313There’s not one thing in my life I’d rather be doing this weekend more than attending the conference – but I won’t be there. A decision about something else in my life makes it (seem) undoable. A few months ago, about the time I was asked to write this series of pre-conference articles, I learned that my dog had lymphoma. For those of you who have experienced cancer, you know the only certainty is that you don’t know what, when, where, why or how things will change. It’s the great unknown and in that is an equally great lesson in surrender.

I couldn’t imagine leaving her in the care of others if she was sick or dying, nor can I leave her with others when she’s healthy – she’s just not that kind of dog. So, I decided not to decide, or rather to let her condition determine if I was coming or not. The good news is that, three months after her diagnosis, she is as vibrant as ever, thanks in part to some steroids and dietary changes.

I know I’m missing an incredible opportunity to connect this weekend, but I am also blessed with opportunities to connect in my life just as it is; right here, right now. There are always opportunities to do more japa, more seva, reach more students and know more of the Self. After all, what did Swamiji do when she was the only Svaroopi? Or what Muktananda do when He was not in the presence of His Guru? This is the beauty of the teachings: it’s ALL there, ALL the time. Sure, there are people, places and things that make it easier to connect, to accelerate ones spiritual journey, but we can access it any time we chose to direct our free will in that direction.

Will I miss the bhav of sitting in a hall filled with hundreds of Svaroopis? Yes.

Will I miss being in the presence of Swamiji and all the delicious programming? Definitely.

Do feel regular deep openings and connections to the Self from my life and environment here on Maui? Absolutely. After all, chanting the Guru Gita on an empty beach at sunrise  is an experience beyond what I could have imagined when I lived on the mainland.  So who’s to say it’s not actually the right thing for right now?

Advertisements

Twice Blessed By Janice O’Brien

janiceServing the Guru is a blessing. Having the opportunity to learn new things while serving is twice blessed. For the month of August, I have been blessed many times over as I took on the task of creating a new japa webpage for the Ashram website.

Being a relative newcomer to the fold, I had heard of, but didn’t know much about, japa. I didn’t realize what a deep and meaningful practice it could be. As I searched through blogs, satsangs and other information to include on the page, I began to learn of its richness and many dimensions. I wasn’t aware that japa could be practiced at any time of day, not just as a still and silent meditation. I became intrigued with the idea that I have the ability to still my mind in the midst of the chaos of everyday life. Not just in quiet solitude as has always been my custom.

I also began to acquire new skills as I learned the workings of the Ashram site. While I have helped with the Amaya Yoga Products site in the past, I knew nothing of the software on the ’shram’s site. I have had the pleasure of Skyping with Glen Christensen (another sevite) to learn the basics. He patiently walked me through all I needed to know to get started and left me to create. I slowly began pulling the page together one link, image and idea at a time. Glen graciously answered questions along the way, helping me out of a few jams in the process.

It has been a pleasure working with Rukmini, Glen, Devapriyaa, and the Japathon! committee, especially Ellen and Su for the last few weeks. As the page is nearing completion, only a few more things to add, I find myself contemplating one of my favorite sayings, “Everything happens for a reason.” Have I been immersed in japa for a reason? Can I really still my “monkey brain” as I go about my daily activities? Is it time to give japa a try? Well, I don’t own a mala yet, but now I certainly know where to find one.

Resources:

Japathon! web page with articles, recordings of Swamiji’s talks on japa, event details

Poster for our phone event on Sat. 9/28,10 am Eastern Time

Register for our phone event and get the phone codes

Share your experience or your event on our FaceBook page

Give a Birthday Gift to the Ashram.

Shop for japa malas (beads) and meditation supplies

Seva Is Yoga by Rob Gold

My introduction to seva came from an Indian professor I had in college. She taught on the

photo5

topic and the responsibility of and value in serving one’s community. It was lost on me at the time.  However 20 years later, I remember what she looked like, subtleties of her accent and even the spelling of her Hindu name; clearly she had an impact on me.

The second time I encountered seva was at my Foundations training at Kripalu. Swamiji divided our large group into teams of sevites and sent us out to help with the housekeeping, kitchen and operations of the Center. Who knew vacuuming could be such

bliss! Gone were the superficial and selfish reasons for doing things; for that one hour my job was to vacuum carpet and focus on why I was doing it. Time flew by and I was amazed at how full I felt and how much I had accomplished in such a short time.

My third and deepest encounter with seva came from readings in the Bhagavad Gita during Swamiji’s Yoga Business Skills course. Time and time again Krishna provides the teachings and illuminates the path for Arjuna until finally he gets it. I often feel like Arjuna:  lost, confused and without focus, but once I recognize my state (with a small “s”), I have these collective experiences to draw upon and apply to my life. My version of it is this:

  “When you are stuck on yourself, go be of service to someone else.”  It works every time, usually in ways and to a degree I could never have imagined.

Such is the case with the upcoming Conference, now just 1 week away. I feel like Arjuna slumped in his chariot, burdened by my churning mind, caught in the turmoil of why I can’t go — and why I need to. But what if I went not for me but to serve others and assist with the event? Swamiji always builds in ways for us to be of service and the Conference is no exception. Vacuuming the halls of Kripalu was a profound experience before my spine opened, before I knew about seva and its power, so by becoming part of the Conference I’ll get more yoga, more Swamiji, more community and more Grace, all by doing more for others and less for me. Sounds like a pretty good deal, doesn’t it?

Growth and Change and more…The Ashram is 4 years old! By Kusuma (Karobi) Sachs

133Living at the Ashram is a unique and special experience.  I started by thinking, “What is it like to live there?  I wonder if I could live there?”  Well the answer came to me over a year ago, after the Ashram had already been open for over 2 years.  I got to spend some time with Nirmalananda in India; then one day I saw the next step clearly.  Now I have been living in the Ashram long enough to participate in its fourth birthday celebration. It’s hard to believe it has been four years!  We are so blessed to have this beautiful space dedicated to the development of each of our own Divine Essence, which is all the same Consciousness. A truly revered space for this unfolding of our own Self.

I clearly remember the first time I came over to dinner during the initial construction, looking at walls coming down and going up, bathrooms and bedrooms being expanded and moved and trying to visualize how it would all turn out.   Now it is part of my daily life, the meditation room, the kitchen and of course the delicious sunroom!  I look at how my life has been in the past 18 months, quite a mix, which is not surprising.  I am living in the fire!  Nothing goes unnoticed, every single thing contributes to the knowing of my own Self as Consciousness-Itself.  This is what living in the fire means (at least for me!).  We each get what we need to nurture the growth, sometimes gently and sometimes with a bit more heat!

One of the things I love about living in the Ashram is being able to spend time with so many yogis who have similar interests, who visit from near and far.  People whom I have known as students in the trainings at Master Yoga are now sharing the same love and joy of the exploration of Consciousness which the Ashram provides.  Sharing meals, meditations and informal conversations bring a new depth to already established relationships.  Sometimes I stand in the kitchen as we chant the food chant, seeing how blessed we all are to have the Ashram to support us and our practices. I silently thank Swamiji for her vision in creating the Ashram to carry on her work and share it with all of us.

Year-Long Programmes Galore

by Rukmini Abbruzzi

RudraI Am “Siva is beginning soon, a foundational course in consciousness, with no prerequisites.  Everyone is welcomed to experience Swamiji’s magical mix of classical teaching stories, psychology and yogic practices, along with the tangible Grace that reveals your own Divinity to you.

Join Swamiji’s FREE Intro call October 16 from 7:00-8:30 pm (Eastern Time).  Click here to get the phone codes.

And (DRUMROLL PLEASE), announcing the title for 2014’s new year-long programme:

Guru & Self
Kamal and Swamiji  Ganeshpuri, IndiaYou need a Guru, yoga says, repeatedly emphasizing this in the ancient texts.  Why?  Explore the mystery of the Guru with Swami Nirmalananda as she explains the pivotal importance of the Guru in our Shaktipat tradition and illumines the secrets hidden in the traditional ceremonies and practices.   Learn how your Guru serves you as a teacher, as a guide, as a mentor, as a role model, as an exemplar and as a mirror in which you see your Self.

Your stories and experiences are an integral part of this course, through the group discussions with Swamiji.  She helps you discover how to serve as an agent of Grace, uplifting others through your sharings, while deepening your understanding of your own experiences.  With each personal story, Swamiji offers teachings and insights that enhance your inner blossoming.  Extra phone conference calls are included in the schedule so you find a time that works for you.

Two enrollment options are available:

Option #1 — monthly teaching articles, audio recordings by Swamiji, and phone conference calls (about 2 weeks apart)

Option #2 — monthly teaching articles, audio recordings by Swamiji, and phone conference calls PLUS a weekend retreat Oct 24-26 2014

Prerequisite:  Shaktipat Retreat OR Shishya Membership

Eligible yogis may join Swamiji on a FREE Intro call, March 15 from 4:00-5:30 pm (Eastern Time).  Click here to enroll and get the phone codes.

Birthday Celebration & Japathon!

By Gayatri (Barbara) Hess

337Let’s set our community ablaze through japa, the repetition of the enlivened mantra of this lineage, the mantra that imprints your mind with Consciousness.

Together let’s make this the largest Japathon! event and Ashram birthday celebration ever imagined.  Register for our Japathon! and  host your own local event; dedicate the month of September to igniting your and your students’ japa practice.

The Japathon! Team is asking all Svaroopis to participate in this mind-changing event.  Swamiji declared 2013 The Year of Japa.

Click here to register.  You can also learn more about how to participate in our Japathon! and weekend celebration, download the Japathon! poster, access Swamiji’s japa talks, order mala beads and post on Facebook.

We hope you will share about your practice and group gatherings on our Facebook page.  Your events can make japa repetition fill every minute of September 28 – 29, our Ashram birthday weekend.

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.