We as a community of yogis have shown, over the past two years of Reawakening and Consolidation, that when Swami Nirmalananda planted the seeds of the Svaroopa® sciences, she established a perennial garden. Year after year this abundant garden blossoms forth with delectable fruits of right action, strength, knowledge that is full of light as well as enduring friendships. I remember one yogi, on a Yoga of Food phone course, who talked about how she felt a sense of being loved by the vegetables she was about to eat. Swamiji replied with a teaching: the abundance of the earth that nourishes arises from the pure love for us who embody Divinity, even if we don’t yet fully know that. Those teachings from Swamiji meet my experience with knowledge full of light, and I recognize that, no matter where I am, Self within is alive and well.
For me our Ashram offers refuge from whatever tendrils of “not knowing” still bind me. This place of refuge exists in Swamiji’s home in Downingtown and in the courses at The Desmond. And it also exists in our own homes through our internet access to free audios, online articles and publications as well as phone courses. Our Ashram is a garden that continues to blossom forth with abundant nourishment, wherever we are geographically, and wherever we are in the unfolding of our lives on the path of this profoundly transformative yoga, inside and outside. Through Swamiji’s teachings the tendrils of “not knowing” relax their grip. More and more freed from this constraint, our hearts open and our bonds amongst us arise from the recognition of Divinity, inside and outside.
In my own life, I have noticed this in relationships with family and friends. There was a time when yoga practices for me were all about being inward, even withdrawn. Asana doused the fire of back pain and let me float in Shavasana. When work or family life was difficult and chaotic, it was so easy find relief and renewal in Ujjayi and the Magic Four. At first the “outside” could feel even less appealing, and in relationship I was still guarded and hidden in my little-s self. But gradually and inevitably, the brilliance of Swamiji’s teachings on all levels has melted the encasing frost of my fear. Fear of what? Maybe it was of the outside world, in any form, conflicting with my desires for things and people to be the way I wanted them to be in order to fulfill my needs.
The thaw was first noticeable in Meditation Teacher Training when I went out to lunch and could feel the peace and sweetness of Divinity in each and every person I saw — at the grocery store, with dueling shopping carts! Last night, to celebrate her birthday, I took by 14-year-old granddaughter and her best friend to shop at The Mall — and I just loved being with them. On this Svaroopa® path I walk along without losing my Self, the Ever-Arising Sweetness and Clarity of Pure Being.
Really, there is nothing else on the planet like our Svaroopa® sciences. They work in us as a community to blossom forth. We can foresee how, with our ongoing financial support, these teachings that Swamiji authentically brings to us are poised to reach ever more deeply into the body, minds and hearts of yogis worldwide as they discover her through audios and articles on our new website. That’s great.
But also great is that each of us, as individual persons in community, continues to grow into the knowing of ourselves as the Self. While it’s great to be able to see that Divinity in everyone, it’s a blessing to be with each other in programs, on calls, in teacher training, in our local Svaroopa® communities. Then the Grace is so palpable. As we speak the same Svaroopa® language, it’s so easy to understand one another and to stay in connection with Self. It’s effortless to bask in that Divine glow inside and outside.
That’s why I continue to be a monthly donor, year in and year out, just as Swamiji and all of our teachers continue to serve us with the teachings. I also celebrate with a special financial gift twice each year. So I invite you to join me in this joyful practice of dakshina. Celebrate how much each of us, as well as yourself, has blossomed forth individually and together. If you have already donated, thank you! If not, I urge you to offer financial support so our Ashram — our refuge — can reach out to all others who are seeking this same transformation through Swamiji’s teachings, even if they don’t know it yet. Imagine the fullness of our closing mantras with all of our voices now, along with all who could be joining us, chanting:
Om. Peace. Peace. Peace to all.