The inner experience of Self is closest for those whose yearning is strongest.
— Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras 1.21.
I’ve just returned home from our annual face-to-face Board meeting and retreat. While we met at the Ashram, we were housed at Lokananda. The accommodations are beautifully functional and comfortable. But it is a 130-year old building, and daily as my roommate left our room for his 4 am meditation, I heard the doors squeak. Thinking that SVA admin staff needed to be notified of the problem, we told Swami Nirmalananda about it. Swami told us where to find the can of WD-40. That clinched my sense of truly being at home in Lokananda.
Driving from Downingtown to my “other home,” I thought about other journeys. I have learned that saving for retirement is a journey that begins with a single step and takes another thousand steps. You start with saving a little, plan ahead and step by step you will arrive at retirement with enough funds to support you.
As I approach retirement, I start another journey of a thousand steps on our Svaroopa® Vidya path to Self-Realization. The yearning to be at home in my own Self is a strong pull. The yearning for Self-Realization feels like it is magnetizing me toward an ultimate home. To get there, I just need to let the yearning orient me to that “home” the way a magnet is aligned with the North Pole. I can fulfill my longing with mantra, to be turned inward to my own Self. All I have to do is cultivate the yearning and everything will just flow. That Grace-filled flow, emanating from Swami Nirmalananda, carries me to Self-Realization.
Lokananda, our Place of Bliss, is the physical home that gives me a Shakti-saturated place to stay where I can be in the presence of our Guru, Swami Nirmalananda. Lokananda is an essential element in cultivating the yearning that promises to take you to Self-Realization. I must take care of this second home as I do my own residence. Capital repairs, the stuff you do every few decades, such as getting a new roof, must be done. I understand the need to sustain the organization which provides the physical support for Swamiji’s teachings that carry me, you, and current and future seekers on the path. We need to take responsibility for Lokananda, our spiritual home, just as we do for our own personal homes. My donation to this phase of the Lokananda Capital Campaign feels like another step on the way home.
Our capital campaign goal of $150,000 was set in July 2015. We are enormously grateful for the $100,000 in donations received so far. They enabled us to renovate the sturdy old building for beauty and comfort. Our goal for this leg of the campaign is $50,000, which will complete our appeal.We will first be able to get a much needed new roof, and then replenish the reserves that support the programs that carry you forward on your spiritual journey.
I also understand the devotional aspect of contributing to the capital campaign for Lokananda, just as you bring a flower to Swamiji as an offering out of gratitude. Will you join me in opening your heart to decide on a gift to establish Lokananda in good and ongoing repair? It is the physical structure in which your yearning can be cultivated and fulfilled as Patanjali promises in Sutra 1.21. The strength of your yearning will take you to your Self. When you contribute to the last leg of the Lokananda Capital Campaign, you are oriented to the home in which you will always find the “More.”
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