By Kristine Freeman, SVA Board Member
Looking back, I can see that I have always been a spiritual seeker. Born to parents with a deep Catholic faith and practice, I was blessed to be raised in relationship with God. There was mass every Sunday at our local church and a formal religious education. At home, grace was said before meals and prayers before bed. And yet it wasn’t enough for me. I needed more.
It was this inner yearning that made me a seeker. Swami says, “This is what makes you different, even when you don’t want to be. It means that you are simply unable to satisfy your yearning with the things that satisfy others.”
As a young teen, I remember attending a youth retreat, a wonderfully expansive weekend of group activities and worship, including folk music, prayers and religious talks. We shared meals, bunkrooms and hall bathrooms. We enjoyed the freedom of being away from the responsibilities of home and school. I loved it. And yet at the end of the weekend, Sister Bernadette, the incredible spiritual being who ran the program and the center, explained that as special as the weekend had been, “You can’t live here.” Literally and figuratively, it was time to return to our normal lives. I cried. A lot. I didn’t want to return to the contraction.
Fast forward 40 years and I find myself at Lokananda, our bliss place. Listening to our Guru explain, “Bliss is your birthright. I want you to live in the wholeness, live from that place of joy all the time.” She is telling and showing us that living from that expanded place is possible. Her words bring me such joy. I have reached the stage in the spiritual process where I yearn to spend more and more time with my Guru. Swami describes this stage:
This yearning happens because the Guru’s state is infectious. When you sit with the Guru, you experience reciprocal adaptation, otherwise known as a ‘contact high.’ Though your eyes and your mind are full of the Guru, what you are experiencing is your own Self. That’s the value of the Guru — to give you your own Self.
Priceless. Please join me in making an additional contribution to our Lokananda Capital Campaign. The practice of financial support, dakshina, is a powerful practice. Is your yearning powerful enough to provide the funding to ensure Svaroopa® immersion programs will continue in Lokananda? When you support your yogic process, and the Master who makes it possible, you take a powerful step in your spiritual journey.
Click here to donate.