By Amala Cattafi, SVA Board President
I did not seek out the sacred practice of pilgrimage. It snuck up on me. In 2001, I took my first Svaroopa® yoga class, at the suggestion of a friend who found it helpful for back pain. I never imagined that would be my first step on a sacred pilgrimage to discover my Self.
You may have had a similar experience. You simply took a Svaroopa® asana class, you attended a satsang, you received an Embodyment® session. Perhaps you simply met Swamiji for the first time, and something stirred. Then you were never the same! And so your powerful personal pilgrimage to your Self began.
I have been blessed to experience pilgrimage with so many of you on a very large as well as a very small scale. I have travelled to the home of our lineage in Ganeshpuri India, bathed my head with the sacred water of the Ganga during the Kumbha Mela, have been moved to tears by the evening arati ceremony in Varanasi, melted into the sacred mountains at Macchu Pichu, and have met and been blessed by many beings in all these great places.
And yet, I get the same experience every time I drive to Lokananda to be in Swamiji’s presence, to listen to one of her recorded satsangs, to do seva (even from home), and to give financial support to the Ashram. What a blessing it is that we can make sacred pilgrimage so easily!
As our American Thanksgiving approaches, I reflect on the pilgrims who traveled to a “new world” in search of religious freedom. They made the brave and difficult decision to leave their homes and search for a new way of life. You, too, are a pilgrim on a journey, but how beautiful that you can do so without leaving home.
Throughout time, yogis have made the brave and difficult decision to search for a new way of living in pursuit of moksha — liberation, spiritual freedom. This is what yoga promises, and provides. You know this because you feel it stirring every time you attend a Svaroopa® asana class or satsang. You even feel it after talking about your yoga experiences with someone else in our Svaroopa® community.
You, along with me and other Svaroopis, are on a pilgrimage to your Self. Through your Svaroopa® Sciences practices, you are the sacred ground in which you find your Divine Self. May this pilgrimage open you to the practice of dakshina, financial support of the source of the teachings that guide you on your own sacred journey.
Our Capital Campaign has been successfully concluded, supporting our physical home, Lokananda. Now we turn to our Fall Fundraiser, coinciding with Thanksgiving. It gives you an opportunity to take your yoga practice off your snuggly blankets and actively into the world.
I invite you to take a look at your current monthly contribution…perhaps it is time to increase it a bit? Or, if giving monthly is not something that you already do, please consider supporting your yoga and your Swami in this way.
Dedicated monthly giving benefits your Ashram greatly. Your Ashram has the comfort of relying on these monthly donations to meet the monthly costs of providing the services that support you on your pilgrimage. No matter the amount on your monthly donation, you make a sacred monthly pilgrimage into your own heart. As Baba Nityananda said, “The heart is the hub of all sacred places…go there and roam.”
Thank you for increasing or making a monthly gift. If a single donation works better for you, we deeply appreciate your generosity in any amount. Click here to arrange your donation online, or phone us at 610.644.7555.
Om Svaroopa Svasvabhava Namo Namah