By Ben Waters, interviewed by Marlene (Matrikaa) Gast
I have begun to wake up free and happy, as I did as a child. My first waking thought is a happy one, “My God! What’s this day going to bring?” I feel more connected to other people, at the Ashram and everywhere else. I am experiencing a space of true freedom. Day by day, it continues to unfold.
For most of my adulthood, I experienced life from a place of loneliness and isolation. Sometime in 2014, I discovered Sadguru Swami Nirmalananda and got on the Kundalini path of Svaroopa® Vidya. From the first, I trusted Swamiji and her Teachings. Deep knowings began to arise within me. I knew I was headed in the right direction. I could tell that longstanding pain was clearing as well as other “deep stuff.”
In early 2019 I experienced a monumental shift. I felt energy move in my heart area: waves of bliss and a sense of expanding love. As energy moved into my heart space, I felt that clearing was beginning. In that instant, a great amount of pain was released.
In childhood, as I awoke each morning, I would wonder with delight what the day would bring. At puberty, I lost my childhood self. I turned into what other people thought I was. Over the years I forgot who I was. I identified with the thought stream in my head. I believed there was an inherent brokenness in part of me that needed to be healed before I was OK. I always thought that I wouldn’t be whole, happy or complete until I became a better a person. Life goals needed to be fulfilled; then I’d be happy.
When I first experienced Kundalini awakening , I did get scared. Who am I without this familiar small-s self? I feared I wouldn’t know who I am. Now, however, I am coming to who I am — who I have always been. Who I am is not someone new. It’s a deep remembering of who I truly am. Then from this deeper space I am realizing nothing within me was ever broken. I have a sense of acceptance of everything as it is. I feel a welcoming toward who I am right now. There’s no sense of little corners hiding things I don’t like about myself. I see myself through a different lens, and realize there never was a problem. There is no better version of me, even spiritually. The only problem was that I didn’t know who I was.
These days, I read and listen to spiritual teachings, and do the Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation practices almost 24/7. Then, just outside of my thinking mind, my inner voice says, “Oh yeah, everything is perfect. I just couldn’t see it from my old vantage point.” Then I forget! And that keeps me on the path, steering me back to clear seeing. Thank goodness, that has been established.
Swamiji’s Teachings are invaluable in supporting me on this path. Her Teachings are seemingly so simple, yet incredibly deep and transformative. In a recent Satsang, Swamiji talked about how the practices of the Svaroopa® Sciences will take you to the heart. Yogis sitting closer to her began to ask, “What is the heart? The physical heart? The heart chakra? Is God love?” Swamiji responded, “Would you just stop thinking about the heart?!” She’s so good at taking us back to the actual, reliable practices. The practices will get you there. You can count on them to open your spine and your heart. Tripping on the mind, wondering about concepts, is ineffective. Instead, just do the practices. They will give you your own authentic experiences. The knowing that arises when you open up is beyond the mind.
All I know is, Swami Nirmalananda gave us the practices. If we do them, they lead us to this space of Self within. The only thing to do is engage in the practices: yoga, japa (repeating mantra), meditation. When I apply effort to them with my whole heart, they take me to my own Self.
The blessing is that Swamiji has traveled the path as laid out by the lineage of her Guru and his Guru and so on back through the ages. The practices have been passed down from time beyond memory, saturated with the blessings of all the Masters on whose shoulders we stand. On this path, you don’t have to imagine transformation into existence. It’s a given.