The Gift That Keeps On Giving

By Lynn (Gurupremananda) Cattafi, President, SVA Board

Most of us have “Svaroopa® miracle stories.” You’ve likely had one or more experiences of healing, transformation and/or illumination.  It happened in a Svaroopa® yoga class, your personal Svaroopa® practices, a teacher training or retreat.  You encountered the deeper dimension of your own being, called “svaroopa” in Sanskrit.  You were infused with Divine Grace, which revealed your Own Self to you. 

Since then life has been different.  Perhaps you feel better in your body or have more clarity and ease in your life.  Or perhaps you even understand the deeper purpose of your life.  The Svaroopa® practices keep bringing you back — back to your Own Self.  The gift of these practices is the gift that keeps on giving.

I felt this the moment I walked into my first retreat with Swamiji, then Rama Berch.  I had completed Foundations the month before.  Even though that course was totally life changing, I really didn’t comprehend the power of this path.  I was told “Rama is coming down next month for a meditation retreat.  You HAVE to meet her.”  Looking back now with a deeper understanding, I know I received Shaktipat that first day.  I couldn’t put words to what I felt.  Yet I knew I was home. 

But by the third day, I was in emotional agony, curled up in the corner weeping for no reason.  She asked me, “Why the tears, Dear One?”  I explained my distress.  She smiled and said, “Good, you’re burning karma.  This is very good.”  I stayed and sat in it.  Once that layer of emotional trauma cleared from my being, I knew I was different.  I felt lighter, freer, joyful.  I knew the source of my transformation came through her.  And it just keeps getting better.

Now, I want only two things: to serve and to keep going deeper inside.  I want to be able to live in that freedom and joy all the time.  That is what Swamiji gives to me.  She gives it to all of you who have that inner impulse to know your Own Self.  That is what Baba Muktananda gave to her.  That is what Nityananda gave to Baba.  That is what Nityananda received from his Guru, and so on, back thousands of years.

In this season of gratitude, I offer unending gratitude to Sadguru Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati. She has dedicated her life to serving those who want to experience their own Divinity.  My gratitude extends to the practice of dakshina, a Sanskrit word meaning a donation to the revered teacher.  Dakshina is motivated by a pure internal impulse. When you give financially from gratitude and love for your yoga, there is nothing to be gained.  Nothing, that is, except your own Self. What a gift!

This is why, in our Ashram’s fall fundraiser, “The Gift that Keeps Giving,” I am making a generous donation to the organization that helps so many reach their full potential – their own Self.  Swamiji’s presence and teachings, so generously given, take us ever closer to living in the ever-expanding joy of our own inner light.  She provides a multitude of doorways to your own Self:  yoga, meditation and more.

That MORE is Shaktipat — a rare, precious and eternal gift.  Truly, it is the gift that keeps giving.  Your Svaroopa® practices are infused with it.  We have all been receiving Shaktipat informally since the beginning of Swamiji’s teaching.  Now, as a Sadguru, she gives formal Shaktipat initiation.  In whatever way you have received Shaktipat, we want to hear YOUR Svaroopa® story!

Your experiences inspire others.  In the coming days, we will be reaching out by phone to hear as many stories as possible.  If we miss you, and you don’t have a chance to tell your story on a phone call, please write to me at I look forward to your Svaroopa® yoga story by phone or by email!  Let your Svaroopa® story inspire you to open your heart while you open your wallet.  As a non-profit organization, our Ashram relies on dakshina to keep the lights on and the teachings flowing.  Your gratitude and your love of yoga helps your light shine.  Share your light, love and financial resources with the organization that lit the flame within you.

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