Distance-Learning for Spiritual Growth

By Deena Rotches, interviewed by Marlene (Matrikaa) Gast

“Every year, I sign up for Swami Nirmalananda’s Year-Long Programme, because I love It,” describes Deena Roches.  “I find them to be invaluable.  Each one focuses on a specific topic related to spiritual growth.  The information in her monthly articles and audio discourses is both educational and inspiring. The conference calls for the whole group of participants are incredible.  You get to hear from your fellow yogis how they are evolving as well as describe your own process.  For me, this always sparks things I didn’t know were there.  I get a way of looking at something I’d never thought of before.  The phone calls are extraordinary for opening you to new perspectives.  In the Programme’s final month, the retreat weekend brings all the learning and transformation home.

“In these year-long studies with Swami Nirmalananda, something happens that makes me realize my progress over time.  Especially on the phone calls and during the weekend retreat, I hear something and think, ‘I know that, I’ve experienced that.’  This validation heightens may awareness of where I’m at.  This supports my continued growth.  That said, it’s not to minimize the information we’re given in articles and audios.  In fact, the information alone is enough to catapult you into a whole different dimension of your being.

“Swami Nirmalananda makes the most complex, mystical concepts simply accessible and relevant to you personally.  This is just so valuable.  She teaches about the profound spiritual concepts of Tantra.  She teaches the most profound principles by example and analogy.  Her approach makes them easy to understand in terms of your own everyday life experience.

“I live in a conventional householder’s world with lots of family dynamics.  I am not surrounded by a lot of yogis.  Having Swami Nirmalananda’s teachings in the midst of my life supports me, as a yogi, in the world.  Many of us know how complex a family Thanksgiving can be, for example.  Yet I just sailed through one that included 16 out-of-town family members for a week.  I dedicated all aspects of the week to God and Guru.  Everything that I did was dedicated to our beloved Sadguru.  The joy flowed, and I had a blast.

“I continue meditating 1.5 hours per day and japa for 20 minutes three times per day.  From last year’s Programme, I’ve learned not to depend on praise for my actions.  All elements of the Programme allowed me to internalize this teaching.  I couldn’t have gotten through responding to the needs of 16 other people without it.  In the past, my happiness would have depended on needing to make everyone happy.  This Thanksgiving, that dependency was gone.  I no longer am depending on their reactions to give me a “sense of self-worth or purpose in life.”  I’ve learned to ‘just do what you do.’

“I feel greater peace than I could ever have imagined possible.  Even on this heavenly plateau, I still find myself continuing to move forward.  I’m especially looking forward to a Shaktipat Retreat, my chosen practice.  I attend each one in Downingtown.  They strip away restraints and obstacles, so I go deeper and deeper into Self – living life with more joy, peace and contentment.  And I’m poised to enroll in the 2020 Year-Long Programme.”

The 2020 Year-Long Programme Practical Mysticism addresses the question “How do you attain the highest while living in the world?”  The Free Intro call is on March 11. 

I asked Deena about her about her experience of the Free Intro Calls for programs through the years.  “I’ve never done one,” she asserted. “I just always sign up for the whole year because I love them.  They give me so much.”People on the prior calls report many of the same kinds of shifts the whole Programme provides.  Everyone experiences some of the transformation that will abundantly unfold by enrolling in any of the four Programme options (or all!).  That has certainly been my experience, and I hope it will be yours as well.  Click here to register for the Free Intro Call on March 11, 6:30 to 8:00 pm (Eastern Time).

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