Ashram Profile: Moving from 2020 to 2021!

By Lynn (Gurupremananda) Cattafi, SVA Board

In so many ways, 2020 was a banner year.  It was full of hardship as well as joy.  As we enter 2021, Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram is always planning how to best serve the needs of our Svaroopa® Sciences community and seekers beyond.  First looking backward at the closing year is always beneficial.  What changed? What worked?

When the pandemic halted travel to Lokananda, the Ashram created the online Grace Delivery System to bring immersions into our homes.  When pandemic lockdown began in mid-March 2020, Satguru Swami Nirmalananda received the inner command, “Use any means necessary.”  The Ashram’s began to Zoom online programs to our community and to seekers everywhere.  The variety of online offerings allows the choice of dipping in a toe or taking a deep dive.

Freebies, as always, include online chants and publications as well as audios of Gurudevi’s discourses.  Free of charge as well is Gurudevi’s Japa Club, online or by phone.  It’s your opportunity to be led by Gurudevi in the sweet power of mantra repetition twice daily.  She prefaces it with a concise, powerful teaching.  For those who want to go even deeper, SVA Online offers a menu of subscription classes and immersions.

Gurudevi teaching online via Zoom

After a few online programs, I enrolled in the daily Meditation Club.  There is nothing like having to be on time to meditate with Gurudevi and our worldwide community.  It’s so effective in establishing a consistent daily practice.  But more than that, it is being in the flow of Grace with my Guru every morning.  Plus the human connection with all other participants was so supportive.  Now I cannot be without my daily meditation any more than I could do without brushing my teeth.

Skeptical at first, I was amazed at the depth of the online retreats.  I was able to receive Shaktipat via Zoom.  Who would have ever thought it possible?  I attended the online Chant & Meditation Retreat and So’ham Weekend as well.  I was able to sanctify my home with these deep immersions.  I integrated the practices into my life so much more easily.  It worked because I was in my life while also in the retreat. Each pre-retreat orientation provided such loving information about how to eat during the retreat; I received complete meal plans and recipes.  I was guided in how to set up my home for the retreat, and how to manage time between retreat sessions.  It was brilliant.  I felt so cared for right in my own yoga room.

The Ashram’s online yoga classes are a Godsend for me.  Thanks to Zoom, I am finally able to take asana class every day.  I am doing more yoga through the pandemic than any other time in my life.

One of our online teaching setups at Downingtown Yoga and Meditation Center

I know that Gurudevi always sees the big picture.  Along with other Board members, I’m being guided to plan for the year ahead and beyond.  Gurudevi always has her eyes and heart on what will serve all of us best in the next steps of personal growth.  Here is to a growth-filled 2021, together!

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