By Nancy Wittenberg
Interviewed by Lissa (Yogyananda) Fountain
Last March, I decided to sit down and do a mantra meditation. I’d been away from it for several years, during which I was doing an active, verbally guided meditation. I sat down, closed my eyes, and began repeating the mantra I received from Gurudevi. In that moment, I knew I had returned home. It was amazing how incredibly peaceful I felt. I immediately realized that mantra meditation served me much better than what I’d been doing. I began to feel more grounded and centered in the Self.
Then my many vichara sessions inspired me to return to asana practice. I needed to address my osteoporosis. With my body healing, a daily meditation practice was the next step. Joining the Meditation Club has helped me delve deep, keeping me on track every day. This combination of Ashram practices is powerful. It has triggered my interest in the Year-Long Programme.
Everything has happened gradually, one practice leading to another. After I signed up for Gurudevi’s Year-Long Programme, I began attending her Swami Sundays. I also started to listen to Gurudevi’s free discourses any time of day, especially when out for a walk. Everything she says resonates deeply inside. I get wonderful moments of inner recognition, which is so incredibly blissful. The depth of these teachings has been helpful in getting me back to Svaroopa® yoga.
This past year, I took a Shaktipat Retreat, the New Year’s Retreat and, most recently, the Yogify Your Life course. During it, I’ve learned to get to bed at the same time every night. A regular bedtime has helped me to get up earlier. Then I can get several practices in during the early hours of the day. This consistency continues to give me a better understanding of my capital-S Self.
I notice that how I am in relationships is shifting. I have a greater awareness of how I’m interacting with people. I am in a more peaceful and centered state. I am trying to see everyone as Shiva. I can witness my mind, especially when it goes into a judging and comparing mode. Instead of getting caught up in thoughts, I try to bring myself back to mantra. I come back home to my Self.
Overall, I have a greater awareness of so many things in my life. My progress through the poses is changing how I stand. Now I can bring my head in line with my spine. I am no longer in the future. Rather, I am in my own Presence. When I am in the “doing” mode during activities, I now can choose my state. The openings I’ve gotten from vichara sessions and mantra repetition have been incredibly powerful. These practices are deeply infused with Guru’s Grace. They continually open me up to my inner Self. I am so grateful.