By Patrice Nicolet, interviewed by Annie (Aanandi) Ross
“Open the door.” I’ve been contemplating and reflecting on this internal message received ten months ago. After an early morning online Meditation Club session with Gurudevi, I heard these three words silently but clearly.
Looking at where I am today, I realize my spiritual journey has been ongoing. This is true even for those times when I wasn’t paying much attention. I was first introduced to the Svaroopa® yoga Magic Four poses in 1998. Soon after, I attended a few week-end yoga programs. Then I took the Foundations of Svaroopa® Yoga training. At yoga conferences through the years, I sampled more of Gurudevi’s teachings (then Rama). In 2002, I plunged into the full Svaroopa® YTT.
For over ten years, I taught Svaroopa® yoga classes regularly. During that time, my focus and personal practice began to shift to meditation. Yet even though I took Gurudevi’s basic Meditation Made Easy programs, I wasn’t ready to really dive in. I began studying a different style of meditation and connected with a local community. This connection grew for several years.
Eventually, a very special Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation event brought me back. In May 2019, it was the celebration of Swami Nirmalananda’s 43rd anniversary of receiving Shaktipat from her Guru. The experience of this event was pivotal for me. Something shifted. I realized I couldn’t do it on my own. I was ready for “The More!” Things took off for me in the journey to know my Self. Most recently, Gurudevi’s 2021 Year-Long Programme had a profound effect. It prepared me to receive the gifts of Shaktipat, as I attended her dedicated Shaktipat Retreat for us YLP students.
Gurudevi keeps finding ways to work with our minds. I so look forward to each day with online Meditation Club. I plan my day and week around other offerings, including Swami Sunday. I’m so grateful for all the online programs that Gurudevi has initiated during the pandemic. In many ways the pandemic has helped structure and prioritize my practices. I’ve created new habits that allow the teachings to percolate and deepen into my experience.
Now I contemplate the message I received ten months ago: “Open the door.” I’m still finding my way, doing the practices, asking questions, and looking within. As a result, I feel steadier, calmer. I’m learning to lean in and trust this Grace-filled process. These many gifts continue to shape my life inside and outside. The seeds that were planted so many years (lifetimes?) ago have taken root! I have the tools now to nourish and bring to fruition yoga’s promise — to know my own Self. I’m diving deep into doing more yoga. The door to “more” is open. To have this Guru and community of practitioners is so precious!