MTT: Tapas & Bliss

By Robin (Nityaa) Blankenship

Ever since taking the Learn to Meditate series from my local teacher, I’ve meditated daily.  Because I wanted to deepen my experience and share meditation with others, I took Meditation Teacher Training (MTT).  It opened a path that has included challenges as well as bliss!

Gurudevi is a Master Meditation Teacher.  Her MTT is an incredibly thorough and detailed course.  After completing it and the at-home coaching program (DTS), I had all the tools to teach an amazing, thorough course on how to meditate.  

Every day in the training was a full day of discourses, discussion and meditation.  Gurudevi taught us students the elements that she uses in teaching meditation.  We learned how to write talks on Consciousness based on sutras as well as meditation instructions.  We learned to prepare our students to meditate and to close their meditation period.  Plus, we learned how to present the practical details of creating a daily meditation practice at home.  We even learned how to deal with questions that come up for students.

Even though MTT is wonderful, taking the course and preparing to teach was tapas, a yogic challenge, for me:

The extended meaning of tapas includes the inner fire that keeps you going in your own process, and specifically means the heat the comes from friction — the friction of your own limited sense of self rubbing against God.  Which of you will be burned away? 

— Gurudevi Nirmalananda, Tapas: The Hard Stuff 

Each night, we wrote a talk to give the next day to our study group.  After such full days, I found writing difficult at night.  The day’s immersion had opened me mentally and emotionally, bringing up my “stuff.”  My mind created much pain for me.  So I felt I was not ready to teach meditation and ended up taking the course again.  Smile — more tapas!

After my second MTT, I spent many hours preparing to teach my class.  I studied the MTT handouts and my class notes.  I fine-tuned my talks.  With so much preparation, teaching the course itself was the easy part.  Teaching went very smoothly; Grace flowed through.  Teaching meditation, I was a conduit of Grace.  I was supported by Gurudevi inside as well as outside by the training I had received. 

Students experienced deep meditations and expressed gratitude for the teachings.  They followed through with daily at-home meditation.  Two students even decided to meditate twice daily.

After the last class, when the students left, I felt totally full and complete.  An unmistakable bliss arose.  The tapas had burned something away.  The friction of my small-s self rubbing against God had burned away the stuff that was making me feeling small and separate from Self.  I experienced what Shri Guru Gita describes in Verse 64:

I am beyond the primeval, everlasting, self-luminous, taintless, pure, vast space, unmoving, blissful and imperishable.

— Rendered by Gurudevi Nirmalananda 

What a blessing to teach Svaroopa® Vidya Meditation.  It is so special to give the gift of the mantra and to bring meditation, the most important yogic practice, to more people.

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