Monthly Archives: August 2022

Turbo Charge to Spiritual Progress

By Janet (Janaki) Murray

I took Meditation Teacher Training in 2005.  After 17 years it is still a memorable event for me in so many ways. For starters there were nearly 50 people on the course. The Shakti (energy) was incredible! And what an experience! I cannot say it was easy – far from it; but it gave a turbo-charge to my spiritual progress. 

It was hard work. Ten days of early mornings, late nights and every minute filled through the day. Yet it was truly a Grace-filled course, and it was certainly Grace that carried me through. The course kick-started a whole new range of personal shifts and changes.  The baggage of life, and lifetimes, fell away – and continues to. 

As I write I am filled with gratitude, once more, to Gurudevi for the gift of this course. And for her presence in twenty plus years I have known her.

Through the deep experiences during the course, I not merely learned but imbibed the philosophy. I became able to talk about and write about Consciousness with joy and confidence. Previously, I had not been much of a meditator.  Yet 17 years later, meditation remains the keystone of my practices. I cannot imagine not meditating. 

MTT gave me all the tools and confidence needed to teach the three-week introductory meditation course. And I am still teaching it. It is such an amazing course to teach, particularly for beginning meditators. It is well conceived and constructed and includes everything needed to get people started. 

Straightaway, students get a deep understanding of what meditation is. This is important as many come in with a range of misunderstandings. Sometimes both the student and I are blown away by the depth of their experiences.  This happens even in their first week. 

Many come to the course thinking meditation is somehow a difficult thing. The course soon teaches them that it is really quite easy. It also includes lots of practical tips to support their meditation. These things are very motivating for beginning meditators. Almost everyone who takes it loves this course! 

I love teaching it too. I find it such a delight to sit with a group of students who are getting so much. Yet it is so simple. When I sit with them, the Grace that flows through these teachings is palpable. 

The Continuing Education for Meditation Teachers is also excellent. I have taken two MTT updates since 2005. They were quite different from each other, though both completely relevant. They were really well worth taking both to my own development and to my Meditation teaching.

Why an Ashram?

By Gurudevi Nirmalananda

One of my greatest memories is standing in the boat at the base of Niagara Falls.  I was wonderfully overwhelmed by its power and beauty, along with its incredible roar.  Yet it felt very familiar to me.  It felt just like when I was living with my Guru in his Ashram.  

The power and beauty of what he made available to us every day was mind-blowing, yet in a most propitious way.  My mind and body were reformatted in that flow of energy emanating from him, for he was a powerhouse of Divine Grace.  He gave the whole place an incredible vibe.

I opened Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram to offer you the same.  You can melt into that flow or tap into it from a distance. It’s available.  That’s the point.  An Ashram exists to serve those who want to be served.  It’s like how I plug my mobile phone in at the charging station every day — the Ashram is a place where you can plug in.  And you can plug in from home.

My Teachings Article and podcasts have been online freebies for over ten years.  We began teaching in conference calls around 20 years ago.  Plus the pandemic thrust us into offering many more and different types of online programs.  I love being able to bring the teachings and practices right to your door.

But there’s something about being together in person.  You probably know this from your own family gatherings in recent months.  I see it happening when we chant together online.  Everyone is actually chanting alone, singing along with a sound stream coming out of a device with a tiny picture of the other singers.  It’s just not the same.  It’s like looking at a photo of Niagara Falls.  Amazing, but not overwhelming.

I want to overwhelm you with the power and beauty of your own Divinity.  I delight in propelling you past your resistances.  But I can do more for you when you come in.  You can’t mute me when we’re together in the same room.  You can tune me out, but I notice the glazed look in your eyes and do something to bring you back.  Plus there’s an energy field here.  We’ve created it, with hundreds of yogis doing practices here for more than a decade.  It’s quite a vibe.  It helps me help you.  Come on in and marinate in it.  It’s why I created an Ashram — for you. 

On-Site Yoga at Downingtown Yoga

Your Svaroopa® yoga class begins with you lying on your back in the yoga pose named Shavasana.  After your guided relaxation, each additional pose targets a specific part of your spine, unraveling deep tensions.  

Your internal organs get more interior space for optimal functioning.  After you end with another Shavasana, you can tell that this stuff works.  Every class welcomes new students while supporting experienced yogis.

Working at home, I find getting to my weekly Saturday morning class is a great remedy for isolation.  Taught by a swami, the class has a special vibe that resonates through us students. I get a lot of relaxation and benefits including relief from a herniated disc.  Plus, I learn tools for self-healing at home. — Beth S.

Chants for Inner Stillness

By Amanda (Purna) Schmidt

Expand into your vast inner space with Gurudevi’s Embodied Infinity CD.  This collection of chants evokes the timeless depths of your being.  Slow and stirring melodies ground you deeply in your body, and beyond.  

Enjoy this CD during your home practice for added stillness.  Or let it play in the background throughout your day.  Feel your body and mind align with the ancient Sanskrit vibrations.  Settle easily into your own inherent Divinity.  Price: $19.95

CD Tracks:

  1. Introductory Mantras
  2. Maha mrtyunjaya mantra
  3. Om gangayai namaha
  4. Low-slow shivo’ham

No More Negativity

By Gurudevi Nirmalananda 

One of the first words you spoke was “no.”  You probably used it more often than your other first words, “Mama” and “Dada.”  That’s why this growth phase is called “The Terrible Twos.” You became able to resist as well as able to express what you wanted.  Unfortunately, you’ve continued to say “no” ever since.  What if you said “yes” more often?

My earliest teacher in this was my first dog.  When our front door was open and someone was coming down the sidewalk, my dog would run out as fast as her short little legs could go.  She was not barking.  She ran up to the passers-by, threw herself down on the ground and showed her belly, all four paws up in the air.  100% of the walkers stopped, said, “Ahhh,” then rubbed her belly.  Watching her made me reconsider how I’d been approaching life.  The protective mode I’d perfected had me saying no to life far too often.

Yoga agrees that you need to recalibrate.  All the yogic methodologies work on dissolving your resistances, melting your negativities and freeing you from your fears.  Then you are able to experience inner peace and a sense of balance that supports you.  

Yet this is merely the launching pad.  Beyond peace and balance, yoga promises more.  Once you get past the ways you negate yourself, you discover there is more inside than you ever imagined.  Exploring that expansive inner reality is yoga’s specialty…

I always loved the children’s song, written by Harry Dixon Loes in the early 1900s:

This little light of mine

I’m going to let it shine…

I wanted to shine!  Somehow I felt that I had an inner light that could shine.  I didn’t know how to access it but I wanted it.  My Guru opened up my access to the inner light that was already there.  That light shines from deep inside.

Your mind blocks your own inner light in the same way you can use your thumb to block the sun.  The human mind excels at negating things, thus the sages described how to negate the negation.  My own name does this, with Nirmala meaning “not limited.”  The 9th century sage Shankaracharya wrote a poem describing your own essence.  He meticulously negates your limitations…

Gurudevi Teaches on Wednesdays

Join Gurudevi Nirmalananda for her FREE Wednesday evening chant and meditation program.  With live music and printed words, you easily join everyone else in traditional yoga chanting.  

After the chant, you’ll find meditating with a Master takes you deep effortlessly.  It’s the best way to explore the inner dimensions of your own being.  Whether you’re a newcomer or an experienced meditator, Gurudevi makes it easy as well as profound!

Gurudevi’s Wednesday satsangs are inspiring. My meditations are always deepened by her talk and her long chant. — Debbie M.

Online, this program is part of your Yoga Wednesday (bookends or full day).  Or simply join us in-person in Downingtown PA.