By Kelly McKee, interviewed by Lori (Priya) Kenney
Sitting in that Grace-filled room with all the yogis and Gurudevi, a Shaktipat Guru, I thought: “This is really remarkable. How did I get here? What are the chances? This is extraordinary.” I live in the same town as a Shaktipat Guru. Yet I knew nothing about this kind of yoga until five years ago.
In a community flyer, I saw an ad for yoga classes at Downingtown Yoga & Meditation Center, a branch of Svaroopa® Vidya Ashram. I showed up for the class with a beach towel for a mat. My teacher was super kind and got me all set up. Soon afterwards, I received a postcard in the mail about a free meditation class with Swami Samvidaananda. I loved it and wanted more.
Attending Swami Sunday Satsangs, I loved listening to Gurudevi give her discourses on the ancient teachings. That’s how I learned about Shaktipat. I’d never heard of it before. I’d been interested in a spiritual path and what Gurudevi said made sense to me.
One day, I was browsing the Ashram website. I needed a part-time job. On a whim, I looked in the Opportunities Section and saw the Ashram needed part-time help. It was just what I was looking for. I now assist with Ashram meal preparation and other household tasks. I keep thinking how lucky I am to be working at an Ashram. Again, I wonder, “How did this happen?”
When the May Shaktipat Retreat came along, I wanted to sign up. I told Swami Praj~nananda I wanted to go, but she said the On-Site spots were already filled. Soon after, someone cancelled. At the last minute, I was able to get into the On-Site Shaktipat Retreat.
Gurudevi spoke about her Guru, Baba Muktananda, and how he gave her the teachings she shares with us. Even more, he gave her the inner experience that the teachings describe. I realized, the gift of Shaktipat is receiving that inner experience. It’s totally amazing. I remember feeling reassurance and being hopeful. Here I am, I’m on this path. I’m sitting here with a teacher from an extraordinary lineage. I have been put on the path to enlightenment. That’s the big goal.
Since the retreat, I’ve noticed changes. Meditations are definitely deeper and more expansive. My spine feels more open and straighter. I’m more even and kinder and less reactive to other people. Words that I don’t want to have don’t fly out of my mouth anymore. I feel less separateness and more a part of everything. And I realize I don’t have to be perfect. The “small-s self” part of me is being worked on. My essence is already perfect.
I feel immense gratitude for Gurudevi, Grace and the lineage. I’m so grateful for Shaktipat and receiving that gift of glimpses of my Self. Sometimes how graced I am just washes over me. What an extraordinary gift it is to have her.