Category Archives: About Gurudevi

Trusting Shaktipat

By Samantha (Sarveshi) Glazier 

Interviewed by Lori (Priya) Kenney  

I’m not one who has flashy Shaktipat experiences.  At the September Shaktipat Retreat, Swami Prajňananda explained the ways you might experience Kundalini.  She talked about heat, colors and more.  For me, in receiving Shaktipat, I feel steady, content, secure — right where I want to be.  Gurudevi has said that even though Muktananda was very visual, she didn’t often experience colors.  It’s reassuring. 

I’ve done a lot of yoga and heard a lot of Gurudevi’s Swami Sunday talks.  Shaktipat has been written about for thousands of years.  I find a lot of comfort in all the preparation we go through before Shaktipat.  Knowing other yogis have been through similar preparation is reassuring.  We’re part of a long history and tradition.  With the chanting, talks and all, I felt very well-prepared in my recent Shaktipat Retreat.  I could lean into Shaktipat.  I knew — I’m safe, whatever I’m experiencing.  I’m in the presence of the Guru and the Guru she had. 

At the end of the retreat’s second day, I returned to the dorm room I shared with some other women.  We sat around and talked about Shaktipat.  It was lovely to have people that I barely knew being so open about these unusual experiences.  Who else can you talk to about Shaktipat?  I felt very connected to them even though I had met some of them only 24 hours earlier.  In our conversation, it was so easy to see the Self in all of them. 

My Shaktipat experiences continue.  Things are happening in unexpected ways.  Svaroopa® yoga is all about the tailbone.  The week I came back from Shaktipat, there was an undeniable sensation in the region of my tailbone.  After returning home, I taught a couple asana classes.  My students seemed to feel something too.  A high percentage reached out afterwards and said how deep the class was.  I had even made a joke before leaving for Shaktipat.  I’d told them that since I wasn’t doing a training, I wouldn’t be bringing anything back for them.  One longtime student said she felt she could really let go in class.  Previously, she has had a hard time letting go.  My only explanation is that it was the Shaktipat. 

Free Meditation Class Online

by Swami Nirmalananda Saraswati

You want to learn to meditate.  Congratulations!   

Perhaps you’ve already tried one or more approaches to meditation and are looking for other options.   

I’m delighted to share my own practice with you, one I’ve been deepening into for almost 50 years.   

As an authorized teacher within an ancient lineage, I’ve had the great fortune to teach thousands of people to meditate.  I can help you. 

Free Online Class 

Check our calendar for our twice-monthly introductory meditation programs.  Each one lasts 90 minutes, enough time for you to learn what to do, as well as to try it out in a group meditation.  Then there’s a discussion that helps you understand your experience as well as troubleshoot any problems you’re having. 

You may find one of our trained meditation teachers in your area – check our Teacher Directory.  Their offerings may be Online or On-Site. 

Free On-Site Meditations

I teach two free meditation programs weekly, Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.  On-Site in Downingtown PA, these are free.  Online has an enrollment fee, due to our costs in providing the online services.   

Check our calendar for “Swami Sunday” and for “Yoga Wednesday”.  If you can come to Downingtown, I get to meet you personally!  I’d love that. 

Take a Meditation Course

For a deeper meditation, the word is to meditate longer.  “Longer” means that you meditate for a longer time period, like a full hour instead of only ten minutes.  It also means that your ability improves with practice.  Thus your meditation will be deeper after a year of consistent meditation and even deeper after ten years. 

For quicker inner progress, take a meditation course, like you would if you were learning a musical instrument or how to skydive.  We offer “Learn to Meditate” every month or two.  In our Teacher Directory, you’ll find authorized teachers near you who teach the same course. 

Breakthroughs & Profound Understandings

An Ashram specializes in the deeper teachings and practices, so you’ve got many more options. 

We have five swamis offering sutra courses, yoga & meditation classes and more.  Each program includes the ancient teachings, which create inner openings for your bliss-filled exploration.   

The most powerful of these is my Shaktipat Retreat.  Here, you receive the mystical initiation that awakens your meditative energy to arise within.  Life is truly changed in that moment, with a whole new trajectory opened up to you.  That’s what propelled me into the inner light.  I love to share. 

What Do You Want? 

You have lots of choices!  If you don’t know where to start, try a 1-minute video from a recent satsang on our YouTube channel or a recent podcast.   

Or just call us at 610.806.2119 or email programs@svaroopayoga.org – we’ll be happy to talk with you about your next step.

Inspiring Meditation Quotes

By Gurudevi Nirmalananda 

One-liners, that’s what we need.  Something we can grab in an eye-blink, a sound bite…   

Meditation is for Self-discovery, revealing the deeper dimensions within. 

It’s not just our modern times that demand clear and concise info.  The ancient sages of India wrote sutras, short pithy sayings that were easy to remember.  But they’re tricky!  Easy to remember, but not easy to understand — they have layers to them. 

Chaitanyam atma. – Shiva Sutras 1.1 

Your own Self is Consciousness-Itself.  

Uplifting, inspiring, encouraging, reassuring, all at the same time.  And it goes way beyond what you understand in your first reading.  I’ve been studying and contemplating this sutra for over 40 years and I am still learning from it.  And it’s only two words long:  Chaitanyam – Consciousness; Atma – Self. 

Know your own Self, honor your own Self, meditate on your own Self. 

This was my Guru’s sutra for our modern world, a teaching he shared hundreds of times when he taught in America through the 1970s and into the 1980s.  As a hippie-turned-mom, I appreciated the focus on finding myself, this deeper dimension he called “own Self.”  But what was it, really?  He added a line: 

God dwells within you as you. 

I wanted God to dwell within me, so I was comforted by this teaching.  But what did he mean by, “as me”?  I didn’t understand.  I wondered and pondered for decades. 

All the while, my Baba was giving me the inner experience of my own Self being God’s own Self.  But my puny little mind didn’t get it.  So I say it this way, 

There’s only one of us here.  The One Divine Reality is being you, being me, and being all that is.  Meditation is finding that One — inside. 

I invite you to sign up for my daily E-Quotes.  Free emails with inspiring quotes that help you get to know yourself in a whole new way. 

Gurudevi Leads Daily Meditation – Online

You can connect with Gurudevi as your teacher every day!  Join her for your morning meditation every day at 6:30 am EST.  When you meditate with a Master, your meditation is fueled by the blessing of their knowing.

Gurudevi begins with a short reading from her Guru, followed by a short chant, invoking blessings on your meditation.  Next you sit in the holy silence, transmitted from the Ashram, for the rest of the hour, a sweet and Grace-filled experience.

Meditating with others makes it much easier, especially when they are experienced meditators.  Meditation Club is available on Zoom by monthly subscription.

When Gurudevi established the Meditation Club, I decided to go all in.  I am always amazed how quickly the hour goes.  Yet when I come out of meditation, I feel a peace and calm. — Bob N.

Questions?  Zoom into our next FREE Q&A for answers.  Discover if Meditation Club is what you’re looking for and find out how to get started. 

Mantra Meditation

By Satguru Swami Nirmalananda 

Meet your mind where it’s at.  Having a crazy-busy mind is normal these days, unfortunately.  You aspire to a better state, a deeper inner center, a quality of being that fills your life with light.  Mantra meditation lassoes your mind and brings it back home, to your core essence, called “your own Self.” 

You need the right mantra, of course.  And you need to get it from someone who knows it fully, inside and out.  An authorized teacher within an authentic tradition can open the inner doorway for you in amazing ways.  That’s what happened for me, an inner awakening that transformed my life from the inside-out.   

I got the mantra from a local meditation teacher.  She had been authorized by her teacher in India.  It gave me deep meditation immediately. 

It was only later that I understood the greatness of the gift I had been given – the enlivened mantra, full of blessings and grace. 

It infused me with a sense of wholeness and purpose that I had never known before.  And all I had to do was meditate daily, which renewed and deepened it. 

Now, almost 50 years later, I offer the same to those who aspire higher.  In free online programs as well as course and retreats, you can get this mantra and instruction in how to use it.  Let those who have done their spiritual work give you a head start on yours! 

Arise!

By Satguru Swami Nirmalananda 

Life got smaller during the pandemic, starting out with months of lock-down.  It’s starting to edge back out again, but everyone has a different agenda and a different pace.  Yoga and meditation will help,  Our 2023 Calendar is based on a theme:

Arising

Healing leads to wholeness, empowering choices and deep-hearted living.

As you move into the world again, you have the chance to choose your trajectory in a whole new way.  I want to empower you to live your life in the ways that are most fulfilling to you.  Our retreats and trainings are designed to give you wholeness, choicefulness and deep-hearted living.

The first step is to arise, as the yogic texts exhort, “Arise! Awake! Oh my Dear One, you have been sleepwalking too long.”  It’s time to come alive again!  It’s time to share your light.  Choose who you want to be and what you want to give to the world.  

For 2023, our asana programs are focused on therapeutics.  It’s about healing as a pathway to wholeness.  Svaroopa® yoga has always excelled at therapeutics, which are especially needed now.  Healing Retreats are available both online as well as in-person.  And 2023 Teacher Trainings expand teachers’ therapeutic skills, both for private sessions as well as for teaching groups.

My twice weekly satsangs continue, featuring sutra discourses and group meditation.  In addition, I will work closely with a dedicated study group who do five weekend retreats with me in the year.  Three Shaktipat Retreats are scheduled, beginning with the 2022-23 New Year’s event.

In this important time of transition, you are invited to join me for our Free Japa Club.  Twice daily, zoom in for five minutes of group mantra repetition, plus an additional minute for giving blessings to the world.  E-Quotes continue with daily emails and lots of other Freebies including 1-minute videos and sound bites.  Arise!  Awake!  Choose what you want to do and make it happen!

Consciousness Imprints

by Satguru Swami Nirmalananda

You were trained by masters.  Your family and schoolteachers were masters of “busy mind.” They did their best to cultivate your mastery.  Yogic training gives you “quiet mind,” a sweet inner stillness, spaciousness and peace.  It deepens into bliss.

This process involves both training and conditioning.  Training is when you study the theory and begin to apply it.  A baseball pitcher gets coaching on his throw or a golfer on his swing.  Their His coaches take videos and measure the speed of his ball.  Then they show him how he’s losing power with some little thing, like the placement of his foot.  He tries it out.  The coaches help him fine-tune his new plan.

Now the conditioning begins.  He practices.  He throws the ball, then he throws it again.  Hundreds or thousands of pitches later, he’s ready to bring it to the game, with the crowds roaring and his teammates watching his feet placement.  He has to forget it all, even the theory and plan, so he can simply do it.  He gets in the groove and throws the ball.

You need both training and conditioning.  Theory alone is not enough; you need to practice.  This means that you quiet your mind.  But quiet mind doesn’t last very long in the beginning.  Your mind gets busy again, so you have to quiet it again.  And again… Repetition is the key.

Yoga excels at quieting your mind.  All yogic practices are about quieting your mind, including the poses.  With athletic and aerobic yoga styles, quiet mind is often attained through exhaustion.  You’re too fatigued to think, which is mildly blissful.  Similarly, most meditation systems work this way.  You sit through the internal storms, waiting for them to pass so you get a moment of inner stillness.  Then you do it again.

Svaroopa® Yoga is different.  It works energetically.  Your spine is the central conduit of energy in your body, so our poses decompress it, opening up new levels of energy inside.  In Svaroopa® Vidya meditation, you pour your mental energy toward infinite Consciousness.  These energetic interventions work more powerfully than…

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. 

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.