What is an Ashram?
Since ancient times, the Sanskrit word ashram names the place where the Guru lives. The Ashram houses the Guru’s physical being, as well as the shakti, the divine energy of Grace, that flows through the Guru. If you have spent any time with Swami Nirmalananda, you have experienced this current of shakti. While it is present in everything that exists, it is stronger and more concentrated in a yogi who has dedicated herself to serve in this way. The deeper Swamiji takes her own practice, the stronger the shakti flows through her. The Ashram serves as a place to house it, to nurture it, and to “plant it” on the physical plane. As a visitor you will feel it, perhaps when you first enter, or after you’ve been there for a while, or even after you leave. Swamiji wants us to consider the Ashram our home, as well as hers.
What is it like to visit the Ashram?
If you are enrolled in a Svaroopa® Yoga & Meditation course in Pennsylvania, you will likely be invited for lunch at the Ashram. The house appears from the outside like any other large suburban home in the neighborhood. You’ll be greeted at the door with a traditional arati, a waving of a candle flame, and a dot of sacred ash on your forehead. These honor your inherent Divinity, which is the that which Swamiji bows to in herself and in her Guru.
Upon entering, you’ll remove your shoes and coat, and be invited to walk through the downstairs rooms, which are filled with photographs of our lineage and murtis (divine statues), all to invoke your profound and deep experience of your own Self. You’ll sit in the meditation room for a few minutes with Swamiji and participate in the lunchtime japa, mantra repetition, one of our three daily sessions that Ashram residents share with Swamiji.
Lunch is in the sunny dining area off the kitchen, and consists of a vegetarian meal, served by ashram chefs who follow Ayurvedic cooking guidelines. Swamiji eats with her guests, making sure everyone is well fed. After a delicious dessert, she presents you with a blessed gift of a rudraksha bead (sacred bead).
May I stay or live at the Ashram?
Yes! Swami Nirmalananda encourages those who are committed to the exploring the deeper science of the Self to deepen their practice and experience of the Self. If we have available space, you may apply for residency. We also have a B&B program so that visitors may experience the gifts that the Ashram offers.
Click here for a residency application.