Swami Satchidananda has been my guru for over 20 years. I have had my share of personal and "non-ordinary reality" experiences with him. I have felt guided by him. I owe my gratitude to Integral Yoga for holding space for my spiritual development and I strongly believe that is still happening regardless of its founder's, Swami Satchidananda's past. My hope is that the teachings of Integral Yoga thrive and support many people on their path in the years to come.
Many of you have heard the allegations regarding Swami Satchidananda being in sexual relationships or proposing such to women. He denied this when he was still alive. There are women who are coming forward now with their personal stories of having been in sexual relationships with him. I have no reason to deny their message. I acknowledge the truth. Some had a loving and caring experience and some were deeply hurt. There is no doubt there was an enormous imbalance in power in these relationships and encounters even though they were to my knowledge consensual. It is this abuse of power and the cover up of truth that I find most troubling.
There has been a lot of anger among people in the community due to the women being silenced or shamed for coming forward with their stories, now and in the past. This information is very difficult for many to process and the reaction to hearing it varies greatly. There is no longer space amongst us for comfortable denial.
What does that mean to me personally? I moved from viewing Swami Satchidananda as a saint and a Guru to seeing him as a brilliant teacher with access to the inner world of Light and Love with highly developed psychic powers and at the same time being deeply, humanly flawed. Nevertheless, the teachings he shared with us are timeless, valid and powerful. In my heart I am glad Swami Satchidananda has been part of my path and at the same time I feel betrayed. My experiences of his guidance have been so powerful. Yet, over the course of many years, the guidance has not been coming exclusively from him. The guidance is within and comes in different forms.
In my case, contemplating this brought forth old traumas which I had to process in order to be able to move forward. It took me months to detangle my personal traumas from this. In a strange way, I am relieved now of the burden I carried for so long since my late teens. I am grateful to have married a man who has always been kind and respectful in these ways.
I see this time as an opportunity for healing. Acknowledgement and acceptance are the first steps. Reconciling the memories and making peace with the past are powerful tools that help us maintain a peaceful and loving existence. Self compassion is so important while seeing and allowing the thoughts, memories and emotions to emerge as well as finding support. As we foster healing in ourselves, we also heal collectively.
May we all find kindness and compassion in our heart
May our word be kind and truthful
My our minds be clear and peaceful
May the Light of Truth overcome all darkness