Mary Reilly Nichols holds a BA in anthropology from Harvard University. is the Director of Nalanda Institute’s Yoga, Mind & Spirit and has been teaching yoga from a devotional/experiential perspective for over 30 years. She specializes in direct transmission experiential Yoga with an emphasis on the development of wisdom and direct experience through the lens of the non-duality traditions of Advaita Vedanta, and the Tantric methods of the Trika school of Kashmir Shaivism and Kundalini Yoga.
Her meeting in the mid-1970”s with the Siddha Master, Baba Muktananda, a Shaktipat Guru, changed the trajectory of her life. She spent 5 years under Muktananda’s direct tutelage living in his residential ashrams both in India and here in the US.
She currently teaches in a diverse range of settings from academia, to yoga studios and Institutes, to stress management in psychiatric clinical settings and is involved in ongoing research on the mind/body benefits of yoga and meditation.
Her story is unusual in many ways, but importantly she began her remarkable and often dramatic journey as a very normal young college freshman when the latent Kundalini energy awoke, quite spontaneously while she was studying in her dorm room. She had no interest in spirituality and describes her normalcy in her writings about her awakening on her website, http://www.meditationmary.com/home/
“I first met Shiva one evening in my dorm room during my freshman year at college. It was a few weeks into the first fall semester at Harvard. I had scored a single room as a freshman by claiming on my roommate questionnaire that I was impossible to live with, had erratic sleep habits, and smoked minimally 2 packs a day, which was all true.”
“There were a handful of people I knew in those days who meditated but the whole thing held no appeal for me, I thought it looked pointlessly unproductive and boring.”
The intensity of her study and depth of her experience is very insightful and instructive, particularly for those who will never meet a true Shaktipat Guru in the physical form. She is adamant about the fact that you can still have a very rich and satisfying relationship with the Supreme Guru who resides in your heart as the essence of your breath. In our conversation, she elaborates on the details of how she engages this divine relationship.
This is a conversation not to be missed. In fact, you may find yourself listening to it several times. Grab a drink of your favorite beverage and enjoy the conversation. Please leave your comments on this post on the websites below. We respond to every comment personally.
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