When not touring the country, Swami Kena stays at his ashram in Minnesota.
Swami Kena is a beautiful soul who has dedicated his life to serving humanity. Born in Minnesota in 1945, he began his spiritual quest at an early age. He studied ancient texts, went to great masters to learn from, and took private sabbaticals in the northern woods to meditate and study. However, it wasn’t until he met his Guru that his true purpose in this life unfolded.
The day Swami Kena met Sri Shivabalayogi Maharaj was the day Swami’s life changed. Sri Shivabalayogi became his teacher, master, friend, and Guru. Within two weeks of meeting Sri Shivabalayogi, Swami was initiated into a special type of discipline known as ‘Tapas.’ The tapas as given by Sri Shivabalayogi is only for a few stalwart souls who have the ability to sit in a deep state of meditation known as ‘samadhi’ for extended periods of time. When Sri Shivabalayogi first touched Swami’s third eye to initiate him into tapas, Swami fell into a deep state of samadhi and did not come out of it for five hours.
After being initiated, Swami Kena traveled with Sri Shivabalayogi through the rest of the USA tour, doing his meditations on the road. At the end of the tour, Sri Shivabalayogi sent him home to continue his practice. The following year, Swami Kena’s guru asked him to travel through the whole year with him, which included America, England and Italy. During this time, Sri Shivabalayogi gave Swami Kena special instructions, enhancing his inward journey through meditation. After the tour, he instructed Swami Kena to come to India with him, where he was put into a private room to intensify his tapas (10 – 15 hours a day). When he returned to America, Swami continued his tapas, meditating in samadhi for up to 18 hours a day. Eventually Swami Kena was directed by his Guru to travel around the United States and offer the gift of meditation to everyone willing to accept it.
Even though Swami Kena has initiated and helped thousands of people, he lives a very simple and humble life in his country ashram in rural Minnesota. Till this day and even during his travels, Swami sits in samadhi on a daily basis. In meditation, despite his Guru having dropped his body, Swami has direct contact with him. It was during meditation that Swami’s Guru directed him to continue his work by making this simple meditation technique available to all sincere seekers. The more people practice meditation and awaken spiritually, the more our world’s situation will improve. And improving the world for all living beings is just one of Swami’s directives from his Guru.
Sri Shivabalayogi Maharaj believed strongly that one should not charge for spirituality, a belief Swami Kena also has. Therefore he will never charge for the meditation program he offers, nor will he charge for his services in helping others. He will accept donations for books, artwork and meditation supplies to pay for his travel expenses. The inspirational artwork called yantras were direct inspirations that came to Swami Kena during his sadhana. These yantras are sacred forms that can be used for healing and spiritual insight.
Swami will serve anyone of any faith. No one will be turned away from a meditation program who is sincere in his or her desire to learn to meditate. He is not looking for any devotees or followers. He is not soliciting any memberships; his work is a free-will service offered to humanity as inspired by the great master Sri Shivabalayogi Maharaj.