Straight Walk Thinking
Swami Radha, August 1986
In this video from August 1986, Swami Radha discusses the Straight Walk, one of her signature workshops. She passes on her original experience with Buddhist monks in Thailand in 1958, and points out the benefits of the workshop, which include thinking clearly and meeting challenges straight on.
View the video
The Temple platform is clear and we are now into the design phase! Part of this phase is building a temporary structure to protect the floor. Watch our most recent update to learn more about upcoming steps.
Also, this energizing phase inspired Tanin Shunter, a karma yogi and conscious hip hop artist known as Kosmic T, to compose and perform a second rap for the Temple.
Watch both videos
Change a Life – Join Yasodhara 108
Join us in the second annual Yasodhara 108 fundraiser to support Yasodhara Ashram’s Young Adult Program. Help create a strong foundation for some very fine young people!
This year’s goal is to raise $40,000 toward the program.
To give context, last year the Ashram awarded $60,000 in bursaries to help young adults participate in courses, including the YDC and teacher certifications, and to help those with limited funds attend one-month Karma Yoga programs.
Everyone is invited to join. Be inspired to offer 108 of any practice that is meaningful for you and ask your friends to donate to your cause. You have until Sunday, November 2nd to do it!
Check out the innovative 108 choices of our enthusiastic participants so far. Examples include pulling 108 invasive weeds a week around the Ashram, exploring trees daily through photographs, drawing and asana practice in a “tree-vaganza,” writing 108 poems, creating 108 drawings, taking 108 photographs – all by November 2nd. You can donate to any of these participants and help them meet their personal financial target.
Learn more, participate or donate! Meet your own challenge and support young people in changing their lives!
On September 8th, Swami Radhananda initiated three long-time devotees into Brahmacharya. Joanne Bellanger became “Padma;” Sharon Wobker, “Parvati;” and Elizabeth MacLeod, “Parama.”
Padma says,”The initiation was touching beyond words. Everyone was glowing and each time I looked over at Parvati and Parama my heart burst with joy for them. I feel like I have found something that was lost and is a perfect fit. The Ashram community has been supportive as Padma emerges like a birth, an opening into something new. My name, which means ‘lotus,’ also reminds me that I am opening into the Light of my own spiritual evolution with willingness and devotion. I am forever grateful for this gift.”
Parvati comments,”The three of us who made this transition have been together in the work a long time and, like sweet ripened fruit, we were ready. It was a shared joy having Padma and Parama beside me while we were embraced in a beautiful ceremony. My name Parvati, came in a dream, and for twenty-four years, this goddess aspect helped me do what I needed to bring her to life in me. The initiation will benefit me, my family and my community and will be a great support, especially at this time in my life.”
And Parama adds, “This was a name given to me in a dream in 1991 and now, twenty-three years later, I have become her. It feels more like an awakening than a dream, an awakening to a new beginning of joy and wonder. Parama means ‘highest truth’ and inspires me to strive for what is most high in myself. I am happy that my friendship with my two gurubais has now blossomed to another level. The initiation occurred on a full moon so each full moon we will put Swami Radhananda and each other into the Light, which is the highest support we can offer.”
Yasodhara Comes to You
From October 18 to November 2, Swamis Samayananda and Matananda will be offering workshops in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Orangeville and Montreal. Both teachers will contribute to the first residential weekend retreat, “Stilling the Mind,” at the Ecology Retreat Centre in the beautiful Hockley Valley, 45 minutes north of the Toronto airport. Accommodations and meals are included. This is a wonderful opportunity for those in the East to experience an Ashram environment much closer to home.
Alicia Pace will be presenting “Exploring the Spiritual Space Within” at a conference at Columbia University in New York, October 24. She is also offering “Building Awareness in Navigating Conflict,” a Yasodhara Institute workshop, in Boston October 28 and Spokane November 1. Visit the Yasodhara Institute website for more details.
More locally, Padma is leading short workshops in Cranbrook and Lethbridge, as well as at Selkirk College locations in Castlegar and Nakusp.
If you are interested in a workshop in your area or can suggest a conference for our involvement, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Outreach page to see all the fall offerings and get details about each workshop.
Layers of Meaning
Suzanne Bleaken recently retired from teaching and came to Yasodhara Ashram for an Artist Retreat. She found the rich physical environment perfect for Chigiri-e, a Japanese form of collage that involves layers of paper. Suzanne also presented a workshop to karma yogis and residents that was peaceful, restorative and exciting. Suzanne reflects:
With Chigiri-e, colors flow and change every time you add another layer. I found it is similar to Yasodhara Ashram’s focus on personal reflection that deepens through the layers. My artwork was a good fit with the Hidden Language Hatha Yoga and Karma Yoga that help build a harmonious environment and foster creativity.
Hidden Language, with readings and questions, encouraged me to focus inwards and think about my life. It deepened my reflection on my own well being. And Karma Yoga kept me grounded, providing a balance.
I was supported in the Light while I was here… it was excellent. I appreciate that at this Ashram everyone is welcome for who they are right now, and it moves forward from there. That is a very powerful acceptance.
Is an Artist or Professional Retreat just what you need? Learn more about Retreats at Yasodhara Ashram.
Our community shared in the joy of two babies this month when the swamis gathered to bless Edwin Elder Paquette and Lucien Bruyère French, both ten months old.
Frederic Paquette and Valerie Heffernan from Nanaimo, commented: “As new parents, knowing that Edwin is our responsibility is at times overwhelming. Having him blessed with Light by the loving swamis reminded us that there is a force greater than ourselves to guide and protect him always. It was an honour to be in the presence of Swami Radhananda and a beautiful way to celebrate the beginning of Edwin’s Light-filled life.”
Amanda French and Hugues Bruyère from Montreal expressed their gratitude: “What a gift for Lucien and for us to be blessed by people who have dedicated their lives to the Most High! We could not have wished for a more auspicious beginning to his life. A seed of Light was planted on this day!”