Transitional Temple Opening
Swami Lalitananda, October 2014
In this video, Swami Lalitananda speaks at the inaugural satsang in the just-completed transitional Temple, built “in the spirit of peace and harmony.”
View the video
You can also view the complete satsang.
In October karma yogis and Ashram residents co-created the transitional Temple with a pair of local builders, Gitta Ridder and Sylvan Dempster. Not satisfied with straw and tarps to cover the foundation over winter, they generated the idea of a wooden dome covered in plastic that would protect the base and later could be moved and transformed to a greenhouse. During the building process, Gitta and Sylvan reflected on their interest in being involved. View their on-site video interview.
Time-lapse photography captures the construction in a three-minute video.
By October 31, we will receive proposals from architects and design concepts from students at the University of British Columbia for the new Temple. We plan to make decisions in November on how to move forward, have the winter to collaborate on design, and start building in 2015.
Taking Action for Young Adults
Swami Samayananda is planting 108 bulbs, Eva Snyder is pulling 108 invasive weeds per week, Amy Allcock is taking 108 photos of leaves, Lorraine Burke is offering 108 Ganesh dances, Swami Lalitananda is tweeting 108 times, and Karin Scarth is creating 108 Star Yantras. These are only a few of the activities taking place in support of the Yasodhara 108 fundraising program – an opportunity to raise money for the Ashram’s Young Adult program and to explore individual creativity.
With ten days to go, forty-two participants and 286 donors have raised over $15,000 – thank you to all who have contributed. Help us reach our $40,000 goal by registering now to fundraise on the Yasodhara 108 website. Or donate to your favourite Yasodhara 108 participant or make a general donation to Yasodhara 108.
You can make a difference in the lives of young adults who sincerely want to bring out the best in themselves and offer the best back to the world. For more information contact the Yasodhara 108 team.
Internship Program Flourishes
Internships at Yasodhara Ashram are spiritual and career/life development opportunities. This year the program expanded to include positions in accommodations, garden/orchard, grounds and kitchen/preserving kitchen.
Molly Askey-Goldsbury of England liked balancing two internships – garden and kitchen – during her seven-month stay. Her study focus in the kitchen was sourdough culture and artisanal methods of breadmaking. Her garden study project was seed saving.
“Both projects have many steps and can’t be rushed, helping me to cultivate patience,” Molly commented. “Selecting and saving seeds for the future mirrors the Ashram process of choosing qualities I want to nurture in myself,” she realized. She also liked the potential of “developing a relationship with the heritage seeds and sharing them with others in the region.”
“Molly made a significant contribution,” notes Food Flow Manager Paris Marshall Smith. “Her curiosity and willingness to engage offered strong leadership, innovation and depth to our food flow operation.” Chef Steve Kruse agrees. “Her project with sourdough cultures has added a healthy and tasty dimension to the diet of the Ashram.”
We are grateful for the enthusiasm of Molly and the other interns, and appreciate the learning they shared in their presentations so far: Bryn Bamber – leadership (garden); Penelope Griggs – sugar-reduced jamming (preserving kitchen) and inventory systems (accommodations); Rachelle Premack – chickens (garden). More to come!
Curious about an internship at the Ashram? See what the current opportunities are.
Take a look at the many offerings available in our 2015 program, including our popular Signature Courses (5-day combinations of Swami Radha’s original workshops) and core programs (such as 10 Days of Yoga and Stilling the Mind Retreat). Responding to demand, we are again presenting Family Week, Living the Practice with Swami Radhananda, Light and Vibration with Swami Lalitananda, as well as experimenting with courses that address contemporary issues such as Conscious Aging, Ethics in Yoga and the Unplug Retreat.
Programs will soon be posted on the webiste where you can register online.
In the meantime, you can download the 2015 Program Calendar (PDF).
We look forward to seeing you here in 2015!
Being Small, Different and Friendly
Paris Marshall Smith, Ashram Board member and Food Flow manager, attended the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation conference in Prince George on September 25-27. She represented both the Eastshore of Kootenay Lake and Yasodhara Ashram and returned with a deepened confidence about our direction.
Conversations and presentations at the conference validated that the Ashram is on the right track. The theme, New Relationships, New Realities, brought out the value of being small, different and friendly. We fit all three criteria: being small, we are nimble. Being different means we recognize our unique place in the world and provide an authentic experience. Being friendly speaks to the Ashram’s emphasis on communication, relationship and being human.
A question posed by rural representatives from around the country is one that we continually explore at both the Yasodhara Board level and day-to-day: What is our role and how do we best serve? I liked that a key point is the importance of identifying what we do well and then providing it authentically. This resonated with many of us from small communities working with diverse tourist-based economies.
Columbia Basin Trust generously provided a grant, making it possible for me to attend this conference with 125 people from across Canada. It was a great experience.
Growing Greens Year-Round
Yasodhara Ashram’s hoophouse has expanded. Improvements will allow us to grow greens ten months of the year, greatly reducing our dependence on external sources.
The 6-by-15-metre hoophouse now sits on extended railway tracks that will readily move it over three zones. Terracing on one side leveled the ground and opened more soil to be worked. In follow-up work bees, karma yogis enclosed the edges with hay, picked rocks, formed beds and planted seeds. They also nurtured 800 kale plants outdoors that can be picked throughout the winter.
The innovations come in response to the California drought, which may lead to shortages and price increases of softer greens. For example the cost of kale doubled last year.
“We are continuing to increase our resilience while providing more space for greens,” Paris Marshall Smith happily concludes. “We’re ready for winter!”
Read more about our sustainability initiatives.
Sacred Meeting Ground
Two local meditation groups reflect on what makes Yasodhara Ashram a sacred meeting ground for their Christian traditions.
“Our little group enjoys coming to Yasodhara Ashram for a day’s retreat because it is such a welcoming, healing place. The deep sense of the sacred is powerful no matter what your faith background,” comments Martha Fish of the Trail Christian Meditation Group. The group visits annually, meditating in the Beach Prayer Room, enjoying lunch then visiting the bookstore. “Several members have taken courses at the Ashram and we see it as a wonderful asset to the spiritual life of the Kootenays.” This group was among the first to send a donation to the Temple of Light following the June fire.
A group from New Denver-Trail-Nakusp attended a weekend retreat entitled Into the Desert. Led by Therese Des Camp, they had their own study sessions on the Desert Fathers and Mothers. They also participated in the Ashram’s hatha class, picked beans and weeded in the garden, and shared songs and spoke about their process at satsang. “It’s a very Benedictine thing to pray together and work together,” Therese says. “And the Ashram’s focus on the Divine Feminine was a good ‘point-counterpoint’ to our mostly male-centred texts.”
Vist our website to learn more about retreat opportunities at the Ashram.