Emerge – Issue 2, 2017


Issue 2, 2017
Mountains reveal themselves from behind cloaks of cloud. Green shoots emerge from soft earth. Snow melts and the lake rises. I breathe a sigh of relief.
Emerging from a long winter, I see a flower, a Temple that has taken shape. What was hidden in imagination now exists, and a new season begins. The architect, John Patkau, arriving on a dark rainy night, says of his first viewing of the assembled Temple: “It was spectacular-dreamlike, this glowing white cloud-like form in the darkness.”
In her book, Light & Vibration, Swami Radha says that what is hidden within us – Light, Consciousness – is always there, but we see it only when it reveals itself. We don’t create our inner wisdom, we access it. Learning emerges like it has for the Yoga Development Course students completing their deep journey of reflection and inquiry.
Ask yourself, What needs to be revealed? What happens when, like spring itself, I bring more Light into my life? At the Ashram we are asking ourselves, What will emerge now as the Temple manifests? What will this beacon of Light bring?
Join us in exploring your personal mystery and opening to the Light of greater knowledge through our diverse programs, special guests and Temple celebrations. We look forward to seeing you!


May 5 – 7, Oct 20 – 22
We live in a world of fast-
paced, continual change – processing endless input and meeting demands for flexibility and quick decisions. As life speeds up, we can lose perspective and a deep sense of meaning. Join us for a breath, relaxation, visualisation and reflection – a time of returning to centre.



May 12 – 14, Sept 8- 10
Yogic practices provide a means of clearing the body and mind, giving you the strength to be who you really are. Spacious and nurturing, this is a time to go inward, accessing your compassion and inner Light.



May 18 – 28, July 12 – 22, August 17 – 27, October 12 – 22


Give yourself ten days to expand your understanding of who you are and who you want to be – ten days of reprieve from stress in a safe and nurturing place of reflection. For students of all levels, this course offers practices that support your personal and spiritual development.



May 19 – 23, July 23 – 27
Through dance, yoga and time in nature connect with your body on the sacred ground of the Ashram. Become grounded in yourself through self-exploration and dialogue with other women. Where are we in the world cycle? How can you make a difference? What is happening in your personal world? Find and nurture the sacred within through devotional practice, caring for yourself and listening to the wisdom and cycles of our Mother, the Earth.



June 5 – 10
Decelerator is a 5-day retreat that offers you the pause needed to gain a new viewpoint on your life – personally and at work. Participants will explore their personal and spiritual landscape using a blend of yogic practices and sessions inspired by design thinking, appreciative inquiry and open  systems theory.
Last year, Swami Lalitananda was a participant in the inaugural Decelerator. Click here to read what  she had to say about the retreat.



The Temple of Light – Unity, Innovation & Diversity
Watch Swami Lalitananda tell the story of the Temple of Light from the beginnings of the original, to celebrating where we are today.

Construction on the Temple reached a major milestone on February 15 with the completed assembly of the prefabricated components. Click here to see photos of a late-winter sunset playing off the petals. 



A winter time-lapse of nature’s breath at the Temple of Light construction site. Featuring an excerpt from Swami Radha’s

“Body Garden” guided meditation.


We bring Yasodhara Ashram to you!
A Yasodhara teacher from the Ashram may soon be in your area.
Check out the dates and locations of our spring and autumn tours.


Father-Son Connections in the Yoga Development Course
Robert Fincati and Christopher Starr have a unique father-son bond from shared experiences of the Ashram and the three-month Yoga Development Course (YDC). Six-year-old Christopher lived here while Robert took his YDC in 1996. They spoke together while Robert visited Christopher mid-way through his 2017 three-month course.
“Now I’m the small one – he’s taller than me,” laughs Robert, remembering his own YDC experience in 1996 where, in addition to the fullness of the course, Robert took his son to the local school every day and tucked him into bed each night.
“Caring for Christopher was my practice, which became really important. The YDC had a huge impact on my relationship with him,” he adds.
“This time period was incredibly significant,” says Robert. “Many nights at satsang Christopher would fall asleep to the chanting of Hari Om. I just knew that in the Temple, many seeds were being set within him.”
Christopher has only vague memories of that time. “I have a very fond feeling about it,” he says. “As a kid I had a feeling there was something sincere about the people who were here; that really stayed with me.” When he returned a few years ago, he realized he wanted to take the YDC “sooner rather than later.”
“My father doing practices and being influenced by the Ashram teachings had a significant impact on my life,” Christopher adds.  “It implanted this idea within me that there was more to life. Growing up in rural Saskatchewan, that wasn’t always apparent.”
“When Christopher and I are together, I feel we have a wonderful connection,” says Robert. “The honest
communication from the Ashram has carried with both of us. We have a kind of genuine curiosity for each other’s perspective on things.”


Relaxing into Opportunity
Ashley Laframboise first came to Yasodhara Ashram on the Young Adult Program in 2010, took the Yoga Development Course in 2012, and in March, will complete her current ten-month stay as a Karma Yogi. An award-winning poet, she recently published her second volume of poems.
I love being at the Ashram because I learn and grow so much. It’s like taking off layers so when I leave I have an updated picture of who I am.
I would never have published a book had I not come here. Implementing the practices in my life makes me courageous enough to believe in myself. I become so inspired, which makes it easy to write. Every day there’s a new poem and if I go an entire week without writing, I feel like something is wrong.
My second book, With a Hunger I didn’t Know I Had, published in late January, was taken from poems I wrote on Salt Spring Island prior to moving back to the Ashram. Gef Tremblay was my publisher, and having our common Ashram connection made it easy to work together.
Everything seems possible when I’m here. I reflect on my life, who I want to be and what I want to do that is in line with my ideals. Doors open because I’m more relaxed.
I’ve recently applied to the Bachelor of Education program through UBC at the Nelson Campus, so I hope to stay around these parts. I’m really grateful for the structure of the Ashram and the opportunity to take on more leadership roles during this stay, which help my confidence grow.
Interested in a copy of her latest book?
Email Ashley.
Planned Giving: A Natural Step
Terry Taylor-Topp has been coming to the Ashram for over 20 years. She talks about her decision to plan her financial future by putting the Ashram in her will.
Swami Radha’s gift of the teachings enables all those who come to receive support and encouragement to move toward the Light. We invite you to consider your own legacy gift to the Ashram. Planned giving
is a way for you to extend your financial support beyond your own lifetime and help the Ashram continue to be a spiritual home to seekers for many years to come.
Giving with this long-term view can include a committed donation over time, naming the Ashram in your will or transferring shares or insurance policies. Our promise is that we will steward your generosity in a way that honours your decision to share your experience of the Teachings with others.
If you are considering a planned gift, let us know. We are happy to assist in any way we can. Please contact Swami Samayananda.
The Significance of Giving Back
At the heart of satsang, the Ashram’s evening devotional service, we chant mantra for those who ask to receive the healing energy of our prayers. While Ray Farmilo from Ottawa has never been to the Ashram, he has been connected through the prayer list for decades.
I met Swami Radha through her books in the early ’70s and followed her progress over the years. I’ve always been interested in spirituality and have taken various meditation courses all over the world. I feel very close to Swami Radha even though I never met her. I am very affected by her work.
I found out about the prayer list early on and have been phoning in for decades. I’ve used it for myself when I’ve felt that inner call, but mostly I put other people on who have asked for prayers. I’ve seen people change and recover sometimes almost immediately after putting them on the list.
I was quite seriously ill in 1997. I almost died and was an invalid for years in bed, and then I slowly recovered and am much better now. I put myself on the prayer list during that time. It was significant for me to have that connection.
I always feel welcome every time I phone and I feel different afterward. My experiences with the prayer list have been quite powerful and connect me to the work of Swami Radha while helping other people at the same time. That’s why I keep phoning.
If you or a loved one could benefit from the healing energy of our evening mantra practice, contact us to add your names to the prayer list.
Sustaining the Ashram: Treasure Life Flour Mills in Creston
Our new Farmer Profiles Series features the local farmers who feed us and who share our passion for sustainable agriculture.
In a fast-food world, the practice of growing grain then milling it in the same operation is a lost art. Treasure Life Flour Mills of Creston does just that, bringing old-world certified organic, healthy grains to the Kootenays.
Wanting to get back to the land and to make a healthy contribution to the food system, Ben and Claudia Herrera purchased 65 acres in the Creston Valley in 2008. Both had been working overseas in the oil and gas sector.
They considered growing berries and raising animals, but decided instead to pursue their curiosity about heirloom grains. A treasure hunt for high quality heirloom seeds manifested in Treasure Life Flour Mills, where they now farm over 800 acres and mill their own grain.


A Culture Within A Culture
Nelson was one of four school districts in British Columbia chosen to pilot a new academic course called “Global and Intercultural Studies.” In February, International Program Administrator Sandy Prentice and teacher Lindsay Robertson brought a group of grade 10-12 students to Yasodhara Ashram as part of their course. In a recent conversation, Lindsay talked about their experience.
“The Ashram came to mind for this course because it is a culture within a culture living slightly out of the mainstream on the East Shore. We thought this would be an incredible opportunity for students to have a cultural experience so close to home,” said Lindsay.
“The students all experienced being stretched and feeling awkward-all the feelings you have when you visit a different culture. Yet in the short time we were at the Ashram, they moved through this. Every single student said ‘What an incredible place.’ They were moved by the experience and realized there are people so close by-living in harmony together, with many different perspectives, opening up their minds and hearts.”
Lindsay knew the Ashram was “a safe place to come and that we would have a cultural experience. I hadn’t taken it a further step to realize that the Ashram is actually an intercultural community. It is a living example of this.
“One student described having confusing thoughts at the beginning of her experience-about silent meals and satsangs-and then gave feedback that ‘these thoughts can represent stereotypes of being in a new cultural place. This experience gave me a confusing question-what is intercultural? Based on this precious visit to the Ashram, I will be able to better focus on the purpose of this course.'”
Sandy felt that the experience “was much more powerful than I thought it was going to be. I looked at the impact on the students, who had no idea that the Ashram even existed. It challenged them in the most positive ways. Even for me-to be in the environment and to feel how tranquil, how respectful and loving it is-was really wonderful.”
Online Store – Ashram Prayer Dance DVD
Experience devotion through dance. In this instructional video, Swami Radha gives detailed instruction on the Ashram Prayer Dance. Learn to move your body through prayer.
Find out more. 



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Learn and Grow at the Ashram
– Some Learning Resident positions have year-round intake dates. Interested in an extended stay at the Ashram working in Hospitality, Infrastructure or the Kitchen? Go here for more information.
Faces of Meditation
-The Ashram has teamed up with The Tattooed Buddha for the Faces of Meditation – a project depicting the everyday realities of a meditation practice. Follow it on Facebook.
Visiting the Temple of Light
– Patkau Architects brought their entire Vancouver office to see the Temple of Light construction site. Principal John Patkau also gave a community presentation on the concept and design. See photos on Facebook. 
The Continuity of Vision
– In mid-February the prefabricated Temple pieces all came together, reaching a milestone in the construction process.
See a photo
of the new Temple and the original at the same stage.
Love & Healing, A Weekend of Reconciliation with Indigenous Elders 
April 21 -23
Yasodhara Ashram
Join Pahan Pte San Win and Wanbdi Wakita of BearPaw Teaching & Healing (Manitoba) on their return visit to the Ashram. Come for one day, satsangs or the whole weekend! 
Wanbdi is a Dakota Spiritual Leader and Sundance Chief; Pahan is Lakota, Cree and Metis and her name means Grey Swan Buffalo Woman. They have spent a lifetime exploring and want to share what they have discovered with you.
Email us for more information or to register.


Find a Teacher Near You
Yasodhara Ashram
Box 9 Kootenay Bay, B.C.
V0B 1X0 Canada
phone: (250)-227-9224
fax: (250)-227-9494





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