The power of intention led a mother-son team to Yasodhara Ashram for a month-long stay that fulfilled them and inspired our community. Rose De Oliviera and Eric Kohlfurst share how Eric’s artwork was a key element to their Ashram experience.
“If I truly want to do something, I put the intention out there. I watch for signs,” says Rose. “We read Radha: Diary of a Woman’s Search last May and wanted to go to the Ashram. Shortly after, a friend told me about Yasodhara Outreach workshops in Toronto. This was my first sign.
“I was amazed at how much I got out of the Toronto workshops and wanted to go to the Ashram. I’ve been doing yoga for 10 years, and this reflective process was totally new. I said to Eric, ‘I don’t know that we can afford to go – but if it works, we’ll do it’.”
“All the while Eric had been painting for three years,” Rose explains. “When we signed him up with a private artist in Georgetown this year, she encouraged him to exhibit in the café and the cultural centre. He’s paintings ended up in many galleries around the greater Toronto area. His followers on Instagram grew. We decided to create cards for people who couldn’t afford his original paintings. We soon had to reprint.
“Having planted that seed, everything went fast-forward. He sold enough of his paintings to finance the trip. Now here, at the Ashram, Radha’s energy welcomes us – her energy is very present.”
Eric, 24, speaks very little to people other than his mother. Yet when asked what he most enjoys about the Ashram, he quietly says “chant” then “painting in the Library.” He reads there too; it is one of his favourite spots. What does he like about the Library? “Radha” – reading her books and listening to tapes. He also learned to play Om Krishna Guru on the harmonium, encouraged by one of this year’s Yoga Development Course participants.
Rose was led to yoga by Eric. “He is my teacher,” she says.
Eric’s greeting cards quickly sold out at the Ashram Gift Store — a donation to support the Temple construction. Follow him on Instagram.