Warming the Temple – Newsletter Issue 6, 2017


Warming the Temple                                             
Issue 6, 2017 

A year ago the Temple was an active construction site, its form an open framework of eight arches. This month we received the final building inspection notice marked “Completed.”
Alone in the Temple this morning, I walk its perimeter pausing to view different mountain, lake and forest perspectives framed through asymmetrical windows. November’s low-lying clouds have dispersed, revealing startling white mountains and blue sky smudged with sunrise. This sudden gloom-dispelling light is like insight emerging from confusion, like manifestation from formlessness. A wildly blooming Christmas cactus sits on the altar, exotic and flourishing, declaring that anything is possible.
The Temple of Light exists and we are awakening to what it is, to what is new; and we are venerating the radiance of lineage present in its very essence.
In satsang, our evening devotional gatherings, we are trying things out. What practice brings you close to the sweet, the vibrant, the sacred within? Offer that and feel how the Temple receives, listens, holds sound or silence, embraces movement or stillness, amplifies love and projects it out. How does this space reflect our own luminosity – our longing, our silence, our compassion?
We are warming the Temple and the Temple is warming us. Please come and experience it for yourself!
With deepest gratitude for supporting this unfolding vision.
Join us in 2018! 
Our 2018 Program Calendar offers many ways for you to visit or stay at the Ashram. Come and be nourished by the peace and beauty of this space, delve deeply within for your own wisdom, and offer your skills and enthusiasm for the smooth functioning of our community through Karma Yoga.
Some options are summarized below – you’ll find more online. We even offer a Program Finder to help you find what’s best for your timing and needs.
You can register online or phone to book your stay.


Karma Yoga Programs
Starting January 16, February 6, March 6 and monthly
Explore work, develop self-knowledge and gain skills in our live-and-work programs – One-Month (OM) Karma Yoga Program, Young Adult Program or anytime. Our programs helps you deepen self-knowledge, integrate as a valued working member  of the community and take away a life-changing experience. Find out more.
10 Days of Yoga
May 17 – 27, July 12 – 22, August 16 – 26,
October 11 – 21
Give yourself ten days to expand your understanding of who you are and who you want to be. For students of all levels, this course offers practices that support your personal and spiritual development. You will leave with tools to create more meaning, joy and relaxation in your life and with more trust in your ability to live a balanced life. Find out more.
Temple Dedication
Come on pilgrimage: August 3-5
Join us in a contemplative gathering to dedicate the new Temple of Light. Together let’s celebrate the divine and human forces that unified to manifest this sacred space – including our worldwide community of love and support. Find out more. 
Giving with the Fire of Enthusiasm
A love of learning and a desire to give to local community create a winning combination for three Ashram residents. Chuck McNab, Dan Seguin and Molly Askey-Goldsbury volunteer for the Riondel Volunteer Fire Department and talk about the many benefits of their experience.
Chuck joined the crew 18 months ago to complement his role as captain of the Ashram’s internal fire team. “It’s fantastic in terms of giving back to the community and receiving. I’m getting professional guidance and all of this training, and I get to practice with very experienced people. I’m gaining practical experience as well as learning from books. With fire, we never know what to expect. I prepare for the worst through our weekly practices but hope for the best.”
Molly – the Ashram’s garden manager – joined more recently. “In the Fire Department there is a clear hierarchy and structure – a very different way of communicating than at the Ashram. To be part of the team you follow orders and that’s good practice. In this situation I change from being a leader to being very much led. And although I’m called a volunteer fire fighter, what I’ve experienced is that we’re learning how to reduce risk, protect life and navigate fire, which is so very powerful.”
Dan has been serving over the past four years and has become the Assistant Fire Chief and Training Officer in addition to being a first responder and a fire fighter. He’s still known as “the Ashram guy.”
“I put in a lot of hours a week and to me it’s being able to step in and help our neighbours. All three of us Ashram volunteers are active learners and to learn is what the Ashram also offers. We are hard workers, giving 100 per cent when we are there. If there is work to be done, Chuck is one of the first ones up. I think that our being there elevates the entire group. And we enjoy the camaraderie and level of community that happens in the Fire Department.
“I tip my hat to Chief Cory Medhurst for being welcoming and open to involving some longer-term people from the Ashram. It works great on both sides.”
Finding Synchronicity in the Feminine

Our One-Month Karma Yoga Program created a synchronistic bond for two young women who arrived with interests in the Divine Feminine and the Sivananda tradition.

 “People told us there’s a feminine energy here, and it does have that feeling,” agree Gabby Johnson and Sarah Munsch. “There is a lot of nurturing and reference to Divine Mother. And a big aspect of the functioning here is that a circle of women come together and make decisions. It’s an inspiring space to be in.”

Gabby came to the Ashram needing to make a decision about her future. “I appreciate the time to reflect and really examine what I want to do with my life heading forward. I’ve had a lot of health challenges and couldn’t work. Now I’m healthy again. Who am I after all of this? What do I want and what’s the best thing for me now? I needed a spiritual rehab and that’s what it feels like in the best of ways.”

Sarah recognized that both her profession as a lawyer and time at Sivananda Ashram in Quebec honed the masculine quality of discipline, and “I wanted something else – a focus on nurturing and healing. Here, I’m finding a balance between those two energies within myself. I’m also simply reconnecting to my intuition. The focus on dreamwork and symbolism has been very helpful to me. I’m taking away more confidence in my ability to face challenges and to integrate my spirituality with my professional ambitions in restorative justice.”

Gabby also appreciates that “the relationships here are multi-generational. Your best friend can be any age.”
Karma Yoga Centre joins Village Green
The Ashram’s historic Main House is transforming into our first-ever Karma Yoga Centre. The centre provides space for offices, work planning and reflection, plus a social area for phone calls, art and relaxing together. Alicia Pace, who has a life-long connection with the Ashram and works as an organizational consultant, talks about the significance of this move.
By calling Main House a Karma Yoga Centre, we create a sense of prominence for our core practice of selfless service. In 2018 we plan to strengthen our operational leadership, giving more power and involvement to those people doing the daily work. The Centre is a physical manifestation of that commitment.
Putting the right people together to do the work is what opened it up. This ties into the mentorship part of our objectives for the future. For succession in any community to thrive, it needs to involve people and, in our case, give them a sense of what it means to run a spiritual community. This shift also allows Mandala House, which becomes congested in the summer, to focus on guest services.
We’re working toward creating a “Village Green” within the Ashram, and the Karma Yoga Centre will fit right in. Once summer is here we’ll really see it come to fruition. Karma yogis will come over here first thing in the morning to start their day; and on reflection breaks, they can sit outside among the fruit trees. I’m excited to see this historic hub of the Ashram become the new home for karma yogis.


Nature’s Gift
Temple construction provided an unexpected gift from nature in the form of a deep well of water in the centre of the Ashram. Swami Sivananda talks about the timeliness of this discovery.
Last year an engineer studied our whole Ashram water system. We wanted to understand two things: How to increase our capacity to slow down wildfires and the implications of our irrigation system operating off our domestic water supply, which comes from Kootenay Lake. The engineer verified we have sufficient supply for domestic purposes and confirmed that the addition of irrigation can become problematic.
In this context, as we were drilling wells for geothermal heating of the Temple, the crew came upon a lot of water. The drillers – Wild West Drilling of nearby Creston – know full well the value of a high producing well so they alerted us.
It’s a surprise and definitely a good development. The water is excellent quality and initial tests show it will likely at least double our current water capacity. It added about $20,000 to our expenses but in light of the engineer’s report it’s a good investment. We’re starting to develop the well with a temporary fire hydrant, and will work out next steps over the winter.
Mandala House and The Barn both have geothermal heating and we’ve never found water like this before. It’s like a gift from the Temple.


Realities of the Dreaming Mind (print and Kindle)
Use our Online Store for your gift-giving this year!
Desktop Photo
Healing the Columbia – Eileen Delehanty Pearkes, author of A River Captured, presented a community talk and engaging discussion at the Ashram on the ethics of water management in the upper Columbia Basin and the possibility of salmon re-introduction above Grand Coulee Dam.
In the News – Kootenay Business TV created a four-minute video about the completion of the Temple of Light in their series of news “celebrating innovation and excellence in the greater Kootenay region.”
Patkau Architects’ Newest Book,  Material Operations, features the Temple of Light as the current culmination of their research department. Request the book at your local independent bookstore, call our Gift Store or see it on the Patkau website.  
Sundance of Women Update – Pahan Pte San Win told us fascinating stories by Skype about how the ceremony unfolded last August in Manitoba. This Sundance honours missing and murdered women and girls. The Ashram hosted Pahan and her partner Wanbdi Wakita last spring; they will return on April 20-22 to offer Walking Together into a Hopeful Future.
Online Survey Responses – Thank you for participating in our Online Survey. We received more than 350 responses, which helped the Ashram plan our 2018 program calendar. Your insights will also help us redesign the Ashram website.
Supporting Women’s Safety – Ashram friend Gitta Ridder is taking time away from the Ashram to support a Women’s Personal Safety Course for instructors in India. Gitta helped initiate this program many years ago and is using video as a way to keep us updated. Click to find out more and support her efforts 
Teachers on Tour Reaches Hundreds – Swamis Matananda and Satyananda returned from their fall Eastern Canada Tour inspired. Throughout the year, our Outreach workshops attracted more than 500 people, including 275 new to our teachings. Swami Sukhananda is currently beginning her European tour
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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