Power Of Community – Newsletter Issue 2, 2020

Issue 2, April 2020
Power of Community
It’s spring at Yasodhara Ashram – sometimes snowing even as the crocuses bloom. Surrounded by forests and mountains, a sparkling lake, the freshly dug garden, we are together with others who have chosen to live here to work on ourselves. I think we all recognize our great privilege in having space, beauty and nature, even as we constantly adapt to the sometimes wobbly headstand of this upside down time. 
As a community with a sizeable proportion of elders, we are rigorously following the health guidelines, always adding nuances and new precautions. But our cloistered existence is held within a vibrant spiritual atmosphere. “We’re trapped in paradise,” said one of our young residents when I asked her perspective of the “staying home” order during the pandemic. 
We are feeling our roots and the power of community to remain connected – to each other, to the world around us with all its heartbreak, and to the invisible power of the Divine. We have the intention to send out Light through watching our thoughts and offering our practices. Each evening in satsang – adequately distanced from each other – we open our hearts and dedicate our chanting to those suffering and to the health care workers and others who are heroically helping.  
Technology can connect us, too. A few days ago a relative of one of our residents passed away in New York City, and she joined the extended family sitting shiva via videoconferencing. “It was comforting to be together even though apart,” the woman noted. “We experienced everything but the matzo ball soup.”  
Like the crocuses in the snow, this tragic time also has glimpses of beauty and growth. The crisis is offering the earth breathing room and drawing people together to help each other. “It’s a wake-up call,” says one young resident, “an opportunity for necessary systems change.”
Many perspectives and many feelings abound – the grief of estrangement and loss, the anxiety of uncertainty and isolation, the wonder at a world suddenly slowing down. 
More than ever we depend on each other, our responsible actions and our invisible vibrations. Our solidarity. Let’s also give each other grace – to feel what we are feeling, to be where we are, to be forgiving. 
We are sending our deepest hope that you remain well and safe and that together we can stay connected as an extended community of Light. 
We’re now planning our online programs and hope to see you there.

Sacred Music and Wisdom to Support You

What Would a Swami Say?
In our continuing series of conversations with Swamis, we talked with Swami Matananda, a long-term resident and Swami Radha disciple. She reflects on questions very relevant to our times: how to remain centred amongst uncertainty and fear.

Devotional Practice:
Music to Uplift
We recently recorded a bhajan in the Temple of Light – OM Asatoma. Enjoy this practice offering from our ‘Elastic Band’ – that stretches and contracts depending on who is available.
Click on photo above to go to YouTube.

Serving You in Different Ways

We will now be closed to all visitors, retreat guests and new karma yogis until at least June 1 due to COVID-19
– all retreats are cancelled up to this date. We are now exploring ways to bring our teachings online to support you during these times – please complete our
You may still register for retreats after June 1 but in the ever-changing climate, we may have to adjust to being closed longer. Please go to our
website for all our retreats and our on-going
COVID-19 updates of what we are doing to ensure the continued safety of the Ashram and our current residents.


Ashram Stories

Update on Mary-Ann
Swami Radhananda (who took back her birth name “Mary-Ann” about a year ago) was the president and spiritual director of the Ashram for 21 years. Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she was cared for at the Ashram for several years before moving into the long-term care home in Nelson in January. Her daughter, Clea, updates us.

Learnings from
the Dish Pit
Ashram neighbour, Alex Campbell, reflects about some of his experiences when he was working here prior to the pandemic. In the unpredictable world of kitchen life, he sees how trusting that people will pull together in challenging times can create a calm and reassurance that everything will okay.

Forming Foundation through Uncertainty
Charles Smith and Aidan McCabe are among the youngest participants in this year’s three-month closed retreat, the Yoga Development Course (YDC). They discuss the skills and tools they have acquired to face fears and difficult situations. As they emerge from their cocooned, transformative state, little did they know that the depth of their work would be a grounding force in a very changing world.

News At A Glance

  • Events Before our Closure – The Ashram hosted the United in Hope Interfaith/Ecosociety Climate Vigil in February – a wonderful afternoon in the Temple of storytelling, music, dancing and gratitude for the planet. We equally enjoyed a fieldtrip by Crawford Bay students.
  • Springtime Garden Preparations – Activity has started in the garden as we expand it back to full production!
  • New Blog – Our groups coordinator, Danni Lynch, has published her new blog with her insightful perspectives, writing and poetry. See here for her articles that are relevant for the times.
  • YouTube Subscribers Needed – Our YouTube channel requires more subscribers so we can have more options for livestreaming events. Please go to our channel and subscribe! Stay current with our Instagram and Facebook platforms too.
For more details on these news items click

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