President’s Message, Swami Lalitananda
Our 2019 Annual Review is complete and we offer you our reflections and insights from the previous year.
Looking at 2019 from the perspective of spring 2020 and the pandemic is like looking back at another era. But in retrospect, our work in 2019 was a helpful preparation for the unknown.
2019 was a year filled with people, activities and programs at the Ashram. It was a time of travel—gathering with students and meeting new colleagues. We stretched ourselves to accommodate bookings with aligned groups, and we looked forward through a strategic planning process focused on long-term succession.
Internally we concentrated on stabilizing operations, which included investing in sufficient employees to fill our needs, especially during the busy summer months. At the same time, we began planning the Pathways Program to invite in longer-term and younger generations of residents.
With the Ashram land encompassing 115 acres and 22 buildings, we also continued to invest in long-term infrastructure. We gathered assessments from consultants in forest management, water, energy and fire mitigation with implementation forecast over a number of years.
In our strategic planning process, we mapped out a 5-7 year plan for change, with the next few years encouraging senior residents to step back and offer mentorship to those stepping forward.
Part of our strategic planning process was also connecting with leaders from other centres around the world, many who are experiencing similar issues of sustainability, succession and generational transfer. The value of collaboration and collective learning came to the forefront.
As a group of Ashram leaders, we clarified the Ashram’s essential purpose as carrying forward Swami Radha’s teachings and this lineage, and serving Divine Mother through commitment. We set a course for the future and expanded our capacity in the present. It was a full year of preparation, progress and expansion. And it was a privilege to honour two long-term teachers deepening their commitment through initiation, and to know that the powerful stream of the lineage continues to flow.
The theme we set for 2020 was “Focus Inward, Focus Forward.” It is not quite the year we expected, but the theme still applies as we look inward to deepen our own connection to the Light and pause to reimagine the opportunities within the challenges.
Read the full review here…