60 years ago, one woman with a determination to follow through on her promise to her teacher, found the property that was to become
She and a group of young men settled into the abandoned homestead – that had little running water, no refrigerator, a wood burning stove for heat and cooking. They made it work— repairing left-behind outbuildings, digging water lines, clearing spaces to grow food – all with very limited financial resources.
They learned what would nourish them from the forest, including natural medicines. There was a lot of attention in those early days on survival and yet Swami Radha nurtured the yogic teachings she had been given in India – incubating them through her own practice and commitment to make them real in daily life.
Those early years were difficult yet there was a sense of adventure, excitement about the unknown and joy
Sixty years ago who could have imagined that the Ashram would flourish from these sparse beginnings to become the thriving centre it is today?
Her mission was not just to establish the Ashram but to offer the teachings widely. She travelled thousands of miles, accepting invitations from all over North America and eventually internationally.
As a sanyasin she accepted whatever accommodations were offered. And in all this activity, the Ashram became a place where people wanted to come and experience the natural beauty and the teachings and spend precious time with her.
Hers is such an inspiring story. An immigrant with little yet willing to risk and courageously keep stepping forward into the unknown so that we in the West could access Eastern teachings.
Her integrity to those teachings shines through all that the Ashram is and offers.
She gave deeply and widely from her heart to the very end of her life.
Her essence continues to touch and speak to people through her
written and recorded words and her example. The Ashram holds this essence and touches everyone who comes.
For me, she has given me life – a life of purpose, of learning how to love, how to be more generous, how to fill my heart with joy and Light and offer this. I can’t imagine a life I would rather be living, a life as rich as this one.
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