Shankar’s April update

Greetings:

Often when people come to the Centre as guests or KYs, they hope to start a regular yoga practice or strengthen an existing one. Babaji has said that his main aim in life is to bring people into regular sadhana (he even has a rubber stamp with RS on it), and this is an important function of the Centre. But it often takes many attempts before a practice becomes established. There are many factors that can help in this: regularity of time (ideally in the early morning), a set place for the practice, going to bed an hour earlier, or having family or friends join the practice. It can be especially helpful to join a retreat or program where sadhana is a central focus. Our Yoga Teacher Training students have an excellent opportunity to establish or deepen their practice, as they have directed morning sessions every day, but it is not possible for everyone to do this. An alternative is our upcoming Deepen Your Practice retreat, May 18th-21st. This intermediate level program is taught by one of our senior teachers, Cathy Arpana Valentine, and may be just what is needed to take you to another level. If you feel your practice is stagnating or you would like to breathe new life into it, Arpana’s enthusiasm, obvious commitment and deep understanding of yoga may be the very thing for you. Perhaps we will see you there?

For those looking for a less intense yoga program, we are continuing with what has proved to be our most popular weekend program, the Yoga Getaway, and there will be one every month except for August. The first one has come and gone and this gave our new group of karma yogis their first experience of serving a program. They came through it well and are settling comfortably into their primary areas of kitchen and housekeeping. Outside, though it is still cool and damp, the hanging baskets are coming out from winter storage, the propagation greenhouse is filled with sprouting flowers and vegetables, and it’s time to start cutting the grass. Another season, the Centre’s thirty-first, begins.

The Centre infrastructure has now been upgraded so (thankfully) there will be a break from building and renovation projects this year. Perhaps this will allow us to look more closely at the Centre land beyond the buildings. Recently the Dharma Sara Board formed a Land Stewardship Committee to protect the ecological integrity of the whole natural environment: all of the plants and animals, soil, water and air at the Centre. Decisions on issues such as the location of buildings, which trees to cut for firewood and lumber, pest control on the farm, sources of irrigation water, waste disposal, motor vehicles and trails, all have broader implications than their immediate areas and will come under the general direction of the Land Stewardship Committee. A holistic view will be very helpful as we move into a time, perhaps not too far off, when energy and food sustainability shift from being a good idea to an imperative.

We hope to be ready!
In peace
Shankar