News from the Centre (May 2014)
As I write this the sun is shining and there are blossoms on some trees, swelling buds on others. Lots of pollen, too! Because we’re in a valley, in one of the multiple microclimates on this island, the flowers start blooming here just a bit later than some other places on Salt Spring.
We welcome Lakshmi back to the Centre after her winter stay in California. She reports that Babaji is doing better than when I saw him in December. You can see this in the recent photos posted in the Babaji Health Update. He turned 91 this spring.
Sue Ann and Jeff will be returning this month, Sue Ann to serve as Karma Yoga Coordinator and Jeff to work in the garden with David – and undoubtedly to help in the kitchen at times. It will be great to see them again.
The Dharma Sara Satsang Society is holding its Annual General Meeting on Saturday, May 3 from 1:00 – 3:00. There will be reports on all activities of Dharma Sara, including all the departments of the Centre. This is an opportunity to learn about the many areas of DS and SSCY that you may not know about. After the reports, there will be an election of DS Board members. Everyone is welcome to attend.
This summer we will be celebrating our 40th annual annual yoga retreat! Piet Suess, of Hanuman Olympics and Latte Da Stage fame, has undertaken to be the ACYR (Annual Community Yoga Retreat) coordinator. Keep the August long weekend in mind; you will be hearing more!
May is a busy month at the Centre School.The May Day celebration that Usha inaugurated when the school began back in 1983 continues, with the children wearing garlands of flowers and dancing around the maypole. The youngest simply hold the ribbons and walk around the maypole in a circle, trying to remain more or less evenly spaced as they walk (a big challenge for 5 year olds!) The older kids weave the ribbons around the pole in a beautiful pattern. Later this month (May 23, 24, 25), the students will be performing their annual school play, the story this year being The Emperor’s New Clothes.
There are several special features this month that I hope you will take time to read. “Our Satsang Community” features Satya Gauthier, who was closely involved with the Centre for many years in the 80s and 90s into the early 2000s. Her daughters, Sammy and Leala grew up here and lived with their mom at the Centre, part of the time in a tipi. Both girls went to the Centre School and performed in the Ramayana, a huge production for which Satya made many, many fabulous costumes!
I would also like to introduce another long-time satsang family member. Folks who were around in earlier years will remember Sudha, although more recent arrivals won’t have met her. Many of you will have met her son, Mischa, though, since he’s been coming to summer retreats regularly for the past few years. Sudha has been part of the satsang family almost from the beginning, but hasn’t been able to visit the Centre for a number of years, having become disabled by Parkinson’s Disease. However, her mind is sharp as ever as is her sense of humour, and I’m honoured to be able to share some of her writing. The piece she’s contributed is page one of an alphabet book for adults, called A Glossary of Terms in the Life of a Disabled Person. It is definitely worth reading; it will open your eyes to many gifts we take for granted.
Saraswati Glenda Garcia has contributed the Asana of the Month: Hanumanasana or Monkey Pose.The posture she has chosen is inspiring, largely because of the teaching that goes with it. She invites us to take a leap into this pose, possibly finding strengths within ourselves we don’t know we have. Saraswati teaches both at our Centre and Mount Madonna Center.
Pratibha has once again shared a teaching about Ayurveda, this one about exercise for your dosha. Exercising your True Nature prompts you to move, but not in the same ways for everyone. I invite you also to read “Life Improv 101”, a teaching about living life with an open mind and an open heart. And it’s a reminder to lighten up.
Happy May everyone.