News from the Centre – October 2019
As a bee gathering nectar does not disturb the colour and fragrance of the flower, so too do the wise move through the world. ~ Buddha
As we move through the fall, into the season of Thanksgiving, it is a good practice to focus on all that we have to be thankful for. What is working in your life? It’s so easy to focus on what’s wrong, but we can switch that around, as Thich Nhat Hanh suggests, to ‘What’s not wrong?’ May you all have a rich and abundant Thanksgiving.
September was a busy and productive month at the Centre, beginning with Ganesh Chaturthi, the celebration of Ganesh’s birthday. Here are some photos of arati at the Ganesh temple, pad kirtan (a parade around the land, carrying the beautiful clay Ganesh made by Santosh) singing all the while. The parade ended at the pond where the clay Ganesh was immersed, along with several people who jumped into the pond fully dressed. Jai Ganesh!
During this past month Suneel and crew worked hard to re-do the floor in the pond dome in time for the Contact Dance rental later in September. In addition, the food forest at the front of the property now has a proper gate made by Daniel and Glendon.
The Dharma Sara Satsang Society board of directors held a weekend retreat at the Centre to work on strategic planning. They met with a facilitator and accomplished a lot.
Here is the Board’s report:
The DS Board recently gathered for an intensive weekend with a focus on understanding Dharma Sara’s current state as well as gaps in the operations and services of the centre, the land and satsangs. We worked hard, played, laughed and practiced together. We are super excited, and committed to creating a common vision and further developing a three year operations plan and service model.
The weekend started with an auspicious full moon yajna on Friday evening, which all Board members attended. We began each day sitting together for sadhana, we were thorough and diligent with our time and goals during working sessions, but also spent important team building time in the kitchen making dessert for the community, and of course doing dishes. The weekend ended with a lively satsang and beautiful rainbow over our land, further inspiring the feeling of Babaji’s presence within all of us.
We are working harmoniously together and will be taking next steps with input from DS members in the creation of comprehensive plan. As this is a thorough process, please note that the final report will be presented at our next AGM.
Look for further updates and next step participation in your DS Membership email!
Not a member? Join here!
Cheers, DS Board
Shyam Crabtree, Chair
Natasha Jyoti Samson
Tracy Chetna Boyd
Will Yogeshwar Humphrey
Christine MacDonald (intern)
Salt Spring Centre of Yoga Centre Manager Position
The Dharma Sara Board is seeking a General Manager for the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga. If you’ve always wanted to have the opportunity to live at the Centre and become actively involved in the ongoing life of our intentional spiritual community, and you have the requisite management skills, please consider this full-time residential position. Read the details of the position here.
Shraddha for Babaji
Our beloved teacher, Baba Hari Dass, left his body a year ago September 25. To honour him, on the 25th of September 2019 a shraddha was held at the Centre. It was beautiful and heartwarming. Babaji’s presence felt very strong.
September also marks the return of the Salt Spring Centre School’s 2019-2020 school year, with 50 kids, most of them returning. For the parents there’s a new feature to begin their mornings. Our farm stand has been expanded, having become an extension of Latte Da at the end of the driveway. There is still produce for sale, and now there is also morning coffee and baked goods.
Dan, the Centre’s farm coordinator from last year, has returned for the harvest season. We’re all so happy to have him here. He has re-instituted the practice of having produce available for program participants who can place their orders, and pick them up when they leave. Last week’s Yoga Getaway participants were able to go home with apples, pears, carrots, cucumbers, and home-made pickles.
Dan has shared a little something about harvest time on the farm:
Farm Stand and Deliver
The late summer harvest season is probably my favourite time of year to be on a farm. Months of hard work planting, weeding, watering, trellising and compost tea concoctions culminate in a bounty of all of the most hearty fruits and vegetables maturing at the same time. For the first time in several years, I have split this season between two farms, spending much of the spring and summer establishing a small vegetable garden 8,400 kilometres away in southern France with another former karma yogi before I returned here near the end of August. Fond memories of last September’s never-ending harvest of tomatoes, cucumbers, apples and pears convinced me that this would be the ideal time to help out at the yoga centre.
The challenge of how best to utilize all of the produce that farm coordinator Francis grew this year seemed minor in comparison to the challenges I faced growing in France—such as trying to grow vegetables in rocky, hard-packed soil best suited for wine grapes in the midst of a historic heat wave and drought, protecting our mini greenhouse from the occasional hurricane-force winds that bluster through the region in the springtime, and attempting to thwart the neighbour’s cats from pooping in our freshly mulched raised beds.
Fortunately, an enthusiastic group of fellow karma yogis have been eager to help Francis and me with the harvesting and selling of our produce. As a result, we were able to open up the farm stand on the Labour Day long weekend, offering our surplus zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, apples and pears just in time for the start of the school year. We have also brought a new vibe to the farm stand by reviving the spirit of Latte Da and offering coffee and baked goods, as well as greeting our loyal customers from the Centre School for 2 or 3 mornings a week. In recent weeks, we’ve further expanded our offerings at the farm stand to include pickles, jam, chutney and fruit leather, and we’re aiming to make these available well into the fall along with our seasonal organic produce. We hope to see you there.
Ongoing classes at the Centre
Ongoing classes continue: Tuesday evening Bhagavad Gita study, Wednesday evening kirtan, Sunday afternoon Yogasutra study, followed by Satsang. In addition, there are a number of other events coming up.
The resident community is hosting a Harvest Festival on October 6 from 11 am to 2 pm.
Steve Oda and Niel Golden are returning later in October for another fabulous Indian music concert. If you’re on the island, please come.
Coming up in November (22nd – 26th) is Going Deeper, a silent, devotional, meditative retreat. If you are interested in participating, I encourage you to register soon; it is filling up quickly.
For your reading pleasure…
This month we introduce another community story, this one from Janell Stuka, the Centre’s masterful office coordinator, who is also a superb writer. Her story is called Running Away; Running Towards; if the title intrigues you, you are sure to enjoy her story.
Another treat this month is Pratibha’s piece on Adventures in Aging. It’s a lighthearted look at the realities of getting older.
The eternal, unchanging Self is not affected by anything in the world. In this way, nothing we do matters. At the same time, our actions determine the nature of our experience. In this way, everything we do matters. ~ Baba Hari Dass