Babaji and the places he inspired have always been a part of my life. My parents, Chandra (Pamela) and Allan Rose, were active participants in the Vancouver Satsang, and we, along with my brother Joseph (Ramesh), visited the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga often for the first several years of my life.
Although we eventually moved to the Okanagan making our visits to the Salt Spring Centre less frequent, these early connections laid a spiritual foundation. In Vernon, teachings of love, gratitude, and oneness formed the basis of our life in community, and, as a young adult, I began to explore writings of spiritual teachers including H.H. the Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron, Rumi, Hafiz, and Baba Hari Dass.
On my first visit back to the Centre after several years away, I arrived in the middle of kirtan during the summer retreat. I remember walking into the satsang room on that hot summer evening and being instantly absorbed into the pervasive devotional energy. Despite the years that had passed, the Centre still evoked an almost instinctive sense of peace. I continue to enjoy this peace every time I visit.
In early 2009, after working in Vietnam for seven months, my mother and I met in India and spent a month together at Sri Ram Ashram. It was a heart-opening visit; I was welcomed like family by the beautiful children of the ashram, and I loved seeing Babaji in his role as father on what would turn out to be his last visit.
Later that year, my family and I visited the Mount Madonna Center in California for the New Year’s Eve Retreat. The retreat was wonderful, as always, but it was made profoundly special when I shared a smile with Emily Moir. Emily, who was also attending the retreat with her family, and I exchanged contact information. After a few visits and countless hours on Skype, she moved to Vancouver.
Emily and I attended the New Year’s Eve Retreat the following year and Babaji teased us about getting married. We weren’t even engaged yet, but he proposed the idea of us marrying right then and there. Six months later, we became engaged, and we were married in the spring of 2012. Maybe he just wanted to see our reaction to the idea, or maybe he saw it coming! Sharing a common foundation of Babaji’s teachings was, and continues to be, fertile soil for our love to blossom.
We enjoy participating in the Vancouver Satsang and always look forward to visiting Salt Spring and Mount Madonna. I am grateful to Babaji and to the places he inspired for the role they have played in encouraging the teachings of yoga to be a focus in our home and in our hearts.
February 25, 2014