|Newsletter - June 2012|
Immerse yourself in the practice of Yoga and gain the skills to teach it to others. Experience a profound transformation. Make the world a better place.
Sylvie Boisclair (Saraswati)
June 24 - 30, 2012
July 3, 2012
July 6 - 8, 2012
July 9 - 12, 2012
July 13 - 15, 2012
Om Namah Sivaya!
Blessed Yogis & Yoginis,
June marks the year's halfway point and there is no better way to rejuvenate the spirit than to combine your summer holiday fun with a quiet, spiritual pause. Take a yoga course, join a program with one of our guest speakers and enjoy daily yoga classes in wooded and tropical settings or overlooking the gorgeous blue-green ocean and white sand. Morning and evening satsangs will energize your spirit and the inspiring lectures and kirtan will have you and your family returning home with a glow. Visit our website for the summer schedule. Delicious vegetarian meals, and warm beaches are here year-round!
Om Shanti, Om Peace.
Even Soul Mates Must Have Spiritual Understanding
Are there such things as soul mates? If so, how can that bond be deepened so that it becomes more divine and transcendental?
Answer: There are such things as soul mates, although this is not a yogic teaching. We find this concept in different spiritual traditions. For example, according to the Jewish tradition, a man by himself is incomplete and a woman by herself is incomplete; while a man and a woman together are complete. In Genesis, God created man and woman in one body. The idea is that there is a human being, and half of that human being is in the form of a man and another half in the form of a woman, until they meet. Once they meet, they become a complete human being. The idea of soul mates exists in other traditions as well. In yoga, however, we do not speak much about it. We speak about karma.
According to the law of karma, if it is within the destiny of two people to meet, they will meet, even if they try to run away from each other. For example, I tried to run away from Swami Vishnudevananda, and it ended in him becoming my guru. But before there can be a connection between them, they must meet and that is not an easy thing. Even if they meet, there are cases where they have no choice: they have to meet, and they bond. And there are cases where they do have a choice, which means they can go this way or they can go that way.
If a man and a woman are soul mates, and they have already bonded, how can they make this bond deeper? In order to make this bond deeper they need to understand its spiritual meaning. If there is no spiritual understanding, it is impossible to make it deeper.
Why do people marry? Many people marry because they want to enjoy. Everyone wants to enjoy, not just married people. So there is nothing special about the desire to be happy. However, married people need to understand the purpose of being married. If they do not understand the purpose of being married from a spiritual point of view, then the spiritual purpose of marriage will not be fulfilled. In other words, knowledge is necessary.
The purpose of marriage is spiritual. If the married people do not understand this, they may miss the point. Swami Vishnudevananda said that it starts with, "I love you, honey," and then in the middle you have flying saucers, and it may end with, "Go to hell, honey." It does not have to be like this, but his is how it is in many cases because people lack spiritual understanding. They think that we are here just to enjoy when in fact, this relative existence is only suffering.
In order to deepen such a couple's spiritual connection they need to understand their common purpose. In other words, they need a teacher, someone to guide them, and nowadays this is not easy to find. There are very few people nowadays who have knowledge of this subject. Today it is as difficult to get married as it is to become a swami. And it is as difficult to stay married properly as to stay a swami. People today are very confused regarding the spiritual purpose of marriage. Therefore, couples will do well if they have a teacher who can guide them.
Swami Swaroopananda is the Acharya (spiritual director) of Sivananda Yoga Centers and Ashrams on the West Coast of the United States, in the Middle East, and in the Bahamas, and is one of the foremost disciples of Swami Vishnudevananda. This article is from one of his spontaneous question and answer sessions, which he frequently offers at Sivananda centers and ashrams all over the world.
Video of the Month
In this short video, Swami Swaroopananda talks about the benefits of being staff at the ashram.
Join us for one of our karma yoga programs and experience the joy of service at the ashram. Click for more information
Meditation and mind control
Our spiritual growth depends on our ability to turn inwards, focus the mind and attain a meditative state. Learn the nature of the mind and thought. Explore techniques to improve your concentration and inner stability. Study basic meditation techniques and learn how to improve your concentration, develop peace of mind, handle stress, and overcome obstacles in your meditation practice. Join us at the ashram from June 24th to June 30th and learn about the theory and practice of meditation. Click for more information
Enjoy a full length talk by Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo on the practice of meditation in the Buddhist tradition. This talk was presenter in our 2011 Unity in Diversity Symposium. Join us for our next Unity in Diversity Symposium from December 22, 2012 to January 1, 2013 and enjoy talks and performances by world renowned spiritual leaders and musicians. Register Today! Space is limited. For more information, please click here
Ashram News. . .
The Yoga Retreat wins the TripAdvisor for Business 2012 Certificate of Excellence
The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat won the TripAdvisor for Business 2012 Certificate of Excellence award. Here is the message that we received from TripAdvisor: "Our travelers consistently recommend your property with the highest praise, and we recognize your 4.5 rating as an exceptional achievement. Only the very best in the business are awarded a Certificate of Excellence."
A 7-year old singer lifts the energy at the temple
Watch the video as young Revati leads a truly devotional kirtan along with her father Gauravani and his ensemble As Kindred Spirit.
Join us for the next kirtan programs with Gauravani at the Ashram:
December 31, 2012 - New Years Eve Concert