I am spending some time at the ashram and thought to share a bit with you as I am finding it so beneficial. When I was last here in December 2023 for 3 weeks of intensive training with Sri Vasudeva, I touched places in myself that left me inspired, encouraged and wanting more. It is hard to maintain far less build upon a shift in the chaotic energies outside the ashram, particularly when we are not yet sufficiently strong or established in ourselves. Hence I am beyond grateful to be back in this supportive cocoon and determined to make the absolute most of this opportunity.

The space is often busy with visitors during retreats and observances such as the Forty Days, Shivratri, Guru Purnima, Krishna Janmashtami, Guruji’s birthday and Christmas into New Year. I have mainly spent time in the ashram during these occasions and have benefited from the powerful collective field and company of so many dedicated seekers. Otherwise I have stayed for a night or a weekend and that too has been valuable in giving me a quick boost in energy, shoring me up for whatever the challenge has been.

I have not stayed at the ashram for any length of time outside of a big programme and I am finding it to be exceptionally impactful. The relative quietness of the space seems to actively support my focus on sadhana and the Guru, while the consistent daily rhythm is a spiritual safety net, filling each moment with purpose. I know what I am supposed to be doing at any point in time so there is no energy wasted with questions of what, when and why.

During the Guru Gita at the start of a new day my prayer is that its wisdom comes alive in my being. Meditations at the sandhya hours of midday and 6pm strengthen and deepen the evolving inner practice of connecting with the Divine. The evening Shiva Mahimnah is an invitation to put aside whatever happened in the day, recenter in the Divine and surrender to the joy of chanting and kirtan before bed. 

With so few hands, essential seva is a priority so I have to be disciplined. Seva is so much more than a to-do list and I find ever greater depth and support in it for what I am working on in myself. As Guruji always says, we are responsible for how we interpret what we see. As I open the temple and turn on the fans for midday meditation, I think about opening myself to new possibilities whilst old patterns are dislodged and a corresponding freshness fills my being. When I am faced with inner doubts and self judgement, lighting the deyas and offering aarti to the images of the Masters in the temple is affirmation of my worthiness and right to be here. It feels like they are blessing my heartfelt desire for growth with their infinite gazes and blissful smiles. As I sweep, I think about cleaning inner patterns and I try to bring every level of being into it. I am grateful to be outside in the fresh air with the sun on my arms as I water the plants. At times I am overwhelmed with awe and gratitude for this space. 

Before bed, I journal about my day, focusing on the deepening experiences of meditation, the precious growing inner relationship, insights I have gained and interactions with and guidance from Guruji. Writing has always helped me to process and this quiet time at the end of the day supports me in capturing and assimilating every bit of my experience. I need to do this if I want to maintain and grow what I gain during this time. Once this aspect of my sadhana is complete, my mind is at rest and my body is ready for the same. 

Nature's palette

Early morning at the ashram

Savouring the stillness of the temple before the Guru Gita