We have been on quite the journey since the start of 2020 with the sudden shake up of our lives (individually and collectively). It has forced us to look at our priorities and truly adopt the perspective held so beautifully in the Ashram; Adapt, Adjust, Accommodate. 2021 has provided us with the opportunity to get steady in what we believe, in what and who we trust, how we spend our precious time and who with. The year ahead, 2022, is predicted to be one that will show us whether the work we have put in over the last couple years is fully embodied. That is, are you able to walk your talk? As Sannyasi Śivaniji has been saying… this upcoming year is what we have chosen to incarnate into this life for. Very exciting times!
We would love to support you as you step forward into 2022 and are opening up a block of INTENTION SESSIONS with Sannyasi Śivani in the early New Year!
Śivani can offer one-on-one support, guidance and encouragement through the teachings of Yoga to assist you in navigating your spiritual evolution and show you how that is innately intertwined with your direct experience of the world around you. In these sessions, she can offer support on goal-setting for the new year, on understanding purpose (Dharma), navigating an illness, and/or discerning a course of action through life's challenges.
Each of us has great work to do in our lives. What are you waiting for? Gaining clarity on this deep work is the first step to genuine abundance and peace of mind and heart!
Here are the details:
When are intention sessions being booked?
On select days and times for the month of JANUARY, 2021 we are offering both 30- and 60-minute sessions. There are a LIMITED NUMBER OF SPOTS AVAILABLE.
How much are intention sessions with Sannyasi Shivani?
30-minute session are $54 +gst and 60-minute sessions $108 +gst respectively.
Discounts are available! We are offering special pricing of $22 OFF (same discount applies for either a 30- or 60-minute session) for those on LYFE *- Ishtadev Niwas Online Community. It fills your cup; it doesn’t take your time.
How can I book a session for myself or a friend?
Don't wait, book yours now. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org These would also make incredible Christmas gifts for those special people in your life or forward this email as a *nudge nudge hint hint* to someone for yourself!
Click here to learn more about LYFE, our new Online Community and join us and get your FIRST WEEK FREE!
To learn more or to book an Intention Session with Sn. Shivani, please email the office directly: email@example.com
~ by Sn Gyanhira Huberman
When contemplating the rights and responsibilities that go along with being a parent, very few rights come to mind. Instead, it is responsibilities which are in plenty. Yet, there is one right I believe we have as parents, and that is the right to raise our children in the manner we feel is truly best for them. We have the right to trust ourselves and follow our heart.
Yes, easier said than done. If you’re a parent, I’m sure most of the important people around you - and even many audacious strangers- have shared and impressed upon you myriad intense and unwelcomed opinions about how you choose to raise your kids. I’m sure it was the same for them when they were raising their kids too. It must be one of the most common experiences of parenting. Yet, with rare exceptions, I do believe that each one has the right to find their own way.
As for my parental responsibilities? Well, they have a lot to do with that initial right to follow my heart and do for my child what I truly feel is best for them. It isn’t easy, what with all the outside judgment and pressure from family, friends - heck even from the culture and its lifestyle, values, and priorities- a lot of friction is created every time we try to go against the grain. I get confused, “am I wrong?” “how could I be so far off what everyone else is telling me?” To be a parent, I have to be brave and trust myself deeply. It takes an immense amount of courage to remain steady and follow-through on my convictions every time I have to firmly yet politely disagree with a parent, a grandparent, a teacher, a friend, a culture.
I also need to be deliberately introspective. I have to make time to reflect and become aware of who my children are and what they are going through. What are their strengths, weaknesses, ambitions, interests, desires, priorities, needs? What is going on in their brain at this developmental stage? In our tradition of Satyananda Yoga, we first learn to become aware of ourselves and then expand that awareness ever more outward; so, naturally, once we become parents, we have to expand that circle of awareness to include our children’s qualities. Yet, I have to be thoughtful about it in the first place in order to be reliable and available to provide the right support to my children at the right time. Eventually, I hope to guide them in such a way that they too can develop this quality of self-awareness, which will later expand evermore outward to include others as well.
In addition to being introspective, I also have the responsibility to be strong. Strong enough to withstand the storms of the "terrible" 2’s, adolescence and beyond. I need to understand what my children are going through, in their stage of development, in their lives - even if their behaviour or what is going on in their lives is causing me emotional pain, I have to be strong enough to support them through it, instead of rescuing them from it or, heaven-forbid, punishing them for it.
As parents, we can sometimes take a lot of abuse from our kids - after all they are kids - but we cannot guide them through it by matching it. Swami Sivananda has said, “Bear insult, bear injury, highest sadhana.” Now, I’m not saying I will just let my kids abuse me, because that is certainly not going to set them up for success in life. What I mean is, when my kids are not in control (in an age appropriate way, I mean) of themselves, their emotions, their thoughts, their impulses…I have to be. I have the responsibility to understand what is really going on inside their growing brains. So, aside from providing the obvious need for physical safety and sustenance, I am also responsible for providing consistent emotional safety and support for my children, which is perhaps one much less discussed and understood until recently, and has an incredible lifelong impact.
Yet another pertinent responsibility for this unique moment for humanity is the need to share with our children what our responsibilities are to this Earth. I want to educate my kids in an age-appropriate manner about the environmental challenges they will likely face in their time and teach them about their responsibility to become good stewards of the Earth.
Finally, as a karma sannyasin devoted to my Guru Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, the lineage and its teachings, I also have the added parental responsibility to embody the teachings of Yoga and Sannyasa that Swamiji has gifted me. Once that gift is given, I am responsible for maintaining that, developing that, and living that gift so it may be absorbed and embodied by my children to carry forward into the world with them, hopefully improving both their lives and the lives of all around them. So, if I do my job right, I will raise kids who become aware of, and attend to, their own rights and responsibilities as both human and divine beings.
~ by Sn Paramjyoti Howe
Today was the first major snow for Ishtadev Niwas and it officially feels like winter has arrived. With colder weather and snow the farm enters a period of quiet, so our focus turns to other areas of the land. We begin to look at how we manage this small piece of nature that we “own”, but more importantly, are responsible for, that we caretake, as it takes care of us. We wish to and strive for living in reciprocity with her and ask, Is this land healthy?; being interacted with in a way that is most beneficial for ALL who need it? This includes wildlife, native plants, birds etc. Is there anything we can do to help bring it into balance faster than it will do by itself?
A fresh blanket of snow brings a fresh perspective to how this land is being lived within. A short walk through the woods and we find tracks of Deer and Elk; of Squirrel, and Birds, to name a few. Niwas is also home to a diverse host of plants and trees, all of which are trying to find a balance with what they are given. We, the humans who say we own this land, have a responsibility to support bringing that balance for all.
The idea of ownership, or attachment, to something like land, or anything for that matter, is a human invention. The land was here before humans invented ownership, or existed, and it will be here after the human race goes extinct. Can something that has been here for millions of years be owned by something that is only here for eighty years? Seems silly.
This region of British Columbia is an arid grassland that was once home to giant herds of grazers like bison, elk, and cariboo. The suppression of fire by humans has changed the landscape, allowing forests to cover most of the valley. In our little corner of this area we love the trees, and want them to be healthy. The winter is a great time to thin the forest where Douglas Fir has sprouted hundreds of saplings in a very small area. Saplings that would usually be balanced by fire. We do this in the winter when there are no nests to be disturbed and we are not as busy. So each winter we begin to selectively thin our little forest and help it find balance, prioritizing well established mother trees, Larch and the pine family, especially Ponderosa.
In years past we simply listened to the land and did very little. As we have come to know and understand this area we have begun to make decisions on how to best manage it. This listening is crucial. For it changes our orientation from telling the land what we want it to be, to letting the land tell us what it will naturally support. Each time we go out into the forest we connect with it and follow its guidance regarding its care. The land becomes the teacher and we the student. It is a wonderful act of humility and a step closer to being part of and not separate from the ecosystem, the land, our home.
Try this recipe out and let us know what you think. This soup freezes really well also so don't hesitate in making a large batch.
Ingredients for Vegan Alternative version:
-~ by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, from YogaMag Oct 2019 (Originally from On the Wings of the Swan, Volume VIII)
Discipline means to become responsible; indiscipline means to become irresponsible. It is as simple as that. If you are responsible and you act in a responsible manner, you are disciplined. If you behave in an irresponsible manner, then naturally you will be labelled as undisciplined. The problem is that people want ‘rights’. ‘This is my right. That is my right.’ People are more aware of their rights and less aware of their responsibility – the basic idea is forgotten. People want rights without responsibility. However, if you become responsible, then naturally you get rights.
Discipline is nothing but being responsible for oneself. Discipline does not mean that you have to act according to this time or that time, within these parameters or limitations, or in this area. All that can change: today you are here, tomorrow you will be some place else. However, if you become responsible for yourself, your development, your well beingand your peace, then that responsibility will be seen as a discipline – in action, behaviour, attitude and mentality.
What is responsibility? I do not have to definethat. You know what responsibility means. There is a greater sense of responsibility when you feel that you belong. For example, a piece of rubbish has been thrown on the path. Somebody goes and picks it up, and puts it in the rubbish bin. It did not tax anyone; it was a simple act. If you leave the rubbish and wait for somebody else to remove it, are you being responsible? If somebody tells you, “Please pick up that rubbish,” a reaction happens.
Discipline is not a structured method, system or lifestyle – that in the morning you do this, in the afternoon do this, in the evening do this. Routines change from place to place. In your home you also have a routine, but by following the routine you do not become disciplined; it is by becoming responsible for your development that you become disciplined.
When you are responsible all rights come to you naturally; nobody can deny you any rights. On the other hand, if you want rights and you do not want responsibility, you will struggle with everyone, whether it is your family members or the government. Therefore, take responsibility for your growth and development. That is the best form of discipline, which will also make you free from your own mental hang-ups, reactions and bondages.
-8 January 2008
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