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Abhyasa Ashram Activities update - June 14, 2010

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  • Swami J
    Abhyasa Ashram Newsletter: Local activities, online meetings, retreats, other programs Update: June 14, 2010 ***************** Our community of meditation and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 14, 2010
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      Abhyasa Ashram Newsletter:
      Local activities, online meetings, retreats, other programs
      Update: June 14, 2010

      *****************

      Our community of meditation and contemplation is devoted to training and
      nurturing those who deeply long for the direct experience of union with the
      eternal, pure center of consciousness, the bliss of being that is one with the
      absolute reality, as the wave who seeks to remember it is one with the ocean.
      One word for that union is "Yoga." The word "Abhyasa" means "practices." Abhyasa
      is purposefully choosing to do that which leads to "sthitau," which is a stable,
      steady, undisturbed inner calmness or tranquility. Abhyasa is one of the twin
      foundations of Yoga, along with Vairagya, the mental stance of non-attachment
      (Yoga Sutras 1.12-1.16). The root of the word Ashram is "shrama," which means
      "effort" or "striving." The hermitage or home of a swami or other person serving
      people in their efforts towards inner peace and spiritual awakening is called an
      Ashram. Thus, our community of meditation, contemplation and learning is known
      as Abhyasa Ashram. More than any physical location, it is really a place of the
      heart, an inner sanctuary of silence.

      Calendar: http://www.swamij.com/calendar.htm

      **********************************
      ASHRAM NEWS
      **********************************
      The ashram is now officially incorporated with the state of Florida as Abhyasa Ashram, Inc., a Florida Non Profit Corporation. We are in the process of filing for non profit status with the Internal Revenue Service. We continue exploring alternatives for the physical ashram and the learning programs. We'll continue to let you know details as they are known.

      http://sunbiz.org/scripts/cordet.exe?action=DETFIL&inq_doc_number=N10000005151&inq_came_from=NAMFWD&cor_web_names_seq_number=0000&names_name_ind=N&names_cor_number=&names_name_seq=&names_name_ind=&names_comp_name=ABHYASAASHRAM&names_filing_type=

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      LOCAL ASHRAM ACTIVITIES
      (All times CST/CDST US)
      **********************************
      DAILY Silent Meditation (30 minutes): 11:30am and 6:00pm
      (If you are in another city, state or country, please join us from your home if you are free to do so at these times.)

      MON, JUN 14, 4:00pm: Book Club, Bhagavad Gita, followed by
      6:00pm meditation and dinner at Bombay Masala
      WED, JUN 16, 12:00pm: Curriculum review gathering
      THU, JUN 17, 7:00pm: Videos of Swami Rama lectures
      SAT, JUN 19, 10:00am: Third Saturday Satsang and Meditation

      MON, JUN 21, 4:00pm: Book Club, Bhagavad Gita, followed by
      6:00pm meditation and dinner at Bombay Masala
      WED, JUN 23, 12:00pm: Curriculum review gathering
      THU, JUN 24, 7:00pm: Videos of Swami Rama lectures

      MON, JUN 28, 4:00pm: Book Club, Bhagavad Gita, followed by
      6:00pm meditation and dinner at Bombay Masala
      WED, JUN 30, 12:00pm: Curriculum review gathering
      THU, JUL 1, 7:00pm: Videos of Swami Rama lectures
      FRI, JUL 2, 6:30pm: First Friday Yoga Sutras and discussion

      MON, JUL 5, 4:00pm: Book Club, Bhagavad Gita, followed by
      6:00pm meditation and dinner at Bombay Masala
      WED, JUL 7, 12:00pm: Curriculum review gathering
      THU, JUL 8, 7:00pm Videos of Swami Rama Lectures

      MON, JUL 12, 4:00pm: Book Club, Bhagavad Gita, followed by
      6:00pm meditation and dinner at Bombay Masala
      WED, JUL 14, 12:00pm: Curriculum review gathering
      THU, JUL 15, 7:00pm Videos of Swami Rama Lectures

      MON, JUL 19, 4:00pm: Book Club, Bhagavad Gita, followed by
      6:00pm meditation and dinner at Bombay Masala
      WED, JUL 21, 12:00pm: Curriculum review gathering
      THU, JUL 22, 7:00pm Videos of Swami Rama Lectures

      SUN, Jul 25, 2010 6:30-8:30 pm: Guru Purnima celebration (Silent meditation is 6:00-6:30pm). Annual celebration of the guiding force on full moon day. The actual full moon is 8:37pm CDT on Jul 25. We'll have tea and food, and share stories. We will end punctually at 9:00pm due to the 9:00pm online Bhagavad Gita satsang, for which you are welcome to stay for the live discussion.
      MON, JUL 26, 4:00pm: Book Club, Bhagavad Gita, followed by
      WED, JUL 28, 12:00pm: Curriculum review gathering
      THU, JUL 29, 7:00pm Videos of Swami Rama Lectures

      MON, JUL 2, 4:00pm: Book Club, Bhagavad Gita, followed by
      WED, JUL 4, 12:00pm: Curriculum review gathering
      THU, JUL 5, 7:00pm Videos of Swami Rama Lectures
      FRI, AUG 6, 6:30pm: First Friday Yoga Sutras and discussion

      FEBRUARY in Florida (February 2011):
      Daily discussions and meditations
      http://www.swamij.com/calendar/feb-in-florida.htm

      OCT 2010: Overnight meditation retreat. Location, dates, and times will be announced in the newsletter. Most likely will be at Ramada on Okaloosa Island, Fort Walton Beach

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      ONLINE DISCUSSION / SATSANG
      **********************************

      WED, 9:00pm CST/CDST (US), Satsang and Discussion
      SAT, 8:30am CST/CDST (US), Satsang and Discussion
      SAT, 9:00pm CST/CDST (US), Satsang and Discussion
      SUN, 9:00pm CST/CDST (US), Bhagavad Gita Discussion
      EXCEPTIONS: when I am traveling. Details are always updated here:
      http://www.swamij.com/meetings.htm

      SCHEDULE and DETAILS: http://www.swamij.com/meetings.htm
      (This page is also linked on the home page of SwamiJ.com)

      CLICK THIS LINK to join any of the meetings listed above (meeting ID 417556059):
      https://www.gotomeeting.com/join/417556059

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      RETREATS IN INDIA:
      **********************************
      November 2010
      March 2011
      November 2011
      Details are on the website:
      http://www.swamij.com/calendar/rishikesh-retreat.htm

      **********************************
      OTHER PROGRAMS (Details TBA)
      **********************************
      October 2010: East Aurora, New York
      October 2010 Santiago, Chile
      April 2011: Sydney Australia, sponsored by:
      http://www.yogacoach.com/

      **********************************
      CENTER FOR NONDUALISM
      **********************************
      A Community for Nondual Religion, Yoga, and Philosophy
      Providing a "Sunday Alternative" for the Emerald Coast
      Every Sunday at: Brooks Beal Center
      100 Beal Parkway NW
      Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547

      *****************

      SUNDAY Program:
      9:30-10:30 am: Interactive Program
      10:30-11:00 am: Fellowship
      11:00-12:00 am: Main Program; speaker, guided meditation, inspirational reading
      12:00-12:30 pm: Fellowship
      WEBSITE:
      http://www.centerfornondualism.org/
      NEWSLETTER:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CenterForNonDualism/

      *****************

      SWAMI JNANESHVARA upcoming Center participation:

      JUN 20, 9:30: Interactive Program: Satsang and discussion
      JUL 4, 11:00: Speaker for the main program
      JUL 18, 9:30: Interactive Program: Satsang and discussion

      *****************

      4th ANNUAL CONFERENCE and RETREAT:
      Joyously Living Nondualism
      February 17-20, 2011
      http://www.centerfornondualism.org/

      **********************************

      ARTICLES:

      Yoga Sutras 1.1-1.4: What is Yoga?
      http://www.swamij.com/yoga-sutras-10104.htm

      Being prepared to start: To sincerely begin the pursuit of Self-realization is a most significant step in life, when the highest goal of life is taken on as number one on your list of things to do. The first word of the Yoga Sutras is atha, which means now (1.1). This particular word for now implies a preparedness in arriving at this auspicious stage of desire and commitment towards Self-realization, the highest goal of Yoga.

      Definition of Yoga: The first four sutras define Yoga, with that definition being expanded upon in the other sutras. In a systematic process of meditation, you gradually move your attention inward, through all the levels of your being, gaining mastery along the way (1.2). Eventually you come to rest in your true nature, which is beyond all of those levels (1.3). This action and the realization of this center of consciousness, is the meaning of Yoga.

      Knowing what's left after setting aside the obstacles: There is a fundamental simplicity to the process of Yoga that is outlined in the Yoga Sutras. While the process might appear very complicated when reading the Yoga Sutras and many commentaries, the central theme is one of removing, transcending or setting aside the obstacles, veils or false identities. The many suggestions in the Yoga Sutras are the details or refinements of how to go about doing this. By being ever mindful of this core simplicity it is much easier to systematically progress on the path of Yoga.

      The true Self shines through: Once the obstacles and false identities have been temporarily set aside, the true Self, which has been there all along, naturally comes shining through (1.3). The rest of the time, we are so entangled with our false identities that we literally do not see that this misidentification has happened (1.4). It is the reason that sometimes it is said that we are asleep, and that we need to awaken. That awakening to the Self is the meaning of Yoga.

      Like a mirror: Consciousness looks outward, through the intellect, through the mind, and then through the senses and body. It sees a reflection, like a mirror. It sees reality, a world, a self-identity, which it falsely thinks to be "me" or "mine." Through the forgetting power of avidya or ignorance (2.5), pure consciousness says, "I am this or that!" This is not all bad, for it gives the opportunity for the joy of awakening, through a journey called Yoga, returning to the wholeness that was never really divided in the first place.

      *****************

      REFLECTIONS:
      To be a miner of diamonds, 
      take care of your picks and shovels. 
      To be a miner of your spiritual Self, 
      take care of your body, breath, and mind. 
      But don't confuse the tools and the goals.
      The goal of Yoga (union) is Yoga (union), period.

      PODCASTS:
      Archive of audio podcasts:
      http://www.swamij.com/podcast.htm

      YOUTUBE:
      Archives of my videos on YouTube:
      http://www.youtube.com/yogabindu
      http://www.youtube.com/swamijb
      Someone has also anonymously put 126 short videos of Swami Rama's lectures on
      internet:
      http://www.youtube.com/swamiramahimalayas

      CONNECTIONS
      Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/swamij
      Twitter: http://twitter.com/swamij
      Calendar: http://www.swamij.com/calendar.htm
      Email and postal contact: http://www.swamij.com/contact.htm

      NEWSLETTERS:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Yoga-Meditation/
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AbhyasaAshram/

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