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News from the Centre – August 2020

Peace in the mind, love and compassion in the heart bring the scattered world into one reality. ~ Baba Hari Dass

Dear friends,

It’s Annual Community Yoga Retreat time, the first online version. If you’ve registered, I’ll see you there. If you missed the registration deadline, you can still watch the evening programs on Saturday and Sunday at no charge. 

Evening Programs Livestream

If you’re not able to join us for the full Annual Retreat, but you would like to view the livestream of our evening programs, you can do so by clicking the following links at the dates/times listed below.

What’s Happening at Sri Ram Ashram? with Rashmi
Saturday, August 1, 6:30 pm (PDT)

Latte Da Variety Show & FUNdraiser
Sunday, August 2, 6:30 pm (PDT)

No registration is required to view the livestreams. Please note that livestream participants will not have the ability to chat with the presenters or other participants – but rather simply view the evening’s programs.

Here’s a photo of satsang in the Pond Dome from last year’s ACYR, and of children at arati.

In this photo the children are lined up to get tilacs on their foreheads from Mahavir. This year everything is online. We’re all still community, whether  in person or on zoom. None of us knows will happen over the next few months (or longer), but whatever happens, it’s our intention to keep learning, practicing and playing together at ACYR, one way or another, but hopefully in person. 

And here are some photos – screenshots taken during ACYR planning meetings for this year’s ACYR:

Planning committee – Sharada, Anuradha, Janell, Courtenay, Anila, Adrienne, Mathew, Lakshmi (missing from photo – Kris)
Tech team – Ian, Janell, Adrienne, David, Mathew, Courtenay
Kids program team – Mayana, Anuradha, Ishi (on his head) and Catherine, Bhavani, Sharada, Usha, Anila, Conrad

One thing we’ve  learned is that both forms – in person and online – are helpful. There’s nothing like an in-person gathering for those who can get here, but there are so many people who  join our online classes and programs who wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Whatever the form, connection is important. 

Summer’s sweetness

Summer finally arrived in full force in late July – full sun, hot weather and beautiful summer evenings. This is a favourite time for islanders, including those living at the Centre,  to head down to one of Salt Spring’s lovely lakes. Our residential community at the Centre is much smaller than it usually is at this time of year, and it will continue to shrink in the coming weeks. 

People currently on the land. Back row: Adam, Adrienne, Ian; 2nd row: Angelo, Dan, Courtenay, Ian; bottom row: Joce, David, Alex, Kris, Mathew, with Marion lying across laps. Adrienne and Ian came to help with ACYR tech support

Here are some photos of summer life on the land.

There’s lots going on in the garden: raspberries, blueberries, cucumbers, tomatoes – so delicious! Here is…

Dan’s monthly farm update

After weeks of uncharacteristic cool and wet summer weather, the dock days of summer are upon us at last, and the farm team has subsequently started working earlier in the morning so that we can spend some of the hotter afternoons at the lake.

Our crops have definitely been appreciating the sunny, hot days and are starting to provide us with more typical yields for this time of year—In particular, the raspberry and blueberry harvests have been the most productive in several years, enabling us to sell a few quarts at the farm stand and to use some of the other surplus berries to make jams and compotes.

Cucumber madness has also arrived. Even before we were able to tie up all of our plants, we already began to bring in a couple dozen cucumbers every other day, and we’re already starting to talk about making pickles in the coming days, which were a hit among Satsang members, KYs and guests alike last season. So stay tuned for possible farm stand sales later this month.

We have also had our first harvest of green beans and purple beans, which have arrived just in time to replace the shelling peas and snap peas that have now surrendered to the heat and have mostly been pulled out of the ground except for one row that we’ll be saving for seed.

The eagerly anticipated ground cherries and tomatoes have yet to fully ripen, but some of the ground cherry plants are starting to develop husks and many of the tomato plants are becoming loaded with green fruit, so it won’t be long before they make their way to the Centre kitchen. The same goes for the leeks, which continue to fill out nicely, and will probably be ready for picking shortly after the release of the newsletter.

The farm team has spent many hours during the past few weeks pruning, suckering and staking or caging our tomato plants, as well as watering them with comfrey compost tea regularly, which provides them with much-needed nitrogen, potassium and calcium during the flowering and fruiting stages. 

Sadly, the farm team has gotten a bit smaller, as Lotte has returned to Germany, but the community is fortunate enough to still enjoy some of the jams and dried tea blends she has made with Marion in recent weeks. We wish her luck in her future growing and permaculture endeavours. 

Resident swallows perched in their nest

Online Programs

Since there are no in-person programs for the remainder of this year, our online presence has grown as our on-land presence has shrunk. Since we can’t yet gather together in person, all of our programs have moved online. 

Home Yoga Retreats are the virtual form of our ever popular Yoga Getaways, and just as connecting and nourishing. A participant in the July Home Yoga Retreat wrote, “This has been the best investment I have ever made in myself!”

Yoga as Medicine is a series of modules covering the foundations of Ayurveda, led by Natasha Jyoti Samson, each module focusing on a different aspect of the practices of Yoga and Ayurveda. The series has begun, but each session can be done individually. 

Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat, led by Natasha Jyoti Samson, is an experiential retreat to learn and practice the rejuvenative methods of Ayurveda, providing a balance of learning, laughing and relaxation. In attempts to quiet the mind to attain  peace and balance we can set ourselves up for success by following Ayurveda principles.The teachings and practices in this retreat will support you in your search for balance and ease.

All programs will continue to be posted on our website.

Bhagavad Gita and Yoga Sutra classes, both from Salt Spring and Mount Madonna Center. Satsang and other public offerings from the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga are also available free to everyone. I look forward to seeing you at one or more of these offerings. 

We’re working hard to develop more online classes, and they are beginning to fill up, which is very encouraging.

We need your help

Meanwhile we are experiencing some serious financial difficulties. If you are a member of Dharma Sara Satsang Society, you will have received a letter from the Board and the Membership Committee with more information about where our struggles lie. Bottom line: we are shamelessly asking for donations because the Centre is so important to all of us, and we need to pull together to help support the Centre that has supported us for all these years. If you’re in a position to help, please do. And thank you to those who have made donations, and those who have committed to making monthly donations. 

Bookkeeper Needed

The Centre is currently looking for a part time bookkeeper. If you are interested or know someone who might be, please read the job description  and application procedure here:

To read in this edition

The writings this month are focussed on celebration and gratitude. 

No matter what’s going on in your life, don’t give up on yourself. We are all more fortunate than we sometimes recognize, and life is full of simple gifts. Please read Celebrating Life.

A Great Project: Maya and Piet Suess, two of  Satyanand’s children, celebrate their dad’s  life by sharing with us some sweet,  heartwarming stories and memories of their kind and generous dad whom Babaji recognized as being involved in A Great  Project. Satyanand dreamt big, and brought his enthusiastic, joyful spirit to everything he did. He knew how to dream and how to play, and in doing so, his projects manifested. His families all loved him; how could they not since he loved them fully.

Life is not a burden. We make it a burden by not accepting life as it is. Wish you happy. ~ Baba Hari Dass

Sending wishes for health, well-being and peace to all.