Satsang has continued through the Fall with Lisa Sars committed to leading it and keeping the space available for anyone who wants to come and take part. The altar with our beautiful Tara and Quan Yin is a reminder to everyone that we are connected to a spiritual tradition that honours the feminine and the Light.
At the end of September Ruth Campbell, a Yasodhara trained teacher offered a Relaxation workshop which was well received by a large group of Radha students and teachers. It was much appreciated as participants were able to take the time relax and let go and listen within.
We also had two events at Radha this Fall. A Dharma talk was offered by Ven. Pannavarti a Buddhist nun from South Carolina. The ancient truths rang through her words, with a delightfully human outlook. As well Lisa Chase was back to display her intriguing photographic work, along with artist Wendy Deakins, whose photos reveal the beauty found in nature’s imperfections. The show was Intuitive and inviting, complex and simple offering a delightful afternoon of rich experience.
The Radha teachers offered an end of term workshop series on December 2nd with a day of Hatha Yoga and making personal reflections from Swami Radhananda’s book Living the Practice. It felt warm and cozy, a great way to prepare for Winter. Everyone who came felt renewed and ready to carry the Light into the holiday season.
We held our annual Rose Ceremony on the Summer Solstice this year, celebrating the Light and deepening our commitments to the best in ourselves. Thirty-four of us of varied ages and lifestyles gathered around the altar at Radha in a willingness to make a commitment to the Divine. Devotees started arriving about 15 minutes early, many taking the time when they arrived to write down their grudges and resentments from the comfort of the couches, while the altar slowly filled with the beautiful roses everyone brought.
Swami Jyotihananda opened the ceremony with a beautiful talk, bringing light to the meaning of the Rose Ceremony and soon the sounds of Hari Om filled the space as we settled into the present. One by one we came to gather in groups of four as the rose bowl filled with petals and gently swelled with the heartfelt surrendering of pairs of opposites and requests for Divine Love in return. After the last rose was given, the whole room shifted into a stretching, smiling group, newly inspired to find the best in ourselves and throw all our previous grudges out the door!
So began the second half of the Rose Ceremony, with a joyful chanting of Om Namah Sivaya, we gathered around a giant pot from the kitchen to burn away all we had written down on pieces of paper. As the commitments to let go burst into flames, Radha filled up with an equal amount of smoke, and much giggling and laughing ensued. Giggling aside though, it felt like the Divine was letting us know exactly how much all of the grudges and resentments we carry cloud our ability to see things clearly! The smoke cleared away revealing all of us, gathered in small groups, happily talking and connecting with each other.
A feeling of love abounded, and we left carrying the gifts of Divine Love, minds enraptured with the kind and compassionate thoughts growing within, and hearts rejoicing for the glowing insights the Light carried into our lives as humans dancing into the Divine.
Sw Jyotihananda presented a workshop at Banyen Books and Sound on Sunday June 17th, bringing the practice of the Divine Light invocation and introducing Sw Radhananda’s new book Living the Practice to a small gathering of eight women.
Some of the participants were familiar with the ashram and others were not, but all were coming to connect with the Light. Despite the varying levels of familiarity, the group was able to engage wholeheartedly with the practices and the reflections. It was evident that the universal Light was able to speak to all of us, uniting us in the work.
Thank you to Sw Jyotihananda for the care and attention she took into leading us through the workshop, to Sw Radhananda for her words of wisdom, to the people at Banyen for lending us their beautiful space, to the participants of the workshop for sharing their insights, and to the Light!
People gathered intimately around the piano at Radha on Saturday June 9th listening to the beautiful voice of Naomi Narvey. In its simplicity, the evening was beautiful. The audience was treated to a performance of Edith Piaf music, as Naomi’s voice invited us into the richness of the songs. The atmosphere at Radha complemented the mood brought forth by the music. There was warmth and lightness all around.
Thank you to Naomi for treating us to a wonderful evening, and to all the guests who came and helped make the space feel intimate and warm. It was a wonderful way of sharing the space at Radha.
Our 108 Minutes of Yoga event at RADHA went very well. The space felt Light and open. It was a small group of us, all quite dedicated yogis, who gathered yesterday in the sunlit and spacious room at RADHA.
We invited Brahma the creator, Visnu the preserver, and Siva the destroyer into our practice and into the event. We started by practicing the Divine Light Invocation and going into a round of Sun Salutations together. We then moved into our own practice of the salutations, listening to our bodies and taking the moment to visualize once in a while. Before concluding, we gathered to do a final round and followed this with a Divine Light Invocation. Gordon then led us through a marvelous end relaxation.
After the event, we gathered around the couches, enjoying each other’s company and the tasty treats we’d all brought. Thank you to all who participated. So far, we’ve raised around $700 for the Young Adult Program at Yasodhara Ashram.
There was brightness and lightness all around the space. From the plates and tablecloths, to the flowers and lights, the space was lit up in white. Even the artist herself was clothed in all white.
The artwork hung neatly along the walls, inviting the eyes to engage with it. It was accompanied by appetizing treats, and soothing melodies, inviting the other senses to participate. Guests and artists completed the night feeling uplifted by the experience.
It was a pleasure to hold the art show at RADHA. We look forward to offering the space at RADHA for future works of Lisa Chase.
We each hold a candle in our hands as we chant in gratitude to Swami Radha and the teachings. The candle is symbolic for the inner Light within, and the commitment we’ve each made to this Light. We each have an opportunity to express in words how the teachings have touched us in our lives. Whether the connection with the teachings has been for years or for months, it’s apparent that the impact has been significant in everyone’s life.
The sun shines warmly into the space as we chant to Hari, to Krishna, to Siva, and to Tara-all aspects of the Light. There is gratitude for the healing, for the wisdom, for the strength, and for the compassion that is promised by the mantras. Special days such as these feel light and lifted. We flow with the rhythm of the Divine sound as we celebrate Sw Radha’s inititiation into sanyas. The vibration of the Light sustains us throughout the day. Francesca Cogorno
Today after chanting the mantras with Francesca, I was filled with a deep gratitude for all of the work Swami Radha has done and the sweetness of her spirit seemed to fill me. The Light of her teachings touched me as I walked around the neighbourhood putting posters up for the centre. Sunlight poured down from the heavens, sparking up the colors of the houses around me, the people I met and spoke with were delightful and full of joy. And I can’t help but think they must have felt the essence of the mantras and the beauty of the teachings, flowing through me. Giggling child, snuggling dog, laughing people. Namaste. Lisa Sars
Came to chant mantras for Swami Radha today, what an amazing experience, I feel so much gratitude for what she created, and for this center, a place to learn and grow to connect with people who have so much knowledge and share so freely of their time. Namaste Rena Lall
Satsang is a time when we gather as a community at the end of each week to chant for the people on our prayer list and to reflect on the teachings. Gathering around the altar in prayer this January has felt like coming home again. It’s been a time of both reconnecting with past and present Radha Vancouver yogis and of making new connections with first time visitors. Join us as we celebrate each week.
Satsang takes place on Sundays from 7:30-8:30pm at Radha Vancouver. It is open to all and free of charge.