Hello my friends! It has been much too long. I am happy to announce that the Citta Bhavana Ashram of SL reopened today, Tuesday June 27! You can catch a ride here.
Below is a copy of the opening address I have given. In a separate post, you will find a copy of the short guided meditation.
Welcome, my friends. It sure has been a while since we’ve gathered together! It is an absolute pleasure to welcome you all to the new Citta Bhavana Ashram.
Some of you may be returning, while others are new. If you are returning, you may recognize many of the hosts, musicians, and others offering their time and wisdom through this ashram. However, for all of you, this location is new. I have to extend a very warm thank you to the owner of the land, Xandria Drake, for providing us a place to be. We wouldn’t be here today without her.
This ashram closed in the fall of 2015. It’s hard to believe that was almost two years ago already! A lot of change has occurred in that time, both in SL and otherwise, and both personally and universally.
Growth occurs constantly. With every breath we take, every passing moment, every event in our lives and every time there is seemingly nothing happening, change is occurring. It is through necessity that this change is growth. Nothing becomes less than it is. Even at death, what is there only changes, it doesn’t leave.
So, though the ashram closed, the people we met here and the parts of ourselves that we learned more about remained. Hopefully, those parts have also grown, and the relationships have expanded and strengthened, and hopefully we can all come together to share what we’ve learned since then.
With the return of the ashram, the hope is not to take away from any of the other venues or offerings in SL. We recognize that there are many amazing places you can call home and find community and wisdom. We are merely another layer to this already rich world.
SL has been a big part of my life for many years. It is here that I’ve gained some of the deepest relationships I have, with people I never would have met if it wasn’t for SL. This is what I’m looking to provide here; a space to learn from each other in a supportive and caring environment. A nurturing community.
The name of the ashram is Citta Bhavana, meaning ‘cultivating heart/mind.’ Bhavana on it’s own means ‘spiritual cultivation.’ All the events here are organized to support this inner growth in some way or other, whether it’s through meditation, yoga, discussions, dances, music, ritual etc. Our hosts and guests come from many traditions around the world, and are not limited to one path or another. Instead, we believe that all paths are useful and that each person will find meaning in different perspectives. All things offered here invite you to examine your self and those around you rather than telling you how things should be.
At this ashram we ask you to invite into your life what you want to share with others as well as yourself. It is through positive, intentional action that we are able to change our perspectives and lessen our suffering. I strongly feel that as a community, we can provide the support and friendship that we all wish for along our journey. And, because of our amazing diversity, there may be something for everyone.
The current events we are offering are listed in a notecard on the wooden message board you can see by the stage. More events will be announced and added to the note as time goes on.
But one of the new offerings that I’d like to say a little about is what I call “listening hours”. Every Monday at noon SLT I will be in the office of the ashram, on the upper floor of the main building. If anyone would like to talk with someone who has no judgment, an open heart, and is here just to listen, I’ll be available. Everything you say will be completely confidential and will not be copied or repeated anywhere. If you’d like to talk outside of the designated listening hours, you are more than welcome to contact me and we can set something up.
If you are a host, artist or musician, or would like to contribute to the ashram in another way, please contact me and we can organize something. You don’t have to be a professional or have years of experience to offer something positive to the community; you only have to be you.
Now, Sunshine will be playing some wonderful tunes for us for the next little while, but please also feel free to explore at any time. There is a library; a zen garden; an onsen; various places for yoga, tai chi and meditation; and many places to sit and relax on your own or with friends or loved ones.
Once again, thank you all so much for your renewed support and interest. You are welcome to come use this space whenever you like, and for as long as you like.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu…May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all. Namaste _/\_ Thank you.