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On the edge of my bed, in the midst of serenity. How can I even start to explain what life in an ashram may mean or is doing to my life… especially, my spiritual life, how can I begin… My intention is reach you and share with you the hopeful possibilities of life.

I have, like many of us, gone through some difficult times in my life, and I know they will happen again. It is not the things that happen to us, bow we perceive them. Like in our yoga practice, it is the intention and the action, not the reaction from the actions where we concentrate our efforts. So, it is not without effort that I take the body to a spiritual retreat. It is then the mind that reacts. Although I may physically be here, in the midst of an ashram with mantras and chanting embracing me, if my mind is is not here then, there is no intention. We all have the experience of sitting in a math class where our body is there, but our mind is everywhere else. The mind’s purpose, I have learned, is to bring happiness to the atman (soul). Unfortunately, we confuse the source of permanent happiness – and we look everywhere, only finding bits and droplets.

I only understand what happens in my heart…as I sit, listen, meditate in God, in all those beautiful qualities that we truly know inside,  then tears of joy come to me eyes. It is joy that I have felt before but different. This is beyond my intellect and beyond my simple understanding.

I have know enough times despair and sadness. I know I might feel them again. Now, however, I know, that this sensation I can always reach for, if I sit and practice devotion to Divine Love, true yog (connection).

I could not think of a different place I would rather be receiving the New Year. I wish you, the same…

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