Self-Realization through Yoga Meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra

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Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati 
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Click here for activities schedule.

Expansion of the Ashram
Membership in the Ashram

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." (See Self-Realization)

Yoga is traditionally taught, practiced and learned through a close relationship between the individual mentor and mentee, teacher and student, in a community of noble friends, known as kalyana-mitra. Guru is a force-field driven by grace, a stream of knowledge of direct experience which, though it may operate through a person, is itself not a person.

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 (especially given its tiny size), it is really a place of the heart, an inner sanctuary of silence.

If you would like to see what we're doing in the physical locations, please take a look at the calendar, or contact me if you have questions. There are also maps of the location. Please note that this is not a residential ashram and there are no overnight accommodations; visitors stay at hotels or rental condominiums.

SCHEDULE:

Click here for activities schedule.

DONATIONS to Abhyasa Ashram:

EXPANSION OF THE ASHRAM: As of winter, 2010, we have started to expand the ashram, both in terms of physical location and offerings, as well as our legal structure. The ashram has been incorporated as of May 2010 (As Abhyasa Ashram, Inc.) and we have applied for nonprofit status through the US government (this will most likely take several months, or up to a year).

UPDATE (August 14, 2010): We are under contract to purchase a 4500 square foot building in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The building has two classrooms, the larger of which is about 1000 square feet. There is space for a large kitchen, dining room, office, and bookstore. The closing on the purchase will be end of August. Currently we are in the due diligence period where we have inspectors determine the condition of the building and the completion of the seller's obligations on certain repairs.

Presently, we have local training here in our current location, online satsang gatherings four times a week (including a Bhagavad Gita study class). More online and face-to-face classes are under development.

We are also in the process of developing a sophisticated database management system that will allow us to extensively track aspirants/students progress through the sometimes complex appearing principles and practices. This will emphasize "student/aspirant" training, rather than "teacher" training. In our modern world, particularly in the U.S., we already have far to many "certified" yoga teachers who know very little about the principles and practices of authentic, traditional yoga.

The spirit of our training is captured in an Indian tale of a seeker who went to a great sage asking to be a student on the path of Self-realization:

"Sir, I wish to be your disciple so as to know the path leading to enlightenment." The sage realized that this seeker was not really ready to tread the path of Self-realization, so he asked him, "Do you know what you will need to do to follow this path?" The seeker did not, and asked, "No, what?" The sage replied, "You will need to fetch buckets of water, find firewood, as well as to cook and clean, in addition to many hours of study and practice of contemplation and meditation." The seeker was not feeling too certain about doing all of this, and said, "Okay, I understand what the student does. What does the teacher do?" The sage explained, "The teacher quietly sits and give spiritual instructions." The would-be student said, "Oh, I see. Well in that case, please make me a teacher!"

Before we can truly be a teacher, we have to be a student. Thus, the emphasis of our training is on being a student of the principles and practices, not a teacher. Ours is not a modernized, watered-down "yoga teacher training program". Those who participate in our "student/aspirant" training will surely feel qualified not only to practice and progress on the path, but also to share with and teach others what has been learned and practiced, as have others who have already studied and practiced with us in this way.

If you are interested in our ashram and programs, please let me know, and just start getting involved, being part of our new expansion.

May your meditation today bring you peace, happiness, and bliss.

In loving service,

Swami J

(Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati)

MEMBERSHIP:

We have announced in recent newsletters that we are in the process of expanding the ashram. This expansion involves incorporating the ashram as a non-profit organization, acquiring a new building, and expanding learning systems. We are also trying to improve our communications with the people who are most interested in the ashram. I have met, received emails and calls from thousands of people over recent years, and it has been very difficult to keep track of who is most interested in what we are doing through the ashram [There are over 2,000 people currently on my newsletter and email lists].

Therefore, as a means of improving communications with those who are most interested in what we are doing, we are setting up a “membership” for the ashram. Since we/I do not charge money for any programs or personal consulting/training, the membership is set up the same way, having no fees. Rather, your commitment is to yourself in doing the practices. If you are drawn to, or are already practicing the principles and meditation methods taught by the Himalayan tradition, Swami Rama, Swami Jnaneshvara and Abhyasa Ashram, there are three ways in which you may be involved as a member of the ashram:

1) PRACTICING MEMBER: It is my wish and intent to do the practices of meditation as taught by Swami Rama and which are described in Swami Jnaneshvara’s writings on the SwamiJ.com website. I attempt to do these practices daily, and commit to practicing within my own comfortable capacity. [This way of involvement may be ideal for those who are far away, especially in countries other than US.]

2) PARTICIPATING MEMBER: In addition to doing practices (the Practicing Members), I wish to be part of the ongoing volunteer activities that keep the ashram thriving for all of us. This may include teaching or facilitating activities, maintaining the building, office activities, or other skills I have. If I do not physically live close, I wish to volunteer in some other way, or when I visit from time to time. [This way of involvement may be ideal for those who live close or visit from time to time.]

3) SUPPORTING MEMBER: In addition to the activities (above) of Practicing and/or Participating members, I believe in the goals of the ashram and intend to provide financial support through donations from time to time (whether smaller or larger donations) for the ashram and its programs. I understand that the ashram operates solely through the generosity of its members.

Membership established any time through the end of 2010 is effective until the end of December 2011. Any time after July 1, 2011 you may reaffirm your membership and practices through the end of 2012.

REPLY BY EMAIL:

If you would like to be involved, please reply to this newsletter or send an email to membership@abhyasaashram.org. Please provide the following in that email:

WHICH OF THE THREE WAYS (above) OF INVOLVEMENT YOU CHOOSE:

NAME:

STREET ADDRESS:

CITY, STATE ETC., POSTAL CODE, COUNTRY

EMAIL ADDRESS:

PHONE:

OTHER CONTACT INFO:

BRIEF BIO AND MEDITATION HISTORY:


Thank you for your interest in the expansion of the ashram and programs. I look forward to hearing from you.

In loving service,

Swami J

Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati
Abhyasa Ashram, Inc.
115 Hughes St., #A1
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
swamij@abhyasaashram.org
http://abhyasaashram.org

 

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This site is devoted to presenting the ancient Self-Realization path of the Tradition of the Himalayan masters in simple, understandable and beneficial ways, while not compromising quality or depth. The goal of our sadhana or practices is the highest Joy that comes from the Realization in direct experience of the center of consciousness, the Self, the Atman or Purusha, which is one and the same with the Absolute Reality. This Self-Realization comes through Yoga meditation of the Yoga Sutras, the contemplative insight of Advaita Vedanta, and the intense devotion of Samaya Sri Vidya Tantra, the three of which complement one another like fingers on a hand. We employ the classical approaches of Raja, Jnana, Karma, and Bhakti Yoga, as well as Hatha, Kriya, Kundalini, Laya, Mantra, Nada, Siddha, and Tantra Yoga. Meditation, contemplation, mantra and prayer finally converge into a unified force directed towards the final stage, piercing the pearl of wisdom called bindu, leading to the Absolute.