|AHYMSIN NEWSLETTER, ISSUE - Jan 2017|
by Lea and John Sellinger
Ever since I first came to SRSG to join my husband, loving efforts have been made by the ashram community to make me feel welcome and at home.
And indeed, every time we return to this beautiful place, it feels a little bit more like home. And despite little difficulties like the issue with the banknotes or running out of gas for our daily cooking, I really enjoy being here more and more.
Over the past one and a half years the beginnings of dear friendships have been formed and I got to know life in an ashram, in a small community, which is a new and enriching experience for me.
During the past eleven months we’ve spent at SRSG I’ve helped to take care of our visiting guests.
Throughout the whole year many individual guests and groups came from all over the world and all throughout India.
It was a blessing and a great experience for me to meet and connect with so many different people from so many different places. Among my duties was it to give them a first orientation to the ashram, to show them around the premises and to give special attention to those who needed it.
Towards the end of their stay I always tried to catch up with them to have a final meeting in order to connect them with teachers and centres in their respective hometowns and countries. These farewell meetings were a nice opportunity to reconnect with the guest and to get their feedback about their stay, which was almost always very positive and many of them wished to return.
This November the level I and III Teacher Training was held at SRSG. This is always a special time. The TTP students during this retreat were especially motivated to learn and deepen their connection with the tradition.
Also during this month the Initiators’ Retreat took place, which meant so many of the deeply experienced teachers and members of the Ahymsin family were there.
Having all these newly connected aspirants, full of enthusiasm and sincerity around, as well as many of the dedicated and experienced figures serving Swamiji’s mission felt very special and inspiring to me. During times like these, one feels the vibrancy of the tradition that is living through the seva and sadhana of so many people.
Moments like these are a helpful reminder, as there are times when one gets so busy with day to day duties that it is easy to forget, momentarily, what a beautiful, precious and inspiring life we have here.
Having lived in SRSG for most of the time over the last six years, and having passed through many roles, from guest to Gurulukam student, to volunteer, teacher and assistant, coming back to the ashram after spending some time away has felt more like coming home with each occasion. In this way, transitioning into married life, and bringing this relationship into the spiritual home of the ashram was another beautiful step in this flow of growth.
Our first year together in SRSG (2015 through 2016) allowed each one of us time to naturally discover our place within the community and within the mission. As we passed through days and months of refining personal sadhana as well as refining and defining the ways in which we can each best serve the mission of Swami Veda, it became a journey also of discovering the beautiful qualities of the other. As time went on, I found myself more and more admiring the skilful ways in which her natural qualities flowed and added, at many times and in many places where my own qualities were lacking.
After twelve intense, occasionally turbulent, mostly beautiful months, we departed together for a time, to reconnect with family and share some of our joyful experiences with loved ones in other countries.
Then, when we arrived back in November of 2016 it seemed quite natural that this returning felt more than ever like coming home.
Living in Swami Veda’s beautiful ashram is a truly unique experience. At times, challenges and obstacles are met that seem insurmountable, if only because they are so often our own obstacles, which we find so exquisitely difficult to overcome. Yet remaining steadfast in our determination to go on, despite these seeming failures, Love descends. And those same internal challenges which seemed so daunting are met with laughter and tears of gratitude.
To share this life with a loving and supporting wife is something I am grateful for each and every day.