Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Stoma Visits California

by Gabi Allen

The last week-end of April Stoma Parker blessed the Bay Area Sangha with a visit.

On Saturday a small but focused crowd gathered at our home in Oakland, California, and Stoma began the day with an extended guided meditation, setting the tone for the rest of the day.

Stoma lectured beautifully on the four functions of the mind and the four primitive fountains. While the subject was familiar to the audience, it seems to me that one can forever study and contemplate these teachings to draw insight for one’s life and how to BE in this beautiful and crazy world, avoiding the perpetuation of negative samskaras and filling the mind with positive impressions. Stoma closed the day by leading us in pranayama and yoga nidra. It was all around a wonderful day and time well spent.       

On Sunday twenty-five people came together at the Awakening Center, located outside the small town of Brentwood, about 55 miles East of San Francisco, California, at the foot of Mount Diablo, standing in majestic beauty as one of the four tallest mountains of the larger Bay Area, one in each direction from the Bay. Swami Veda once commented that these mountains are the sisters of the Himalayas. This place is a peaceful retreat, home to Mary and Greg Mohs and Ron Valle.

We meditated together and Stoma lectured on the Yamas and Niyamas. Afterwards we shared a meal and had time to talk and get to know each other. Stoma also initiated Deborah Granaj and Suzanna Ross from Brentwood.

Thank you, Stoma, for sharing your time and knowledge. Your presence was saturated with the Guru’s spirit, a wonderful blessing for all of us.

I recently helped Mary to update a contact list and was surprised at the number of initiates residing in the larger San Francisco Bay Area. Some more recently moved in, Praful Saklani, Justin Lee, Chris Zavrel and Tatiyana Bastet. I am glad they came to live here. They may not know it yet ... but they are a great asset to HYMSCa.

We are in the process of creating again more opportunities for the Sangha to come together as well as for new people to come in contact with the lineage.

Mary and Ron offer guided meditation twice a month on Mondays. Jim Nelson and Michael Smith from Minneapolis led a weekend silence last December. They will come back this year to guide a five day silence retreat from November 2-6 at the Awakening Center. We hope that our wonderful Swamis will also come to the Bay Area again sometime in the future.

In service,

Gabi Allen

Editor's Note:

If you live in Northern California and are not in contact with your fellow sadhakas, you are invited to let them know that you live in the greater Bay Area.

When organizing these events, Gabi wrote:

“Over the last several years I have learned that quite a number of initiates live in the greater Bay Area. Mary Mohs from the Awakening Retreat Center in Brentwood and I want to create opportunities for people, who learn from and develop with the perennial wisdom of the Himalayan Yoga Meditation Tradition, to come together several times in a year. While a spiritual path is a very personal process and a very different experience for each and everyone, the spiritual community plays an important role on the path and we would like to invite you to be part of and share yourself with that community…if you cannot make it this time than maybe the next time later in the year. We are currently updating the contact list of the affiliated AHYMSIN center, The Himalayan Yoga Meditation Center of California. We would like to ask those of you, who have not yet heard from Mary Mohs or myself or have not yet responded, to contact us with your telephone number and e-mail address. We will use this information exclusively to inform you about satsangs, workshops and silence retreats.”

Contact: [email protected]

Stephen (Stoma) Parker, Psy. D., L.P., ERYT-500, is a licensed psychologist in private practice at Northland Therapy Center in St. Paul, MN. An initiate of the Himalayan Tradition since 1971, he has been a yoga teacher since 1974 and is a principal faculty member of the international teacher training program of the Association of Himalayan Yoga Meditation Societies International (AHYMSIN). He has taught workshops and seminars on yoga, meditation and spiritual practice worldwide. A Sanskrit scholar, he edited the second volume of Swami Veda Bharati's definitive translation and commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali. He also serves as an adjunct assistant professor of counseling psychology at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, the School of Professional Psychology at the University of St. Thomas, and he has been an adjunct lecturer in the United Nations Peace Studies Training Program at the University of Innsbruck in Austria.

Jim Nelson is the author of a newly published book Running on Empty--Transcending the Economic Culture's Seduction of Our Youth .  Please see the article on this book earlier in this newsletter.