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December 2018 Newsletter

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2019 Sangha Gathering at SRSG: February 25 - March 5, 2019

Love Serve Remember

Dear Pilgrim on the Path of Light,

As you finalize your plans for your pilgrimage to Deva-bhumi, the land of sages, please take a moment to center, let-go, breathe, and come in-touch with your saintly destiny and the path of light & love. Let the eternal spirit of love arise and guide you throughout the journey by way of grace of Mother Providence and Guru's light. Maintain that connection with your sacred name and the ajapa-japa wherever you are. And as we gather in the sacred abode of Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, we will re-dedicate ourselves to the meaningful goals of life, and renew the purpose of this lifetime. The havan, group meditation, inspirational sharing, and silence will nurture your mind and heart to reawaken the perennial light of love as kindness, compassion, and a contented peacefulness within. As you make your final arrangements, please see the reminder notes that follow from our program staff who are at the ashram preparing to receive you. And do contact them with any questions you may have.

"Resolve this year to reduce pain on earth through the power of meditation" as we are reminded by Swami Veda.

With all love and light of the Tradition,

Swami Ritavan Bharati

Please contact the AHYMSIN Office at [email protected] to register and request information. Also, for more information, please see An Invitation to Return Home – AHYMSIN Sangha Gathering 2019.

Marilou Hermens with Swami Veda BharatiMarilou Hermens

(Click image for full size version)

“Healthy breathing is pure necessity. Healthy breathing is our birthright and the basis for our well-being!”
— Marilou Hermens

Marilou Hermens was a kalyana mitra, teacher, and mentor to many within the AHYMSIN family. She taught for more than 30 years, and since 1998 received training from Swami Veda Bharati and Swami Ritavan Bharati. In addition to having a center in Bilthoven, Netherlands, she was a senior teacher and mentor within the Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Teacher Training Program (HYT-TP), lectured, gave workshops, and also guided annual Science of Breath seminars at SRSG.

“Marilou passed away peacefully and without pain on Friday, 21 December, at 9 PM our time. Her last weeks were difficult, losing her sight and having epileptic insults due to brain tumors. She kept wanting to teach almost till the very end...,”
— wrote Beatrix Dekkers-Heezius.

“…She had informed us a few months ago about this departure due to an irreversible illness. Marilou accepted the physical reality and consciously went into the process that her Guru, Swami Veda Bharati, called the 'Art of Dying'. Not the sadness that many create around that process, but she chose to celebrate her life...Marilou embraced the process of dying as a process of living...Our gratitude for her contributions to the Sangha...” Atem Ramsundersingh informed the AHYMSIN Facebook group. To read Atem’s writing and to see the responses from within the group, please click here.

“It is my greatest wish to help as many people as possible to learn to breathe healthily. The effects of a healthy diaphragmatic breathing are unprecedented. Breath is affected by physical exertion and by emotions. The special thing is that the breath always continues. The trick is to learn to guide the breathing itself: the right spot with the diaphragm, slower, calmer, without fits and starts, silently, through the nose…Breathing is always central to all my classes of yoga and meditation as I have learned from real yogis of the age-old Himalayan Yoga Meditation Tradition. No difficult postures but bring profoundness in yoga through simplicity and very good observing and learning to observe, mindfulness at the top! It is important to apply it in daily operations. That is real yoga.” Marilou wrote on her website.

Some videos with Marilou can be seen on YouTube at Himalaya Adem Yoga Meditatie Marilou Hermens.

Mauni Amavasya

Mauni Amavasya is 4th February 2019.  Swami Veda Bharati invited us to observe this day with a “one-day vow of silence.”

“On that day, no driving (except for emergencies), no TV, no conversation, just self-observation, contemplation, japa and learning (1) to give love in silence while (2) learning to love silence.” – Swami Veda Bharati

Mauni Amavasya Silence Retreats will be guided by Swami Ma Radha Bharati 26th January - 4th February and/or 4th - 13th February 2019 at SRSG.


A workshop on “Dance of Transformation”is scheduled for March 6 - 9, 2019, at SRSG.

Teacher Training with TTP

Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Teacher Training Program (HYT-TTP) offers two training sessions annually at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) in Rishikesh, India. The next session will be March 10-23, 2019.

December 2018 Childrens Retreat

Swami Ritavan gifting rudraksha malas to children

The youth and children’s retreat took place at SRSG 24 – 30 December 2018. We hope to have more about this in next month’s newsletter. In this picture, Swami Ritavan gifts the youthful sadhakas with rudrakshas.

Please see the Upcoming Events or contact [email protected] for more information about these and other programs at SRSG.


Share Your News!

We invite you to share what is happening in their centers and your experiences, insights, and questions. With such sharing, we can learn more about one another and strengthen one another in our sadhana, becoming a true “sangha”. We welcome your articles. You can write to [email protected]

This Month's Newsletter

Please click here to view this month's Ahymsin December 2018 Newsletter in your browser or click one of the article "Read More" links below.

December Articles

Diversity of Siddhis in the Yoga Sutras

Book Cover: Yogi in the Labby Swami Veda

[This passage has been taken from Yogi in the Lab, by Swami Veda Bharati, published in 2006 by SRSG Publications].

One of the possible areas of scientific investigation would be the methods suggested in the Yoga-sutras of Patanjali for the realization of various accomplishments, siddhis. Even though only a rare few yogis may demonstrate these powers in full, the neuro-physiological effects produced in the process of the special concentrations recommended for specific accomplishments would point towards a new dimension in autogenic controls and therapies.

Here we take up the topic of these siddhis just to show the diverse range of this line of yoga achievements.

Read More : Diversity of Siddhis in the Yoga Sutras

Christ and John the Baptist

by Swami Rama

Book Cover: Meditation in Christianity by Swami Rama[This passage has been taken from the book Meditation in Christianity, pp 3 - 5, by Swami Rama (Rama, S., 1983. Meditation in Christianity. Himalayan international Institute if Yoga Science and Philosophy of the USA.)].

Jesus says of John the Baptist that he is the best if those born of women but that the least of the kingdom of heaven was greater than he. For example, John speaks to us of salvation through moral life; he tells us what to do, but he does not tell us how to be.  Jesus insists on inner transformation. John asks us to become better; Jesus asks us to become new. John the Baptist was puzzled when he heard that Jesus and His disciples drank wine and did not fast. He could not understand it when they plucked the ears of corn on the Sabbath day or when Jesus healed on the Sabbath. John is still a man born of woman; he has not experienced rebirth. Jesus tells us, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), and Paul says, “Awake, thou that sleepest and arise from the dead” (Eph. 5:14) Originally Christian teachings – before they became externalized and dogmatized – focused on awakening from sleep through the light shed by inner wisdom. Jesus Christ was one who had done this and who taught others the way.

Read More : Christ and John the Baptist

What is a Disciple? Audio by Swami Veda

Audio download “What is a Disciple?” by Swami Veda Bharati is now available for purchase.

© Copyright - Swami Veda Bharati / Ahymsa Publishers (193428026704)

Audio download available on CD Baby; place click here.

Album Cover of What is a Disciple by Swami Veda (Audio)

Album Notes

In this talk with students, Swami Veda speaks from personal experience as a disciple of Swami Rama. He begins by discussing the meaning of the word “discipline” in yogic traditions, where it has mostly positive connotations; as distinguished from the way it is used in Western cultures, where it often has negative, off-putting connotations.

Read More : What is a Disciple?

TTP Level 3 Retreat

by Marjan Overgaag

TTP Level 3 Retreat: Inspiring, interesting and intense

We were with nine, from all corners of the world. From Dubai, Trinidad, Burkina Faso, Australia, Canada, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. Genuine, individual but yet intensively connected, through the tradition and each other – thanks to the life path we are all on. We were blessed by the guidance of wise teachers. What we learned was extensive.

A selection from the lesson program: Swami Ritavan took us deeper into meditation and the meditative voice; from Charles Crenshaw we learned new asanas (we loved his stories of the time he and Carol lived with Swami Rama); with Carol Crenshaw we did subtle relaxation practices like Om Kriya and Shitali Karana.

Read More : TTP Level 3 Retreat

Holistic Health

by Marjan Overgaag

Book Cover: Wholistic Health by Swami RamaHolistic health. It’s about our attitude in life.

For my presentation on holistic health, I thought and doubted about a topic. Holistic health. What is that? Is it whether tomatoes are healthy for someone with a pitta dosha? Yes, nourishing is one of the aspects of holistic health. Nourishing of the physical body. The other day my sister-in-law told me that listening to classical music helps her in the process of letting go. That sounded like nourishing of the mental body.

Cleansing and exercise

Or should I talk about the neti pot or upper wash? One of the shat kriyas, the cleansing practices. For cleansing is also an aspect of holistic health. I didn’t think of talking about the benefits of exercises. By now, we - TTP-L3-students - know what yoga exercise can do for our health. Can’t we? The importance of the joints and glands series are familiar from the first day we have started TTP.

Meditation and emotions

Being still. Meditation. It is also one of the aspects of holistic health. Haven’t we yet all experienced what going WITHIN means? Being still. Silence of the body. Silence of thoughts. Silence when we speak. Fast when we eat. Being aware. Being where we are: we have experienced it ourselves. Or not?

Read More : Holistic Health

Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Sometimes students have written to or asked Swami Veda, Swami Ritavan, and other senior teachers in our tradition questions about practice. This is one such “Question and Answer,” or Q&A.


I have a few questions:

That blissful feeling that comes from self-realization, is it permanent or breaks up?  How does bliss feel?  Can you describe it?

Secondly, i take it that to achieve self-realization, one has to master the art of restraint and concentration. How does one go about doing this?  Like what are the first steps as a starting point?

Last but not least, what is your take on meat-eating and vegetarianism?

Read More : Dear Yoga Mentor, My Question Is…

Share Your News!

We invite you to share what is happening in their centers and your experiences, insights, and questions. With such sharing, we can learn more about one another and strengthen one another in our sadhana, becoming a true “sangha”. We welcome your articles. You can write to [email protected]

The next several full moon meditations happen within a day or so of the normal Ahymsin newsletter end of the month mailing. So, we will be sending a single combined mailing.

This Month's Newsletter

Please click here to view this month's Ahymsin Newsletter December 2018 in your browser.

Other Links

Full Moon Timings

Also, Toronto "Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Society of Ontario" members meet at 9:00 pm (local).

Yours in service,  — Ahymsin Office

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