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Winter Retreat at Ananda Vrati, Pennsylvania

Welcome to the Winter Retreat 2024 at Ananda Vrati Master Unit, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Region, from December 28, 2023, to January 1, 2024.

The Winter Retreat is traditionally a very spiritually charged program, and this year, we will have daily Akhanda Kiirtana and dance in bliss into the New Year of 2024. Apart from Kiirtana, we will find time for walks, socializing, profound and joyful classes and workshops, and delicious Sattvik food.

Winter Retreat Highlights

  • Daily Akhanda Kiirtan
  • Celebrate New Year with your Spiritual Family!
  • Fun games and workshops
  • Classes on spiritual topics
  • Time for social interactions
  • Delicious Sattvik vegetarian food
  • Enjoy walks and activities in the beautiful nature around Ananda Dhiira.

Please click on the button for more information and to register:

 

Yoga Healing Intensive Retreat at Ananda Dhiira, Nov. 2023

Avtk. Ananda Acira Ac. organized a meditation retreat and yoga healing intensive at Ananda Dhiira MU in the beautiful Sierra foothills of Northern California from November 8 through 12, 2023.
We were joined by Dada Diiptimanananda and Brother Mukunda (Michael Owen, DC), a chiropractic physician from Oregon. Dada provided instruction on meditation, inspiring talks, and enchanting music. As the host, Didi ensured all were comfortable, well cared for, and well fed; all special dietary requirements were attended to. Brother Mukunda provided classes on natural health care, including healing in the Five Level Model used today by many in the natural health care area.

Dada instructed on meditation and the meaning of Kiirtan for spiritual progress; Didi provided inspiring yoga classes in the mornings and afternoons. Dada and Didi offered private and individualized meditation (initiation/Diik’sa) and yoga instruction for those interested in furthering their spiritual journey. Mukunda offered individualized healing sessions during the retreat and demonstrated Family Constellation Therapy on the last day, a healing method rooted in indigenous cultures and adopted in the natural healing space. This method is used to address health affected by current or past family issues and for ancestral trauma.

Numerous natural healing methods were introduced, including but not limited to individual infrared saunas, castor oil liver packs and the many uses of castor oil, juice fasting, coffee enemas, sunbathing, mud packs, mindfulness walks in nature, meridian therapy for self-regulation, earthing, dipping in the running waters of the South Yuba river, and shielding from Electro Magnetic Fields (EMF’s). Twice-daily yoga classes and daily group meditations were provided consistently throughout the retreat.
Brother Mukunda taught a beginner shiatsu course; everyone got a chance to experience the healing benefits of the method while also being able to give the gift to others. Sister Harmony was an attendee and has extensive training in Chi Quong and was kind enough to provide a course on the method. Sister Kalika has extensive training in Vinyasa and Ashtanga styles of yoga and agreed to lead a perfect and well-received class on this active yoga style.

Delicious vegetarian meals were provided according to ancient yogic dietary guidelines; a one-day tasty juice fast was also offered to deeply clear the intestinal tract. Juices were selected for their ability to gently clear and heal the intestines while opening up detoxification pathways. Juicing fasting is a specialty practice with far-reaching benefits.

Accommodations are spartan but comfortable at the ashram, with most beds being dormitory-style. Sisters were lodged in the big house up the hill where most of the program occurred; Brothers stayed in the smaller house down the hill. Every effort was taken to ensure everyone was comfortable and well cared for, and all special dietary requirements were respectfully accommodated.

Mukunda

Mukunda (second left) and the participants on a morning walk by Ananda Dhiira

Everyone was refreshed after mud-packs, noon meditation, and a cold dip in the South Yuba River.

After noon meditation by the South Yuba River

Sister Harmony led the chi-gong class and added a lot of joy and laughter to the retreat.

Chi-gong class on the deck

Noon meditation on the deck

Infrared sauna in nature!

Group photo on the deck

Meditation Retreat at Ananda Vrati, Nov. 29 – Dec. 3, 2023

Ac. Diiptimanananda Avt. and Avtk. Ananda Acira Ac. organized a meditation retreat for beginners at Ananda Vrati from November 29 – December 3, 2023. They had two volunteers helping them, sister Kalika and brother Amrtadhara. The participants enjoyed the retreat. The weather was sunny and cool for the first two days, and the Ananda Vrati buildings are well insulated and heated, so the participants did not mind the winter conditions. 

Group photo during our first morning walk. This lake is about ten minutes walk from Ananda Vrati.

Yoga class by sister Kalika. She took the participants into deep relaxation at the beginning of the class.

Didi Ananda Acira and sister Kalika preparing for breakfast

Group photo

Delicious and healthy breakfast

Dada Diiptimanananda starting a class by singing Kiirtana

SOAR (Scenic Ozarks Artist Retreat) at Ananda Kanan

Recently, a unique event was hosted by Ananda Kanan in partnership with Heartland Art Club from St. Louis. It was called SOAR (Scenic Ozarks Artist Retreat), and the purpose was to bring together artists to share ideas and support each other’s growth as artists. Twenty-seven artists from around the region attended and were led by five mentors- established artists who agreed to make themselves available for consultation and advice. Most of the time, artists see each other at events where we are competing against each other for awards and sales. This was different- we were there to learn from and support each other, and the feeling of mutual respect and camaraderie was appreciated by all.

The original idea was to meet at Ananda Kanan, then travel to a local beauty spot (Alley Spring) and paint outdoors. The weather had other plans, and we were forced to work indoors in the dining hall, which helped us all feel closer and made sharing and learning easier. In the evenings, after dinner, we met upstairs in the newly created Renaissance Gallery space and further shared our thoughts and experiences. I think it is safe to say that the event was a tremendous success on all levels- from artist camaraderie to the food and facilities. Everyone left, talking about how soon we could do this again. That is my goal for next year – to have more events like this one, which fulfill the purpose of Ananda Kanan, to be a place of learning and personal growth.
Sudhiira

Video on Facebook from the Event:

https://www.facebook.com/1811574284/videos/1065214437813855/

Ananda Kanan needs your help this winter!

Donations can be sent directly by Zelle or PayPal to donations@anandakanan.org or by check to:

Ananda Marga
3157 County Road 1670
Willow Springs, MO 65793
United States

Painting class at Ananda Kanan

The gallery on the upper floor of the Dining Hall

Beautiful autumn colors at the river near Ananda Kanan

New Ananda Kanan sign

Ananda Kanan is a safe haven for wildlife and birds. This deer family was grazing around the buildings this autumn and early winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent renovations at the Family Dorm. Part of the roof and ceiling was replaced.

Good News from Ananda Dhiira and the Meditation Project

Women’s Retreat at Ananda Dhiira

Avtk. Ananda Acira Ac. organized a Women’s Retreat on August 5th in Ananda Dhiira MU, attended by 12 women. We had yoga, kirtan, meditation, face detox, yoga nidra, flower mandala, breath work, and tai chi.

Meditation Project Online Meditation Retreat

Avtk. Ananda Acira Ac., Ac. Dayashiilananda Avt. and Ac. Satyamitrananda Avt. organized an online meditation retreat for beginners (The Meditation Project) in August 24 – 27, attended by 15 people. We have daily yoga, meditation, classes on Tantra, Food for Higher Consciousness, Cakra and Vrttis, cooking class, and Rawa.

Online Kaosiiki Divas on September 6, 2023

Didi Ananda Acira organized an online Kaosikii Divas on September 6, attended by 30 people. It was a nice celebration, where we started the program with DC, followed by the history of how Baba gave the Kaosikii dance, a detailed explanation of its benefits, how to properly perform it, and some stories, and we ended the program with doing kaosikii 21 minutes.

Online Prabhat Samgiita Divas on September 10

The WWD New York Sector organized an Online Prabhat Samgiit Divas on September 10, attended by around 45 people. On this celebration, we had Acaryas speak on Prabhata Samgiita, Prabhata Samgiita dance by sister Radha, and 3 hours Akhanda Prabhata Samgiita sung by the Margiis and Acaryas from different places in the sector. 

Good News from Ananda Dhiira

We are having a good harvest of various green vegetables, herbs, flowers, corn, squash, zucchini, beet, etc. The Weekly online meditation and satsaunga, attended by 5 – 15 people

 

Sectorial Sisters Conference at Ananda Dhiira

On October 13 – 15, 2023, a sister’s retreat was held at Ananda Dhiira Master Unit in Penn Valley, California. Avtk. Ananda Acira Ac., Avtk. Ananda Aparajiita Ac., Avtk. Ananda Radhika Ac., and Avtk. Ananda Kalyanmitra Ac. were present and coordinated activities, which included Paincajanya, asana classes, Svadhyaya, games, Dharma Cakra, cooking and clean up, Avarta Kiirtan, and more. A diverse group of eleven women (and two German Shepherds) flew in or drove up from Texas, Los Angeles, Arizona, and around the Bay Area. Two sisters were newly initiated at the closing of the retreat. Welcome, Krsn’á, to the Margii family!

Didi Ananda Apaparajiita taught an interactive class on Yama and Niyama and a workshop titled “Empowering Women: Strategies for Managing Emotions.” Didi Ananda Kalyanmiitra led Kiirtana on the guitar and gave a class on “The Power of Saying NO.” Two other participants also contributed their guitar playing for Kiirtana. “Ayurveda and Women’s Health” was a class offered by Didi Ananda Radhika. The kitchen was run by Didi Ananda Achira, who, as always, fed and filled many happy bellies. “This is the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life.” “I didn’t know vegetarian food could taste so delicious!” were some comments shared by the women. The Acaryas all took turns teaching Asanas, answering individual questions, offering life guidance, and pointing the women toward higher growth. One afternoon was spent walking to the South Yuba River. A few brave souls entered the cold water; some napped, and others sang Kiirtana. On the final evening, a special multicultural “talent show” and art exchange was held, in which every person shared a poem, song, dance, or story from a culture in her background. All weekend long, the atmosphere was filled with laughter, tears, hugs, positive vibrations, Baba and bonding. 

Didis and Sisters at Ananda Dhiira on the deck

Meditation by the South Yuba River

Successful Pracar in Santos, Monterrey, and Monclova, Mexico

Brother Iishvara took LFT training two years ago and has been very active in arranging talks and Pracar opportunities for our Dadas and Didis in Monterrey, Monclova and Santos, Mexico. Hundreds of people have attended and many of them taken initiation.

On September 9, 2023, a lecture was arranged by brother Iishvara. It was the second time the Ananda Marga Acaryas were invited to the city. Hundred people attended the program. Sixty people got initiation – 40 sisters got initiation by Avtk. Ananda Sutiirtha Ac. and 20 brothers got initiation by Ac. Iishvarakrsnananda Avt. and Ac. Parinirvanananda Avt. The mayor of Montclova city attended the program and got initiation by Ac. Iishvarakrsnananda Avt. 

In Monterrey City, on September 8, about forty people attended a lecture arranged by brother Iishvara. Ac. Iishvarakrsnananda Avt. and Avtk. Ananda Sutiirtha Ac. gave talks. 24 people got initiation (13 sisters and 11 brothers.) The third program was Ananda Marga seminar in the Monterrey Jagrti. Around 30 people attended the seminar, arranged by Ac. Cirananda Avt., and Ac. Iishvarakrsnananda Avt. was the trainer.

Didi Ananda Sutiirtha (right), Dada Iishvarakrsnananda (second left), Dada Parinirvanananda (left)

Dada Ragatmananda doing Kiirtana at Monterrey Jagrti during the September seminar.

Collective meditation during the program at Monclova

Akhanda Kiirtana in Houston

Brother Iishvara (left), Dada Iishvarakrsnananda (middle) and a young Margii.

Collective meal at Monterrey Jagrti after Sunday Dharma Cakra

Dada Cirananda (left) and Monterrey Margiis and Didi Ananda Sutiirtha

Morelia Margiis came for the Monterrey seminar and retreat at Monterrey Jagrti

Dada Iishvarakrsnananda (left), the mayor of Monclova (second left), translator, Iishvara (second right) and Dada Parinirvanananda (right) after the Monclova program 

Houston Good News

During the first week of September, a group meeting was organized by brother Mayank Lal. Three people got initiated after Ac. Iishvarakrsnananda Avt. gave a talk. The Margiis also organized a seminar in Houston from September 1 – 3, 2023. Four families participated (ten people.) 

Dada Iishvarakrsnananda giving a talk in Monclova and brother Iishvara translating

Collective meditation during the program

Many brothers took initiation during the program

Kaosiiki dance

Pracar in New York, New Jersey, and Long Island by Didi Ananda Radhika

On August 15th, 2023, Avtk. An. Radhika Ac. (GV Sectorial NY Sector and acting SWWS) attended a flag hoisting ceremony at the Consulate General Of India and other places like Hempstead and Long Island. On August 27th, Didi attended the “India Day Parade,” widely covered by the media and press. On September 9th, 2023, Didi attended the event organised by the PSPA foundation. Sadhvi Rtambharajis Pravacan was organised there. Many prominent persons from New York were present.

On September 23rd, 2023, Didi attended a “Health and Wellness Fair” organized by the National Council of Negro Women at Co-Op City Section Bronx for the Women’s Day celebration. The mission of this organization is to lead, empower, and advocate for women of African descent, their families, and communities. There was an excellent response from the community.

On September 30th, Didi attended ‘Celebrating Sanatan Dharma, organized by Akshardham Mahotsav, North America, where 400 mandir and community leaders were present celebrating unity, harmony, and cultural values of Bharat. Ananda Marga was honored and recognized, thereby positively impacting the masses about our mission. On October 3rd, 2023, Didi attended the “Queens meet and greet” organized by Non-Profit New York. All the events helped create many new acquaintances, contacts, and a lot of public exposure to Ananda Marga as an organization.

Didi Ananda Radhika also visited three temples and contacted many persons interested in yoga. Regular yoga classes are started at the Queens Village Ashram now. Two persons got an initiation. She also visited three Senior Care Centres and volunteered to conduct regular yoga classes at one of the centers. Cleaning the house’s rain gutter is done by Didi and a local brother volunteer, maintenance of the room ceiling.

Didi Ananda Radhika (right) at the Indian Consulate in Manhattan, New York along with SS Dada Abhiramanandaji, Dada Shankaranandaji and Dada Cakrapani.

Seminars in Vancouver and Calgary

Successful Seminars in Vancouver and Calgary

Dada Shiilabhadrananda, newly posted Sectorial SB/PCAP Secretary for the NY Sector, has an additional duty as RS Vancouver. From August to September, he visited Vancouver and Calgary for one month, where he conducted 2nd phase diocese seminars. In Vancouver, 12 Margiis attended the one-day seminar. Dada met some of these Margiis for the first time since his last visit to Vancouver as an LFT in 1974!

In Calgary, Dada gave the seminar in the Judith Ulbach Library. No acarya has visited Calgary for many months, so Margiis were happy to enjoy Satsang and spiritual knowledge from the seminar classes. Five Margiis attended the seminar in Calgary. The Margiis are also seriously trying to find a suitable Jagrti to buy, which would enable many activities for Margiis and non-Margiis alike. On Dada’s next visit in late October, he plans to do classes in both cities to create new Margiis and sympathizers.

Seminar in Denver

Meanwhile, a one-day seminar in Denver took place on August 27, both in person and online. Five Margiis attended the seminar, jointly given by Dada and Sectorial PWSA Secretary Didi Ananda Aparajiita. In other developments, a drop-in beginner’s meditation class begins in the Jagrti on October 17. It is being promoted with the help of a new signboard on the porch of the Denver Jagrti and advertisements in popular social media venues in Denver.

Fifty homeless persons received a Sadabrata lunch outside the Lawrence Street Rescue Mission shelter in central Denver. Thanks to Arun and Mahajyoti for the financial support and Sudama for the transportation to the Sadabrata site.

Collective meal after Dharma Cakra in Vancouver

New sign for Denver Jagrti – a new beginning for pracar there.

Dada Shiilabhadrananda leading Sadavrata (serving food to the poor and homeless) in Denver

Aarati (left), Dada Shiilabhadrananda and Margiis and new people in Calgary, Canada

 

Ananda Vrati Regional Retreat

  A regional retreat for the Philadelphia region was organized from August 18 – 20, 2023. 35 Margiis and WT workers attended the program. After many years of renovation and extension work, the Ananda Vrati building is finally ready to use. This event was the first Ananda Marga retreat since the renovations started many years ago. The Margiis were happy to return to Ananda Vrati and see how beautifully the buildings have been renovated. Everything has been professionally done, and the building is designed for programs for all seasons, including the winter.