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Integrating the Light

reclaiming the connection within

July 8, 2010 by Lightwaves

After nearly one full year since her transforming experience during the 10-day Yoga Retreat, Jyoti Heine shares her story of coming to a place of inner knowing made possible by Swami Radha’s teachings and Divine Mother’s guidance.

My life changed in ten days. In the summer of 2009, the teachings of Swami Radha and the support of many wonderful souls at Yasodhara Ashram changed my life.

I hadn’t planned to go to the ashram. My daughter, Cierra Dahlquist, who was dedicating her time to karma yoga after completing the Yoga Development Course, called to tell me about the 10-day Yoga Retreat: “Don’t think about it – just get on a plane and come.” So I went. I had no idea what to expect, but I committed myself to the experience.

Karma Yoga Cherry Harvest

I found myself peeling an onion and unwrapping a gift: the onion being layers of ME. The gift of reflection being a new relationship with life and with the Divine through the practices of Hatha, the Divine Mother Prayer, the Divine Light Invocation, Mantra, Karma yoga, and the Life Seals workshop.

Through the 10-day Yoga Retreat, I learned that I am not alone, and I’m not lost; loneliness being a feeling I had been experiencing a great deal after the death of my mother three years previous.  I learned that the power of the universe aligns with the strength in each of us if we invite it in.  While chanting mantra during Satsang, my voice was part of a chorus made strong and clear by the energy of all of us chanting together paying homage to the Light and surrendering to its gifts.

I experienced a sense of oneness in the Temple, and a spiritual presence inside and around me that brought me feelings of joy and love. This feeling of connection soothed some the loneliness of my spiritual yearning – I was in a whole community of people seeking the Divine.

After staying on for a week of Karma Yoga, I was determined to integrate as much as I could from Swami Radha’s teachings into my regular life back home. Through my practices I planned to stay committed to the clarity and peace I had cultivated within. At home, I continued to work with mantra and with the Divine Light Invocation, and I brought my practices into my workplace as well. I set up a small altar in my office and hung a printout of the Divine Mother Prayer, as reminders.

Mother & Daughther Spiritual Bond

The practices have eased the often chaotic pace of my work environment, and my colleagues appreciate when I offer the Divine Light Mantra at the close of meetings. Some of my colleagues join me in the Divine Light Invocation. We all benefit from the peace it brings. My boss told me I no longer have “that anxious aura” and that I seem more grounded.

My trip to the Ashram was a Divine gift through the blessings of karma.  My daughter asked me to come, but it was my own inner spiritual child I was listening to when I said yes, and my own inner child I learned to love. Despite our Mohawk heritage, my family had lost its connection to that culture’s innate spirituality. Spirituality had never been a part of my life growing up, and it wasn’t something I’d raised Cierra with, either. However, even as a little girl, I had always had a yearning for something higher. I felt I was just a short distance from it, but couldn’t quite grasp it. I knew that something higher was at work.

Everyone who gets involved with the ashram and the teachings is experiencing healing on some level, and now my daughter and I are both experiencing spiritual healing. It is a wonderful deepening of our mother-daughter bond to be able to share the teachings together, and a wonderful healing for both of us to be able to share spirituality in our family life. My time at the ashram enabled me to rediscover the spirituality I felt as a child, and to begin creating a structure to help this part of myself grow.

Life Seals Mapped out on Paper

A turning point in my spiritual growth came about during the 10-day Yoga Retreat from the Life Seals workshop.  My Life Seals created the opportunity to see, with a spiritual awareness, myself and my past mapped out on paper and allowed me to accept and acknowledge the strength and inner knowing that already existed within and to draw from that.  It allowed me to appreciate my journey.  This learning was happening when it was most needed to guide me through the grief of a critical event in my life.

Being able to see through the many layers of my grief and to recognize the Divine within, to know I could love myself and stand strong on my own, coupled with a reconnection of that childhood inner knowing were the gifts of the 10-day Yoga Retreat.  From that point onward it was celebration. I felt encouraged to make friends with Divine Mother, to learn of Her and to pray to Her.  Divine Mother has been walking with me ever since. The guidance through the teachings of Swami Radha enabled me to reflect and rediscover my childhood inner knowing, giving me the strength to nurture that understanding, and dance with my inner child setting her free.


Our next 10-day Yoga Retreat is July 22 – August 1st, 2010 – visit our website to register now or call us directly, toll-free: 1-800-661-8711


  1. Wow Sherri Jyoti! Bravo! What a beautiful surprise to see your smiling face on the ‘cover’ of Lightwaves (my new homepage ;-)). So I guess you’ll be there every time I go to browse email or anything, until there’s a new article. Nice :-) What a story!
    Hope you and Cierra are doing well, and to see you soon…
    Thanks for your courage in learning to live from your heart.
    Much love and light,
    Sylvia :-)=Tara

    Comment by Sylvia-Tara — July 13, 2010 @ 7:31 pm

  2. What what a beautiful story…. I love it cause I did the YDC with cierra and what a blessing to have her mother there to join in the light… i also got to have my mom come and visit during the YDC which was a great opportunity to share and learn alone, but along a similar path. thanks for the sharing and light to you both. Paula.

    Comment by paula richardson — August 2, 2010 @ 5:32 am

  3. Thank you Sylvia-Tara and Paula for taking the time to read and comment on my article. Very much appreciated. There isn’t anything more special, in my mind, than having a close and beautiful relationship with one’s daughter. I consider myself outrageously lucky. And being able to share our spiritual journey together is the icing on the cake. We are heading up to the ashram next week for the AGM and the Celebration of Light. I can hardly wait! Sylvia, I hope you are up there and we can meet again. And Paula, if you plan to be there, I look forward to saying hello.
    Much light and love

    Comment by Jyoti — August 3, 2010 @ 11:27 am

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