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Giving Back to the Circle | Lightwaves
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Giving Back to the Circle

March 5, 2009 by claire
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Janet Bond - Circle of Sustainability supporter!“It isn’t necessarily the amount or even type of contribution I make that helps sustain these teachings; it is the spirit of giving, the sincerity and concern for others’ well-being and most importantly, the way I embody what I’ve learned that keeps the spirit of Swami Radha alive and growing in me.”

Janet Bond has been coming to the Ashram for over 15 years. She attended the Yoga Development course in 2005 and supports many of the Ashram’s fundraising efforts—publishing, buildings, and programs. We caught up with her recently at Radha Yoga and Eatery in Vancouver. Asked why she supports Swami Radha’s teachings, Janet had this to say:


My life has changed radically since I was introduced to Swami Radha’s teachings in the early ‘90s and I want others, particularly young people, to have the same learning opportunities I’ve had. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Swami Radha shaped the course of my life from the minute I encountered her Diary to the many ways in which her practices have become the foundation for my thoughts and actions. As a householder, I have really appreciated the presence of a Radha House and now Radha Yoga and Eatery in my community to support what can often be a solitary journey. The classes, books and tapes have created the refuge I’ve needed, providing the company and encouragement of like-minded spiritual seekers.

young adults participating in karma yoga at the ashramThis sense of refuge has inspired me to give back both financially and through teaching classes at home and at Radha Yoga and Eatery. I’ve been able to provide others with the learning opportunities that were created for me. In particular, I want youth to have a place where they can explore their values and act upon their ideals, so providing funds for internships has become an important aspect of my giving.

I have come to realize that it isn’t necessarily the amount or even type of contribution I make that helps sustain these teachings; it is the spirit of giving, the sincerity and concern for others’ well-being and most importantly, the way I embody what I’ve learned that keeps the spirit of Swami Radha alive and growing in me.

To explain how all this came about, twenty years ago a major shift occurred for me when we experienced a recession in Alberta and much of my sense of identity was taken away with the loss of material and financial security. The recession occasioned a move from Alberta to Toronto and, when things there didn’t go as planned, back across the country to Vancouver. All these socio-economic changes and the moves that went with them triggered a fundamental change in how I saw myself.

raj, standing tall.It began to dawn on me that my security could not depend on outer circumstances or things but had to come from an inner core of strength and courage to face and learn from adversity. So, in retrospect, I see the hand of what I now call my divine committee operating even then. I began a search for what had heart and meaning, and this soon led me to Swami Radha’s teachings. Swami Radha came into my life in the early ‘90s when a friend and librarian handed me her book Radha: Diary of a Woman’s Search to take on vacation. It couldn’t have come at a better time: my questioning had led me into the spiritual marketplace and I felt a need for someone to guide me through all the different options that a progressive city like Vancouver had to offer. I cannot overemphasize the power her words had to compel me onward in my spiritual journey.

Determined to meet this inspiring teacher, I called Yasodhara Ashram and learned they were soon opening a Radha House in Vancouver. Fall of 1992 saw me commencing classes and workshops at the House in Burnaby, and Swami Radha’s teachings and practices became a regular part of my daily routine. This ultimately led to both a Masters in Transpersonal Psychology (after hearing Swami Radha’s tape on Woman’s Place in Today’s World) and the advanced teacher training at the Ashram that I recently completed.

I’m now teaching at Radha Yoga and Eatery and giving back in whatever way I can. I’m glad my financial support can help others find the same sense of personal security and purpose in their lives that I’ve found through the teachings of Swami Radha.

***

The Ashram has set up the Circle of Sustainability as a way to sustain Swami Radha’s work and ensure that her teachings carry on in the world.  By donating on a regular, monthly basis, circle members are creating a solid and sustainable base of financial support for all of the work at the Ashram, including the Young Adult Program and the Ashram’s sustainability initiatives. Click here to find out how you can join the Circle of Sustainability.


No Comments »

  1. Thank you for your story. It sure shows how the power of her words can help with the foundation building and the sustenance to keep going.
    Hari Om

    Comment by Janet Gaston — March 8, 2009 @ 6:39 pm

  2. Thank you for the reminder of where our real security comes from. Hari Om

    Comment by Danuta Karpinska — March 11, 2009 @ 5:55 am

  3. Thank you Janet for your example as an inspiring yogini making the world a better place. Om Om

    Comment by Terri — March 24, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

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