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Rad'a Awakening in the East

June 23, 2009 by Lightwaves


The old ascent offices in Montreal are being transformed, and Trine Mikkelsen is acting as a midwife of sorts – helping to bring into being a vision of a shared work and practice space centered around the values of Yoga.  She takes us on a journey into the present and future of the rad’a Montreal community space as it re-emerges.

I still remember the first Monday morning in the office after the ascent group had officially left the building. It was with a very strange feeling that I sat down behind my desk and listened… looked around… so quiet, no movement, just me and what all of a sudden seemed like a very big building!

Well, this was weeks ago, and the building and I (with the help of some of the old ascent gang) have now moved into the next stage of project “rad’a it’s all yoga community.”  Inspired by that great headline on the last ascent magazine, we are in a process of transforming our beautiful Montreal building into a community based on the values of yoga.

yogaroomFor those who have never been to Rad’a  Montreal I want to explain what our building looks like. It is a big picturesque building in the center of the Plateau – a  prime culture spot and a very pretty and cozy area of Montreal. The ground floor is a big yoga studio with dark wooden floors and white molded ceiling. Next to the yoga studio is a garage, recently renovated with heated floors and beautiful white walls. On top of this entire space is a big apartment where the ascent offices use to be, which houses space for 7 individual offices, 2 communal spaces and a big kitchen.

As you walk in you see a lot of dust and walls being repaired. Furniture has been moved and everything which is not needed anymore has been removed. Karen, Vienna and I are all together in one office, with Alicia and Dan balancing out the space in their office at the other end. Between those two points, Luke – our neighbor, friend, and renovations guy – is working his magic, giving rad’a a beautiful makeover, so that her perfect inside is also visible on the outside.  Once he is done preparing all the walls, ceiling, doors and floors from basement to roof  we will have a Karma Yoga day (or two) to do all the painting. Right now we are planning it for the end of June. (You are hereby invited!)

Downstairs in the yoga studio we are having classes most days from 4 pm to 9 pm. There are 6 teachers in total. We all seem to work well together, and a joint feeling of responsibility and care for the space is growing. Some weekends there are events happening in the studio. We have had film showings, storytelling, workshops, and even a funeral, and next month we will host a wedding – so we truly embrace all parts of life in full union!

On the foundation of this image, please follow me on a visual journey into the future – I want you to see what rad’a will be like in a few months…

Enterance…You walk down the street and see a beautiful old building. The name over the main door is rad’a. Outside on the street you see a menu sign with colorful crayon writing explaining what is happening today and with a quote-of-the-day from Swami Radha. You also see people laughing and talking in the sun just leaving or coming to a class. You walk through the door into a light-filled studio, with plants, a tea area, a sofa and library full of books and magazines. People are hanging out, drinking tea, reading and talking.

The studio is a two-part space with the big communal studio first and then, at the end, the rad’a studio. As you enter into the rad’a studio you see a small intimate space with an altar, pillows, blankets, the kundalini charts, white boards, paper, crayons and candles. (I feel Swami Radha’s teachings bring you to a very personal and reflective place, and I like the idea of having a space for smaller dream/kundalini and HLHY classes.  The overall idea is to create a multi purpose room – a rad’a yoga studio and workshop space in the evenings and weekends and a day meeting room for the upstairs offices. Also we can come down there as a group during the day and reflect together or have powwows.)

Now it is time for us to venture upstairs…  as you come to the top of the stairs you hear and feel the buzz of people working, talking, making tea, sitting around in their individual offices or in the communal areas on the sofas with their laptops on their… well, laps.

Everyone here is a member of rad’a a community workspace – a shared workspace based on the values of yoga. These are people with their own business who instead of sitting by themselves want to be part of a community. We have come together because we all want to work in an environment where we can nurture imagination, inspiration and mindfulness, where we work on letting go of expectations and pre-conceived notions, acknowledge the efforts and accomplishments of each other, value shared inquiry and learning, and create processes that develop the whole person – mind, body and spirit. We reflect together, share our business visions, cook together and use each other as sounding boards to develop new insights…


Do you see it?

I am realizing bit by bit that this is very much a multi-lane highway project, where the practical renovations, and all the ‘what goes where, what do we need to function’ runs parallel with thoughts like ‘who is rad’a, what are our values, our mission, what culture do we want to create, and how do we want to work together?’ There is so much potential here, a true feeling of spring and new beginnings. We feel very much sustained by Divine Light, and we are definitely growing into it. We invite every one of you to come by and see for yourself!

Any great ideas for logos or descriptive names for this building (we are of course keeping rad’a), or ideas in general, please mail to info@radamontreal.com

OM Ganesh



No Comments »

  1. Namaste, Trine and thanks for sharing the rad’a Montreal’s founnding. Your description/photos lead us to see and imagine and feel the good foundational energies you are building together there. It’s good to see you nurturing the teachings in this project. I remember you from the ashram in 2004 – where we participated together in the seals weekend with Swami Shivananda and Swami Yasodananda – and you shared your beautiful photos. Wish I could join your project! May your work reveal and add blessings to the community! Annette from Chicago.

    Comment by Annette — June 23, 2009 @ 11:25 pm

  2. Hi Trine
    This a great post, that really shows how much can be done in a very short time using the Kundalini. I am very impressed with the pictures of the place, which seem to be quite transformed since my last visit. I hope you will keep us updated, because your work in manifesting the teachings in Montreal is very important. Great job so far and I look forward to visiting the beautiful space in a couple of weeks.

    Comment by Bjarke — June 24, 2009 @ 11:43 pm

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