Giving back is a circle

April 19, 2008 by Lightwaves

marleen_1.jpgMarlene Roza talks about the teachings that have changed her life. She says, “I am no longer just surviving— instead I am thriving and I am grateful for the joy of my life.”

I have been taking courses at the Ashram for 20 years and I did my first Yoga Development Course in 1998. From this experience I took the principal that “selfless service will make you Divine” into my legal practice in Calgary. One colleague described my transformation as having deconstructed and reconstructed myself. To my surprise, more interesting senior work and international work in addition to improved work relationships were being offered back to me.

In gratitude for what I received I have been donating money to the Ashram so the Teachings that have benefited me so abundantly can be sustained and continue. This practice of spiritualizing my paid work has expanded my heart and mind into an attitude of generosity not only for the Teachings but for other situations in my life.

In further gratitude I offered the Teachings in Calgary as a Radha yoga teacher, which in turn motivates me to continue with my hatha and other spiritual practices. Again, this offering gives me a healthy body and mind and inspires me to keep going. My good physical health has contributed to my enjoyment of more challenging hiking and skiing in the Rocky Mountains which remind me of the presence of the Divine. My healthy mind helped me make good choices in my relationships so that I avoided repeating painful past mistakes.

I know now from learning about the Ashram’s Circle of Sustainability program that I too have been practicing personal sustainability, which has enriched me on all levels as my offerings just keep offering back to me.

Ashram student fees cover the costs of the quality food, accommodation and classes however, the supporting infrastructure relies on donations. Consequently, the Ashram’s Circle of Sustainability (COS) was initiated in 2007 to fund projects that are not funded by student fees. The COS subsidizes

(i) young adults (ages 18-30) so that they are able to take classes at the Ashram,

(ii) Timeless books, CDs and DVDs and award winning Ascent magazine which all have a far reaching effect and attract diverse people to the Ashram and

(iii) environmental sustainability which is reducing the Ashram’s footprint on the planet.

05_blds_barn_ext_04.jpgFor example, the environmental sustainability program is initially cash intensive but results in significant financial savings in the future and in immediate energy savings. An example of sustainability is the state-of-the-art environmental lodging constructed on the foundation once used for the Ashram barn. The Barn is geothermally heated, relies on solar energy to heat most of the hot water, on light tubes to allow natural light into the interior of the building, has low flush toilets which use less than half the water of conventional toilets and has bamboo flooring which is a grass that matures in 3-1/2 to 7 years compared to the oak’s 120 year maturity cycle. Mandala House, the most utilized building, has just installed its $110,000 geothermal system which will translate into saving the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from 15 cars driving 20,000 kms/yr.

If 1,000 people donate $25.00 or more a month the Ashram will meet its Circle of Sustainability objectives. Currently 125 people have already committed to regular donations to the Circle of Sustainability. We invite you to become part of the Circle of Sustainability. Click here to learn how.

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