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Remembering Radha in Spokane

July 13, 2009 by Swami Durgananda

SpokaneOn a visit to Spokane, Swami Durgananda remembers precious times spent with Swami Radha during the last years of her life. “Being in Spokane’s Radha Yoga Center has been like coming home to my time with Swami Radha in 1995. And yet this is a new era and many changes have taken place. But the Peacock House, named for its colour, still holds the vibrant atmosphere – a mixture of softness and peace combined with the unexpected.”

When I walked into Swami Radha’s bedroom my eyes went to the altar with Tara in it on a table at the foot of swami Radha’s bed.  Did I really sleep on the floor between Tara and Swami Radha’s feet? How did I fit in that narrow space? Yet that is where I slept part of the time I was there.

I remember the room being very warm and I got a small fan that fit at the head of my mat. It was silent and gave enough breeze to make the temperature just right for sleeping. But I was always tuned in to Swami Radha’s movements in her bed and her call when she wanted to get up.

Now I have the privilege of sleeping here in her room and although it is not the same without her, I still feel a connection. Memories return of times with her. “Let’s have a cup of Durgananda coffee.” she would say. And I would make her some coffee, but I am sure it was like anyone else’s.
As I struggle now with buttoning up my blouse, I remember buttoning up her sweater and seeing her eyes following each move and then us smiling at each other.

When I first came into the living room this time, my eyes went to her desk. Across from her chair covered with her prayer shawl were two chairs, looking as if they were waiting for a meeting of two devotees with her. Many times I sat across from her, receiving the wisdom of her words. With the furniture remaining as it was then, the warmth and closeness of those times is alive for me.But Swami Radha was not one to remain stuck in the past. She knew what to value and use from the past but she was always making changes. She would have been thrilled with the transformation of the garage behind the Peacock House into a beautiful studio overlooking the valley below where the river winds among the trees and meadows.

The studio has a peaceful atmosphere echoing the chanting, satsangs, and classes of hatha yoga and dance that take place there. I was asked to lead some satsangs and also I was invited to a meeting of the center’s teachers who are actively contributing to the Work. They gathered to discuss the development of a series of TV shows of Swami Radha’s work, which are starting with hatha yoga. This gave me the opportunity of experiencing the openness of ideas that came forward with everyone contributing their thoughts. Neil and Swami Yasodananda have just completed the first one and more are to follow.

Om Om,
Swami Durgananda

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  1. Thank you Swami Durgananda for this lovely journey down memory lane, you make me feel as if i was there too and i always love to hear stories about Swami Radha because i never got to meet her myself i try and see her through the eyes of everyone who was part of her life.

    Hari Om


    Comment by Trine Mikkelsen — July 15, 2009 @ 12:07 pm

  2. What a lovely photo of the two of you! Thank you for your memories of being with Sw Radha. The stories really come alive for me.
    Jo Ann

    Comment by Jo Ann Hamm — July 15, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

  3. Thank you for sharing your precious memories of Swami Radha with us all. As ever, I find it brings her closer to me to hear of these personal experiences. It evokes gratitude for her and all our spiritual teachers everywhere.


    Comment by Joan Andre — July 17, 2009 @ 11:18 am

  4. Thank you for sharing your memories of time with Swami Radha. They are a special gift, as I didn’t have the experience of meeting her.

    Om Shanti


    Comment by Silver Frith — July 20, 2009 @ 11:16 am

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