Our primary mission is to be a community of disciples collectively practicing the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother in our day to day life. As this yoga does not proceed according to a structured outward method, but rather by a subtle and flexible inward process that varies over time and from one person to the next, there are relatively few standard activities that characterize us. The unique feature of our community life is inward, we each try to maintain and strengthen our relation with the Divine in all of our activities. But to the outward view, we generally spend our days working either at our business office located on the premises, at our warehouse in Lodi, or on other tasks related to the physical maintenance and development of the Ashram. Another important activity that brings us together both physically and spiritually is our evening meditation from 8:00-8:30 p.m. The meditations usually begin with a short devotional song or some chanting, a short reading, and about 15 minutes of silence.
Another regular activity that strengthens our group cohesion is a study circle held on Saturday evenings from 8:00-9:00 p.m. For this, we read and discuss a selected work of The Mother or Sri Aurobindo. Our current study group is focusing on The Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo's Teaching and Method of Practice . On the week of the monthly retreat (described next), however, we do not hold the study circle, having instead the special retreat activities.
Our monthly collective retreats, held on the third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. until about 9 p.m., help keep us connected with others in the area who are interested in the yoga. The retreats usually are attended by 25-30 friends from the Bay area, Silicon Valley, and Sacramento, as well as occasional visitors from other areas. Each retreat is centered on a theme, which varies from month to month. Each month a different individual organizes the activities focused on the theme. In addition to specific activities centered on the theme, regular retreat activities include meditation, chanting, karma yoga (work dedicated to the Divine), and a potluck lunch and dinner. To see a schedule of our retreat events and evening meditations or to see an example of a program for previous retreat, check out our calendar. You can subscribe to receive a monthly announcement describing the retreat theme and activities by calling or writing.
We also unite in our observation of the Darshan days, days of special significance in which Sri Aurobindo and/or the Mother would appear before their disciples. Generally we hold a special evening meditation at 8:00 p.m. on these days, but on some Darshan days special programs are held at other times of the day. Visitors should arrange visits on these days in advance.
Observed Darshan and other special days are as follows:
Jan. 01: New Year's Eve (Dec. 31 10:30 p.m. - 12:00 midnight)
Feb. 21: The Mother's Birthday
Feb. 29: Supramental Manifestation Day (Golden Day)
Apr. 24: The Mother's Final Arrival Day in Pondicherry
Aug. 15: Sri Aurobindo's Birthday
Nov. 17: The Mother's Mahasamadhi
Nov. 24: The Siddhi Day
Dec. 5: Sri Aurobindo's Mahasamadhi
If you are interested in joining us for a Darshan program, monthly retreat, Saturday study circle, evening meditation, or other visit, please arrange your visit in advance either by calling (209) 339-1342 Ext. 5 or sending an email to dakshina.sasp @ gmail.com.