Ananda Meditation Retreat is located 25 miles northeast of downtown Nevada City and lies adjacent to the Inimim Forest along the San Juan Ridge in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California. The Retreat sits on a hilltop that was known as sacred ground for the indigenous people of the Sierra, the Maidu Indians and includes 72 acres of both natural wild and gardened forested land. It has been in operation for more than 45 years as a hermitage and now a place of pilgrimage. There are five acres of lush meditation gardens, ponds and fountains that create such a refreshing environment that guests are often heard to say that they “don’t want to leave.”
The Ananda Meditation Retreat in Nevada City, California was founded by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of the great Yoga Master, Paramhansa Yogananda. Yogananda is the author of the best-selling spiritual autobiography, “Autobiography of a Yogi.” Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple followed a calling, which was also a dream of Paramhansa Yogananda, to build World Brotherhood Colonies.
Teachers at Ananda Meditation Retreat are all long time devotees of Paramhansa Yogananda and the lifelong students of his Self-realization teachings of Raja Yoga.
Sedona has long been known as a spiritual power center. This is because the power that emanates from the vortexes produces some of the most remarkable energy on the planet. This energy is the reason Sedona is full of people that are “on the path”, that is, people who have made a commitment to grow and become as much as they can spiritually. It is also the reason that such a large New Age community has sprung up in the Sedona area, bringing with it a variety of spiritual practices and alternative healing modalities, and it is the reason Sedona has sometimes been called a spiritual Disneyland.
A vortex is the funnel shape created by a whirling fluid or by the motion of spiraling energy. Familiar examples of vortex shapes are whirlwinds, tornadoes, and water going down a drain. A vortex can be made up of anything that flows, such as wind, water, or electricity. The vortexes in Sedona are swirling centers of subtle energy coming out from the surface of the earth.
There are four main energy vortexes in Sedona. The subtle energy that exists at these locations interacts with who a person is inside. The energy resonates with and strengthens the Inner Being of each person that comes within about a quarter to a half mile of it. This resonance happens because the vortex energy is very similar to the subtle energy operating in the energy centers inside each person. If you are at all a sensitive person, it is easy to feel the energy at these vortexes.
Sri Aurobindo Sadhana Peetham is a community dedicated to the practice of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga with a special emphasis on karma yoga (or selfless service). The ashram is situated on a three-acre homestead property with a 100-year-old house that doubled in size with a new addition completed in 2008. The building is surrounded by towering elms, a few oaks, and one majestic old pine tree. There are flower gardens and fruit trees, a swimming pool, and a tennis and basketball court. The immediate outlying areas are mainly vineyards and agricultural plots.
Sri Aurobindo born Aurobindo Ghose, was an Indian nationalist, philosopher, yogi, guru, and poet. He joined the Indian movement for independence from British rule, for a while became one of its influential leaders and then became a spiritual reformer, introducing his visions on human progress and spiritual evolution. Sri Aurobindo developed a method of spiritual practice he called Integral Yoga.
Sri Aurobindo’s teaching states that this One Being and Consciousness is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the method by which it liberates itself; consciousness appears in what seems to be inconscient, and once having appeared is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Supermind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection.
Sri Aurobindo Sadhana Peetham – sasp.collaboration.org
Sri Aurobindo – wikipedia.org
The Isha Institute of Inner-sciences is a breathtaking mountain retreat providing stress relief, rejuvenation and outdoor recreation located just 45 minutes outside of Chattanooga. The retreat is a world-class yoga center offering classical yoga and meditation classes from beginner to advanced levels. Guests journey from around the globe to visit this unique destination to relax, reflect, and reconnect with nature in a tranquil oasis nestled in Tennessee’s spectacular Upper Cumberland. The Institute offers a variety of programs that provide methods for anyone to attain physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. It is a unique space created for human beings to deepen their experience of life, and to reach their ultimate potential.
Sadhguru, founder of Isha Foundation, is a yogi, mystic, and visionary humanitarian who works tirelessly towards the physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing of all. Sadhguru is a speaker and opinion maker who is widely sought after by prestigious global forums including the World Economic Forum, the United Nations, the World Presidents Organization, the British House of Lords, Tuck Executive Education, and TED, among many others.
“This life for me is an endeavor to help people experience and express their ultimate nature.” -Sadhguru. His mastery over the mechanisms of life, an outcome of his profound experience of the Self, serves as a guide in exploring the subtler dimensions of life. Rooted as strongly in mundane and pragmatic matters as he is in inner experience and wisdom, Sadhguru’s life and work serve as reminders that inner sciences are not esoteric philosophies from an outdated past, but a contemporary science, vitally relevant to our times.
Sadhguru – ishafoundation.org
The New Dharma Center is located in Washoe Valley, Nevada and is the primary residence of Sat Shree and many of his devotees. The center is situated approximately 20 miles south of Reno and 18 miles north of Carson City. Dharma Community House is located nearby with five permanent residents. Several other devotees also live in the area. The Washoe Valley Center is a residential program dedicated to assisting individuals in their spiritual progress. The individuals who live at the center have been invited by Sat Shree to live in a spiritual community and with the teacher for a period of time.
An architect and community activist living in Nevada, Sat Shree experienced a sudden awakening to the spiritual dimension of existence in 1998. This state arose suddenly without any effort on his part in the midst of an individual human life in one night in 1998. This ‘awakening’ was a glimpse of an utterly different and radical state of being that he now resides in. He is now the director of his New Dharma community in Nevada.
New Dharma is a ‘way’ to live in constant, immediate and direct relationship with the Divine principle that governs all existence. Its purpose is to reveal the eternal path for mankind that takes one from the personal to the impersonal, from the individual to the universal and back again. It shows how action can be transformed into a vigorous and integral expression of this Divine principle, the ‘Sat-chit-ananda’; Truth, Consciousness and Bliss.
Sat Shree – Buddha at the Gas Pump
Sat shree – New Dharma
Sunburst is a world community of practice dedicated to personal and planetary awakening, with headquarters at Sunburst Sanctuary north of Santa Barbara, California. The sanctuary encompasses 4000 acres of natural beauty, pristine meadows and oak-covered hills on California’s central coast. The sanctuary is available to facilitate spiritual education and support through workshops, meditation and devotional song circles, as well as classes and initiations in the universal science of Kriya Yoga: the science of uniting the soul with the Infinite Spirit. Endeavors also include exploring the principles of sustainable Earth stewardship through permaculture and organic gardening.
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) is considered one of the preeminent spiritual figures of modern times. Author of the best-selling spiritual classic, Autobiography of Yogi, this beloved world teacher came to America in 1920 and he is now widely recognized as the Father of Yoga in the West. He founded Self-Realization Fellowship (1920) and Yogoda Satsanga Society of India (1917).
Sunburst’s teachings of Self-realization are based upon the message of Paramahansa Yogananda’s direct disciple, founder Norman Paulsen, and the living guidance of Christ consciousness that Jesus exemplifies unceasingly. These great souls are active in these teachings today, as are many others from the living presence of I Am That I Am, the light of pure divine consciousness. Everyone, regardless of spiritual affiliation, can embrace these teachings in the temple of their own hearts, and draw closer to the Divine with each passing moment.
Sunburst Sanctuary – sunburst.org
Self-Realization Fellowship – Paramahansa Yogananda
Vajrapani Institute for Wisdom Culture is a California Tibetan Buddhist retreat center located in the Santa Cruz Mountains in Boulder Creek, California, USA. The Institute is set in 70 acres of spectacular redwood forest. Being quiet and remote, but also relatively close to major cities and airports, Vajrapani is an ideal setting for solitary private meditation retreat, group retreats, and conferences. Vajrapani is an extremely blessed setting and has been visited over the years by many Holy Beings including a visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1989. As a result of this, institute provide a rare and sacred space for spiritual healing and growth.
Vajrapani Institute is a California Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Center, founded in 1977 by Lama Thubten Yeshe, his heart disciple, Lama Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, and a group of extremely dedicated students. The Institute is affiliated with the (FPMT) Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, a world-wide organization of over 130 retreat centers, teaching centers, monasteries, nunneries, hospices, schools, and publishing houses.
According to Vajrayana Buddhist philosophy, the state of full spiritual enlightenment is characterized by three qualities: limitless compassion, limitless wisdom, and limitless skillful means. Vajrapani (depicted left) is the Buddha of Skillful Means. He represents the ability to enter into any situation, no matter how unpromising, and transform it into a path of spiritual fulfillment and benefit for all. Because he conquers the forces of harm and negativity without mercy, he is depicted as wrathful.
What is Vajrapani – vajrapani.org
Vajrapani Institute – retreatfinder.com
Mount Madonna Center is a conference and retreat center located on 355 acres of mountain-top redwood forest and grassland overlooking Monterey Bay, between Santa Cruz and Monterey, in Northern California. The community is designed to nurture the creative arts and the health sciences within a context of personal and spiritual growth, inspired by Baba Hari Dass and sponsored by the Hanuman Fellowship, a group whose talents and interests are unified by the common practice of Yoga. They offer a supportive community atmosphere for relaxation, reflection, and a wide variety of learning experiences. Program participants are invited to join in all ongoing center activities – celebration, work, and play. Amenities include hiking trails, volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts, a pond for swimming, a hot tub, a gymnasium for volleyball and basketball, and bodywork at the Kaya Kalpa Wellness Center.
Born near Almora, India in 1923 Baba Hari Dass left home at the tender age of eight to begin his study and practice. Before coming to the USA in 1971 at the request of several young students, he completed the traditional vows of a Vairaagi Vishnava (qualified non-dualism). Babaji is first and foremost a master yogi, having practiced the disciplines of yoga from childhood. Although Babaji no longer makes public appearances, his lifelong example of peacefulness encourages regular practice of his teachings.
It is from this classical grounding that Baba Hari Dass taught ancient scriptures of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Bhagavadgita, and Samkhya Karika as well as the philosophy and practices of Ashtanga Yoga, Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Gyan Yoga, and Tantra Yoga. Mount Madonna Center is inspired by the example and teachings of Baba Hari Dass and dedicated to the principles and practices of yoga. The center aspires to create an environment for the attainment of peace.
A Conference, Retreat and Yoga Center – mountmadonna.org
Pleasant Valley Sanctuary is located on a secluded and truly charming stretch of the Sierra Nevada foothills in Northern California. Founded by Jamie Van Ess and Naomi Palmer, it is small, spiritual community living their highest ideals and sharing that process with others. Living off-grid since 2002 has allowed them to develop their own harmonious, workable homesteading model, that is centered around authentic experience of the Divine through meditation and yoga. There are number of sacred spaces on-site, including the main temple and a private cave, that carry a very deep vibration from many hours of intense meditation over the years. They welcome those who want to experience the gifts of such a lifestyle for work exchanges or internships.
The teachings and lineage of Paramahansa Yogananda are emphasized at Pleasant Valley Sanctuary. They love all true masters and saints and incorporate teachings from other yoga lineages and modern spiritual teachers. They are a spiritually committed community with a cooperative spirit.
Pleasant Valley Sanctuary hosts a variety of meditation retreats, workshops and silent retreats, led by experienced teachers. From Raja yoga and Kriya yoga intensive retreats, to Vedic astrology workshops, their community of practitioners offer a range of insights into the path of spiritual awakening.
Pleasant Valley Sanctuary – pleasantvalleysanctuary.com
The California Vipassana Center, in North Fork, CA, is dedicated to the practice of Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka. The center is in the Sierra foothills south of Yosemite. It is a four hour drive from San Francisco and a five hour drive from Los Angeles, with bus, rail, and air connections an hour away in Fresno. Stands of oak, pine, cedar, and manzanita occupy the bulk of the 109-acre site, and are complemented by a tranquil pond and a broad meadow. Wildlife abounds. A newly constructed meditation hall accommodates up to 120 students; other recent additions include a teachers’ residence and accommodations for meditators working long-term at the center.
Mr. Goenka was born and raised in Myanmar (Burma). While living there, he had the good fortune to come into contact with Sayagyi U Ba Khin and to learn the technique of Vipassana from him. After receiving training from his teacher for 14 years, Mr. Goenka settled in India and began teaching Vipassana in 1969. In a country still sharply divided by differences of caste and religion, the courses offered by Mr. Goenka soon attracted thousands of people from every part of society.
Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living. This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.
About Dhamma Mahavana – mahavana.dhamma.org
Mr. S.N. Goenka – dhamma.org