Ridgely is closed to all visitors

Dear Friends,

Vivekananda Retreat Ridgely will remain closed to all visitors for the entire month of July. This is still because of the Covid-19 pandemic. If all goes well in NY we are looking at a very limited re-opening with HUGE restrictions some time in the month of July. We will let you know. Until then, please don’t visit us! We miss our usual summer rush, but this is the way of the world this year. We need to protect our staff and our visitors and, until we feel confident that this is possible, we will remain completely closed. We don’t see any organized retreats with visiting speakers happening in the near future because of space and gathering restrictions that will probably be in place all year.

There are some benefits to this time fraught with uncertainty and anxiety. One of them is the explosion of wonderful online teachings and talks as spiritual organizations have moved their presence to the internet. I suggest you check them out. In fact, I suggest that you limit your exposure to the news and, instead, listen/watch a talk or participate in a Zoom class.

We all know the problem with the news. We need to stay informed without going down the rabbithole into a worldview of endless disaster and unbelievably negative behaviors on display. We may think that this is the way we keep focused on the larger picture, but , if we really pay attention, we will find ourselves feeling totally enraged and disheartened. We will not find Oneness in the news.

As the pandemic drags on, we may find our spiritual life lying in shreds on the floor, as it were. All inspiration and motivation is lost and we feel numb. I would guess that this might be the experience of quite a few people, especially if you live in a place like New York City where the death toll and the horrible consequences of severe illness are all around you, sirens wailing through empty city streets. It is your relatives, your friends on those gurneys, in the morgue. And it just drags on and on…no job, no money , limited friendly contact……Remember, everyone is experiencing some form of anxiety. Remember you are not alone. These are not normal times.

When our spiritual life is hanging in the balance there are a few things we can adjust. One is to find a friend of like mind and talk/study together. Another is to look for a fresh view of your spiritual life. That’s where all the online classes come in handy. Try a new approach with an open mind. If you have been devotionally oriented, listen to a different teacher or challenge yourself to listen to an Advaitic talk or a devotional teaching from another tradition. Break down some barriers in your mind. And visa versa-if you consider yourself an Advaitin, try some devotional practices. “Chant the name of the Lord and His glories unceasingly”.

Many teachers have recommended spiritualizing an activity you love. When the usual practices seem useless and uninspiring, your love for this activity will keep you going. Do you love walking in nature, music, painting, working on cars? Collecting stamps? Writing? Building things? Gardening? Make that into a spiritual practice. You will know how to do it. As Swami Vivekananda said, “Your religion is between you and your God.”

And, above all, stay connected, stay on the Blessing Bandwidth, keep reaching out and doing the next right thing.

With Love, 

Jai Ma,

Gitaprana

Ridgely is now closed until winter conditions improve

       Every winter we close the retreat due to the build-up of snow and ice on our internal roads. As of today, Dec. 3, we are closed until conditions improve. Depending on the winter, that could mean for a few weeks or it could mean all the way to March/April. We won’t be allowing any … Continue reading Ridgely is now closed until winter conditions improve

Retreat w/Swamis Sarvadevananda,Tyagananda,Atmajnanananda Nov. 15-16 Guidelines for Spiritual Life

Ridgely’s annual board meeting brings the benefit of being able to hold a retreat with these three sadhus. Swami Sarvadevananda is the Head Minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern Calif. Swami Tyagananda is the Head Minister of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Society in Boston. Swami Atmajnanananda is the Resident Minister of the Vedanta Center of … Continue reading Retreat w/Swamis Sarvadevananda,Tyagananda,Atmajnanananda Nov. 15-16 Guidelines for Spiritual Life

Fall Events at Ridgely

Friday, Oct. 4 Informal retreat with Swami Ishtananda 10:30-4 Swami Ishtananda , Head Minister of the Vedanta Society of St. Petersburg, FL, will be visiting Ridgely with a group of St. Petersburg friends during the first week of October. The beginning of October usually is also the beginning of the gorgeous display of Fall foliage … Continue reading Fall Events at Ridgely

Two Upcoming Retreats Aug. 3-4 and Aug. 31-Sept. 1

FOUR YOGA RETREAT AUG. 3-4 PRAVRAJIKAS BHAVANIPRANA, GITAPRANA, SHUDDHATMAPRANA, DIVYANANDAPRANA 10:30-4:30 We are happy to welcome 2 sannyasinis from Sri Sarada Math, India to Ridgely in August. Sri Sarada Math is the women’s independent monastic organization founded by the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 1954. The sisters in the West are not part of Sri … Continue reading Two Upcoming Retreats Aug. 3-4 and Aug. 31-Sept. 1

June 13-15 Retreat w/ Swami Sarvadevananda Amritabindu Upanishad

Swami Sarvadevananda, Head Minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern California (which also includes Ridgely), will be visiting from June 13 to 15. He will give a retreat on the Amritabindu Upanishad. Here is the schedule: June 13 7pm satsang June 14 10:30-4:30 3 sessions on the Amritabindu Upanishad (lunch included) June 15 10:30-1pm Final … Continue reading June 13-15 Retreat w/ Swami Sarvadevananda Amritabindu Upanishad

May 4: Retreat on the Meaning of Puja/Traditional Ritual with Pravrajika Gitaprana. 10:30-4:30

Ritual plays an important role in every religious and spiritual tradition. It is a way to link the individual seeker with Divine Reality in a particular setting, using an established ritual structure. In India, the ritual usually is called ‘puja’ and has been practiced in various forms for millennia. Over this vast amount of time … Continue reading May 4: Retreat on the Meaning of Puja/Traditional Ritual with Pravrajika Gitaprana. 10:30-4:30

Winter at Vivekananda Retreat

PLEASE NOTE: We are now in the winter season here at the retreat.During these winter months we do not schedule programs or events. We will remain open for visitors and retreatants until snow and ice make it impossible/unsafe to park or walk on our internal roads. PLEASE CALL AHEAD BEFORE YOU GET IN THE CAR … Continue reading Winter at Vivekananda Retreat