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 puja, in addition to serving as a focus for devotion, has come to include layers of nuanced philosophy and what might be called ‘yogic technology’ for lack of a better term. Puja in the Hindu tradition centers around the idea that the infinite, all-pervading Divine, the source of all being, can choose to appear in one particular place, and image when invoked/requested by the one who performs the puja and the ones who attend.

There are many kinds of puja. In fact, in the wonderfully eclectic and inclusive Indian spiritual tradition, there are many ways of doing the same puja! In this intensive we will be talking about the puja associated with the Divine Mother. We will talk about the power of mantra and the sound universe, the subtle forms of divinity known as yantra/mandala, the 2 very powerful meditations that are part of the puja, and the order and meaning of the parts of the puja. We won’t be teaching you how to do it yourself as that usually requires formal initiation by a qualified teacher. Please come and join us if you are interested in entering into the world of the Divine Mother and her worship.

Here is a more detailed program for the retreat:
Puja Retreat The Play of Form and Formlessness

Each session to begin with a meditation from the puja 1. Dhyana Mantra 2. Bhuta shuddhi 3. Manasa puja

1st session-The Divine Mother the the multiverse-the setting for puja
Shakti/Shiva
SRK-Brahman and shakti not different
Emanation from subtle to physical
Mantra, Yantra,Murti: vibration from subtle to physical
Sacred Space and Purity-the concept
Creating sacred space
Mudras/sacred hand “language”

2nd session- As above, so below
The idea that god can be present in a special way-prana pratishtha
The connection between subtle world/forces and the body
The goddess invoked in the altar of the body- chakras and nyasa

3rd session- The Queen of the Universe in heart and home
Invoking Her presence
The actual worship of the Mother
Manasa Puja Worship of the Mother in the heart
Calling the Mother into the Image
The Offerings
She returns to the formless

If you wish to attend this retreat as a day visitor please register by sending an email or calling us. Email: info@ridgely.org Phone: 845 687-4574

If you wish to register as an overnight guest please go to ridgely.org and fill out the overnight application.

WINTER IS OVER: THE RETREAT IS OPEN

As of Monday, March 25, the retreat will is open to day visitors. On April 1 we will resume taking overnight guests. If you are coming as a day visitor you must call us first to make sure we have someone available to give you a tour. This is a residence and a retreat center, not a museum. You need one of us to take you on a tour through the buildings. We are happy to do that. Please be aware that we do most of the work here ourselves and do not have someone always available tours at any hour. We need to work them in with our other responsibilities.Please call us in advance.

If you would like to stay at the retreat overnight, you will find the online application in the Visit section. Please be aware that we do not allow children under the age of 17 to stay overnight at the retreat. Please send us your application or call us to make a reservation at least 5 days in advance.

We look forward to seeing you here at Vivekananda Retreat this year!

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 TO COME HERE IF YOU WANT TO VISIT.IT’S BETTER TO CALL AT LEAST A DAY IN ADVANCE. We are happy to schedule tours but not when the retreat is closed. Overnight guests need to make reservations at least 5 days in advance. Please go to our Visit page and fill out the overnight retreat form at the end of the section.

Please be aware that we are not a museum.It is not possible to just walk in and see the place without one of us acting as tour guide. We live here as well. We do enjoy giving tours but please be aware that the people here have many other responsibilities and may not be available. That is why we ask you to call ahead to schedule a time that works for all.

We will begin our programs again in the spring as soon as the snow and ice disappear. Our first program of 2019, as of now, will be a retreat given by Swami Sarvapriyananda on April 6. Topic to be announced. If you wish to sign up for our email newsletter, there is a link here on our website.

We hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Retreat w/Swami Nikhileshwarananda November 24 10:30-4 Vedanta In Everyday Life

We are happy to welcome back Swami Nikhileshwarananda, the Head of the Ramakrishna Math and Mission Center in Rajkote, India. He will be giving a one-day retreat. Here is a tentative schedule:

10:30-1 Morning session
1pm. Lunch
2-4pm. Afternoon session

All are welcome to attend this program. If you wish to stay overnight, please go to our website, ridgely.org and fill out the overnight application. You will find it in the Visit section. We do require that reservations be made at least 5 days in advance. Please be aware that we do not allow children under the age of 17 to stay overnight at the retreat.

Please be aware that we are now experiencing winter conditions here at the retreat. If there is a snowstorm on the 24th we will cancel this event.

Retreat w/Swami Sarvapriyananda October 6 10:30-4:30

We are happy to announce that Swami Sarvapriyananda, Minister in Charge of the Vedanta Society of New York, will be returning to Ridgely to give a one-day retreat. His subject is Waking to Awakening, based on the Mandukya Upanishad- discovering the Self by analyzing waking, dreaming and deep sleep state of consciousness.

We are limiting the number of attendees for this retreat to 50. We have already given first chance to sign up to our local friends. There are 30 spaces left. If you wish to attend you must sign up by emailing me: gitaprana@ridgely.org. Give me your name and your phone #. DAY VISITORS MUST SIGN UP.

OVERNIGHT VISITORS: There are a few spaces left in both the women’s and men’s retreat houses. If you wish to attend as an overnight visitor please go to ridgely.org and fill out the overnight application. You will find it at the end of the Visit section. Once we receive your email application, we will contact you to finalize. Please remember that w do not allow children under the age of 17 to stay overnight at the retreat.

DAY VISITORS, SIGN UP. OVERNIGHT VISITORS, EMAIL US YOUR APPLICATION. DO IT NOW!
Swami Sarvapriyananda is a very well-known speaker and these spaces will fill up quickly. Once the spaces, both overnight and day visitors, are filled we will be placing all others on a waiting list.

Ridgely’s 2018 regular schedule (not the weekend retreat schedule)

As always, we consider our weekly schedule at the beginning of our spring season-what is working for us, what is not. Here is the schedule that will go into effect AFTER April 15.

SUNDAYS 10:30-12 Bhagavad Gita class
12-1` Chandi chanting and reading

SATURDAYS (The schedule will alternate activities. You will need to consult the Ridgely calendar on our website.)

VOLUNTEER SATURDAYS

Now that spring might be around the corner, we will be starting up our outside work and we need volunteers to help us. What are we doing? We have a large organic vegetable garden and many flower borders, all maintained by Gitaprana with the help of volunteers. We have a shrine trail complete with labyrinth that needs regular care. We have 3 houses that take a beating during the winter and need paint touch-ups. We also have inside cleaning jobs.

This year we are considering training some volunteers to be tour guides for the many day visitors we have during the warm months. Every year we are happy to have more and more visitors and we love giving tours. The “downside” to this is that, with the increase in visitors, we are, more and more, pulling our own staff members away from work that needs to be done.
If you have an interest in Ridgely and it’s history and would like to share it with our guests on tour, please let us know.

WE WILL BE DESIGNATING 2 SATURDAYS PER MONTH AS VOLUNTEER DAYS BUT YOU MAY VOLUNTEER ANYTIME. JUST GIVE US A CALL.

MEDITATION SATURDAYS- please check our calendar for these events.

We are going to try to bring back our silent meditation retreats in modified form. Once a month we will hold a silent meditation morning from 9:30-1pm followed by a silent lunch.

e are also going to try a new kind of meditation-a forest hike. One Saturday a month, we will gather at Ridgely (with a bag lunch and hiking clothes) and go for a hike somewhere in the area-the Catskills, Minnewaska etc. Don’t worry-we will choose hikes that aren’t too strenuous ! The idea is to spend time in quiet reflection in nature.

Vivekananda Retreat is Open, Weather Permitting

It is almost Spring here at the retreat. Currently there is no snow or ice so we will be allowing visitors on a limited basis. If you wish to visit YOU MUST CALL IN ADVANCE. Our weather could change back to snow and ice at any time and, quite frankly, we do not want visitors here when this happens. Our first retreat is scheduled for April 15th w/ Swami Chetanananda, Head of the Vedanta Society of St. Louis. See our blog for the schedule and topic.