Retreat Celebrating Ridgely’s 20th Anniversary Nov. 3-4

Swami Vivekananda’s 4 Yogas and How to Practice Them

Swami Sarvadevananda, Swami Tyagananda, Swami Atmajnanananda, Pr. Gitaprana, Pr. Shuddhatmaprana

We are celebrating our 20th year with a 2 day retreat and Indian Music concert as a way of saying thank you to all our friends and donors over the years. All are welcome! You may attend all or part of the retreat. It is not necessary to attend the retreat to attend the concert. If you wish to stay overnight, please send in your email application, found in the Visit section, ASAP.

Friday, Nov. 3
10:30 Intro by Gitaprana
11:00-1 Session 1 with Swami Atmajnanananda RAJA YOGA
1:00 Lunch
2:00-4 Panel informal discussion w/ all speakers: HOW WE PRACTICE KARMA YOGA and Q&A from the audience
6:00 Arati
7:00 Sarod/tabla concert by Apratim Majumder and Amit Chatterji. This concert is free as a way of thanking our friends both local and long distance.
Saturday, Nov. 4
10:30-1:00 Session 3 with Swami Tyagananda JNANA YOGA
1:00 lunch
2:00-4:00 Session 4 with Swami Sarvadevananda BHAKTI YOGA

Durga Puja Sept.23 / Retreat with Pravrajika Dayaprana Oct.7-8

Durga Puja

We will be performing our Durga Puja this coming Saturday. The puja begins at 10:30 but you can arrive and leave at any time during the celebration. Here is the rough schedule:

10:30 puja and kirtan
noon homa fire
1pm prasad meal

We are hoping that enough singers will attend so that we can simultaneously perform the puja and a kirtan. The kirtan will be performed for the Mother in memory of Sahaja, our former Ridgely staff member and friend, who was killed in an auto accident earlier this year. If you can lead bhajans and would like to participate, please RSVP.

Anyone can bring offerings/gifts for the Mother to the puja! Please remember that whatever you bring should be untouched. That means the offerings should not have been smelled, tasted, opened (if they are in a package) or put into containers that have been previously used to store leftovers, etc. The idea is that the offerings should be ‘enjoyed’ first by the Mother.If you are planning on bringing food for offering, please bring items that do not need to be heated up or cooked on site. We will not allow anyone but our designated helpers into the kitchen.

We are looking forward to our first celebration of the Mother season. Hope to see you on Saturday!

Upanishad Meditation Retreat with Pravrajika Dayaprana Oct. 7-8

We are happy to announce that Pravrajika Dayaprana, a sister of the Vedanta Society of So. Calif., will be visiting Ridgely for the first time. She will be conducting a meditation retreat in a format she has used many times in Los Angeles and Japan. It will be mostly silent with readings from the Upanishads followed by sessions of meditation. If you look at the schedule below you will see there is even a chance to practice calligraphy in the Japanese style.

What you need to know about Pravrajika Dayaprana is this: she is a multi-talented individual, who, many years ago, courageously left her home country of Japan and came to Los Angeles in order to devote her life to the teachings of Vedanta. She has faced many challenges learning a new language, living in a culture which is very different from the one she left, in addition to all the challenges monastic life offers to all of us who joined. We hope you will come and welcome Dayaprana to Ridgely and participate in this wonderful chance to look deeply into the heart of the Upanishads.

10:30 Introduction
Chanting
Meditation 1
About “Sun”. Prashna Upanishad 1
About “Prana” Prashna Up 2
About “OM”. Prashna Up 5
Chanting
1:00 Lunch & Free Time
1:45 Calligraphy (OM)
2:30 Meditation 2
About “OM” Prashna Up 5
About “Purusha”. Prashna Up 6
Chanting
3:35 Tea Time (Discussion)
4:00 End of Program
6:00 Arati
Part 2
6:00 Meditation
8:00 Walking Meditation (Optional)
Prashna Up 1
9:00 Free Time
10:30 Introduction
Chanting
Meditation 1
About “Our Waking, Dreaming, Sleeping States”

Prashna Up 4
Meditation on “Purusha”
Prashna Up 6
12:45 The Peace Chant
1:00 End of the Program

September 2-3 Retreat With Swami Yogatmananda “ Daydreaming and Meditation, the Vedantic and Jungian Approach”

We are happy to welcome Swami Yogatmananda back for our Labor Day weekend retreat. As many of you know, he has been conducting retreats here every Labor Day weekend, saving those with hurricanes and other pressing events! This year he will be speaking about daydreaming and meditation. He will look at this topic from both the Vedantic and the Jungian perspective. Sometimes meditators confuse the two! Our schedule will follow our usual format:

Saturday, September 2
10:30-1 first session
1-2 lunch
2-4 second session

Sunday September 3
10:30-1 third session
1pm lunch

All are welcome to attend. If you wish to stay overnight at the retreat please go to ridgely.org and fill out the online application found at the end of the “Visit” section. For those who wish to attend as day visitors, there is no charge for this program but please RSVP so we know how many people will be attending.

Retreat with Pravrajika Satchitprana: Bhagavad Gita Chapters 10-11 August 3-6 and 8-9

We are very happy to welcome Pravrajika Satchitpranaji, a senior nun of Sri Sarada Math in India, back to Ridgely this summer. Many of you know her from the previous inspiring retreats she has given here. Sri Sarada Math is the women’s monastic organization founded on the same principles and with the same mission as the Ramakrishna Math and Mission. Pravrajika Satchitprana , in addition to her work in India, travels overseas to many places, giving talks and talking to individual seekers.

The Bhagavad Gita retreat will be held in 2 installments with a break in between. Here is the schedule:

Aug. 3,4,5 and Aug. 8-9: 10:30-4:00 with a lunch break on each day
Aug. 6 10:30-1 this will be a half day with lunch but no afternoon program
Aug. 7 will be a rest day. Individual interviews w/Satchitpranaji will be scheduled for this day

Please join us for this wonderful opportunity to study with Satchitpranaji. As of right now, the overnight spaces in the women’s house are completely filled. We have space in the men’s house for 2 more retreatants. If you wish to reserve one of those spaces, please do so soon. If you wish to be put on a waiting list for the women’s house, please email us at info@ridgely.org.

If you will be joining us as a day visitor, please RSVP. This gives us an idea of how many people will be joining us for the lunches. As always, there is no charge for this retreat, although we do appreciate donations to help us with food costs.

If you have the opportunity, it is always a good idea to come to the retreat prepared by reading chapters 10 and 11 of the Bhagavad Gita beforehand. It’s not a requirement, but thinking about the teachings beforehand means the questions/discussion during the retreat will open the door for Satchitpranaji to really delve deeply into the subject.

Ridgely 2017 Calendar of Events

We have been organizing our 2017 schedule. Here it is as it stands today. There will be additions. This is a work in progress.

May 13   Swami Sarvapriyananda retreat “The Heart of Awareness”
June 25  Pravrajika Sevaprana retreat “Swami Vivekananda’s Ideal of Service”
July 4     Vedanta Society of New York Annual Retreat
August   Pravrajika Satchitprana, Sri Sarada Math (details to be announced)
Sept.       Labor Day retreat Swami Yogatmananda
Sept 24  Durga Puja
Oct. 19   Kali Puja
Nov.       Swami Sarvadevananda

In addition we always have our weekend classes:
Saturday 2:30 Svetashvatara Upanishad
Sunday 10:30 Bhagavad Gita

We will have volunteer Saturday mornings 2 days in April- 4/15 and 4/29. We would love it if we had some help with some of our outside tasks during the “on season”.

New Schedule For the Retreat This Year

We have modified our weekly schedule for this year.

 Saturdays 9:30-1  VOLUNTEER MORNING

One of the reasons we are doing this is to try to encourage our friends who visit us to consider volunteering on Saturday morning here at the retreat. We will work as a team, usually on one of 2 never-ending projects: prepping and painting sections of the outside of our 3 houses, and working in the various gardens. These are actually simple jobs that anyone can do. Please consider joining us. We are giving so many tours that we are not always able to get to our work here. If you do intend to help, PLEASE come dressed appropriately. That means long pants socks and good shoes, not sandals.If you have helped us that morning then please join us for lunch!

2:30-3:30pm  SVETASHVATARA  UPANISHAD CLASS

This will be an intensive, verse by verse study of the Svetashvatara Upanishad with Gitaprana, including group discussion and other activities. We may be podcasting this class.

SUNDAYS 9:30-10:30am CHANTING-DEVI MAHATMYAM AKA CHANDI

We will resume our Sunday activity of chanting/reading the Devi Mahatmyam and commentary.

10:30-12  BHAGAVAD GITA CLASS

Our ongoing Bhagavad Gita class is led by Gitaprana. It is a group-oriented study rather than a lecture series that moves verse by verse in an in-depth manner, focusing on what each verse has to say for people living today.

OUR FALL SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, OCT. 8 DURGA PUJA 11am -4pm

NOTE: We have changed the date from Oct. 9 to the 8th in case you noted it from our earlier emails.

We will worship the Divine Mother in Her form as Durga Devi with a simple puja/ritual worship, followed by a homa fire and then prasad. As always, music/bhajans/kirtan is provided by you, the attendees! Inviting all singers to make music offerings. You can also bring offerings of food or flowers provided that they are new. The idea here is that the goddess should be the first enjoyer of the taste, fragrance, form etc. If you are going to bring offerings please bring them at the beginning of the puja. All are welcome.

Retreat With Swami Atmavidyananda Oct. 15-16 on Creation

Swami Atmavidyananda is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order who lives, works and teaches at the Vedanta Society of So. Calif. and in the Los Angeles area. He is a multi-talented individual who combines Vedanta, science and music into his spiritual path. The retreats and talks that he gives incorporate this lifetime of study in wonderfully unique and interesting ways. We hope you will be able to attend all or part of this retreat and hear for yourself!

Please note: to accommodate Swami Atmavidyananda’s schedule the retreat will start Saturday afternoon instead of our usual morning start time.
Saturday, Oct. 15 3-5pm
Session one. Mythological models and Vibrational models
Part 1 Comparing world mythologies on creation.
Part 2 Seeing how sound, music, and vibration in general can be useful as a model of the universe and how this model influences spiritual practice.

Session 2.  7:30-9pm  – The Apparitional Universe – the Dobsonian Model
Part 1 Starting with the idea that we have mistaken the infinite, undivided unchanging Brahman for something else, what kind of a universe would we expect?
Part 2  What kind of spiritual practices fit with an apparitional universe model?
Sunday, Oct. 16 10am -noon

Session 3.  The Consciousness Model of the universe
“sarvam khalvidam brahma” All this is Brahman and
” prajñānam brahma”  Consciousness is Brahman.

Part 1  Problems with the materialist view of consciousness
Part 2   The Hindu view of consciousness and seeing consciousness everywhere.

12:30 Lunch

SATURDAY, OCT. 29 KALI PUJA 10pm-4am

This is our big, elaborate, all-night traditional worship of the Mother in Her form as Dakshina Kali. And the good news is, this time it’s on a Saturday night! So please come one and all! As always, we will provide places to rest after the puja, waiving the usual overnight fee. We hope to see you here!

The worship will begin at 10 when Gitaprana will explain a little about the process and the symbology of the puja. The worship itself usually requires 3-4 hours to complete. It will be followed by a homa fire and prasad. Again we invite all our singer/kirtan wallah friends to make offerings of music. And again, you may also bring other offerings-food (which you cooked at home or bought), flowers, perfume,make-up, jewelry. During this ceremony we offer these items to the Mother.

PLEASE NOTE: WE WILL NOT ALLOW YOU TO USE OUR KITCHENS. IF YOU ARE GOING TO BRING FOOD, YOU MUST PREPARE IT AT HOME.

NOVEMBER 8-9

SWAMI SARVADEVANANDA and SWAMI ATMAJNANANANDA RETREAT
topic to be announced

April 15-17, 2016 Retreat w/Swami Sarvadevananda “Katha Upanishad”

We are happy to announce that Swami Sarvadevananda, Head Minister of the Vedanta Society of So. California (and also Ridgely), will be visiting us in April. He will be givinga retreat on the Katha Upanishad. This upanishad is unique, consisting of a single storyline: the young boy Nachiketa taught about the Self by Yama, King of Death. Many of you know and loveSwami Sarvadevananda ; we hope you will be able to attend all or part of this retreat.

Here is a schedule for the retreat.

Friday, April 15  

7:30pm Session #1

Saturday 4/16

10:30am Session #2
1:00pm Lunch
3:30pm Session #3

Sunday 4/17

10:30am Session #4

All are welcome to attend this retreat. If you wish to stay overnight, please make reservations soon. The retreat is free. For the overnight suggested donation, please go to ridgely.org

August 30-Sept 17, 2016 Pravrajika Vivekaprana, Sri Sarada Math at Ridgely

Please Register by March 15, 2016

We are very happy that Pravrajika Vivekaprana will once again be visiting Ridgely. She is a senior sannyasini of Sri Sarada Math and is presently the head of the retreat center Ramakrishna Sarada Mission at Pangot, located in the Himalayas. While here at Ridgely she will give 2 retreats and also, in conjunction with Swami Yogatmananda, a symposium over Labor Day weekend. Here is the schedule:

Aug. 30-Sept.2 2016 – Retreat 1

Pravrajika Vivekaprana RETREAT 1: “The Relationship Between Sri Ramakrishna and Narendranath” based on THE GREAT MASTER, Part V: chapters 6-7

Sept 4-5, 2016 – Symposium

Pravrajika Vivekaprana and Swami Yogatmananda:

SYMPOSIUM: “Inspired To Action:Western Women and Swami Vivekananda

Swami Yogatmananda will join Vivekaprana and other speakers to discuss the role Western women played and continue to play) in the work of Swami Vivekananda. Swami Yogatmananda is the Head Minister of the ramakrishna Vedanta Society of Providence. He visits us every year during the Labor Day weekend. We are very happy that he has agreed to be part of this symposium.

Sept. 8-17, 2016 – Retreat 2

Pravrajika Vivekaprana RETREAT 2: “Action or Karma as a Path to Freedom”

 

VERY IMPORTANT INFO:

If you wish to attend any of these retreats as an overnight guest YOU MUST REGISTER BY MARCH 15. Why? Because we already know that there will not be room at Ridgely to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend. We are considering renting additional space close by if needed. To do that we need to know how many people are on the overflow list.

Please be aware that we will most likely give preference to those people coming from a long distance. As of today, THERE ARE ONLY SHARED ROOMS AVAILABLE, NO SINGLES.

All are welcome to attend these retreats as day visitors. We will be announcing the details again as the year progresses.

The Great Summer Part 9

Josephine MacLeod went down to New York on September 17 to meet Nivedita’s ship–so one learns, among other things, from the following letter written by Betty Leggett to Mrs. Bull:

19 Sept.

Dear Saint Sara,

The other sanyasin comes today no doubt as Joe went to fetch her Sunday evening.

We are all in waiting–and the week promises a look at you all–including Dr Helmer. Let naught prevent an early arrival. I hope 01ea is mending rapidly & when she can hold together let her come and be upon the couch in the great hall–or the loggia & listen! How I regret it all–and wish we had sent for her to come when we learned of Swami’s departure from England as we were sorely tempted to do…. We expect Mrs [Florence] Adams the 22nd. Swami needs Dr Helmer badly–he needs to be told the end is not yet. There are many hours when he thinks It is near, as symptoms are graver, in his mind, by heredity.

Joe arrives today. The big cottage awaits you–and is ready.

Swami & Turiananda are in yours–to be more cozy. Swamiji is writing a book on Modern Hindoos–to make some independent means–and to keep busy. He is grand in type as ever.

It was not until the following day, Wednesday, September 20, that Joe and Nivedita arrived from New York. The day after that they wrote jointly to Mrs. Bull, whose ill luck at being detained for so many weeks is, one cannot help but note, our good luck, for we learn considerably more about events and people through the letters written to her from Ridgely Manor than we would otherwise have known. The letter of September 21 read:

Dearest S.S.

Margo & I arrived at 3 P.M. yesterday after a joyous 24hours together.–I am beginning to feel that I am almost as glad to know her as Swamiji.

Today we decked her in our finery–then came down to Swamiji for criticism–which never came. He put the decision entirely into Margot’s care and she said “If I may do as I choose, I shall wear my brahmacharini gerrua always–while on the platform–black otherwise,” & so it is decided–and tomorrow we will go to Kingston to see what can be bought in the way of tough material.

She never was greater, & Betty approves in each detail of her attitude to Swami. Not one thing wld she have Margot change–& her verdict is final in social matters as Margot’s is in spiritual.

Your telegram was a blow–last night–10 days longer away-but “Mother knows best” I have no servants for you yet.

Dr. Helmer will decide what Swamiji is to do and in this his verdict will be final.

Hearts love to my child [Olea] & her mother

[Nivedita added a line:] My sweet Grannie–no idea had I that post time had come. It was the desire of my heart to write to you this morning. Here I am–Plans are growing like flowers. I long to see you & begged Y.Y. to let me come & try to carry off Mrs Vaughan & you! But of course I saw that that was a wrong suggestion–anyway, you will be here directly. Lovingly your Child, Margot.

(It is probable that Nivedita’s “Grannie” as applied to Mrs. Bull had a different origin than Swami Saradananda’s “Granny.” The relationship in Nivedita’s case was no doubt through Swamiji, her spiritual father, who looked upon Mrs. Bull as “mother.”)

 

Burke, Marie Louise. “Ridgely: The Great Summer,” in Swami Vivekananda in the West: New Discoveries, A New Gospel, vol. 5, chap. 3. (Mayavati, India: Advaita Ashrama, 1987), 107–143. Reprinted by permission from Advaita Ashrama.