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Dear Friends and Well-wishers,

The world continues to be a strange place and we all continue to try and find our own rhythm and meaning to make sense of things around us and within us. We have been having some interesting and poignant conversations through all the different spaces that are alive within Ritambhara right now, be it Under the Banyan Tree, the vAstu shAstra sessions, Mahabharata exploration and IWTY (Inner Work Through Yoga). On one hand, the challenge of the changing context is putting a lot of pressure, triggering a lot of anxiety in many of us. On the other hand, it's also leading us to ask some fundamental questions about who we are and how we wish to build our lives and the world moving forward.

The process of learning and discovering in the Indic systems includes shravaNam (listening), mananam (pondering over, dialogue and understanding the meaning in depth) and Nidhidhyasitavyam , (embodying the meaning within oneself and living by the insights). The shravaNam happens through wise teachers and sources, but the mananam happens in a two part process - one, when we spend time reflecting on what is evoked within and the second, when we come together to share these reflections in communities and small groups. The beauty of a shared space and the willingness to listen and learn together has helped us find our way in the last few months.

So we continue to bring these rich, reflective spaces and look forward to sharing them with you, so that we can all, as a larger community grow towards finding some direction, some small steps, towards the questions that have come up.

Warmly,
Ritambhara Acharya Sangha (RASA)

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Artwork by Hari Krishnan

Under the Banyan Tree

A reflection by Anisha Ranjit, Ritambhara Acharya Sangha (RASA)

It is a turbulent time for humanity. The Yoga Sutra talks about duHkha and human struggle, born from the complexities and difficulties of human life. Where then does one go to be heard, unburden the heart, and listen to others' stories?

This space was conceived to be like the Village Banyan Tree for all to gather, listen and share. There is no real structure to the session except the idea that one of us pulls a chArpAi (a simple cot) to sit on and creates a space. Others join in.

As anchors (the one who pulls the chArpAi), we had consciously chosen not to facilitate (i.e. guide the group in any specific way), not knowing how difficult that could be, being so used to facilitating or being at the receiving end of being facilitated. None of us has used this space with strangers or colleagues to just listen and share without someone else facilitating it.

The banyan tree was kind enough to hold a beautiful space that I could state my struggle and continue to be present with the group and let go of battling the need for an agenda in my head.

One of us shared a story and we all clued in, the childlike feeling of listening to a story felt very good. It was very spontaneous for each one to share whatever we were in touch with. There was this one moment we all laughed out loud, in sync -I felt we connected like old friends Under a Banyan Tree. For me, that moment felt as real as physical proximity. After that I felt the shade of the Banyan tree throughout, the imagery stayed on till the end.

Come join us when you feel like sitting with a few people sharing a reflective conversation.

Every Monday, 7 PM- 8:45 PM IST
Register: https://bit.ly/underthebanyantree

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Writing Your Own dhArmic Manifesto

A blog post by Hariprasad Varma and Ankush Vij, Ritambhara Acharya Sangha (RASA)

The Peace and Sustainability through Yoga, a 3-day online yoga festival organized by Ritambhara and India Foundation’s Center for Soft Power in June 2020. The 3 days were filled with many evocative conversations centered on questions around what it means to live with peace and honour in the world today. The first session, held by Raghu Ananthanarayanan, our mentor at Ritambhara, was about exploring what Dharma means and how can yoga help create and follow a life grounded on Dharma. The key questions were:

- What is it that you are going to dedicate your life to?

- How will this dedication be a dhArmic dedication?

- How does this relate to yoga?

To read more from his talk and to watch the video recording of this session, please visit the Ritambhara blog.

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Program Announcements

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Understanding the Sacred Quest

3rd edition, September 19-20, 2020

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Understanding the Sacred Quest
This two-day online exploration is anchored on the tenets of Kriya Yoga (tapas, svAdhyAya, IshvarapraNidhAna) and vAstu shilpa shAstra. The program is an introduction to the SaptaSwara framework which enables a participant to embark on a quest for inner unfolding and outer excellence in a harmonious manner. This program is designed by Sri Raghu Ananthanarayanan (disciple of Yoga Acharya Sri T Krishnamacharya) and Smt. Sashikala Ananth (disciple of vAstu expert Sri Ganapati Sthapati).

Past participants have experienced this program to be 'experiential than philosophical', 'having a gentle unfolding nature and sacred', 'allowing oneself to slow down and critically examine oneself'.

Fee: INR 7500 (Indian residents), USD 200 (Non-Indian residents)
To register, fill in the form at http://www.bit.ly/sacredquest1

For details, email ashram@ritambhara.org.in or WhatsApp: +919966900337

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Under the Banyan Tree

A community space. Every Monday, 7-8:30pm.

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Come join us Under the Banyan Tree.
A place for hearts to speak
in slow, unfolding conversations.
A time to rest and rejuvenate.
And perhaps a space within
for deeper understanding and acceptance

Every Monday, 7 PM- 8:45 PM IST
Register: https://bit.ly/underthebanyantree

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You and Your Space - A Vastu Perspective

3rd edition, September 7-9, 2020

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We have completed 2 batches and this is the third batch. A participant shares:

Experiential learning has been a major area that I want to explore. With much better calibration of senses, I want to understand the reverberations and enhance the spirit of spaces. This program has helped me understand the basics of a topic which I had been looking forward to learning for several years.'

- Hirokjyoti Kaushik
Architect & teacher, Assam

To read more about this course, other vAstu offerings, and register your interest, please visit http://www.ritambhara.org.in/yys

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vAstu Introductory Course

September 15-18, 2020

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Our online course introducing participants to the principles of vAstu, understood as energy dynamics of space and form have been a great space for people to learn about this ancient tradition in an authentic and holistic manner.

Many people have expressed that they have been looking for this understanding for a long time. The course is a mix of some self-study and sessions with Sashikala Ananth.

To read more about this course, other vAstu offerings, and register your interest, please visit http://ritambhara.org.in/vastuintro

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Mahabharata Exploration Online

A 10-week program. Starting September 20, 2020

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The third edition of Mahabharata Exploration Online (MEO) begins on September 20, 2020. During this program we explore different archetypes in the Mahabharata and attempt a deeper understanding of ourselves through contemplative dialogues anchored by the Ritambhara team. We will use curated stories from the Mahabharata for self-reflection.

For more details visit - https://bit.ly/ME-Online
Register at http://bit.ly/puranam

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Vishwakarma Jayanti

vAstu Festival, September 17, 2020

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Join us to celebrate Vishwakarma Jayanti - dedicated with reverence in honour of Lord Vishwakarma, the swayambhu architect and the divine engineer of the Universe. This is a day to remember and cherish the professional arts, skills and its practitioners who design and shape our world.

Ritambhara and Ganapati Sthapati Associates are anchoring this day to acknowledge, marvel and felicitate the great craftsmen and artists carrying this ancient Indian wisdom.

To register, visit https://ritambhara.org.in/vastufestival

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Ritambhara is a registered Trust founded by a group of dedicated members exploring the teachings and praxis of yoga, Indic texts and traditions and offering a reflective space for people to work with themselves and move towards a meaningful life.

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