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motherearth-GayatriIyerMarch2020

Illustration by RASA member, Gayatri Iyer

Dear Friends and Well-wishers,

An old Chinese saying goes, "May you live in Interesting times". Now whether this is a curse and / or a blessing depends perhaps on how we choose to look at it. In any case, whether we like it or not, the interesting times are here. Corona times are here.

The statistics of people infected by the virus seems to be increasing by the day, as also the number of deaths across the world. Doctors and health workers are beginning to be quarantined, new makeshift buildings and extra beds are being arranged in hospitals. It has reached cataclysmic proportions rapidly and as a country we are in our 21-days lock-down.

How do we respond in such times? What is the coherent, meaningful action to take? Do we have enough stock of rice, lentils, oil...? Where is our centre? Whom do we seek out to understand these events? What if the elders in the family fall ill with something else, how can we get to the hospital? Suddenly, the profound jostles for space with the pragmatic, as society grapples with the upheaval, and struggles to make meaning in a world made bereft of old meanings. We don't know what tomorrow will bring.

An image from our mythology arises in this context. That of the thousand-hooded Adisesha holding Mother Earth in exquisite balance on his hoods, as he rests stably and comfortably. He better be alert and yet not stiff, for he is the Lord's bed. The yoga sutra that is a comment on this picture is sthirasukhamAsanam (II-46). It is no coincidence perhaps that the Earth is to be held with such attention and care.

ananthasayanam

Deogarh Vishnu, Pic from Wikipedia

It is also significant that all other ways and means of doing, on the outside, are being shut down in the world; that we as a race are perhaps being forced to stay put, stay still and observe.

We hear people saying:

- "it seems like I suddenly have so much time to sit and read",
- "I am noticing even on the 2nd floor of an urban apartment, that the birds are suddenly chirping more, I am so much more in touch with Nature"
- "All we can do now is surrender, when everything is uncertain. What can I plan now"
- "I hold the pain of all those people dying, and yet I have so much space to just be"

As the environment and circumstances propel us inwards, we are perhaps seeing that to pay attention to Earth is no different from paying attention to ourselves. The microcosm and macrocosm can perhaps come together in our observation. And flow out in natural consequence as creative action in interesting times.

We invite you to join us as we attempt to find new and meaningful ways of practising self reflective engagement. Please find in this edition the online initiatives that we have begun as of this month.

Warmly,
Team Ritambhara

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Contemplation in the Time of Corona

corona-convo

We live in unprecedented times. If you are wondering how to understand these times, what to anchor oneself to, join us for a contemplative conversation to share our thoughts, feelings and questions and find a way forward by honoring our vulnerabilities.

Register at https://bit.ly/2xDVkKz.
We will be having additional sessions in the coming weeks. Please do sign up to register your interest for future sessions as well.

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Announcements

Mahabharata Exploration Online

online-ME-March2020

The Mahabharata, the longest epic in the world, is a timeless text and has been an integral part of the life of the people of this land for aeons. It retains a timeless appeal, allure and inspiration. It is often considered the 5th Veda and has a vast repository of human contexts that offers one a possibility for a self- reflective exploration of their inner-worlds. Perhaps this is why it’s said in its praise: “Whatever is here might be found elsewhere, but whatever is not here is nowhere else.”

Join us on a 10 week exploration of stories from the Mahabharata as we use them as a mirror to look at our deepest inner realities in search for clarity and meaning. This is especially relevant given the changing and challenging external context that we find ourselves in today where the old seems to be falling away and the new is yet to come into being.

Register: http://bit.ly/puranam
Email: puranam@ritambhara.org.in

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Inner Work Through Yoga

IWTY-online-may2020-new

Inner Work Through Yoga (IWTY) is a unique online program that is self-reflective, experiential and introduces Yoga Sutras as a mirror to understand oneself at deeper levels.

This 40 weeks program is a powerful introduction to inner work for anyone who has keen interest to take the plunge into an adventure of self-discovery based on authentic Indic knowledge traditions.

If you feel called to accept this invite for self unfoldment using the praxis of Antaranga Yoga (Inner Work Through Yoga), reach out to us at iwty@ritambhara.org.in to register.

Next IWTY batch begins on 5th May 2020.

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The New Emergence Film Festival

It looks like 2020 will go down as an important inflection point in human history. The old has begun to crumble and how, even as the new has
begun to emerge. We warmly invite you to ‘The New Emergence Film Festival’ and dialogue circles to delve deeper into what is being born. The festival starts from April 4th and will run for 8 weeks until May 23rd (tentatively).

More details about the film festival are in this
Brochure: https://bit.ly/NewEmergence
Registration Form: https://bit.ly/NewEmergenceREG

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