_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

March 2017

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Beauty-68

Ideal mind
by Rod Hemsell

It is important to realize that Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy of consciousness
based on the Upanishads is no longer something that we must think
of as obscure and esoteric. The concepts of prajnana (apprehension), samjnana
(comprehension), ajnana (will to action), vijnana (seeing ahead already
of what is to be understood and done) were also spoken about by the
philosophers of consciousness of the 18th century. Seeing, willing, thinking
and perceiving are how the mind works. And that higher range of seeingwill
known as vijnana, which was formerly spoken of as “a secret operation”
is something within reach. It is that band between the rational mind
and the supermind known as “intuition”. We already “see ahead” the things
that the rational and practical mind plan and execute. We simply need to
stand back, within, and observe the process.

But Sri Arobindo’s philosophy of how we can consciously realize that
“seeing ahead,” which already functions in us as intuition and intention,
is the really interesting thing. Now, how is it possible to say this without
offending ever single one of us? Because, this process entails abdicating
the rational mind. But, as he says over and over, that doesn’t mean irrationalism
and randomness. There is an evolutionary status that has been
achieved and it functions naturally in us through the instruments of consciousness
that we “are”—the practical mind, sensations, and perceptions.
We do not really need the rational mind. And we could actually function
much better without it, if we allowed the higher intuition to do the things
that we do in an inferior way, and are so proud of.

So, the old adage of Patanjali comes back: yogah chitta vritti nirodha.
It’s necessary to still the mind in order for the Self to be known. And that
Self has a higher, more universal energy and knowledge than the busy
mind. Of course there is a risk here, as Sri Aurobindo points out, because
the “silent mind” has often been taken as an end in itself. But, as he says,
this is only “one radiant pace”.

The zero covers an immortal face.
A high and blank negation is not all,
A huge extinction is not God’s last word,
Life’s ultimate sense, the close of being’s course,
The meaning of this great mysterious world.
In absolute silence sleeps an absolute Power.
Awaking, it can wake the trance-bound soul
And in the ray reveal the parent sun:
It can make the world a vessel of Spirit’s force,
It can fashion in the clay God’s perfect shape.
To free the self is but one radiant pace;
Here to fulfil himself was God’s desire.

So, stilling the practical and rational mind is a doorway to the reception
of the ‘ideal Mind’, and to the higher intuitive and inspired mind,
which are always there, and we simply screen them off by our habits of
thinking. In between there is the Silence.

This is a transcript of a talk given by Rod Hemsell in Auroville on
Feb. 11, 2017, when his new publication The Philosophy of Consciousness:
Hegel and Sri Aurobindo was announced. It can be downloaded from
www. auro-ebooks.com.
_____________________

For information about the activities of the Sri Aurobindo Learning
Center, please call 719-256-4917.



Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 9.54.43 AM

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

February 2017

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center
Darshan 2-21-16


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

beauty-47

The Ideal
by Rod Hemsell

If we are going to envision a society, such as Hegel and Sri Aurobindo
envisioned, in which every human being is fulfilled on the basis of freedom,
the freedom to be, and the freedom to express in infinitely diverse ways
the truths of ourselves and existence, then we must also see that many of
the structures of society and human behavior that exist now will have to
change. But for that to happen, the human being must change. The outer
and relational is a product of the inner. Changing the outer structures
on the basis of the rational mind will not change their essential constitution,
which in human society is fundamentally mental. It is an order based
upon the ethical mind, actuated by the practical mind. The limitation of
Hegelian and Marxist thought was that, for them, the structures of society
could be changed and the ideals of freedom and
right could be realized by the rational will.

Sri Aurobindo saw that until there is a transformation of this mental
consciousness into something higher, nothing in the external material
world can change significantly. Radical change can happen only after the
new consciousness becomes a norm, at least among a few. This follows the
evolutionary law. Change always begins with one, and then a few, then a
family, and a society, until the new type finally fills a niche. First there
must be the ascent, the spiritual elevation of consciousness; then the descent
of the new principle and power; and then, finally, a transformation
that makes possible the advent of the “other”, which is not a mental being,
but a supramental body, life, and mind. This ideal is symbolized in Savitri
by Satyavan, the human soul, and Savitri, the force of illumination that
descends to transform consciousness. Satyavan speaks:

Once were my days like the days of other men:
To think and act was all, to enjoy and breathe;
This was the width and height of mortal hope:
Yet there came glimpses of a deeper self
That lives behind Life and makes her act its scene.
A truth was felt that screened its shape from mind,
A Greatness working towards a hidden end,
And vaguely through the forms of earth there looked
Something that life is not and yet must be.
I groped for the Mystery with the lantern, Thought.
Its glimmerings lighted with the abstract word
A half-visible ground and traveling yard by yard
It mapped a system of the Self and God.
I could not live the truth it spoke and thought.
But now the gold link comes to me with thy feet
And His gold sun has shone on me from thy face. . . .
A strange new world swims to me in thy gaze
Approaching like a star from unknown heavens;
A cry of spheres comes with thee and a song
Of flaming gods. I draw a wealthier breath
And in a fierier march of moments move.
My mind transfigures to a rapturous seer.
_________________________
For information about the activities of the
Sri Aurobindo Learning Center,
please call 719-256-4917.


_____________________________________

beauty-46 2

Transcendent, Universal and Individual
by Rod Hemsell

Sri Aurobindo often uses a trilogy of terms when referring
to theDivine: Transcendent, Universal and Individual.
Let’s look at those terms, and see what they are about.

In some theologies, it is imagined that the Divine is transcendent
in the sense that it is outside of and indifferent to the world of individuals
in which we live. But Sri Aurobindo uses the term in a different
sense. For him, the Divine is transcendent in the sense that it is
absolutely free and in-exhaustively creative. Because the Divine is the
one absolute embracing all diversity, there is nothing that contradicts
its will, thus it is absolutely free. And the Divine is not limited by
what it manifests, and can always manifest more,
thus it is in-exhaustively creative.

Because the Divine is one absolute embracing all diversity, it can
only create out of itself. The Divine is the stuff out of which it creates,
there is nothing existing that is not the Divine, and thus it is Universal.

And the Divine is Individual; it is each of us and it is all beings in
this and all universes.

In terms of our own experience, this understanding enables
us to see the Divine in three different ways.

First, we can look for the Divine beyond all our finite experiences,
and then it is either known as the Great Emptiness, or as the Supreme
Person, the Sole, the Alone containing all universes.

Second, we can look at the whole universe around us, and see
that as the face of the Divine, pervading the world in
His/Her/Its Universality.

Third, we can look within ourselves, to the very core of our subjectivity,
and find there the Divine in His/Her/Its Individual aspect,
inhabiting the universe.

Although we are finite beings, living in the Ignorance, we can
nonetheless see that we, too, like the Divine, are
Transcendent, Universal and Individual.

If we look at any given moment of our experience, we can see
that we are what we are by virtue of the world out of which we arise,
and that world wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for the billions of years
of evolution that have preceded us.Thus we are, in some
important sense, the universe individualizing
itself in this place at this moment.
We are Universal beings.

And then, in each moment, we survey the whole of the
actual past and all of the possible future, and
we make a free decision about how to be.
In that sense, we transcend the world.
We are, like the Divine, Transcendent.

And, of course, we are individuals. Thus we, like the Divine,
are Transcendent, Universal and Individual.
______________________________

At the Center, we are continuing
our study of Sri Aurobindo’s
Synthesis of Yoga . Feel free to join
us every Sunday at 10am.



_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

January 2017 - Happy New Year


Bonne Année!   A Happy New Year!



 1902ef7a38315a7e4ead7e776391f63f

The spiritual meaning of the flower
by the Mother is ‘Supramental Immortality Upon Earth’

____________________________________________

The Grand Reversal
by Rod Hemsell

“As individual egos we dwell in the Ignorance
and judge everything by a broken,
partial and personal standard of knowledge;
we experience everything according to the capacity
of a limited consciousness and force and are therefore unable to give
a divine response or set the true value upon any part of cosmic experience.

But by entering into the cosmic consciousness we begin to participate
in that all-vision and see everything in the values of the Infinite and the One.
Limitation itself, ignorance itself change their meaning for us. Ignorance changes
into a particularizing action of divine knowledge; strength and weakness and
incapacity change into a free putting forth and holding back various measures of
divine Force; joy and grief, pleasure and pain change into a mastering and a
suffering of divine delight; struggle, losing its discords,
becomes a balancing of forces and values in the divine harmony.”

This is one of many teachings of Sri Aurobindo in The Synthesis of Yoga (p. 413),
which is again mirrored in Savitri, as are all of the precepts of Integral Yoga,
but in a more vivid and compelling language.

“A vision lightened on the viewless heights,
A wisdom illumined from the voiceless depths:
A deeper interpretation greatened Truth,
A grand reversal of the Night and Day;
All the world’s values changed heightening life’s aim;
A wiser word, a larger thought came in
Than what the slow labour of human mind can bring,
A secret sense awoke that could perceive
A Presence and a Greatness everywhere”(p. 41).

And the way that this happens is the same for ever, as Patanjali put it in the Yoga Sutras
millennia ago, chitta vritti nirodaha, restraining the mind from its running to and fro.
Perhaps the best metaphor for this is found in the reversal of the descent of the sun
in relation to the earth at this time of year. We are the farthest from the light, tilted
into darkness, asleep (tamas), but the reversal brings us back momentarily into balance (sattwa),
then tilts us into the fire (rajas), pulled and pushed by the “three modes of nature”,
until through stilling the mind we ascend into the stratosphere of consciousness and attain
another perspective, eventually rising out of the gravitational pull of the earth altogether.

The perennial transitions that the earth makes in relation to the sun are mirrored in
the daily rhythms of body, mind, and spirit, until that poise of liberation is attained,
known here as cosmic consciousness, in which things and movements appear in a
subtler light than the light of the sun obscured by our narrow horizons.
The new year, like the new day, is always an opportunity for us to wake up to the spiritual
dimension and experience a grand reversal and a re-valuation of the narrow bounds in
which the little earthly mind is conditioned to move.
As Patanjali said, this is Yoga.

______________________________

For information on Center activities
please call 719-256-4917 or
719-256-6010

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


December 2016

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center



5th December 2016 - Sri Aurobindo left His body on 5th December 1950




unknown

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Things still to be learned
by Rod Hemsell

East to West Light and Shadow


We have all heard a great deal of moaning and ranting about the election,
and it certainly isn't that these issues don't matter, but from the spiritual point
of view the effects on people's minds and lives can be alleviated
if one can step back from “phenomenal appearances” into a larger vision.
As I have responded to some of those who seem to be so aghast,
destiny is something that it may be wise to believe in, to a certain extent. All
that we have to experience in a lifetime is given to us in a way that leads to the unfolding
of our self, our consciousness, our knowledge, our character, our truth. But the events of
our experience are not those things that are facilitated by the events; they are universals
and, as such, are spiritual: immortal verities. Against those truths, values, ideas, wider
and profounder meanings, the events themselves are close to nothing in importance. So
human beings learn, age after age, to look beyond the immediate experiences and
circumstances to those universal truths; and every age of humanity is another
opportunity. Homer and Vyasa wrote it all: the eternal return of the same,
in ever new forms. This is the”heroic” attitude.

For humanity in general, there is still so much to learn, even after all these millennia of
"progress". And the process is accelerating. So let's see what is there to be learned now.
The media interpretations of things, which includes progressive, academic media, may
sometimes obscure the deeper longer-range reasons for things. Progress may be
something more than it's reported to be. The things we "cherish", like our immediate
preferences, goals, achievements, may not be as important as we think.

This is perhaps the most persistent theme in Savitri:

O man, the events that meet thee on thy road,
Though they smite thy body and soul with joy and grief, 
Are not thy fate, — they touch thee awhile and pass; 
Even death can cut not short thy spirit’s walk:
Thy goal, the road thou choosest are thy fate.

Although it is a hard lesson to accept by the mind that is carried away on whatever waves
of immediate attraction and repulsion may strike, or even by the more settled ethical
intelligence, there is still the possibility of that
udasinata we have spoken about
previously, "being seated above", which sees more than the surface of things.
As Sri Aurobindo wrote in an early essay on Yoga:
"The Yogin knows God’s way of working and is aware that the improbable often
happens, that facts mislead. He rises above reason to that direct and illuminated

knowledge which we call
vijnanam.
The desire-driven mind is emmeshed in the intricate
tangle of good and evil, of
the pleasant and the unpleasant, of happiness and misfortune.
It strives to have the good always, the pleasant always, the happiness always.
It is elated by fortunate happenings,
disturbed and unnerved by their opposite. But the illuminated eye
of the seer perceives that all leads to good; for God is all and God is
sarvamangalam (the divine in all).
He knows that the apparent evil
is often the shortest way to the good, the unpleasant
indispensable to prepare the
pleasant, misfortune the condition of obtaining a more perfect happiness.
His intellect is delivered from enslavement to the
dualities."

_______________________________________________________________

For information on Center activities
please call 719-256-4917 or
719-256-6010



_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


November 2016

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

The Integral Yoga
by Rod Hemsell


Peaceful Budah


In Sanskrit tradition, Integral Yoga has a long history, along with Raja
Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Tantra, and so on, and there it is known as Purna Yoga.
Purna actually means “perfect”, which implies that perfection of both the inner
being and the outer nature, from top to bottom, is the goal. This meaning
is perhaps a bit different from what we might associate with the term “integral”,
especially since that term has become so over-used by new-agers.
After a detailed presentation of the various schools of Yoga in The Synthesis
of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo writes a long last section titled “The Yoga of Perfection”.
There, a major emphasis is put on the classical idea of the purification
of our mind and life, as in Raja Yoga, and on a subsequent descent into us of
the Divine Force, Shakti. The first movement is therefore referred to by him
as “the first liberation”, which is similar to the classical idea of liberation in
Yoga. The second movement is referred to as “the second liberation”, in which
the already liberated soul, or Purusa, experiences a higher force of knowledge,
power, love, and delight flowing through the instruments of body, life, and
mind, making a liberated and elevated action in the world possible.
The transition from the first to the second liberation is narrated in
great detail in at least nine cantos of Sri Aurobindo’s mantric poem, Savitri,
in order to give us a strong impression of the nature of both movements. For
example:
First movement:

“His soul stood free, a witness and a king.
Absorbed no more in the moment-ridden flux
Where mind incessantly drifts as on a raft
Hurried from phenomenon to phenomenon,
He abode at rest in indivisible Time . . .
Thought lay down in a mighty voicelessness;
The toiling Thinker widened and grew still,
Wisdom transcendent touched his quivering heart . . .
Mind screened no more the shoreless Infinite.”

Second movement:

“Rivers poured down of bliss and luminous force,
Visits of beauty, storm-sweeps of delight
Rained from the all-powerful Mystery above . . .
A heavenly impetus quickened all his breast;
The trudge of Time changed to a splendid march;
The divine Dwarf towered to unconquered worlds . . .
Life now became a sure approach to God,
Existence a divine experiment
And cosmos the soul’s opportunity.” -

Savitri, Book 1, Canto 3

Most importantly, however, in this mantric teaching he also emphasizes
the interim that necessarily imposes itself between the two liberations.
For as he says, the stillness and peace of the first must enable us
to establish an immovable calm stability that will not be shaken by the
descent of the force in the second liberation:

“In the unapproachable stillness of his soul,
Intense, one-pointed, monumental, lone,
Patient he sat like an incarnate hope
Motionless on a pedestal of prayer . . .
A neutral helpless void oppressed the years”

Savitri, Book 3 Canto 3
________________________________________

For information on Center activities
please call 719-256-4917 or
719-256-6010

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


October 2016

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

IMG_2164

The Liberation of the Self
Rod Hemsell


There is a line in Savitri that says, “Nature does the most in us,
and God the high rest.” We know that nature is Prakriti, in the Sanskrit
vocabulary of Yoga, and Purusa is the Supreme Self, unmanifest
but working through the divine universal forces and principles of
Nature. But where is this Purusa, Self, or Soul that we are supposed
to also be? It is a third thing. If our mental vital and physical energies,
systems and behaviors are all Nature, which does the most in us, and
God is beyond all manifestation, what is this Purusa that Yoga Philosophy
tells us we should liberate from the former and unify with the
latter. Where is That, which some call Thatness, the timeless being,
or the Oneness?

In a chapter of The Synthesis of Yoga, Sri Aurobindo says, “We
shall know That, as that silence and peace.” And in Savitri we hear, “A
stillness absolute, incommunicable, meets the sheer self-discovery of the
soul.” We need to keep these indications in mind, because that awareness
is fundamental, according to this teaching. We are not likely to
experience this silence and peace in the normal activities of life, until we
establish it as a fundamental awareness in our own selves. We have
to separate that part of ourselves, which is capable of absolute stillness
and peace, from all the other parts, until we can dwell in it,
in life and in the presence of other activities.

That other part of ourselves grows in its largeness until it embraces
the other things. This is the teaching of Sri Aurobindo, as he
narrates in Savitri, as an awareness that spreads from within outward
like a sea until it includes the whole world. “But first the soul
must rise above the form” and in that free space, allow the stillness
of being above to come down into the emptiness that is created by the
practice of detachment. If that stillness is then really tangibly felt as a
substance in and around us which is large and vast, it’s possible to then
experience all the flow of the activities of life in the embrace
of the stillness of the Self.

When one experiences the business of life in that way, one
isn’t drawn so easily into the ordinary impressions and reactions to
things that cause us difficulties. If we can allow that Presence to permeate
and build up its stillness in our subtle self, it also saves us a lot
of the traditional effort of Yoga. It is experienced as a grace, but it also
has a specific purpose. It is not there just to give us a moment of peace,
but it is meant to be cultivated as a constant awareness and presence in
oneself. This is the initial aim and process of an Integral Yoga.

*************************************

These reflections are a supplement
to our recent Savitri Immersion
Workshop, and previous articles
on Savitri, and are a weekly feature
of on-going Sunday morning presentations
and study groups. For information
please call 719-256-4917 or
719-256-6010.



_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

September 2016

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

14086262_959479057532157_5705322877574448585_o

The Yoga of Transformation

Rod Hemsell

In a series of teachings at our annual Savitri Immersion Workshop
in August this year, we were able to observe closely, over six days
of readings and meditations, the important connections between

yogasutra, yogamantra and yogashakti.

Instead of treating each separately, as distinct stages in the
practice of Yoga, we could see how the three movements in combination
can intensify and illumine such practices in a particularly powerful way.
For example, in a sutra teaching such as Sri Aurobindo's
Sapta Chatusthaya, combined with the Savitri mantra,
the presence of the Divine Shakti is invoked, and received directly,
by a clarified mind and opened heart, which is truly transforming.

In the Sapta Chatusthaya (seven sets of four yoga siddhis or perfections)
Sri Aurobindo explains what it means to be a yogin.

“The basis of internal peace is samata, the capacity
of receiving with a calm and equal mind all the attacks
and appearances of outward things, whether
pleasant of unpleasant, ill-fortune and good fortune,
pleasure and pain, honor and ill-repute, praise and blame,
friendship and enmity, sinner and saint, or physically,
heat and cold, etc. The complete Yogin receives
all of this with with an equal, a sama ananda (delight in all).
He comes to change all the ordinary values of experience ...”

This sutra teaching, followed by an invocation of the mantric transmission,
is then seen and felt as a vivid, tangible possibility, above the mind's
natural doubts or attempts to understand how such a thing could be.
For example, reciting the Canto titled In the Self of Mind,
we see and hear:

“He stood on a wide arc of summit Space
Alone with an enormous Self of Mind
Which held all life in a corner of its vasts.
Omnipotent, immobile and aloof,
In the world which sprang from it, it took no part:
It gave no heed to the paeans of victory,
It was indifferent to its own defeats,
It heard the cry of grief and made no sign;
Impartial fell its gaze on evil and good,
It saw destruction come and did not move.
An equal Cause of things, a lonely Seer
And Master of its multitude of forms,
It acted not but bore all thoughts and deeds,
The witness Lord of Nature's myriad acts
Consenting to the movements of her Force.”

Such descriptions of the yogic state of udasina,
being seated above the ordinary reactions to things,
are repeated frequently, and typically followed
by an inflow of blissful force:

“It led things evil towards their secret good,
It turned racked falsehood into happy truth;
It's power was to reveal divinity.
All grew to all kindred and self and near;
The intimacy of God was everywhere,
A constant touch of sweetness linked all hearts.”

Into the silence that follows such an invocation there
actually flows a luminosity and peace that shifts
one's consciousness into a sphere of possibilities that is
perhaps always there, within – the tantric force.

******************

This “immersion” week was attended by a delightful group of devotees from seven different
states of the US, plenty of good food, pleasant rainfall, flowing streams, and a darshan moon.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


August 2016

eaaef4661dc55896ecef4d88b9db6758



15th August 2016 -15th August is the

Birthday of Sri Aurobindo and of free India.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




Beauty


Then... it goes into the great Universal Rhythm.


I clearly see, the body clearly realizes that it’s only its own resistance – its
resistance to the Truth – that makes it possible for it to suffer. Wherever there
is complete adherence, suffering disappears instantly.

(silence)

But it’s the same thing for countries and nations: it’s the same change of
authority. Instead of personal authorities, there will be a divine authority, and
the same change of authority causes the unspeakable chaos we live in –
because of the resistance.

(long silence)

The nearer a part of the being (any part) draws to the moment of the
transition, that is, the more ready it is for that transition, the more
sensitive it becomes. And then, when you reach the point where you
can go beyond the stage of problems and see with the universal vision,
problems take on, to the personal sensitiveness, a most intense
acuteness. I had noticed it before, and now it’s recurring for the body.
It’s acquiring a... terrifying sensitiveness, you understand. People who
don’t know why things are like that really get terrified....
The possibility of discomfort, of... It’s the same thing with problems.
Only, for those who KNOW and who have understood, it’s the opportunity
of making the last progress, of doing this
(Mother opens her hands upward).
Basically, what still has the illusion of being something separate must dissolve.
It must say to itself, “Its not my business, I don’t exist.” That’s the best attitude
it can take. Then... it goes into the great Universal Rhythm.

(The Mother, 1970)

To see with a universal vision is a concept that recurs unbelievably often in the
writings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. To notice that and to understand what
it means is apparently of paramount importance - not only with regard to issues
of politics, or health, but for transcending the limited mind in general.

______________________________

For information on upcoming
workshops and activities of SALC
please call 719-256-4917.



_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


July 2016

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

goddess_savitri_shodash_matrikas_pl11


The Ready Human Being
by Rod Hemsell

In spiritual philosophy the Ideal is not some far off possibility, or impossibility,
to be achieved but rather it is the inner reality of the world that we experience now,
in its fragmented or partial expression. It is the absolute of all these relatives,
the bliss and emptiness of the Buddha nature or the omnipresent stillness of the Brahman;
the Good, the Beautiful, and the True that empower things to become what they are and
empower the mind to know things as such, as Plato saw it.

In the central part of Savitri – a Legend and a Symbol, the mantric poem of
Sri Aurobindo that we have been considering in these articles,
there is a prophecy of a New Consciousness that is manifesting in humanity which enables
us to know more immediately and directly the ideal reality of things, of which philosophy speaks.
An image is created by Sri Aurobindo of the ready human being who has been prepared
by life to be selected by that divine being named Savitri, who reveals herself to him in the
forest – in a way that may become quite common.
The literary technique that is used is first person dramatic narrative.
On beholding the presence of something divine, the protagonist says:

I look back on the meaning of myself,
A soul made ready on earth's soil for thee.
Once were my days like days of other men:
To think and act was all, to enjoy and breathe;
This was the width and height of mortal hope:
Yet there came glimpses of a deeper self
That lives behind Life and makes her act its scene.
A truth was felt that screens its shape from mind...
I lived in the ray but faced not to the sun.
I looked upon the world and missed the Self,
And when I found the Self, I lost the world,
My other selves I lost and the body of God,
The link of the finite with the Infinite,
The bridge between the appearance and the Truth,
The mystic aim for which the world was made...

In these few lines of Savitri Sri Aurobindo sums up the central issue of life expressed in
some way by every spiritual philosophy and discipline, and the person who grapples
with it consciously is precisely the one who is ready to receive the solution. In this case,
there have also been a series of positive and negative events that intensify the search:
Satyavan was driven into the forest by an adverse fate that left his father, the King,
blind and powerless (do we see the symbolism here?), and then he attuned himself
to life in nature: “Nursed by the vastness, pupil of solitude/ Great Nature came to her
recovered child/Through an inner seeing and sense a wakening came.” If we really
hear these words and identify with their promise and their call, ideally placed as we
are in this mountain solitude, then perhaps, like Sayavan, we might respond with a
welcome, as he does when the goddess appears, and not let her slip away:
“But now the gold link comes to me with thy feet/Come nearer to me from thy car of
light/Descend, O happiness, with thy moon-gold feet/Enrich earth's floors upon
whose sleep we lie/Enter my life, thy chamber and thy shrine.”

______________________________

For information on upcoming
workshops and activities of SALC
please call 719-256-4917.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


June 2016

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

savitri-tricked-god-death


The Goddess Savitri
by Rod Hemsell

There is a central section of Sri Aurobindo’s mantric teaching,
Savitri—A Legend and a Symbol, which is often mistakenly
interpreted as primarily a mythological legend rather than
a symbol. However, through a series of workshops presented this
year at centers in Europe as well as at our center here in Crestone,
we have tried to demonstrate the truer esoteric nature of the teaching
that is revealed in this important part of the book. It is the section
of about 60 pages in the very middle of the 700-page tome that
ostensibly deals with the meeting of Savitri and Satyavan in the forest,
but which is actually an initiatory transmission of the qualities
embodied by the symbolic goddess of the “New Consciousness” descending
on earth, and of the truly ready human soul that is elected
as a vessel of that descent.

In the cantos of Books 4 and 5,
therefore, we find a description, canto by canto, of the gradual
emergence of that new consciousness on earth, first in the form of
an invisible universal power working through nature and art and
science; then as a subtle mystical intuition experienced by many who
aspire for the emergence of a more spiritual reality beyond the practical
and rational mind to which we seem bound; and finally as the
original Vedic luminosity and joy of revelatory inspiration named
Savitri that descends into the life and mind of the ready human being,
with an elaborate description of what such readiness means and
requires. And it is here that we are made to hear and see the qualities
of a spiritual presence that can be experienced through Yoga.
For example, She is described as:

A silence in the noise of earthly
things . . .
The very room and smile of
musing space . . .
A godhead sculptured on a
wall of thought . . .
This intimation of the world’s
delight . . .
A Mind of light, a life of rhythmic
force . . .


And in these pages we also find several examples of a pattern
and technique whereby Sri Aurobindo makes the poem reflect on
itself in a way that expresses its deeper meaning and purpose.
He writes of it:

This word was seed of all the
thing to be . . .
There came the gift of a revealing
hour . . .
The word was used as a hieratic
means
For the release of the imprisoned
spirit . . .


When read in the normal way, by the eyes and the brain, one can
easily miss the meaning and power of lines and phrases like these. But
in a dynamic mantric reading and hearing, the direct revelatory effect
is of a presence and quality of experience that is exactly what is being
described and transmitted by the poetry. This is the mantric quality
of Savitri, which is the essence of Vedic speech known as mantra.
One of the primary aims of our workshops and the activities of the
center is to make such experience a familiar occurrence on the path of
Integral Yoga.

______________________________

For information on upcoming
workshops and activities of SALC
please call 719-256-4917.



_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


May 2016



Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

At Peace

Released from our endless drama


by Dr. Eric Weiss

The mark of our participation in the “ego project” is our constant
involvement in drama.

A drama is a way of linking the past with the future by means of
a story. For example, “I have worked hard, so now I should succeed,” “I
did good deeds so people should be nice to me,” “I have suffered for a long
time, and it will go on forever.” In the course of our days, we weave countless
stories of this type.

What gives these stories their significance are the great polarities of
existence: pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, praise and blame, success and
failure, to name a few. We are bound into our dramas by our preference for
the “good” side of these polarities, and our aversion to their “bad” side.

These polarities are relationships between my finite self—my body
and my personality—and the rest of the world. So I experience pleasure,
joy, praise and success when the world conforms to my expectations, and
I experience pain, sorrow, blame and failure when the world does not conform
to my expectations and, instead, frustrates me.

Am I fundamentally limited to my finite self? Sri Aurobindo suggests
that each of us is not only individual, but also universal and transcendent.
That is, each of us, while remaining an individual, is also one with the universe
out of which we emerge, and also one with the transcendent source of
both the universe and the individuals of which it is composed.

If this is true, then it is possible for us to break our exclusive identification
with the individual aspect of our beings. This exclusive identification
is the great ignorance that is the foundation of the ego project. We
break this identification by first noticing, and then progressively learning
to identify with, that aspect of ourselves which is the silent witness,
noticing all of the events of our lives with serene equanimity. It is
from the perspective of this silent witness (called, in the Vedic tradition,
the Purusha) that we can rediscover ourselves as divine beings,
both universal and transcendent.

Rediscovering our own divinity, we are released from the
apparent opposition between self and world. Released from that opposition,
we cease to be troubled by the alternations between great
polarities. Freed from our obsession with those alternations, we
are released from our endless dramas and we come, at last, to the
end of the tedious frustration of the ego project.
_________________________

In our ongoing reading of
Sri Aurobindo’s The Synthesis of
Yoga, we are exploring the path
that leads from the ego project to
a life divine. Feel free to join us
every Sunday at 10am in the Solar
Bridge house at the Sri Aurobindo
Center on Baca Grant Way.
For more information,
call me at 719-937-7936.



_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


April 2016




Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Reflections

University of Human Unity
seminars in Auroville

by Rod Hemsell

With the help of a combined SALC/University of Human Unity
grant for research and education, a three-day seminar on The Integral
Paradigm of Knowledge was presented this winter, as a culmination
of a 30-hour lecture course on IPK. It was attended each day by
40 to 50 people from many different countries and backgrounds, most of
whom were seasonal visitors to Auroville.

IPK is an epistemological framework derived from Sri Aurobindo’s
interpretation of the Vedas and Upanishads. Its main features
are based on the Vedic structure of a threefold world of knowledge whose
planes are the Adhyatma (Supreme Self or Supermind), the Adhydaiva
(universal principles and forces, or gods), and the Adhibhuta (elemental
forms and processes). Following from this threefold universal order,
the primary principles and powers of consciousness which emanate
from the Adhydaiva plane consist of the rational mind, the ego, and
the sense mind with its faculties of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell.

According to this view, we are able to know what we know,
through our senses, cognition, reasoning,
and higher intuitive powers of the mind, because there are
corresponding universal faculties of Consciousness such as thought (manas),
speech (vac), sight (chaksus), hearing (srotram), feeling (annam),
and life force (prana) that pervade the universe and determine both the
qualities of things created and our ability to know those things. Thus,
the order of Consciousness and the world it creates looks like this:

IPK Symbol

The phenomenal world that we experience can be further analyzed
according to this ancient paradigm of knowledge in terms of
elemental principles of form and quality that correspond to the faculties
of consciousness: ether to sound or speech, air to touch, fire to
sight, water to taste, and earth to smell. Thus, consciousness knows
its objects because things are made of the same elemental principles
as the faculties which know them. The advantage of such an ancient
epistemology is that it not only restores a sense of our connectedness
to the world of nature, but it also provides a methodology for understanding
things integrally and holistically. Our various approaches
to knowledge tend to correspond to these faculties: social relations
to seeing, artistic creation to hearing, physical science to elemental
perception, theoretical world views to thought, and comprehension of
the reality of things to speech. We hope that through this research on
an integral paradigm we can bring together such diverse approaches
to knowledge as sociology, science, philosophy, linguistics, the arts, and
spirituality for the development of an integral view of reality.

Thanks to SALC, the Foundation
for World Education, the University
of Human Unity, and TSL
Partners for funding and support
____________________________________________________________

Complete series from the
Seminar on Integral Paradigm of Knowledge
Auroville February 2016





_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


March 2016

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

full-moon-over-the-snowy-mountain

What is the ego ?

by Dr. Eric Weiss

What do we mean when we refer to the “ego?”
People use this term in many ways.

Sometimes people use the word ego to mean something like
an inflated self-image, as in “He has a big ego.” But this is not the
spiritual sense of the word.

Psychologists refer to the ego as “the adaptive center of the personality.”
In this sense, we all have an ego, and that is a good thing.
But this is also not a spiritual sense of the word.

Buddhists often speak of “overcoming the ego,” but this is
rather confusing because according to Buddhist doctrine, all existence
(along with being impermanent and uncomfortable) is also entirely
egoless. If existence is egoless, then there is no ego
to overcome in the first place.

Sri Aurobindo brings some clarity to this issue using the terms
transcendent, universal and individual
which we discussed in this column last month.

For Sri Aurobindo, the Divine is not a Featureless Absolute, but
rather it is an entity that is nondual in that transcends the distinction
between one and many. Thus, the pronouns he, she, it and they
all apply to the Divine, and the transcendence of
ego does not entail a loss of individuality.

Our individuality is not an error; rather it is a mark of our divinity.
We are not only individuals but, like the Divine, we are universal
beings, and we transcend the universe in its entirety. But,
because we are living in ignorance, we have suppressed, or forgotten,
our larger nature. Having forgotten our universality and our transcendence,
we experience ourselves as isolated individuals in a partially alien world.

Because we experience ourselves as isolated individuals, we
experience desire, incapacity and suffering. Because we are suffering,
we are always trying to “get it together.” This ongoing attempt
to overcome suffering by acting in and on the world is what I call “the
ego project.” It’s not that we have an ego or are an ego, rather we are
individuals who are continually trying to form an ego, trying to establish
a sense of identity. This ego project is doomed to failure.

The good news is that it is possible for us, as individuals, to
give up the ego project. That does not mean that we give up our individuality.
Rather it means that our individuality gives up on trying
“get it together” and works, rather, to recover the universality and
transcendence that is our birthright. We work to give up the ego
project, and to live what Sri Aurobindo calls “the Life Divine.”
____________________________________________________

At the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center, we are continuing our
study of Sri Aurobindo’s Synthesis of Yoga.
Feel free to join us every
Sunday at 10am in the Solar Bridge
house. For more information, call
Dr. Eric Weiss at 719-937-7936.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


February 2016

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Darshan
29th February 2016 -The Golden Day, the anniversary of the descent of the Supramental


93d81005fcb45a264643af00d846c847


FEBRUARY 29 - THE SUPRAMENTAL MANIFESTATION

The Mother has the concrete experience of the descent of the Supramental Consciousness on Earth on February 29,1956.   The Golden Day ‘The lights had been turned off at the Playground after the reading of some passages from The Synthesis of Yoga and the children's questions. They all sat on the ground in a semicircle around her. One heard the sea in the distance, and the beam of the lighthouse swept over the top of the walls – two short flashes, one long. It was the “Wednesday meditation.” One saw Mother in the dark, seated in her low chair, bent somewhat forward, with a Plumeria flower between her motionless fingers. She always looked white, this Mother, even when dressed in red or in whatever colour, as if something radiated through her body, a kind of white luminosity at times so dense that it became visible to our materialistic eyes. And there were the disciples, silent…' 1 [This is how a French disciple, present there on 29 February 1956, gives his impression of the moment at the Playground when the Supramental manifested in the atmosphere of the Earth.] The Mother herself noted down that very evening: ‘This evening the Divine Presence, concrete and material, was there present amongst you. I had a form of living gold, bigger than the universe, and I was facing a huge and massive golden door which separated the world from the Divine. As I looked at the door, I knew and willed, in a single movement of consciousness, that “the time has come,” and lifting with both hand a mighty golden hammer I struck one blow, one single blow on the door and the door was shattered to pieces. Then the supramental Light and Force and Consciousness rushed down upon earth in an uninterrupted flow.' Later she explained in a conversation with K.D. Sethna: ‘The whole thing is not so much a vision or an experience as something done by me. I went up into the Supermind and did what was to be done. There was no need for any verbal formulation as far as I was concerned, but in order to put it into words for others I wrote the thing down. Always in writing, a realization, a state of consciousness gets somewhat limited: the very act of expression narrows the reality to some extent.'  
The significance of this event cannot be overestimated. What Sri Aurobindo and the Mother had been working for since the beginning of their Avataric yoga was now realized. What had they been working for? To bring the supramental, i.e. divine Consciousness down on Earth, to insert it into the earthly evolution and thus make the decisive evolutionary step possible by which one day a divinized species will be present on Earth in a material body…  
The manifestation of the Supramental on 29 February 1956 meant, among other things, that the future embodiment of the supramentally conscious being beyond Man, of the divine Superman, was now assured, as it was assured that the human aspiration throughout countless millenniums was being fulfilled: the world would not always be a place of frustration, suffering and death. Like everything else in the One Divine it would be able to materially develop its essential divine nature. K.D. Sethna wrote in his diary: ‘I wonder when the world will realize that [on 29 February 1956] the greatest event in history took place.'  
The Mother announced the Event in the Bulletin of April 1956. There she published the following four lines under the heading ‘29 February:   'Lord, Thou hast willed and I execute: A new light breaks upon the earth, A new world is born. The things that were promised are fulfilled'.
  This was a modification of four great lines from her diary entry on 25 September 1914, forty-two years before:   'The Lord has willed and Thou dost execute: A new Light shall break upon the earth. A new world shall be born And the things that were promised shall be fulfilled'.   Tellingly, the future expectation had become the present realization. At the same time, she had the following declaration published, under the date 24 April 1956: ‘The manifestation of the Supramental upon earth is no more a promise but a living fact, a reality. It is at work here, and one day will come when the most blind, the most unconscious, even the most unwilling shall be obliged to recognize it.'  
Henceforth in the Ashram 29 February was called the Golden Day.

From ‘The Mother, The Story of Her Life' by Georges Van Vrekhem, pp 415 – 425


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Darshan

21feb2016date 3

Darshan February 2016 3

___________________________________________________________________

Corona-Ama Dablam


Sri Aurobindo often uses a trilogy of terms when referring to the
Divine: Transcendent, Universal and Individual. Let’s look at those
terms, and see what they are about.

In some theologies, it is imagined that the Divine is transcendent
in the sense that it is outside of and indifferent to the world of individuals
in which we live. But Sri Aurobindo uses the term in a different
sense. For him, the Divine is transcendent in the sense that it is
absolutely free and inexhaustively creative. Because the Divine is the
one absolute embracing all diversity, there is nothing that contradicts
its will, thus it is absolutely free. And the Divine is not limited by
what it manifests, and can always manifest more, thus it is inexhaustively
creative.

Because the Divine is one absolute embracing all diversity, it can
only create out of itself. The Divine is the stuff out of which it creates,
there is nothing existing that is not the Divine, and thus it is Universal.

And the Divine is Individual; it is each of us and it is all beings in
this and all universes.

In terms of our own experience, this understanding enables us
to see the Divine in three different ways.

First, we can look for the Divine beyond all our finite experienc es,
and then it is either known as the Great Emptiness, or as the Su preme
Person, the Sole, the Alone containing all universes.

Second, we can look at the whole universe around us, and see
that as the face of the Divine, pervading the world in His/Her/Its Universality.

Third, we can look within ourselves, to the very core of our subjectivity,
and find there the Divine in His/Her/Its Individual aspect, inhabiting
the universe.

Although we are finite be ings, living in the Ignorance, we can
nonetheless see that we, too, like the Divine, are Transcendent, Universal
and Individual.

If we look at any given moment of our experience, we can see
that we are what we are by virtue of the world out of which we arise,
and that world wouldn’t be what it is if it wasn’t for the billions of years
of evolution that have preceded us. Thus we are, in some important
sense, the universe individualizing itself in this place at this moment.
We are Universal beings.

And then, in each moment, we survey the whole of the actual past
and all of the possible future, and we make a free decision about how
to be. In that sense, we transcend the world. We are, like the Divine, Transcendent.

And, of course, we are individuals. Thus we, like the Divine,
are Transcendent, Universal and Individual.
________________________________________

At the Center, we are continuing
our study of Sri Aurobindo’s
Synthesis of Yoga every Sunday morning at 10 am.
For more information, call
Eric at 719-937-7936.
Please join us.



_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

January 2016


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

In one, many.

Early in January the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center will be
hosting a new teacher, Dr. Eric Weiss, who has recently moved to
town. Eric, who was a professor of Philosophy and Religion at the
California Institute of Integral Studies, will be presenting a
course
on Sri Aurobindo’s text The Synthesis of Yoga.
This will take place at
the center on Sunday mornings at 10am, starting on January 3, at 83
Baca Grant Way in Crestone. Rod Hemsell, who usually conducts the
Sunday morning class, is away in Auroville.

While many people have heard of Sri Aurobindo, few are fully
aware of the scope of his work. He was not only a spiritual teacher,
but a political revolutionary, a philosopher, a social critic and a
cosmologist. As we study the text, we will take the time to appreciate
all of the different aspects of his teachings. We will pay particular
attention to Sri Aurobindo’s cosmology— a magnificent story which
synthesizes East and West in a full reconciliation of spiritual aspiration
with evolutionary thought.

Sri Aurobindo is notoriously difficult to read. His language,
while superficially daunting, has the power, when intensely studied,
to invoke the Divine Presence. In this class, we will not only be studying
Sri Aurobindo’s ideas, but also learning how to read his texts.

This class will resemble a Tibetan tri, in which students are “initiated”
in the study of the text by reading it, in a group, with one who
knows the text well. It will also resemble a Catholic lecta divina, a
group of students who, through the quality of their attention, let the
Divine presence shine through the ideas that they are studying.

If you have studied Sri Aurobindo, this class will deepen your
understanding. If you have not studied him before, this class will
be an excellent introduction. Feel free to drop in on any Sunday.

For more information, call
Eric at 719-937-7936.

Course link

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


December 2015





Sri Aurobindo left His body on 5th December 1950


f976dae40b96e48cce08635c5a5c3e6d



_____________________________________________________________________________________________


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


“The Breath of things is an Immortal
Life, but of this body ashes
are the end.”


There are two main streams of Hindu and Buddhist philosophy
and practice, the passive and the active, and this line from the Isha
Upanishad is one of the most well-known foundations of the stream of
action, of practice, which is known most commonly as Tantra. Students
of Tantra will know that many of its practices entail a consciousness
preparation for death.

The fundamental principle of this system has been thoroughly and
explicitly stated in a short commentary on the
Isha Upanishad by Sri Aurobindo.

sri-aurobindo-isha-upanishad-books

“Matter supplies us with the body; but it is only a
temporary knot of the movement . . .
Once it is thrown aside by the Life-principle it is dissolved;
ashes are its end. Therefore the body is not ourselves,
but only anouter tool and instrument.

“The Life-principle in us survives. It is the immortal Breath or, as
the phrase really means, the subtle force of existence which is superior to
the principle of birth and death. At first sight it may appear that birth
and death are attributes of the Life, but it is not really so: birth and death
are processes of Matter, of the body. The Life-principle is not formed and
dissolved in the formulation and dissolution of the body; if that were so,
there could be no continuity of the individual existence and all would go
back at death into the formless. Life forms body, it is not formed by it. It is
the thread upon which the continuity of our successive bodily lives is
arranged, precisely because it is itself immortal” (Isha Upanishad:79).

As practitioners will know, there are specific means for liberating
oneself from illusory attachments in order to experience the peace of
immortality before death and thereby avoid unnecessary rebirths. This
possibility and aim require an active will to achieve liberation in this life,
but they also have far-reaching benefits beyond this liberation.

“We live in what we are doing, we do not control what has been
done, but are rather controlled by our past works which we have forgotten.
This is because we dwell in the action and its fruits instead of
living in the soul and viewing the stream of action from behind it. The
true Will stands back from the actions and therefore is their lord and
not bound by them.

“The Upanishad solemnly invokes the will . . . to become a power
of knowledge and self-possession and not only a power of impulsion and
self formulation. It will thus more and more approximate itself to
the true Will and preside over the co-ordination of the successive lives
with a conscious control” (Isha:80).

_______________________________________________________

These most ancient teachings
from the Vedas and Upanishads
are the focus of the center’s Sunday
morning presentations in December
leading up to a week-long retreat focused
on the conquest of death from
the 20th to the 24th.
________________
For more information please
call 719-256-4917, or 719-256-6010.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

November 2015


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


The Mother's Mahasamadhi day



17nov2015date


17nov2015eng


17nov2015fr





____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


Valley-Bow




In our course and workshop on The Philosophy of Consciousness,
which began in Auroville this year and has been a continuing
theme at our center in Crestone, the transition from an empirical
view of consciousness to a phenomenological view and finally to an
intuitive holistic view, through several centuries in the development
of philosophical thought, has been studied in depth. And the writings
of several prominent philosophers has been surveyed along the way,
all in the context of the crises of the 21st century that we know so well:
global warming, environmental pollution, economic exploitation,
overpopulation, and the culprit, according to our survey, always boils
down to the dominant paradigm of science and technology that remains
stuck in the empiricist mode of the 17th century.

In this light it is especially interesting to note that Pope Francis,
in his Encyclical on Climate Change and Inequality, has identified
exactly the same culprit. As he has put it, in surprisingly emphatic
language: “It can be said that many problems of today’s world
stem from the tendency, at times unconscious, to make the method
and aims of science and technology an epistemological paradigm which
shapes the lives of individuals and the workings of society. The effects
of imposing this model on reality as a whole, human and social, are
seen in the deterioration of the environment, but this is just one sign
of a reductionism which affects every aspect of human and social
life. . . . The technocratic paradigm tends to dominate economic and
political life. The economy accepts every advance in technology with a
view to profit, without concern for its potentially negative impact on
human beings.” (p.67-68).

There is a ray of hope, however, which is the theme that emerges
from a radical critique, as well as from our wisdom traditions. It is
what distinguishes efforts such as ours and Auroville’s, and what may
be seen as the emerging holistic paradigm, and yet it is incumbent
on those who are identified with this to also take a hard look at where we
stand today and where we may be headed. As he says: “There needs
to be a distinctive way of looking at things, a way of thinking, policies,
an educational program, a lifestyle and a spirituality which together
generate resistance to the assault of the technocratic paradigm. Otherwise,
even the best ecological initiatives can find themselves caught
up in the same globalized logic. . . . An authentic humanity, calling for
a new synthesis, seems to dwell in the midst of our technological culture,
almost unnoticed . . . Will the promise last, in spite of everything,
with all that is authentic rising up in stubborn resistance?” (p. 70-71).

Rod Hemsell
_______________________________________

For information on our activities
at SALC,
please call 719-256- 4917 or 719-256- 6010.





________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

October 2015

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Colorado Fall


A teaching on consciousness

At our annual Savitri Immersion Workshop this year we had a presentation
on the philosophy of consciousness which focused on the example
of three of the most prominent architectural features of this community:
the Tashi Gomang Stupa, the Carmelite Chapel, and the Hindu Temple.

It was pointed out that serious thinking about the the meaning of
human consciousness began with the empirical philosophy of Hume in the
18th century, who believed that all we really know are the impressions of
our senses, and the ideas that reflect those impressions (in some mysterious
way), and we cannot know that those objects have any substantial or
continuous existence themselves. But then, in the 19th century, the philosopher
Hegel advanced the idea that when we are aware of this steeple
or that steeple, we really know a universal to which these particulars belong,
which includes a vast world of such symbols that have been used by
religions for thousands of years to represent the aspirations of humanity to
rise above its ignorance and mortality. By negating the particulars, we arrive
at this universal truth of human civilization, which is a reality known
directly by consciousness, just as the shapes of these steeples are known by
visual perception. Through the universals we can also know the Absolute
Spirit that manifests itself in such religious passions, emotions and ideas
throughout the history of civilization.

Then, turning to the mantric poetry of Sri Aurobindo, we were shown
through its powerful mystical rhythms and images the essential spiritual
reality that is there behind these universal manifestations, and that explains
the mystery of consciousness:

There walled apart by its own innerness
In a mystical barrage of dynamic light
He saw a lone immense high-curved world-pile
Erect like a mountain-chariot of the Gods
Motionless under an inscrutable sky.

Infinity calls to it as it dreams and climbs;
Its spire touches the apex of the world;
Mounting into great voiceless stillnesses
It marries the earth to screened eternities.

It is within, below, without, above.
Acting upon this visible Nature’s scheme
It wakens our earth-matter’s heavy doze
To think and feel and to react to joy;
It models in us our diviner parts,
Lifts mortal mind into a greater air,
Makes yearn this life of flesh to intangible aims,
Links the body’s death with immortality’s call:
Out of the swoon of the Inconscience
It labours towards a superconscient Light.
If earth were all and this were not in her,
Thought could not be nor life-delight’s response:
Only material forms could then be her guests
Driven by an inanimate world-force.


Savitri p.98


__________________________________

Center activities for the next month
will include Sunday morning teachings from 10 to 12
and Tuesday evening potluck and teachings from 5:30 to 8:30.
For more information please call 719-256-4917 or 719-256-6010.


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

September 2015

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

IMG_0965

“The Many in the universe are sometimes called parts of the
universal Brahman as the waves are parts of the sea. But, in truth,
these waves are each of them that sea, their diversities being those of
frontal or superficial appearances caused by the sea’s motion. . . Even
in asserting Oneness, we must remember that Brahman is beyond
our mental distinctions and is a fact not of Thought that discriminates,
but of Being which is absolute, infinite and escapes discrimination.”

This is a quotation from Sri Aurobindo’s commentary on the Isha
Upanishad, and it has the simplicity and power to open the discussion
that has preoccupied philosophy for most of the past two thousand
years. Can our thinking know the Being of things, or does it only
know the impressions of our senses and the ideas that are based on
those impressions. The philosopher Hume in the 18th century articulated
the question most clearly in modern times, but it was prominent
in the thinking of ancient Greece and India, and it is the hallmark
of scepticism. But the phenomenology of Hegel and German Idealism
followed in the 19th century, with the understanding that Consciousness
can rise above the senses and rational thought to a direct awareness
of the universals and essences that are knowable behind the appearances
of things. However, this kind of knowing requires that we
stand back from and, in a sense, negate our mental constructions.
This is a discipline taught in most schools of Yoga and it is a practice
that was known at least as early as the Upanishads. It is relevant again
today after a century of rationalistic science which tends to see the manipulation
of objects as an end in itself, without concern for their being,
and is not likely to be able to solve the problems that it has created.

Our Savitri Immersion Workshop in August included a survey
of this wisdom, expressed by various philosophers and traditions,
culminating in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and his Integral Yoga.
The workshop was attended this year by a brilliant constellation of
participants from many states and from abroad, and our local members
who provided the usual fare of tantalizing meals and warm hospitality.
Sadly, we were informed during our opening meditation that a
longtime member of our group,
Pavita Bluedeer, had passed away.
She had been with us just the previous morning, as genuinely present
as she had always been for the past 15 years, and we continued to feel
her presence, clarity, and devotion with us throughout the week. For
the past year her articles have appeared here regularly as a witness
to her deep devotion to this center and its mission. We remember her
with love, respect and gratitude.

______________________________________________

Center activities for the next
month will include Sunday morning
teachings from 10 to 12 and
Tuesday evening potluck and
teachings from 6 to 8:30. For more
information please call 256-4917 or
256-6010.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

August 2015

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

15th August is the Birthday of Sri Aurobindo . It is celebrated in the Ashram as a Darshan day.
A darshan card will be distributed on this occasion.



Darshan day 2015


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Savitri and the philosophy of
consciousness


Earth 2.0

“Consciousness studies” have enjoyed a surge in importance and
popularity in the past decade in both philosophy and science, with
vast expenditures of time, energy, and money, as well as consciousness
itself, on neuroscientific research for example, and in the
writing of innumerable books on the subject.

And in the early to mid 20th century the subject of “consciousness”
was the main focus of phenomenology, in philosophy and
psychology, which resulted in a kind of revolution in thinking
about reality. It constituted a shift from scepticism and empiricism to
the view that consciousness is one with world, we are connected with
everything, and knowledge is possible on the basis of identity. This
is also the view of eastern spirituality in general,which we have
learned from Buddhist and Hindu seers and practitioners.

The theme of our August Savitri Immersion Workshop is
based on a course that was presented in Auroville on The Philosophy
of Consciousness this year and will present a broad view of
the pursuit of the attempt to answer the question What is Consciousness?,
especially from the points of view of the philosophies
of Hegel and Sri Aurobindo. But the assumption is that it is from
within consciousness itself that the question can be answered rather
than by laboratory experiments and rational constructs. And if
consciousness holds the purpose of caring about the being of things,
and not just the awareness and manipulation of objects, then to
answer this question could impact the way human beings adapt to
the environmental crises that are growing in importance and seriousness.
As the philosopher A. N. Whitehead said, it is our ability
to assess the importance of things that enables us to focus our energies
and establish the values that create civilization. And at the present
time on earth this ability may also be important to our survival.

Sri Aurobindo’s yoga of the transformation of consciousness
was expressed most powerfully in the mantric transmission known
as Savitri which enhances our ability to rise above rational mind
into a more direct intuitive awareness of the world and ourselves.
Beginning with the context of philosophy and jnana yoga we will endeavor
to move with the rhythmic expressions of mantra yoga into a
spiritual embrace of reality as a whole.

The
workshop will be held at Savitri House and the Solar Dome
from August 10 to 15, and sessions will take place daily from 9am to
6pm. Most participants will be there for the week, but visitors
may feel free to drop in for a few sessions. A contribution of $250 is asked for the week,
including lunch and dinner each day.

For more information please contact
Brian Dyer 719-256-6010 or Rod Hemsell 206-963-0989


_________________________________________________________________________

The Integral Yoga and practice of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
are studied each Tuesday evening at 6pm, following a
potluck dinner. Savitri House is located
at 83 Baca Grant Way.
Please call
719-256-4917 for information.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


July 2015

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

A Seer within who knows the
ordered plan
Concealed behind our momentary
steps,
Inspires our ascent to viewless
heights
As once the abysmal leap to
earth and life.
His call had reached the Traveller
in Time.
Apart in an unfathomed loneliness…
A formless stillness called, a
nameless Light.

Crestone_Eagle_Vol26_No7

The Mother on intuition:

“There are different kinds of intuition,
and we carry these capacities within us.
They are always a little active but we don’t discern
them because we don’t pay enough attention to what goes on in us.

“There is behind the emotions, deep within the being, in a
consciousness seated somewhere near the level of the solar plexus,
a sort of prescience, like a capacity for foresight, but not in the form of
ideas: rather in the form of feelings, almost a perception of sensations.

“Intuition, in the usual cerebral functioning, is something
which falls suddenly, like a drop of light. If one has the faculty, a beginning
of the faculty of mental vision, it gives the impression of something
coming from outside or above, like a little impact in the brain of a drop of
light, absolutely independent of all reasoning.

“This is perceived more easily where one succeeds in silencing
one’s mind, as though the mind were changed into
a kind of mirror turned towards a higher faculty in
a sustained and silent attention.
That too one can learn to do.
One must learn to do it,
it is a necessary
discipline.

“When you have a question to solve,
whatever it may be, usually you concentrate your attention here,
at the centre just above the eyes, the centre of the conscious will.
But then if you do that, you cannot be in contact with intuition . . .
Active thought must be stopped as far as
possible and the entire mental faculty formed at the top of the head and
a little further above if possible—a kind of mirror, very tranquil, very
still, turned upwards, in a silent, very concentrated attention. If you
succeed in doing that, you can—perhaps not immediately—but you can
get the perception of those drops of light falling from a yet unknown region
upon the mirror and becoming translated into a conscious thought
which has no connection with the rest of your thought since you have
managed to keep that silent. That is the real beginning of intellectual
intuition. It is a discipline to be followed. For a long time one may
try and not succeed, but as soon as one succeeds in “making the mirror”
still and attentive, one always has a result, not necessarily with a
precise form of thought but always with the sensation of a light coming
from above. And then if one can receive this light coming from above in
calmness and silence and let it penetrate deep into the being, then after
a while it is translated either into a luminous thought or a very precise
indication in the heart centre.

—The Mother, Questions and
Answers, 1957-58.

__________________________________________

The Integral Yoga and practice of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
are studied each Tuesday evening at 6pm, following a
potluck dinner. Savitri House is located
at 83 Baca Grant Way.
Please call
256-4917 for information.




__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


June 2015

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Crestone_Eagle_Vol26_No6

We Must Choose

A prescient architect of Fate
and Chance
Who builds our lives on a
foreseen design
The meaning knows and consequence of each step
And watches the inferior
stumbling powers.
Upon her silent heights she
was aware
Of a calm Presence throned
above her brows
Who saw the goal and chose
each fateful curve . . .


-Sri Aurobindo, Savitri

“One cannot do Yoga (union with the Divine) if one does not
take it seriously. For one must be very serious to have a constant aspiration.
If one is not serious, for five minutes one has an aspiration
and for ten hours one hasn’t; for one day there is a great urge and
for a month nothing. Aspiration is a thing to be developed, educated,
like all activities of the being. (Sri Aurobindo) says you must choose
and if you do not choose you will not be able to advance. Our will is
free, it is deliberately left free and you have to choose. It is you who
decide whether to seek the Light or not, whether to be the servitor
of the Truth or not — it is you. Or whether to have an aspiration or
not, it is you who choose. And even when you are told, ‘Make your surrender
total and the work will be done for you’, it is quite all right,
but to make your surrender total, every day and at every moment
you must choose to make your surrender total, otherwise you will not
do it, it will not get done by itself. When it is done, all goes well, when
you have the Knowledge also, all goes well, and when you are identified
with the Divine, all goes even better, but till then you must will,
choose and decide.”

-The Mother, Collected Works,
1950-51

At Savitri House, the gardens are being cleaned, amended and
planted. Soon visitors from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry,
India and other centers in America and Europe will arrive.

This is an exciting time, culminating in the annual Savitri
Immersion which ends on Sri Aurobindo’s birthday, August 15. This
date is the birthday of India’s Independence from Britain, August 15,
1947 as well. Sri Aurobindo was a major influence on India’s drive
for independence, rejecting “home rule” and demanding withdrawal
of the colonizing forces. He is regarded as a great revolutionary
and a father of India’s freedom.

__________________________________________

The Integral Yoga and practice of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
are studied each Tuesday evening at 6pm, following a
potluck dinner. Savitri House is located
at 83 Baca Grant Way.
Please call
256-4917 for information.



__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


May 2015

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

On sincerity
“A sincere heart is worth all
the extraordinary powers in the
world.”

This spring, all around Crestone, spiritual centers are
planning their summer retreats. Seekers and students from far
away are planning their travel schedules. We look forward to
this time of learning to go within more deeply, and our aspirations
are intense. There is, however, one quality that is essential and
sometimes overlooked in our fervor: sincerity.

“Sincere is simply an adjective meaning that the will must
be a true will. If you simply think “I aspire” and do things inconsistent
with the aspiration, or follow your desires or open yourself to
contrary influences, then it is not a sincere will. To be absolutely
sincere, straightforward, open, is not an easy achievement for human nature.

Crestone_Eagle_Vol26_No5

“It is only by spiritual endeavor that one can realize it—
and to do it needs a severity of introspective self-vision, an unsparing
scrutiny of self-observation of which many yogis even
are not capable and it is only by an illumining Grace that reveals
the sadhak to himself and transforms what is deficient in him
that it can be done. And even then only if he himself consents
and lends himself wholly to the divine working.

“The one condition of getting rid of things is an absolute
central sincerity in all the parts of the being, and that means
an absolute insistence on the Truth and nothing but the Truth.
There will then be a readiness for unsparing self-criticism and vigilant
openness to the light, an uneasiness when falsehood comes
in, which will finally purify the whole being. The most important
thing for the purification of the heart is an absolute sincerity.

“No pretense with oneself, no concealment from the Divine,
or oneself, or the Guru, a straight look at one’s movements, straight
will to make them straight. It does not so much matter if it
takes time: one must be prepared to make it one’s whole life-task
to seek the Divine. Purifying the heart means after all a pretty
considerable achievement and it is no use getting despondent because
one finds things in oneself that still need to be changed.

“If one keeps the true will and true attitude, then the intuitions
or intimations from within will begin to grow, become clear,
precise, unmistakable and the strength to follow them will grow
also: and then before even you are satisfied with yourself, the
Divine will be satisfied with you and begin to withdraw the veil by
which he protects himself and his seekers against a premature and
perilous grasping of the greatest thing to which humanity can aspire.”—
The Integral Yoga, Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method
of Practice, pg 116-7
__________________________________________

Reading, discussion and
meditation on the work of Sri Aurobindo
and the Mother follow a
potluck meal every Tuesday evening.
The community is invited to
join us at 83 Baca Grant Way at
6pm. Call 256-4917 for information.



__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


April 2015


24th April is the day of the Mother’s final arrival at Pondicherry in 1920. It is celebrated in the Ashram as a Darshan day.
A darshan card will be distributed on this occasion , this is an e-version of the same.




Mother's Darshan 2015



Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Change

The outer being is a means of expression only, not one’s self. One
must not identify with it, for what it expresses is a personality formed
by the old ignorant nature. If not identified one can change so as to
express the true inner personality of the Light.

-Sri Aurobindo

sa_p07
Sri Aurobindo at his writing desk

“The individual is not limited to the physical body—it is only the
external consciousness which feels like that. As soon as one gets over
this feeling of limitation, one can feel first the inner consciousness
which is connected with the body, but does not belong to it, afterwards
the planes of consciousness above the body, also a consciousness
surrounding the body, but part of oneself, part of the individual
being, through which one is in contact with the cosmic forces
and with other beings. The last is what I have called the environmental consciousness.

“By environmental consciousness I mean something that each
man carries around him, outside his body, even when he is not
aware of it, by which he is in touch with others and with the universal
forces. It is through this that the thoughts, feelings, etc. of others
pass to enter into one—it is through this also that waves of the
universal force—desire, sex, etc. come in and take possession of the
mind, vital or body.

“The subconscient and the environmental consciousness are
two quite different things. What is stored in the subconscient—impressions,
memories, rise up from there into the conscious parts. In
the environmental things are not stored up and fixed, although they
move about there. It is full of mobility, a field of vibration or passage of forces.”

____________________________________________________________

Every Tuesday evening at 6, we gather for a potluck meal,
study and meditation. Community members interested in the
revolutionary Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo are welcome to join us.
Please call 256-4917 for information
or come by Savitri House at
83 Baca Grant Way.



__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


March 2015


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

The Mother-05

The Mother, Sri Aurobindo’s “radiant collaborator.”


Passing into the world of soul
“All there was soul or made of sheer soul-stuff;
A sky of soul covered a deep soul-ground.
All here was known by a spiritual sense:
Thought was not there but a knowledge near and one
Seized on all things by a moved identity . . .

“Immersed in voiceless internatal trance
The beings that once wore forms on earth sat there
In shining chambers of spiritual sleep . . .

They had returned into the world’s deep soul.
All now was gathered into pregnant rest . . .

“The spirit wandering from state to state
Finds here the silence of its starting-point
In the formless force and the still fixity
And brooding passion of the world of Soul.
Here was the fashioning chamber of the worlds . . . ”

-Sri Aurobindo, Savitri
____________________________________

Crestone has been in mourning this winter. The Crestone End
of Life Project and many caregivers have helped the families and the
community with their generous energy and efforts. In sympathy and
gratitude, we offer some words from Sri Aurobindo and the Mother:

“The question of departure depends on the degree of development,
the conditions of death—and above all on the unification of the
being and its attitude at the time of leaving the body . . . What the soul
will do, where it will go—all depends on what it has decided before
leaving the body. And this capacity to keep around itself the being that
has been fully organized and unified in its physical life, will allow it
a sure choice of what it wants to do.

“And then, if its work has been done well and the parts of its being
or its sheaths which it has left in their different domains have managed
as they should there, when it descends again, it will put on one
after another all these parts which lived with it in a past life and with
this wealth of knowledge and experience it will prepare to enter a new
body . . .” - The Mother.

___________________________________________________

The Mother, Sri Aurobindo’s “radiant collaborator”, was born in
Paris on February 21, 1878. We gathered at Savitri House for “Darshan”,
chanting and films to celebrate her birth and great work for more than
fifty-two years in Pondicherry, India.
Interested members of the community
are welcome to join us for potluck
dinner, meditation and discussion at
5pm Tuesday evenings.
Call 256-4917 for information.



__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


February 2015



The Mother's 137th birthday




Mother's Darshan 2015




Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Great Sand Dunes NP - Colorado

One must be calm

Between World War I and World War II, many children came to live
in the ashram. A devotee who was five when she met the Mother said
the children flocked around her, played games with her in the cool halls
of the ashram building, and the little girls wanted to be just like her. The
Mother taught French to the children. Her classes were so popular that
adult devotees sat in with the children, to ask questions and learn French:

“For each one the means (to be calm) is different, but first one must
feel the need of this quietude, this peace in the mind. Now, one quickly
perceives that there is another quietude which is necessary, the absence of
desire. Quietude is a very positive state; there is a positive peace which is
not the opposite of conflict—an active peace, contagious, powerful, which
control and calms, which puts everything in order, organizes. When I tell
someone ‘Be calm’, I don’t mean ‘Go to sleep, be inert and passive . . .’ far
from that. True quietude is a very great force, a very great strength. And
this is true even in the physical field. I don’t know if you have observed
animals like lions, tigers, elephants, but when they are not in action, they
are always so perfectly still. A lion sitting and looking at you seems always
(to say), ‘Oh, how fidgety you are!’
It looks at you with such a peaceful air of wisdom.

“I have seen people who could not sit still for half an hour without
fidgeting. They had to move a foot or an arm or their head; they had to
stir restlessly all the time, for they did not have the power to remain quiet.
This capacity to remain still when one wants to, to gather all one’s energies
and spend them as one wishes, is always the sign of strength. Make your
mind quiet, don’t get restless all the time in your head, don’t rake up lots
of ideas, calm yourself.”

___________________________________________________________________

Currently, the Savitri Circle, in its Tuesday evening meetings, is
working on the question of quietude. Some members have learned ways
to silence the mind and Marika is leading us in a very effective mini-workshop.
We meet for a potluck meal at 5pm during the winter, at Savitri
House: 83 Baca Grant Way. Call 256-4917 for information.



__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


January 2015

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center
Greetings and Happy New year to all.
Namaste


A1-cover-629x419
Fresh snow and the mountains above Crestone. Photo by Bill Ellzey

“When you want to realise something, you make the necessary effort
to do the work; this concentrates your energies on the thing to be
realized and that gives a meaning to your life. This compels you to a
sort of organization of yourself, a sort of concentration of your energies,
because it is this that you wish to do. And it is in this concentration, this
intensity of the will, that lays the origin of joy. This gives you the power
to receive energies in exchange for those you spend.”

—The Mother,
Questions and Answers 1950-51
SALC’S adult volunteers have learned a very heartening thing
during our Crestone Solar Corps projects: the students we have worked
with are energetic, interested and good workers. We are fortunate in
Crestone for the quality of education students receive here.

Student workers complete tiling project:

Saguache County supported the idea of two students learning
to tile a solarium with its grant encouraging energy efficiency. Many
thanks to the County Commissioners for helping the youth acquire skills
and discover what different vocations involve. The tax revenue
grant made it possible for Quincy Meisman and Chenoa Off to earnas-
they-learned to lay and grout tile. Quincy’s response to the project
was, Chenoa said, “I had a blast.”



Crestone_Eagle_Vol26_No1

“On the second day we began to customize the tile to the funky walls and for
more than half that day I cut the tiles on a special saw blade. We listened to
music, learned more about each other and fell into a meditative work mode
throughout the whole weekend. I loved it! I am so excited that I now have this
new skill set I can use anywhere I go: for trade in foreign countries, for a consistent
job and pay, or for tiling my own house I may build some day. No doubt I have so
much more to learn about tiling, but I’m so thankful to everybody who made this
internship possible.” -Quincy Meisman



The Crestone Solar Corps is conceived as a model for non-profits
who wish to collaborate with students, unemployed youth and
funders through earn-as-you-learn projects. The goal is to improve
energy efficiency in our community while the community’s young workers
receive wages as they acquire skills in renewable technologies.
______________________________________

The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center Sunday morning teachings
will return with the teacher, Rod Hemsell, next summer. Every
Tuesday evening throughout the year, we eat together, visit, then
gather in the Savitri House living room by a roaring fire. There we
read and discuss and meditate on the words of Sri Aurobindo and The
Mother. The Savitri reading circle is open to all who are interested in
these revolutionary teachings, and dinner is at 5pm.
Our address is 83 Baca Grant Way North.

Please call 256-4917 for information.



__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

December 2014


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


egyptian-lotus-flower1


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center now
offering ‘Auromere’ products.


The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center in Crestone has begun
to expand beyond the boundaries of its small study group pattern into a
more active outreach mode that includes the distribution of Auromere
products, now available in local and regional shops. These products are
manufactured in India for the most part, made of Ayurvedic herbal formulas,
and packaged at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Lodi, California.
You will probably recognize things like Ayurvedic formula toothpaste,
mouthwash, soaps, shampoos, lotions, and incense. The Auromere
product source is also the source of the books of Sri Aurobindo and the
Mother, which Seyril used to provide from Savitri House and which
are still available here. In addition, we are now starting to print and
distribute books that are available from
Auro-ebooks as downloads on
Kindle, iPad and your computer.

As mentioned previously, the library of Savitri House as well as the Solar Dome
meditation hall are available to guests and the community.
And we are happy to have had several groups this year who were interested
in learning about the Integral Yoga, the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, and the
mantric teaching of Savitri. In one of the publications that we offer,
The Philosophy
of Religion
, by Rod Hemsell, the role of the Word in all traditions of
sacred wisdom is explored in detail through the seminal writings of
each of three major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity.
In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, as practiced here in Crestone
in fact, the transmission of the highest wisdom through mantra is
believed to be essential.

This was the theme of a presentation
made to the students of Verde Valley School who visited in
November on a field trip to study the wisdom traditions housed in
Crestone. The importance of the inspired truth-transmission that is
fundamental in these traditions derives from the metaphysical belief
that the origin of universal principles in existence is a seed sound
that emanates from the transcendent Spirit. In the Greek mystical
tradition of Plotinus it was known as the Pleroma, the Logos, and in
Sanskrit as Paravak. In Si Aurobindo’s teaching, which is based on
the Rig Veda, that form of speech is known as Savitri – the radiant
body of the incarnate Word. As such, She is the creative emanation
of the Divine Mother.

One of the incredibly amazing
aspects of living here, in Crestone, and in many other communities in
the West, is that these ancient mystery traditions are now accessible
through the medium of the English language, as originally formulated
in various authentic traditions such as the Tibetan Buddhist and
Hindu Vedanta. It is now possible to appreciate easily and directly
both their uniqueness and the universality of their truths.


For information about activities of the center please contact Brian at
719-256-6010.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

November 2014


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center
_______________

Anniversary of the descent of the Overmental Consciousness and the founding of Sri Aurobindo Ashram


Om Namo Bhagavate


__________________________________________________________________


The Mother left her physical body on 17th November in 1973



unknown

__________________________________________________________________

Activity-based learning

In October we witnessed the completion of another project
undertaken with the support of the
Foundation for World Education
which, like the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center, is inspired by and
associated with Auroville in south India. As FWE says in its recent
newsletter:

“Each project that receives a Foundation for World Education
seed grant is a distinct expression of human aspiration that supports
the genesis of a transformed world as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo and
the Mother. Whether present or future projects involve training and
education, provide facilities and services, or manifest any of a myriad
offerings that we can or can not yet imagine, it is the FWE’s aspiration
that each project flourish as a self-sustaining, unique sower
of more seeds of evolutionary consciousness.”

Every year FWE allocates about $45,000 to qualified nonprofits
in the US as well as to many projects in Auroville. In the
last four years we have undertaken several small projects involving
students from Crestone Charter School in practical training, with
funding from FWE and Saguache County that includes wages for the
participating students. In addition to providing a learning activity for
the students, these funds directly benefit the charter school’s travel
fund. This year a small group was trained in laying floor tiling, facilitated
by Paul O’Connor, a builder and friend from the Auromesa
community near Taos. In the past the students have helped us construct
a greenhouse, install an underfloor solar heating system, and
manufacture heavy curtains for solar window insulation.

The message embedded in these projects is not only the value
of activity-based learning but also acquiring skills that help to construct
a sustainable habitat. In October we also started a
series of readings and lectures on the subject of death in Sri Aurobindo’s
Savitri, which will continue on Sundays in November, along
with our Tuesday evening study group on the very comprehensive
and authoritative text, Essays on the Gita. This text is an exposition
of the principles of Integral Yoga, which is a practice for realizing union
with the Divine Consciousness through knowledge, devotion, and
work. As Sri Aurobindo writes: “. . . to direct the whole self Godwards
in an entire union is the way to rise out of a mundane into a divine
existence. This is the Gita’s teaching of divine love and devotion, in
which knowledge, works and the heart’s longing become one in a supreme
unification, a merging of all their divergences, an intertwining
of all their threads, a high fusion, a wide identifying movement.”

For information on the
SriAurobindo Center and its activities
please contact Brian at
719-256-6010.


Baca Ranch Oct. 2014
Fresh snow on 14,000’ Kit Carson Peak (left) and Crestone Peak (right) with cottonwoods below in full beautiful autumn foliage.

photo by Wendy Shattil & Bob Rozinski


HOKKU STYLE POEM
(haiku series)

My companions today:
plants, flowers, fields, mountains,
sky;
clouds, winds, and sun.
My sun is a star
that shines above my brow;
my breath a stream of fire.
The flowers and fields
are stillness in my soul,
light in their leaves my life.
The mountains my spirit’s climb,
snowy peaks my goal,
clouds, winds, sky my spirit’s
guides.

—Rod Hemsell



______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

October 2014


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Local, national, & international events

This year’s Savitri Immersion Workshop in the Solar Dome in August
was well-attended, including 12 visitors from out of state or country
and 10 Colorado residents. There were daily teachings by Rod Hemsell,
pranayama instruction and a Lakshmi Puja performed on the birthday
of Sri Aurobindo by Santosh (a priest at the Mount Madonna temple
in Santa Cruz), and an art workshop facilitated by several of our local artists—
Mae Green, Jo Anne Kiser, and Marika Popovits.

IMG_2140

Kakshmi Puja by Santosh, Savitri Solar Mediation Dome

This event has become important over the past several years to
many practitioners of the Integral Yoga. An exhibition of Marika’s paintings,
titled The Golden Overmind, will be held at the Nicholas Roerich
Museum in New York until October 12, “Celebrating the Evolution of Consciousness
and Honoring the 2014 International Day of Peace”.

IMG_2142

In addition Auroville has recently published an auro-ebook by Rod.
The book is titled
The Philosophy of Religion: “With broad brush strokes
highlighted with interesting and intricate detail, Rod paints a rich historical
portrait illustrating the evolution of philosophical thought and its
impact on religious doctrine which extends over a twenty-four hundred
year span. The underlying theme, of course, is the slow and steady evolution
of human consciousness flowing along many separate streams of
thought springing forth from the fount of human experience while growing
in knowledge. Rod’s treks along ancient pathways draw us along to
discover the great, underlying similarities between the major religions of
today that might otherwise go unnoticed and he convinces us that such
was always inevitable since we have been dealing with universal truths all along.”

For information about activities of the center please contact Brian at
719-256-6010.




_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
September 2014



Sri Aurobindo Learning Center




IMG_2147

Savitri Immersion Workshop
2014




unknown




_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

August 2014


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

IMG_1915

The Savitri Immersion Workshop Aug. 11-16

Every year at this time we hold an intensive workshop that
explores in depth the yoga and philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, the
relationship between his many volumes of theoretical discourse, his
mantric poetry, and the practice of transformation. But none of this
work, strictly speaking, is “philosophy” in the traditional sense of
the term. It is shruti,which means an inspired seeing and a revealed
teaching. As such it is not really accessible to the intellect, which
accounts, to a large extent, for the difficulty that people sometimes

have reading his work. Comparing the prose and the poetic expressions
helps to break through the barrier of understanding. For example,
in the following selection from his Essays on the Gita and
a short poem on the same theme, we can appreciate the difference
in depth and intensity. This type of exploration is featured in the
workshop, not as an academic exercise but as a dharma teaching similar
to the sutra-mantra-tantra practices of many yoga traditions.

“We must attain that absolute peace and stillness in which we become aware of the calm,
motionless, blissful Self within us which is eternally untroubled and unaffected
by the touches of things . . . This Self is our self-existent being.
It is not limited by our personal existence. . . Our senses fall into that
stillness and receive the touches of the world on us with a supreme
tranquility, our mind falls into stillness and becomes the calm, universal
witness; our ego dissolves itself into this impersonal existence. All
things we see in this self which we have become in ourself; and we see
this self in all; we become one being with all beings in the spiritual
basis of their existence.
All is given up into that one equal and universal Brahman.”

The Witness and the Wheel

Who art thou in the heart comrade
of man who sitst
August, watching his works,
watching his joys and griefs,
Unmoved, careless of pain,
careless of death and fate?
Witness, what hast thou seen
watching this great blind world
Moving helpless in Time,
whirled on the Wheel in Space,
That yet thou with thy vast
Will biddest toil our hearts,
Mystic,—for without thee
nothing can last in Time?
We too, when from the urge
ceaseless of Nature turn
Our souls, far from the breast
casting her tool, desire,
Grow like thee. In the front
Nature still drives in vain
The blind trail of our acts,
passions and thoughts and hopes;
Unmoved, calm, we look on,
careless of death and fate,
Of grief careless and joy,—
signs of a surface script
Without value or sense, steps
of an aimless world.
Something watches behind,
Spirit or Self or Soul,
Viewing Space and its toil,
waiting the end of Time.
Witness, who then art thou,
one with thee who am I,
Nameless, watching the Wheel
whirl across Time and Space?

___________________________________________


For more information on this workshop and
other special programs call 719-256-4917.
We have remodeled Savitri House and
made the center's library available to the
community. Visitors are now welcome to come
in and read the books, and also to meditate in
the Solar Dome. We have regular
Tuesday evening readings and a potluck dinner
from 6-9pm to which all students of the yoga of
Sri Aurobindo are welcome. Our retreat and
guest facilities are also available to any spiritual
groups or organizations, seasonally, and may be
scheduled in advance.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

July 2014

The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

by Rod Hemsell


p8150438---version-2
Summer 2013 participants in Savitri Immersion workshop

Our calendar of summer activities seems to be filling up faster and promising more this season than ever before. Already, garden planting and greenhouse reconstruction have kept the core group busy, and the fairies and devas are singing. But we have more to look forward to than a green harvest, especially in the context of our mission as an educational foundation to offer programs of study in the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. In July we will have a series of Sunday lectures by Rod on the philosophy of religion, based on his course recently completed in Auroville. These will be held from 10-12 in the morning, and then in August he will offer a six-day intensive Savitri Immersion workshop from the 11th to the 16th. This is an annual event and generally includes a wide variety of participatory and therapeutic activities. For registration information please call Brian at 719- 256-6010, and for information see www.sriaurobindolc.org.
Another resident of Auroville who is from our area, Tia Pleiman from Salida, will offer an Art Therapy Retreat from August 1 to 3, including residential accommodations. To find out more and to register please go to www.createandtransform.org. Both Tia and Rod will also be presenters at the
AUM conference which is being held at Auromesa, in Taos, NM, this year from August 8 to 10. This is an annual conference of members of the Sri Aurobindo community from across the US, which is sponsored by a different group or center in a different location each year, and usually includes visitors from the Auroville community who present
their on-going work. This year one of the main presenters is Aviram who originally came to Auroville from Israel and has created a student exchange program that brings a few hundred students each year, from many different countries, to participate in a large reforestation project in S. India, and to learn about Auroville. For more information on this conference please go to www.collaboration.org/aum/2014.

In addition to these special programs and activities, we have remodeled Savitri House and made the center library available to the community. Visitors are now welcome to come in and read the books, and also to meditate in the Savitri Solar Dome. We have regular Tuesday evening readings and a potluck dinner from 6-9pm to which all students of the yoga of Sri Aurobindo are welcome. Our retreat and guest facilities are also available to any spiritual groups or organizations, seasonally, and may be scheduled in advance by calling 719-256-4917.


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


June 2014

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Faith & Sacrifice

IMG_1719



In
The Philosophy of Religion, we can learn a lot about faith and sacrifice in the development of the religions according to the philosophy of Hegel, and according to the more recent writings of Pannikar on inter- religious understanding. The concept of sacrifice generally means renunciation, and entering into the emptiness in order to purify oneself of
attachment and desire. This is a common theme especially of Hindu and Buddhist scriptures. The inner renunciation of attachment and desire, and the dissolution of fears and anxieties that are associated with attachments to things, known as the six poisons, results in a state of consciousness known as emptiness, sunyata, in Buddhism. In Christianity we have seen the same fundamental process. By making yourself the son of God through suffering and charity and the giving up of worldly pursuits, you identify with the Christ through this movement of sacrifice. In the end you experience a rebirth into the fullness of being that is called pleroma. And for Hegel, this negation and elevation makes possible what he calls “ethical action”. It becomes possible to live selflessly for the well-being of others.
What we read in Hegel’s philosophy, we find to be not only in consonance with Sri Aurobindo’s philosophy, but suggestive of a much deeper concept of Spirit than we might have expected from the father of phenomenology. Hegel writes, “If heart and will are earnestly and thoroughly cultivated for the universal and the true, then there is present what appears as ethical life. But consciousness of the true, of the divine, of God, must be directly bound up with it.” We must be conscious of the divine, in a di- rect, substantial way, in order to live the ethical life. That is what he says. And we will find that this fundamental idea of philosophy and religion has developed consistently, throughout a long period of time, from 400 BCE to 1800 CE, without much difference. It is somehow a fundamental perception and phenomenon of human consciousness since rational thinking began.
Through negation, one no longer sees only the becoming of things in the world; one sees and experiences and knows the Being of things, which is eternal and divine. In this liberated consciousness, it becomes possible to see human endeavors to practice disciplines such as art or medicine, for example, as manifestations of universal principles such as beauty and truth or health and service, which are eternal qualities and powers of divine being. For Sri Aurobindo, however, this universalization and elevation of consciousness is a preliminary spiritual transformation, which prepares us for the descent of the divine shakti and the integral transformation of the human instrument.

This is the culmination of our selections from The Philosophy of Religion, a Lecture Series of the University of Human Unity Project in Auroville
Rod Hemsell (2014)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



May 2014

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center
Hinduism, Buddhism, & Christianity


1656153_654700737912678_2047641872_n



In the course The Philosophy of Religion, by Rod Hemsell,
which will be the basis of a series of presentations
and workshops this summer at SALC,
reference is made to Raimundo Pannikar,
who many will know or have read.
He was a professor of philosophy at the University of California and at
Banaras Hindu University for many years,
and he was also a Catholic priest.
At the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago in 1993 he jumped up on the podium
for his talk and declared: “I am a Hindu. I am a Buddhist. I am a Christian.” And he was.

In defining religion, Pannikar says, “Under the particular perspective
that we may call religion, every human culture presents three elements:
1) a vision of man as he actually appears to be;
2) a certain more or less developed no- tion of the end or final station of man; and
3) the means of getting from the one to the other.” Now is that a fair definition?
Can we accept it for our purposes in pursuing the philosophy of religion?

A vision of man as he actually appears to be, which in Buddhism is called dukham,
the condition of suffering, is something Sri Aurobindo’s
Savitri describes on almost every page,
and on the opposite page “a more or less developed notion of man as he can possibly become”,
and in between an elaboration of the means of going
from the former to the latter. Savitri is really about that.

And Pannikar tells us that this is essentially what all the great religious traditions have tried to teach.
He goes into some detail about terms of the process in Buddhism and Christianity.
For example, “This unfinished being is not to remain as he is but has to undergo a more or less radical
transformation, in order to reach that state

which Buddhism calls nirvana and Christianity calls soteria.” Soteria means redemption,
liberation from ego and all the poisons (defined by both Buddhism and Christianity)—
jealousy, anger, pride, desire. But then he makes an interesting distinction between those two.
He says that in Buddhism nirvana, which is a universal ontological state of being,
on the subjective side is sunyata, emptiness; and in Christianity soteria,
which is a state of forgiveness, redemption and resurrection at the end,
on the subjective side is pleroma, the undefinable fullness of the divine being.
We know that in Buddhism nirvana is also often defined like that,
the absolute emptiness which is bliss and contains
the “sum of everything to be” as Sri Aurobindo says.

In Sri Aurobindo’s teaching we find that he constantly puts the two movements together—
the negation and the affirmation, sunyata and pleroma.
The renunciation, which is a negation of the aspects of mind,
life and body to which we are attached, and focusing on the emptiness,
has as its result the opening of the liberated self to the pleroma,
and the pouring in of the divine shakti.
That is the “second liberation” which, as in the teaching of St. Augustine,
can mean the transformation of the physical body.

________________________________


The coming workshops at the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center in 2014
will focus on the study of mantra, faith, and sacrifice, in various religious
traditions.

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30, a group meets for
good food, a potluck so bring your best dish if able,
followed by reading and discussion of
Sri Aurobino's Essays
on the Gita
. This commentary on India's beloved Bhagavad
Gita is quite influential in its home country. Following our preliminary
study, Rod Hemsell will return from Auroville and lead intensive discussions.

All are welcome at Solar Bridge, 84 Baca Grant Way,
and you can call Brian at 256-6010 for information.






_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

April 2014


Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


A koan about religion

Ryan_Jones_Giclee_Limited_Edition_Prints_002

“We want the truth. For most men (and women) it is what they
want that they label ‘truth’. The Aurovilians must want the truth,
whatever it may be. . . Religions make up part of the history of mankind,
and it is in this guise that they will be studied at Auroville, not as
beliefs to which one ought or ought not to adhere, but as part of a process
in the development of human consciousness which should lead
man towards his superior realization. Programme: research through
experience of the supreme truth; a life divine but no religions.”

I am hoping in this course to move beyond the context of Auroville
and to consider the philosophy of religion as such, which
means the truth of religion, whatever it may be. But this statement
of the Mother is our starting point, and I don’t think that she was talking
about the truth of political science or the truth of agronomy. She
was referring to the truth which, in the history of religions, has led
man toward his superior realization. So it seems to me that this
statement,which some of us were
duly baffled by when she gave it
around 1970, is meant to be understoodin a way that is perhaps not
so apparent. It might possibly be a kind of “koan”. To help us put it
in perspective, I would like to read a passage from Zen Buddhism, by
Maezumi Roshi, a Zen master who taught in America in the 70s. This
is a passage about “koan” and it is a koan.

“What is that rootless tree? Dogen Zenji says, ‘the cypress
tree in the garden’. Some of you must have heard about this koan,
‘Joshu’s cypress tree’. Anyway, that
was Dogen’s first answer, ‘the rootless
tree is the cypress tree in the garden’. And he said, ‘If you don’t
understand, I pick up my staff and say, ‘This is it, the alive rootless
tree’. What does the rootless tree stand for? We can say all kinds of
things, such as freedom, liberation, even we can say it’s Nirvana—not
sticking any place. Easy to say, but how hard it is. The cypress tree in
the garden.

“A monk asks Joshu, ‘What is
the most important thing in Buddha’s teaching? What is the primary
teaching of the awakened?’ And Joshu answers, ‘That’s what it is.
The cypress tree in the garden.’ ”

And that is Koan. It is a way
of teaching through stories and sayings that are enigmatic. And
yet they are not enigmatic. They are very easy to understand. So
this saying of the Mother about religions is like many sayings of the
Mother we have pointed out: No exchange of money, No politics, No
marriage, No religion. If we lookaround us, what we see here are
all of those things. And then we have to ask ourselves, “What does
it mean?” after being here all of this time, and hearing all of these
things. And we can perhaps imagine that if the divine force were
fully evolved and we were swimming in oneness, then we would
know what those things mean. But the fact that we are not doing that,
leaves us with all of those things. And perhaps we should not be too
surprised about that.



From
The Philosophy of Religion
A Lecture Series of the University
of Human Unity Project in
Auroville
by Rod Hemsell (2014).
________________________________

The coming workshops at the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center in 2014
will focus on the study of mantra, faith, and sacrifice, in various religious
traditions.

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30, a group meets for
good food, a potluck so bring your best dish if able,
followed by reading and discussion of
Sri Aurobino's Essays
on the Gita
. This commentary on India's beloved Bhagavad
Gita is quite influential in its home country. Following our preliminary
study, Rod Hemsell will return from Auroville and lead intensive discussions.

All are welcome at Solar Bridge, 84 Baca Grant Way,
and you can call Brian at 256-6010 for information.





___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

March 2014

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Agni—the God of Fire in the Rig Veda


rig-veda


In the commentary on the hymns to Agni, Sri Aurobindo writes: “Human
action intelligently directed and devoted to the universal Powers,
ceases to be a mechanical, involuntary or imperfect offering; the thinking
and observing mind participates and becomes the instrument of the sacrificial
will . . . Agni is the power of conscious being, called by us Will, effective
behind the workings of mind and body. Agni is the strong god within . . .”
The Mother said in a message that Agni is our psychic being. And in this
passage we also see that it is the universalizing of our perceptions, seeing
the universal powers or gods in things, that is a powerful lever in the
transformation of consciousness. It means sacrificing the small mind for
the sake of the higher mind. This is done through the mantra to start with,
the inspired Word; it focalizes the energies of consciousness on the sacrifice
and the goal of sacrifice. That is the whole point of the Kena Upanishad,
and it is repeated in the Gita as well.

Another important thing that Sri Aurobindo points out in one small
commentary on the hymns to Agni: “The solution of the problem (of transcending
the personal ego-mind) depends on right realization, and right
realization starts from the right illuminative Word, expression of the inspired
Thought which is sent to the seer out of the vast.” This is exactly
what the Buddhist teachers have pointed out regarding the power of mantra.
It comes from the cosmic mind to the guru who formulates and transmits
the experience that can then illuminate others. It is a cause and effect
phenomenon on the highest spiritual levels of consciousness. As Tenzin
Wangyal Rinpoche puts it in his book Unbounded Wholeness:

“The power of essential precepts, the method for realizing wholeness,
lies neither solely nor perhaps even primarily with their words but, rather,
with their status as “an uninterrupted continuum of the word, that is, of
essential precepts derived from experience of enlightened beings. . . . This
‘uninterrupted continuum of the word’ invokes the three kinds of transmission
well-known in Bon and Buddhist Dzogchen: the mind-to-mind
transmission from Buddha mind itself; the condensation of this into more
localized signs and symbols, which began the transmission through time
and space (originary sound/speech); and the form in which humans can
understand the teaching—namely the transmission of words (language)
into the ears of listeners. . . . These three are associated respectively, with
the ‘flow of blessings’ from unlocalized space of realization to esoterically
charged symbols, to and through the words of human language. The point
is that these are in continuity, that the essential precepts are present in
every case, that scripture is therefore, in and of itself, authentic.”


The coming workshops at the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center in 2014
will focus on the study of mantra, faith, and sacrifice, in various religious
traditions.

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30, a group meets for
good food, a potluck so bring your best dish if able,
followed by reading and discussion of
Sri Aurobino's Essays
on the Gita
. This commentary on India's beloved Bhagavad
Gita is quite influential in its home country. Following our preliminary
study, Rod Hemsell will return from Auroville and lead intensive discussions.




_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


February 2014

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Saguache County funds four projects
of the Crestone Solar Corps




The Crestone Solar Corps, initiated in 2008 by the Sri Aurobindo Learning
Center, has been the recipient of support and funds from the
Saguache County Tax Revenue Grant in four grant cycles. Wonderful
to live in a county that gives our youth, renewable energy and
hands-on education a real chance in the SLV. There are limited opportunities
for young people in our sparsely populated and spacious
valley, and it is with deep gratitude that we acknowledge the forward
looking generosity of Saguache County.

Conceived as a model for non-profits who wish to collaborate with
funders, students and unemployed youth to improve energy efficiency
and renewable technology skills in our community, students are paid
to earn-as-they learn and wages are a much-needed inflow of money.

For our first project, charter school students retrofitted an old
potting shed into a greenhouse where little starter plants are already
growing, protected and sunlit. The second two projects paid
students who learned to sew and install insulated curtains.
Two solariums, one on Savitri House, another on Solar Bridge and
the greenhouse received curtains. These houses are warmer through
the winter and during the summer the curtains provide privacy,
incoming solar control and living space for workshops,
study groups and special events.

CrestoneEagle_Vol25_No02

Ben Potter, Abby Swartz and David Burril (from left to right),
hard at work installing radiant floor heat in the meditation dome
at the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center.


The fourth project was completed last fall,
as unemployed youth worked hard installing radiant
heat in our Meditation Dome. The dome is open for meditation,
and since it is close to town, we consider it a community resource.
The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center is also grateful to the
many students who worked hard and accomplished project goals in
cooperation and good-spirits. It has been fun!

Every Tuesday evening at 5:30, a group meets for
good food, a potluck so bring your best dish if able,
followed by reading and discussion of
Sri Aurobino's Essays
on the Gita
. This commentary on India's beloved Bhagavad
Gita is quite influential in its home country. Following our preliminary
study, Rod Hemsell will return from Auroville and lead intensive discussions.

All are welcome at Solar Bridge, 84 Baca Grant Way,
and you can call Brian at 256-6010 for information.





_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

January 2014

Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Clarifying the idea
of Karmayoga
by Rod Hemsell

In his Essays on the Gita, Sri Aurobindo has given an important and
rather startling clarification of the idea of Karmayoga. He says, “The Gita does
not teach the disinterested performance of duties but the following of the divine
life, the abandonment of all dharmas, to take refuge in the Supreme alone . . .”
The abandonment of all dharmas is further
clarified to mean the ascent in consciousness
“to a supreme poise above the mainly practical, above the purely
ethical, to the Brahmic consciousness.It replaces the conception of social duty by a divine obligation.
The subjection to external law gives place to a certain principle of inner self-determination of action
proceeding by the soul’s freedom from the tangled law of works.”
This is in fact the main idea of the Upanishads as well: the abandonment of attachments
of all kinds, and of dependence on the ordinary sense mind and rational mind,
which are replaced in us, through the practice of a transformational Yoga, by
higher direct awareness of the universal divine force working through us and
determining everything we do.

CrestoneEagle_Vol25_No1

The Bhagavad Gita, or Lord’s Song, is generally considered to be the bible
of Hinduism and the culmination of its teachings on Yoga and the metaphysics
of Vedanta. But in its various modern interpretations the teachings given by
Krishna to Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra has acquired many different
meanings. The most popular one is the idea that Karmayoga means the selfless
performance of service to the society, without desire for wealth and fame,
or even success. But this is the view disparaged by Sri Aurobindo, and one that
has led India down a rather crooked path. As he puts the problem, in his characteristically
unequivocal style, “We are told continually by many authoritative
voices that the Gita, opposing in this the ordinary ascetic and quietistic
tendency of Indian thought and spirituality, proclaims the ideal of disinterested
performance of social duties, even the quite modern ideal of social service. To
all this I can only reply that very patently and even on the very surface of it the
Gita does nothing of the kind and that this is a modern misreading(!).”

“Undoubtedly, the Gita is a gospel of works, but of works which culminate
in knowledge, that is, in spiritual realization and quietude, and of works motived
by devotion, that is, a conscious surrender of one’s whole self into the being
of the Supreme, and not at all of works as they are understood by the modern
mind, not at all an action dictated by egoistic and altruistic, by personal, social,
humanitarian motives, principles, ideals.”

The study of these renderings of the teachings of the Gita are currently
the topic of the ongoing weekly study group at the Sri Aurobindo Learning
Center on Tuesday evenings, beginning at 5pm with a potluck dinner. All are
cordially invited who may find this of interest. For more information, contact
Brian Dyer at 719-256-6010.




___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

January 2014


d96e249a27a171ed6801d6366c0e78a6



_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

December 2013


The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center
Summer seminar on the Kena
Upanishad & Savitri


Sri Aurobindo says a lot of things in his commentary on the
Kena Upanishad about the prana.
Moving from the concept of adhidaiva, and adhiatma, the plane of the
gods, and the supreme Self, downwards towards adhibhuta, manifest
nature, we get the prana. The pranic movement is a movement
like breathing in and out, taking in sense impressions, vision, words,
energy and information, which is then distributed in the system as
perception, and gathered into a concentrated knowledge, then elevated
to the will that creates the response; and then the energy is
evacuated through the breath and dissipated through the movement
forward in action, or through dissolution.

This life force is not physical,
says Sri Aurobindo. So it is not the breath, not the sensations, the
smells, the sights and sounds. But the sense of smell and the odor,
and the perception of the odor through the sense of smell and the
imaging mind, are all movements of the prana, which also creates
the sense apparatus that receives the odor, and knows what it is in
the object by the mind, and in the knowing they are not separated.
Knowing, knower, and known are one pranic field.


CrestoneEagle_Vol24_No12_sm

“The Mother” —Love in her was wider
than the universe. The whole world could
take refuge in her single heart. Feb.21,
1878 - Nov.17, 1973


Prana in itself, in its essence, is desire, as Sri Aurobindo says.
He means that the will to be is embodied in that subtle energy, which
becomes desire to realize whatever it needs to become. There has to be
a force of intention, a need, a goal. Desire is a word that can mean a
very high level of energy of intention to produce a form, and to enjoy
producing the form, creating it, being it, so that the essential energy
in things is a desire to be those things, and each thing can only be
what it essentially is; the soul is the essence that wants to be realized
in the form and its relations. The pranic field contains all of
that: the will to be, the form, the relational position of the form in
the whole field, its consciousness in the knower. Separate essences
all together constitute the meaning of life, the beauty and power
of processing the energy which makes it possible for the flower to
shine, the bee to fly and buzz and suck the sugar, and spread the
pollen to ignite its becoming in another flowering plant. All of that is
the physical-vital-mental sheath
that covers the prana.

______________________________________________________________


The series of lectures from
which this extract was taken was
presented at the Sri Aurobindo
Learning Center in August by Rod
Hemsell is available
here.

For more information on lectures,
publications, and programs
contact us at 719-256-4917, or join
us for our Tuesday evening study
circle, at 5pm, Savitri House, Lots
83-84 on Baca Grant Way.



_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

November 2013

The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

A king dependent on his satellites
Signs the decrees of ignorant ministers,
A judge in half-possession of his proofs,
A voice clamant of uncertainty’s postulates
An architect of knowledge, not its source.
This powerful bondslave of his instruments
Thinks his low station Nature’s highest top . . .

—Savitri, Sri Aurobindo

Pasted Graphic

These times are tumultuous,
with the federal government shutting
down and local POA issues. With all
the contention around us, our teachers
advise equanimity. Here are
some words by Sri Aurobindo:

“Equality is to remain unmoved
within in all conditions. Equality is
the chief support of the true spiritual
consciousness. Equality means a
quiet and unmoved mind and vital, it
means not to be touched or disturbed
by things that happen or things said
or done to you, but to look at them
with a straight look, free from the
distortions created by personal feeling,
and to try to understand what is
behind them, why they happen, what
is it in oneself which they are cast
against, what is to be learnt from
them. It means self-mastery over
anger and sensitiveness and pride as
well as desire and the rest—not to let
them get hold of the emotional being
and disturb the inner peace.

“Equality means another
thing—to have an equal view of men
and their nature and acts and the
forces that move them; it helps to
see the truth about them by pushing
away from the mind all personal
feeling in one’s seeing and judgment
. . . Personal feeling always distorts
and makes one see in men’s actions
things behind them which, more often
than not, are not there.

“In ordinary life personal feeling
and sensitiveness are a constant
part of human nature. I think a
strong, large and equal attitude towards
men and things would be a
(good) defense. But for a (spiritual
seeker), to surmount them and live
rather in the calm strength of the
spirit is an essential part of his progress
. . . Samata (equanimity) does
not mean the absence of ego, but the
absence of desire and attachment.”


All are cordially invited to join
us on Tuesday evenings at 6pm for
potluck, discussion, reading and
meditation. Call 256-6010 for information



______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


October 2013


The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center




All the world’s possibilities in
man
Are waiting as the tree waits
in its seed:
His past lives in him; it drives
his future’s pace
His present’s acts fashion his
coming fate.
All that has been renews in
him its birth;
All that can be is figured in
his soul.

—Sri Aurobindo,
Savitri


The Sri Aurobindo Learning
Center, with the generous support
of Saguache County, is again collaborating
with Crestone youth.
This is our fourth project connecting
youth and a community nonprofit
for hands-on education. Saguache
County funding pays these
young workers to earn as they
learn, bringing revenue into the
community. This year’s project is
the installation of radiant floor
heat in the Meditation Dome. Our
county is far-sighted in its support
of renewable technology skills
among the youth of the valley, to
the benefit of all. Many thanks.

CrestoneEagle_Vol24_No10

Thanks to a Saguache County grant, Abigail
Swartz and Ben Potter are learning
the basics of solar panel installation.


The Mother speaks to the students
about work:

“Work is a good discipline.
But it is not the idea of a passive,
unconscious submission. The most
important surrender is the surrender
of your character, your way of
being, so that it may change. You
have a special way of looking at
life and expecting from it certain
things, well, it is this you must surrender.
That is, if you truly want
to receive the divine Light and
transform yourself, it is your whole
way of being you must offer—offer
by opening it, making it as receptive
as possible so that the divine
Consciousness which sees how you
ought to be, may act directly and
change all these movements into
movements that are true, more in
keeping with your real truth. It is
not what one does, but the most important
thing is what one is. Whatever
the activity, it is not quite the
way of doing it but the state of consciousness
in which it is done that
is important.”

Sri Aurobindo wrote: “The
only work that spiritually purifies
is that which is done without
personal motives, without desire
for fame or public recognition or
worldly greatness. All work done
in an egoistic spirit, however good
for people in the world of the Ignorance,
is of no avail to the seeker of
the yoga.”

______________________________________



Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.


_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


September 2013




P8150438 - Version 2



2012 Summer Workshop participants at The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center
Crestone, Colorado August 11-16


We have just finished a very beautiful and intense Savitri Immersion - the culmination of my summer journey. thanks to everyone for your support.
 
During the week of August 11-16 a series of lectures on the Kena Upanishad, and readings from
Savitri corresponding to the Upanishad, were presented to a wonderful group of listeners and devotees in the Savitri Solar Dome. The group shared many delightful experiences together throughout the week, including visits to several of the beautiful and powerful spiritual centers here.  Their intimate and luminous time together  included discussions on the philosophy of evolution, a presentation on the theory and practice of Thai Massage, with many personal demonstrations, an evening of Kirtan, an art workshop, hikes in the mountains, and visits to the hot springs. The celebration of Sri Aurobindo’s birthday on the 15th included a Lakshmi Puja performed by Santosh, who is a priest at the Mt. Madonna temple in Santa Cruz, and also instructed the group in Pranayama practices.
 
The focus on the teaching of Sri Aurobindo in this workshop emphasized the inspirational sources of both his philosophy of evolution and his use of the technique of mantric transmission based on the Upanishads. The Kenopanishad in particular was the subject of many commentaries written by him, and in those texts we learn that he found answers to the problem of evolution in the idea that the universal principles of consciousness such as sight, hearing, and speech, truth, beauty, and power, actually precede the evolution of form. The forms that we perceive reveal the essences of structure such as quality, proportionality, mutuality, and meaning, because those principles exist eternally in the One. Through yoga we learn to draw back from preoccupation with the forms of things to their essences, and through their universal essences we can learn to perceive their divine origin.
 
The Savitri Solar Dome in Crestone is open to meditators almost any time, and the library of Sri Aurobindo’s teachings, as well as study groups and discussions, are available to students and devotees by appointment. 



_____________________________________________________________________________________________




August 15, 2013

30f7b7132afb6bd220ef294aff19f1b8


db80da74948433df40f9aee92a8d72d9
_____________________________________________________

August 2013

SAVITRI IMMERSION WORKSHOP SERIES – 2013

The Mantric Poetry of Sri Aurobindo


READINGS AND COMMENTARY BY ROD HEMSELL


Sunday August 11th – Friday August 16th, 2013
At Sri Aurobindo Learning Center
Lot 83, Baca Grant Way, Crestone, CO 81131


What is being transmitted by Savitri is fundamentally not information for the mind. What Sri Aurobindo is trying to do is to transmit the force of truth from the highest planes of consciousness. At some point in our development and our ability to hear, we are no longer gathering information or interpreting anything, but we are in the presence of the goddess of illumined speech. She is invoked, becomes present, and fills one with the divine force.

Ultimately the purpose of the Vedic sacrifice of self-offering, through Yoga, is the descent of the divine force, here and now, in the invocation. The magical aspect of
Savitri is that this energy of transformation is brought to us through the mantric speech of Sri Aurobindo. This is the goal and the path of Savitri. All the teachings and paths of Yoga are contained in this – knowledge, devotion, practice, service.

Sunday check-in 1:00-3pm. Introduction by Rod, Savitri Immersion 4-6pm. Dinner 7:00-8pm.
Monday-Fri 8-9am Pranayama led by Scott, Qi gong led by Brian. Breakfast 9-10am.
Savitri Immersion from 10-12. Lunch 12:30-1:30pm. Rest. Music, art, therapies 2-3:30 daily.
Savitri Immersion from 4-6. Dinner 7-8pm.
Tues. evening hotsprings.
Friday Closing Circle at 5 pm
__________________________________

Bring swimwear and hiking shoes
Cost $220 including meals and shared lodging until space is filled.
___________________________________




For information, reservations and directions please contact: Brian phone (719) 256-6010






Rod



The Kena Upanishad and Savitri
Placing Sri Aurobindo's Savitri in the context of Vedanta


Savitri belongs to the tradition of Vedanta - Veda and Upanishad -
as Sri Aurobindo explains in
The Secret of the Veda.
And his commentaries on the Upanishads,
which form the basis of
The Life Divine,
dwell upon the creative power of divine speech.
Their vision is brought vividly to the hearer in that language
of the ancient Rishis which is so essential to the process of transformation,
the language of mantra, by
Savitri.





For Rod’s publications see:
universityofhumanunity.org
The Poetry of Sri Aurobindo - Mantra, Metrics, and Meaning. http://universityofhumanunity.org/topicdetail.php?tid=6


Similar lectures and workshops
presented by Rod Hemsell
may be read and heard on the website
universityofhumanunity.org
and also on this website.


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

July 2013

The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Godess_Durga


Looking back over the many eras of Indian mythological history,
from the ancient Vedic to the Upanishadic, to the Puranic, to
the Darshanas and beyond to the innumerable religious sects of the
Classical and Medieval periods of Hinduism, we see that there has
been virtually a new pantheon of divinities for each period. And if
we study their symbolic representations and significances along the
lines we have noted in the writings of Sri Aurobindo on the powers and
presences of the Divine Mother, we might conclude that that there is
a divine form and name for every quality of mind, life, and body, and
every type of phenomenon and force
and value and event on earth or in
heaven. If we extend our purview to the myths of Buddhism, or to the
cults of Persia, Egypt and Greece, the compass of representation is
expanded to infinity. And still, for each of those names and forms that
symbolize universal powers and principles, there is another infinity
of actual entities with limited duration in space and time, known
to us directly through experience as “things”, and “processes”. The
value of this perspective is that we see things, not so much in terms of
their limited temporal qualities, which are illusive and ever-changing,
but in terms of the unchanging, eternal principles of which they are
the temporal expression. This is the “spiritual” view of things, by
which consciousness is led towards
immortality.

This is the substance of the teachings of the Upanishads, and
in particular the Kena Upanishad, which has been the focus of a series
of presentations at the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center during May
and June, and will also be the focus of our annual Savitri Immersion
Workshop in August this year. And in this study we discover that
the philosophy of The Life Divine, which is to a large extent an evolutionary
spiritual philosophy, has its roots in the mythical revelations
of the Vedas and Upanishads. The “transformation of consciousness”
that is prescribed by the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo, and
the vision of a further evolution of humanity based on such a transformation,
has its roots in the idea of the Upanishads that our senses,
and the physical organs that support the senses, are themselves energies
and forms of the gods, just as are the forms and forces of nature
that the senses perceive and the mind comprehends. There are
ultimately only these two: the self (consciousness) and the gods (the
forms and forces of nature).


________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

June 2013


The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

sri-aurobindo-snaps

In 1958, The Mother described to the sadhaks and students in the
ashram how Sri Aurobindo visualized the gods. In this column, Sri
Aurobindo has described some of the qualities and powers of the Divine
Mother. The Mother speaks more generally:
“You know, don’t you, that in India particularly, there are countless
catagories of gods, all on different planes, some very close to man,
others very close to the Supreme, with many intermediaries.
“You will understand better what I want to tell you if I mention
the gods of the Puranas (like those
we saw the other day in the film)
who, in many ways, are I must say worse than men (!) though from the
point of view of power they are infinitely greater.
“There are the gods of the Overmind who are the great creators
of the Earth – so far. There are
the gods of the Vedas who are mentioned
in everything transmitted to us from the Rishis. And there are
the gods of the Supermind, those who are going to manifest upon
Earth, though of course they exist
from all eternity on their own plane.
“Here is what Sri Aurobindo
is tells us. Briefly, it is a prayer:

Be wide in me, O Varuna; be mighty in me, O Indra;
O Sun, be very bright and luminous;
O Moon, be full of charm and sweet
ness.
Be fierce and terrible, O Rudra;
be impetuous and swift, O Maruts;
be strong and bold, O Aryama;
be voluptuous and pleasurable, O Bhaga;
be tender and kind and loving and
passionate, O Mitra.
Be bright and revealing, O Dawn;
O Night, be solemn and pregnant.
O Life, be full, ready and buoyant;
O Death, lead my steps from man
sion
to mansion.
Harmonise all these, O Brahmanaspati.
Let me not be subject to these gods,
O Kali”

“So Sri Aurobindo makes Kaki the great liberating power
who impels you earnestly towards progress and leaves no ties within
you which would hinder you from progressing.
“I think this will be a good
subject for meditation.” —The
Mother, Questions and Answers.

_________________________________

Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

May 2013

The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Mahasaraswati

“I am charity with the kindly
hands that bless,
I am silence mid the noisy
tramp of life;
I am Knowledge poring on her
cosmic map.
In the anomalies of the human
heart
Where Good and Evil are close
bedfellows
And Light is by Darkness
dogged at every step,
Where his largest knowledge
is an ignorance,
I am the Power that labours
towards the best
And works for God and looks
up towards the heights.
I make even sin and error
stepping-stones
And all experience a long
march towards Light.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri

In honor of Navaratri and our teacher’s birthday, excerpts from The
Mother by Sri Aurobindo describe the four great Personalities of the Divine
Mother. Last month, Mahalakshmiled in the fragrances of the Powers of
the Divine Mother. **


Maa-Maha-Saraswati-Goddess-of-Wisdom


“Mahasaraswati is the Mother’s Power of Work and her spirit of
perfection and order. The youngest of the Four, she is the most skillful
in executive faculty and the nearest to physical Nature. Maheshwari
lays down the large lines of the world-forces, Mahakali drives their
energy and impetus, Mahalakshmi discovers their rhythms and measures,
but Mahasaraswati presides over their detail of organization
and execution, relation of parts and effective combination of forces
and unfailing exactitude of result and fulfillment. The science and
craft and technique of things are Mahasaraswati’s province. Always
she holds in her nature and can give to those whom she has chosen
the intimate and precise knowledge, the subtlety and patience,
the accuracy of intuitive mind and conscious hand and discerning eye
of the perfect worker. This Power is the strong, the tireless, the careful
and efficient builder, organizer, administrator, technician, artisan
and classifier of the worlds.

“When her work is finished, nothing has been forgotten, no part
has been misplaced or omitted . . .
Nothing short of a perfect perfection satisfies her and she is ready to face
an eternity of toil if that is needed for the fullness of her creation. Therefore
of all the Mother’s powers she is the most long-suffering with man
and his thousand imperfections. “Kind, smiling, close and
helpful, not easily turned away or discouraged, her hand sustains our
every step on condition that we are single in our will and straightforward
and sincere. “All the work of the other Powers
leans on her for its completeness; for she assures the material
foundation, elaborates the stuff ofdetail and erects and rivets the armour
of the structure.”

** Navaratri, a festival of nine
nights in Hinduism, is dedicated to
Goddess Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati.
It is also known as Chaitra
Navratras or Spring Navratri.

_________________________________

Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community.
The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

April 2013






THE SRI AUROBINDO LEARNING CENTER

The Four Great Aspects of the Divine Mother
Mahalakshmi

August on her seat in the inner world of Mind,
The Mother of Might looked down on passing things...
I am Durga, goddess of the proud and strong,
And Lakshmi, queen of the fair and fortunate.....
I am charged by God to do his mighty work....
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri


Mother's powers


Hinduism in India has four great seasonal celebrations called Navaratri.
The spring ceremonies are dedicated to Mahalakshmi and the Goddess Durga.
A beautiful temple to Mahalakshmi rests high above Crestone at the Haidakandi Ashram,
where we worship the Divine Mother.

“In Savitri, Sri Aurobindo completes his prophetic picture of a new world order.
It shows how this new system could be accomplished on earth through thesimple soul forces of the Mother.
Actually, this is nothing more than ancient Indian dharma brought up to date
but with emphasis on the great new power of the spirit in our times, the woman, the Divine Mother.” (Nettle).

Sri Aurobindo writes, in
The Mother:
“Above Wisdom and Force is the miracle of eternal beauty,
an unseizable secret of divine harmonies,
the compelling magic of an irresistible universal charm and attraction that draws
and holds things and forces and beings together and obliges them to meet
and unite that a hidden Ananda may play from behind the veil and make of them its rhythms and its figures.
This is the power of Mahalakshmi and there is no aspect of the Divine Shakti
more attractive to the heart of embodied beings.
For she throws the spell of the intoxicating sweetness of the Divine:
to be close to her is a profound happiness and to feel her
within the heart is to make existence a rapture and a marvel;
grace and charm and tenderness flow out from her like light from the sun and wherever
she fixes her wonderful gaze or lets fall the loveliness of her smile,
the soul is seized and made captive and plunged into the depths of an unfathomable bliss.
Magnetic is the touch of her hands and their occult and delicate influence refines mind
and life and the body and where she presses her feet course miraculous streams of an entrancing Ananda.
Ascetic bareness and harshness are not pleasing to her nor the suppression of the heart’s
deeper emotions and the rigid repression of the soul’s and the life’s parts of beauty.
For it is through love and beauty that she lays on men the yoke of the Divine.


_____________________________________________


Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.




________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

March 2013




THE SRI AUROBINDO LEARNING CENTER

A deep of compassion, a hushed
sanctuary,
Her inward help unbarred a
gate in heaven;
Love in her was wider than the
universe,
The whole world could take refuge
in her single heart.

—Sri Aurobindo, Savitri


images-3

In 1926, after experiencing the
descent of the
Supermind, Sri Aurobindo
left the active daily life of
the ashram. He retired to his rooms
to concentrate on his evolutionary
Integral Yoga, while maintaining
intimate contact with his disciples
by letter. He asked Mirra Alfassa
to guide and administer the rapidly
growing ashram. She was then 48
years old. There was some resistance
to “that Frenchwoman” and
"questioning her authority."
Around that time, Sri Aurobindo renamed
Mirra “The Mother“ and wrote The
Mother , describing the four great
aspects of the Divine Mother which
Mirra variously embodied.

“The four Powers of the Divine
Mother are four of her outstanding
Personalities, portions and embodiments
of her divinity through whom
she acts on her creatures, orders
and harmonizes her creations in the
worlds and directs the working out
of her thousand forces. The Divine
Mother is one but she comes before
us with differing aspects; many are
her powers and personalities, many
her emanations and Vibhutis that do
her work in the universe.

“Four great Aspects of the
Divine Mother, four of her leading
Powers and Personalities have stood
in front in her guidance of the Universe
and in her dealings with the
terrestrial play. One is her personality
of calm wideness and comprehending
wisdom and tranquil benig nity
and inexhaustible compassion
and sovereign and surpassing majesty
and all-ruling greatness. Another
embodies her power of splendid
strength and irresistible passion,
her warrior mood, her overwhelming
will, her impetuous swiftness and
world-shaking force. A third is vivid
and sweet and wonderful with her
deep secret of beauty and harmony
and fine rhythm, her intricate and
subtle opulence, her compelling attraction
and captivating grace. The
fourth is equipped with her close and
profound capacity of intimate knowledge
and careful, flawless work and
quiet and exact perfection in all
things. Wisdom, Strength, Harmony,
Perfection are their several attributes
and it is these powers that
they bring with them into the world,
manifest in human disguise in their
Vibhutis and shall found in the divine
degree of their ascension in
those who can open their earthly nature
to the direct and living influence
of the Mother. To the four we give
the four great names,
Maheshwari,
Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati
.”

—Sri Aurobindo, The Mother.

( To be continued. )


Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.


______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


February 2013





Mother’s birthday

images-3


She is the golden bridge, the
wonderful fire.
The luminous heart of the Unknown
is she,
A power of silence in the depths
of God;
She is the Force, the inevitable
Word,
The magnet of our difficult ascent,
The Sun from which we kindle
all our suns . . .


—Sri Aurobindo, Savitri



February is the birth month of
Mirra Alfassa, The Mother. Born in Paris on Thursday February 21, 1878,
Mirra was raised in a materialistic home by her Turkish father, a mathematician
and banker and her mother, an Egyptian from a banking family.
Mirra was not sent to school but learned mathematics and languages from
her brother. As a teenager, Mirra was sent to the Ecole des Beaux Arts
as a student of Gustav Moreau; she was a secretary to Rodin and met the
great Impressionists of the day. Mirra became acquainted with leading
occultists and went to Algeria several times to study, becoming an adept.
In 1914, Mirra sailed to Pondicherry and met Sri Aurobindo. When her
ship was two miles from port, she experienced Sri Aurobindo’s aura. When
they met, she recognized him as the teacher she had seen in visions and
followed for many years.

Mirra’s great mission was as The Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
The disciples were reluctant to listen to “that French woman” so Sri
Aurobindo declared that he and The Mother shared the same consciousness.
They are “The Two who are One.” With great energy and intelligence,
Mother organized the ashram to accommodate the influx of new
disciples, renovated houses for them, initiated cottage industries, started
gardens and the dining room, and set up the playground where mostly Indian
men, women and children wore shorts and were immersed in physical
culture as an aid to the yoga. She guided each devotee’s spiritual journey
with infinite care.

Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga requires physical transformation. He
wrote that just as the ape evolved into homo sapiens, humans will evolve
into superman. The Agenda is Mother’s record of her own work of cellular
transformation. She is truly “the magnet of our difficult ascent.” This
writer received Mother’s Darshan several times in 1970-1972, and felt an
amazing power of love in her presence. She left her body in 1973.

Savitri House, dedicated to Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary
work, was host to a wonderful gathering on Solistice. Sharon Landrith
held an all-day and evening retreat open to all. Participants traveled from
LA, Boulder and Crestone to meditate, envision the future and break bread
together. About 35 people gathered around the fireplace on 12-21-12, witnessing
the birth of a “new age”.

_________________________________


Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.



________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




January 2013



DIFFICULTIES = GRACE = PROGRESS

Life yields to the divinity within
And gives the rapture-offering of
its all,
And the soul opens to felicity.
A bliss is felt that never can
wholly cease,
A sudden mystery of secret Grace
Flowers goldening our earth of
red desire.


Sri Aurobindo, Savitri



imagesimages-1



Speaking to the disciples and children of the ashram, the Mother taught:

“When difficulties besiege you, know that the divine grace is with you...
All the circumstances of life are arranged to teach us that, beyond mind,
faith in the divine grace gives us the strength to go through all trials, to
overcome all weaknesses and find the contact with the divine consciousness
which gives us not only peace and joy but also physical balance and good
health.

“If one has within him faith in the divine grace, one can pass through
all dangers, face all difficulties and nothing stirs, for you have the faith and
the divine grace is with you. It is an infinitely stronger, more conscious,
more lasting force which does not depend upon the conditions of your physical
build, does not depend upon anything except the divine grace alone, and
hence it leans on the Truth and nothing can shake it. It is always there to
help those who have decided to correct themselves.

For those who have given themselves to the divine each difficulty that
confronts them is the assurance of a new progress and thus must be taken as
a gift from the grace...The difficulty which is always before them is the door
by which they will attain God in their own individual manner: it is their
particular path towards the divine realization. There is also the fact that if
somebody has a hundred difficulties it means he will have a tremendous realization
– provided, of course, there are in him patience and endurance and
he keeps the aspiring flame burning against those defects. And remember:
the grace of the divine is generally proportioned to your difficulties. The
big difficulty in matter is that the material consciousness (that is to say, the
mind in matter) has been formed under the pressure of difficulties, obstacles,
sufferings, struggle. Very concrete and often repeated experiences are
needed to convince the material mind that behind all its difficulties there is
a grace, behind all its failures there is the victory, and behind all its pains,
its sufferings, its contradictions, there is joy.”


______________________________________________________


Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.




___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


December 2012


images-1

THE SRI AUROBINDO LEARNING CENTER

The Center’s Solistice Celebration

There are greatnesses hidden in our unseen parts
That wait their hour to step into life’s front:
We feel an aid from deep in-dwelling Gods;
One speaks within, Light comes to us from above.
Our soul from its mysterious chamber acts;
Its influence pressing on our heart and mind
Pushes them to exceed their mortal selves.
It seeks for Good and Beauty and for God;
We see beyond self’s walls our limitless self......
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri

Savitri House is hosting a Solstice event on December 21
st, with renowned Crestone Non-Dual teacher Sharon Landrith from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, in both Savitri House and its adjoining Solar Dome. Silent meditation will take place alternately in both spaces, depending on weather, ending at 6:00 PM with a potluck dinner. For all those wishing to remain for meditation after dinner, Savitri House will be open until midnight. Everyone in the community is welcome to join in this special Solstice celebration.

What makes this event especially unique, is that Barbara Marx-Hubbard, a famous evolutionary who is deeply connected to Sri Aurobindo’s vision of humanity’s cosmic evolution, is simultaneously celebrating this event by her “Birth 2012” presentations in globally transmitted performances held in Los Angeles and Byron Bay, Australia. The focus of “Birth 2012”, as well as our meditation, is to connect with all those around the planet committed to a profound shift in consciousness – a unitive, co-responsible and heart-centered humanity serving all life and our Mother as Creation.

We will probably be able to connect to some of these presentations via the web during the day, making our connection through partnership with Barbara’s global outreach tangible. For further details contact Shila at
http://sharon-landrith.com, or call Brian Dyer at 256-6010 for specific Savitri House information. We are located at 83 Baca Grant Way, the first through left after the Kiosk.
__________________________________

Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way. Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm. Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. sriaurobindolc@gmail.com Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.


___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

November 2012



THE SRI AUROBINDO LEARNING CENTER


A DIVINE UNITY

The Supreme’s gaze looked out through human eyes
And saw all things and creatures as itself
And knew all thought and word as its own voice.
There unity is too close for search and clasp
And love is a yearning of the One for the One.
And beauty is a sweet difference of the Same
And oneness is the soul of multitude.
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri


In two months, one of the most famous dates in recent history will be upon us: 12-21-12, Solstice 2012.
The Mother spoke in 1957 of the coming change in human consciousnesss.
“The whole life will be the expression, the flowering into forms of the divine Unity manifesting in the world...
this is a future which has begun, but which will take some time to be realized integrally.
Meanwhile we are in a very special situation, without precedent.
We are present at the birth of a new world, quite young, not in its essence but in its outer manifestation –
not yet recognized by the majority.
But it is there, making an effort to grow up, quite sure of the result.
Yet the road to reach it is quite a new road which has never been traced out.
It is a beginning, a universal beginning...”

Many people have spoken of it, including Barbara Marx Hubbard who has long been engaged in
Sri Aurobindo and The Mother’s work on the evolution of consciousness.
The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center (SALC) has for many years enjoyed a friendship with Barbara,
and recently Swaha initiated a course in “The Shift” for the Crestone-Baca Holistic Living Alliance at Savitri House.
Now we have joined the “Birth 2012” project by becoming one of the global “hubs.”
Our contribution will be the community’s experiential work in the collective yoga as defined by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
These global “hubs” are a focus of energy connecting peoples’ awareness in a heightened consciousness as we move toward a new paradigm.
In her book, Barbara describes this much-needed consciousness-shift and will be celebrating it
in festivities during Dec. 20-23rd in globally transmitted events from Australia and Los Angeles. For further information see
Birth 2012.com.


CALENDAR:

Tuesdays at 6pm. Savitri Reading Circle. 83 Baca Grant Way.
Potluck at 6, Savitri reading and meditation at 7pm.
Call 256- 6010 or 937-7687 for information. Open to the community.

The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010.
sriaurobindolc@gmail.com

Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers,
and our website is
sriaurobindolc.org.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

October 2012

The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


This word was seed of all the
thing to be:

A hand from some Greatness
opened her heart’s locked doors

And showed the work for which
her strength was born.

As when the mantra sinks in
Yoga’s ear,

Its message enters stirring the
blind brain

And keeps in the dim ignorant
cells its sound;

The hearer understands a form
of words

And, musing on the index
thought it holds,

He strives to read it with the labouring
mind,

But finds bright hints, not the
embodied truth:

Then, falling silent in himself to
know

He meets the deeper listening of
his soul . . .


Sri Aurobindo, Savitri


Pasted Graphic

During her stay in Kyoto, the Mother
interested herself in the “still-sitting”
method of meditation. Rabindranath
Tagore (center) during his tour of Japan
was impressed by the Mother’s mystic
aura, intense sincerity and spiritual poise.
Photo circa 1917.



The Mother speaks about mantra:

“I have come to realize that for this sadhana of the body, a mantra is
essential . . . because only a mantra has a direct action on the body. When
I sit in meditation or I have a minute of quiet for concentration, this mantra
arises from the solar plexus, and there is a response in the cells of the
body: they all start vibrating. Everything gets filled with Light!

The other day, in my bathroom, it came and took hold of the entire
body. It rose and all the cells were trembling. So I remained still and let
the movement develop by itself. The vibration kept mounting, expanding
as the sound itself mounted, and all the cells of the body were seized with
an intensity of aspiration . . . as if the entire body was swelling.

I repeat my mantra constantly, when I am awake and even when
I sleep. I say it when I get dressed, when I eat, when I work, when I
speak with people . . . That is the normal state. It creates an atmosphere of
intensity almost more material than the subtle physical. And it has a great
effect. It can prevent an accident.

Sometimes, one can go from a state of more or less mechanical and
efficient repetition to a state of true repetition, full of power and light. For
example, the other day I came down with a cold. Each time I opened my
mouth, there was a spasm in my throat and I coughed . . . Then came
the fever. I looked at it, saw where it came from and decided it had to stop.

So I got up as usual and started to walk back and forth in my room
while repeating my mantra. I had to apply a certain willpower. Naturally,
I could have walked in trance . . . because then one feels nothing . . . but
the work has to be done in the body! Well, each word uttered brought in
the Light . . . a power that cures everything. I began tired, ill, and came
out refreshed, rested and cured.

I understand why some tantrics
advise saying the mantra in the heart
center. When one applies a certain enthusiasm,
when each word is uttered
with a certain warmth of aspiration, it
changes everything. Perhaps for the
mantra to become true, it needs to be
repeated with a kind of joy, of elation,
of warmth—especially joy.”


The Meditation Dome is open to the community and located close to town at 83 Baca Grant Way.
On Tuesdays at 6pm we gather for a potluck, followed by reading
Savitri in the Dome.
The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010.
sriaurobindolc@gmail.com
Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers,
and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.







__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


September 2012

The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center



A Bliss, a Light, a Power, a flame-white Love
Caught all into a sole immense embrace;
Existence found its truth on Oneness’ breast
And each became the self and space of all.
The great world-rhythms were heart-beats of one Soul.
To feel was a flame-discovery of God
All mind was a single harp of many strings,
All life a song of many meeting lives,
For worlds were many, but the Self was one.

Sri Aurobindo, Savitri


Crestone is a fortunate community, in which diverse spiritual teachings weave themselves into a relatively harmonious whole. We attend each other’s workshops and kirtans and festivities, and circle the great fire in prayer at the end of our neighbors’ lives, unified by abiding Love. Who has not been captivated by offerings on a mountain morning at Haidakandi’s Fire Ceremony or caught their breath at the view and silence of the “Big Stupa”? We have listened to sacred echoes in the Lindesfarne Dome, and received Joyrei at Shumei’s. For many of us, these mountains are the home of the Divine Mother in Her myriad forms.

Culminating on August 15
th, birthday of Sri Aurobindo and Indian Independence, the Savitri Immersion workshop filled our Meditation Dome with devotees of the Integral Yoga. Rod Hemsell’s commentary on the foundation of Sri Aurobindo’s work emphasized its firm grounding in preceding spiritual paths, Tantric Buddhism especially, and he read from Lama Yeshe, among others. This spiritual synthesis is reassuring in a world divided by contending religions and their spokesmen.

“The spiritual life reveals the one essence in all, but reveals too its infinite diversity; it works for diversity in oneness and for perfection in that diversity....This is the very motive of the creation of the universe, that is, all are one, all is one in its origin, but each thing, each element, each being has as its mission the revealing of one part of this unity to itself, and it is this particularity which must be developed in everyone, whilst awakening at the same time the sense of original unity.
This is ‘to work for unity in diversity’. And the perfection in that diversity lies in everyone’s being perfectly
what he ought to be.” The Mother.

The Meditation Dome is open to the community and located close to town at 83 Baca Grant Way. On Tuesdays at 6pm we gather for a potluck, followed by reading
Savitri in the Dome. The Learning Center has an excellent library of works by Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, call ahead at 256-6010. Rooms are available for people on retreat at one of Crestone’s many spiritual centers, and our website is sriaurobindolc.org.


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


August 2012

The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

As floats a sunbeam through a shady place,
The golden virgin in her carven car
Came gliding among meditation’s seats....
Arriving in a peaceful hermit grove
She rested drawing round her like a cloak
Its spirit of patient muse and potent prayer.
Sri Aurobindo, Savitri,, pg. 384.

Once a child asked The Mother, “ Where do thoughts come from?” The answer can apply for all of us who struggle to quiet our minds and control the flow of our thoughts:
“The mental atmosphere is worse than any public place when a crowd is there: innumerable ideas, thoughts of all kinds and all forms criss-cross in such a complicated tangle that it is impossible to make out anything precise. Your head is in the midst of it, and your mind even more so: it bathes in it as one bathes in the sea. And all this comes and goes, passes, turns, collides, enters, goes out...To be able to get out of all that and live fully in the mental atmosphere as it is, seeing it as it is...one must be strong, one must have a very steady sense of inner direction.”

Sri Aurobindo writes: The yogi is not only a master (in the House of Mind), but even while in mind in a way, he gets out of it as it were, and stands above or quite back from it and free. He sees that thoughts come from outside, from the universal Mind or universal Nature, sometimes formed and distinct, sometimes unformed and then they are given shape somewhere in us. The principal business of our mind is either a response of acceptance or a refusal to these thought-waves. It was my great debt to Lele (his temporary guru) that he showed me this. “Sit in meditation,” he said, ”but do not think, look only at your mind; you will see thoughts
coming into it; before they can enter throw these away from you mind till you mind is capable of entire silence.” I had never heard before of thoughts coming visibly into the mind from outside, but I did not think either of questioning the truth or the possibility, I simply sat down and did it. In a moment my mind became silent as a windless air on a high mountain summit and then I saw one thought and then another coming in a concrete way from outside; I flung them away before they could enter and take hold of the brain and in three days I was free.... A progressive freedom and mastery of one’s mind is perfectly within the possibilities of anyone who has the faith and the will to undertake it.”

The Center’s regular offerings include:

• Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Tuesdays, 6pm
Meditation Dome
• Guestrooms w/bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi - $40.00/$60.00/night
Weekly and monthly rates available.
• Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions

For more info phone 719-256-6010
or sriaurobindolc@gmail.com


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



July 2012

The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

August on her seat in the inner
world of Mind,
The Mother of Might looked down
on passing things,
Listened to the advancing tread of
Time,
Saw the irresistible wheeling of
the suns
images
And heard the thunder of the
march of God.
Amid the swaying Forces in their
strife
Sovereign was her world of luminous
command . . .
—Sri Aurobindo, Savitri


Advice from The Mother:
Stepping Back

“Most of you live on the surface of your being, exposed to the touch of external influences.
You live almost projected, as it were, outside your own body, and when you meet some unpleasant
being similarly projected you get upset. The whole trouble arises out of
your not being accustomed to stepping back. You must always step back int
yourself—learn to go deep within—step back and you will be safe. Do not lend
yourself to the superficial forces which move in the outside world. Even if you
are in a hurry to do something, step back for a while and you will discover
to your surprise how much sooner and with what greater success your work
can be done. If someone is angry with you, do not be caught in his vibrations
but simply step back and his anger, finding no support or response, will vanish.
Always keep your peace, resist all temptation to lose it. Never decide
anything without stepping back, never speak a word without stepping back,
never throw yourself into action without stepping back. All that belongs to the
ordinary world is impermanent and fugitive, so there is nothing in it worth

16157_189381505193_82618130193_3422112_4304844_n

getting upset about.
What is lasting, eternal, immortal and infinite—that indeed is worth
having . . . it is Supreme Peace, Perfect Joy and All-Mastery upon earth . . .
When you get the sense of the relativity of things, then whatever happens you
can step back and look; you can remain quiet and call on the Divine Force and
wait for an answer. Then you will know exactly what to do. Remember, therefore,
that you cannot receive the answer before you are very peaceful. Practice
that inner peace, make at lease a small beginning and go on in your practice
until it become a habit with you.”
—Conversations on Yoga



The Savitri Reading Circle meets each Tuesday at 6pm for potluck, reading
and meditation in the Dome. Call 256-6010 for information.


__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________





May 2012



The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

Beautiful, fertile May to everyone!
Work continues on refreshing the Center, with another room painted, more insulted curtains made by Charter School students, and new carpet on the way. Donations to continue this much-needed work are gratefully received! We have a new website up: www.sriaurobindolc.org – do have a look. Peas and onions are up outside and we’ve been eating fresh salads for a few weeks already from our little greenhouse that was re-built last year with the assistance of our hard-working Solar Corps students. We will be hosting a young intern in May. Our disappointing news is that it looks like Sraddhalu from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India will not be venturing out west this trip, as his Boulder program was cancelled. We’ll keep you posted if another scenario develops.


The Wed evening
evolutionary space offered last month presented a scheduling conflict with Transition Crestone (another worthy venture!) and weekly appears to be too daunting for regular attendance. However we still feel that holding a space for sharing of Shift-related tools, teachings and experiences is key to the Center’s intention and purpose, so it will be held twice monthly on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays at 7PM. Call for info on the current offering.
images-1

“The teaching of Sri Aurobindo starts from that of the ancient sages of India, that behind the appearances of the universe there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal. All beings are united in that One Self and Spirit but divided by a certain separativity of consciousness, an ignorance of their true Self and Reality in the mind, life and body. It is possible by a certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the Divinity within us and all.
Sri Aurobindo's teaching states that this One Being and Consciousness is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the method by which it liberates itself; consciousness appears in what seems to be inconscient, and once having appeared is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Supermind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection.”
(excerpted from Sri Aurobindo On Himself.)

The Center’s regular offerings include:


          Call 719-256-4917 or write
          sriaurobindolc@gmail.com for more information.

          __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


          April 2012

          The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

          Mother1


          The Mother on Dogma (excerpted from an answer to a student, 1951)“. .

          ". . . Ah! Here is an interesting subject . . . A story, that is, a
          way of saying things, is of value only if it can make you understand
          the thing. A language (which is a kind of story) is of value only to the
          extent it is capable of putting you in contact with the Reality. Science
          is a language, Art is a language— all activity is a sort of language, a
          way of expression . . . [which] is of value only in as far as it puts you
          in contact with what it wants to express . . .

          It is the same for everything. The way of approaching the universe
          and the universal truth is also a language and all depends
          upon the person who uses it, the person to whom the understanding
          is to be communicated. Whatever may be the way of telling, if you
          understand, that is all that is necessary. If you do not understand,
          even if it be the wonder of wonders, the truth of truths, it will have no
          value for you. . . . the most beautiful philosophies of the world are
          of no use to those who do not understand them. The most beautiful
          works of art in the world are quite useless to those whom they do not
          put on the path of the Truth. And the most perfect yoga in the world
          is useless to those whom it does not lead to the Realization. And if you
          have this sense of relativity, you have finished with all dogmatism,
          all sectarianism, all that kind of absolutism which leads one always to
          think that all that has done us good is “the truth”. It is the truth for us,
          it is not necessarily the truth for our neighbor. And what our neighbor
          thinks, . . . though you may say, ‘It is idiotic’—if it helps him to realize
          the truth, it is excellent, it is the best thing possible for him. And
          everything, everything on earth is like that. And if you do not want to
          be altogether narrow, . . . you must first of all understand this . . . what
          is good for one may not be so for another, what is good at one moment
          may not be so at another and, consequently, every kind of dogmatism
          is an absurdity.”


          Join us for a community meditation with intention, each Monday, 5-6pm.

          The Center’s regular offeringsinclude:
          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, now on Mondays @ 6pm
          • Library & Meditation Dome
          • Guest room w/bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi - $35/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions
          For more info: 719-256-4917 or sriaurobindolc@gmail.com.





          __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


          March 2012

          The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


          SriAuroSym
          Sri Aurobindo’s Symbol

          The descending triangle represents Sat-Chit-Ananda.
          The ascending triangle represents the aspiring answer from matter under the form of life, light and love.
          The junction of both - the central square – is the perfect manifestation, having at its centre the Avatar of the Supreme - the lotus.
          The water - inside the square - represents the multiplicity, the creation.


          "As the crust of the outer nature cracks, as the walls of inner separation break down, the inner light gets through, the inner fire burns in the heart... the soul begins to unveil itself... A guidance, a governance begins from within which exposes every movement to the light of Truth... all is purified, set right, the whole nature harmonised, modulated in the psychic key, put in spiritual order."

          ~ Sri Aurobindo in The Life Divine


          The soul and the psychic being are not exactly the same thing, although their essence is the same.

          The soul is the divine spark that dwells at the centre of each being; it is identical with its Divine Origin; it is the divine in man.

          The psychic being is formed progressively around this divine centre, the soul, in the course of innumerable lives in the terrestrial evolution, until the time when the psychic being, fully formed and wholly awakened, becomes the conscious sheath of the soul around which it is formed.

          And thus identified with the Divine, it becomes His perfect instrument in the world.


          ~The Mother in The Psychic Being

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          The Dual Being

          There are two beings in my single self.
          A Godhead watches Nature from behind
          At play in front with a brilliant surface elf,
          A time-born creature with a human mind.

          Tranquil and boundless like a sea or sky,
          The Godhead knows himself Eternity’s son.
          Radiant his mind and vast, his heart as free:
          His will is a sceptre of dominion.

          The smaller self by Nature’s passions driven,
          Thoughtful and erring learns his human task;
          All must be known and to that greatness given
          His mind and life the mirror and the mask.

          As with the figure of a symbol dance
          The screened Omniscient plays at Ignorance.

          ~ Sri Aurobindo, Sonnets


          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

          Join us for a community meditation with Intention,
          each Monday, 5-6pm (An initiative of the Heart-Based Integration
          Cluster of the C-B Holistic Living Alliance)

          The Center’s regular offerings include:
          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Mondays, 6pm
          • Monthly study group (usually 2nd Sunday, but call ahead)
          • Library & Meditation Dome
          • Guest room w/ bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi - $35/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions

          For more info: 719-256-4917 or
          sriaurobindolc@gmail.com



          __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



          February 2012

          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

          “The knowledge possessed by the Yogi is also an answer to
          the terrible theory that all that takes place [on Earth] is God’s direct
          working. For once you rise to the Supermind you immediately
          perceive that the world is false and distorted … How then can the
          world be a genuine expression of the Divine? Only when the Supermind
          is established and rules here, then alone the Supreme Will may
          be said to have authentically manifested. At the same time, we must
          steer clear of the dangerous exaggeration of the sense of the falsehood
          of the world, which comes to those who have risen to the higher
          consciousness. What happened with Shankara and others like him
          was that they had a glimpse of the true consciousness, which threw
          the falsehood of this world into such sharp contrast that they declared
          the universe to be not only false but also a really non-existent
          illusion which should be entirely abandoned. We, on the other hand,
          see its falsehood, but realize also that it has to be replaced and not
          abandoned as an illusion. Only, the truth has got mistranslated—
          something stepped in to pervert the divine reality—but the world is
          in fact meant to express it. And to express it is indeed our Yoga.”

          —The Mother: CWM Vol 3: 162

          For monogamy may be the best for the body, but the soul that
          loves God in men dwells here always as the boundless and ecstatic
          polygamist; yet all the time—that is the secret—it is in love with only
          one being.

          —Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts and Aphorisms


          Join us for a community meditation with Intention,
          each Monday, 5-6pm (An initiative of the Spiritual Integration
          Cluster of the C-B Holistic Living Alliance)

          The Center’s regular offerings include:
          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Mondays, 6pm
          • Monthly study group (usually 2nd Sunday)
          • Library & Meditation Dome
          • Guest room w/ bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi - $35/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions

          For more info: 719-256-4917 or
          sriaurobindolc@gmail.com.




          __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________



          January 2012

          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

          We have come to the end of 2011 and are beginning another new year.
          How should we approach this New Year? No doubt we have plans and
          expectations. Whatever they may be, let’s approach 2012 with a sense of
          gratitude and adoration to the Divine Being who supports us. Even though
          in our daily lives that Divine Being often seems remote, and things don’t
          seem to be going our way, let’s try to feel that Infinite Being as a living
          presence in our lives. Sri Aurobindo wrote a poem expressing
          his adoration of the Divine which can inspire us to be more open, to set our
          egos aside and open to Love.

          In a mounting as of sea-tides

          In a mounting as of sea-tides, in a rippling as of invisible waters.
          On a cry in me my soul is uplifted, in a passion of my nature
          My heart climbs up towards thee, O unimaginable Wonder and Resplendence,
          In its striving for the caress of thy Light and for the embrace of thy presence.

          If once given were but a touch of thy feet on the thrilled bosom of my longing,
          But a glance of thy eyes mingling with mine in the recesses and the silence,
          Such a rapture would envelope me, such a fi re of transfiguring effulgence,
          I could never again be as a man upon this earth, but one immortal.

          For my mind would be dissolved in a sun-glory of God-vision and of knowledge,
          And my heart would be made suddenly more pure and determined and self-tranquil,
          And my nerves and my body would transmute into an ethereal divineness,
          A fi t vesture for the godhead thou buildest in me, for the immortal thy adorer.

          O thou Life of my life and the unseen heart of the worlds and the immenseness,
          Let thy Flame-vision leap down upon the coilings of our python inconscience,
          Let the Love-wine be poured out in Thy chalice, let me be drunk with it forever.

          I shall meet thee in the ocean of thy stillness, in the ether of thy splendor,
          Thy Force shall be in my veins like the ichor in the Unaging who are deathless:
          My soul shall be as one breath with thy soul and thy infinity around thee,
          And shall quiver into the vision of thy beauty and the marvel of thy sweetness.


          The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center wishes all a Happy and Spiritual New Year.

          The Center’s regular offerings include:
          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Tuesdays, 6pm
          • Monthly karma yoga and study group
          • Library & Meditation Dome
          • Guestroom w/bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi - $30.00/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions

          For more info phone 719-256-4917 or sriaurobindolc@gmail.com.



          ___________________________________________________________

          December 2011

          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


          So much emphasis on Love and Harmony and Oneness these
          days—have you noticed? It’s as if the time spirit of the One has finally
          arrived to inhabit our thoughts and hearts and communities, and
          open us up to the field of infinite possibility in which we live and are
          free to co-create. This is the evolution foreseen and described in
          beautiful detail by Sri Aurobindo nearly 100 years ago. Some snippets,
          originally published in Arya, 1915-1917:

          What I cannot do now is the sign of what I shall do hereafter.
          The sense of impossibility is the beginning of all possibilities. Because
          this temporal universe was a paradox
          and an impossibility, therefore the Eternal created it out of Its being.

          Impossibility is only a sum of greater unrealized possibles. It
          veils an advanced stage and a yet unaccomplished journey.

          If you would have humanity advance, buffet all preconceived ideas.
          Thought thus smitten awakes and becomes creative. Otherwise it
          rests in a mechanical repetition and mistakes that for its right activity.
          To rotate on its own axis is not the one movement for the human soul.
          There is also its wheeling around the Sun of an inexhaustible illumination.

          Be conscious first of thyself within, then think and act. All living
          thought is a world in preparation; all real action is a thought
          manifested. The material world exists because an
          Idea began to play in divine self-consciousness.

          Not to go on forever repeating what man has already done is our
          work, but to arrive at new realizations and undreamed-of masteries.
          Time and soul and world are given to us for our fi eld, vision and hope
          and creative imagination stand for our prompters, will and thought
          and labour are our all-effective instruments.

          Possession in oneness and not loss in oneness is the secret. God
          and Human, World and Beyond-World become one when they know
          each other. Their division is the cause of ignorance as ignorance is
          the cause of suffering.

          What is God after all? An eternal child playing an
          eternal game in an eternal garden.


          The Center’s regular offerings include:

          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Tuesdays, 6pm
          • Monthly karma yoga and study group. Call for details
          • Library & Meditation Dome
          • Guest room w/bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi—$30/night
          • Cozy venue for intimate workshops, functions

          For more info: 719-256-4917 or sriaurobindolc@gmail.com

          ______________________________________________________

          November 2011

          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

          “True surrender enlarges you;
          it increases your capacity;
          it gives you a greater measure
          in quality and in quantity
          you would not have had
          by yourself.”—The Mother

          Give instead of taking

          (from a talk given by The Mother in 1953)


          If one were spread out in all things, if all the vibrations which
          come and go expressed the need to merge into everything, to widen
          oneself, grow—not by remaining within one’s limits but coming out
          of them—and finally to be identified with everything, one would no
          longer have anything to lose, for one would have everything. Only, [if]
          one doesn’t know this . . . one can’t do it. One tries to take, accumulate,
          accumulate, accumulate, but that is impossible, one can’t accumulate.
          One must identify oneself.

          And then, the little bit that one gives, one wants to get it back:
          one gives a good thought, one expects
          some recognition; one gives a little affection, one expects it from
          others—[if] one doesn’t have the ability to become the good thought
          in everything, . . . to be the affection, the tender love in all things.
          One feels all cut up and limited, and fears to lose everything, fears to lose
          what one has because one would be impoverished.

          On the other hand, if one were able to identify oneself [with the Divine
          in everything], one would no longer need to pull. The more one
          spreads out, the more one has. The more one gets identified, the more
          one becomes. And then, instead of taking, one gives. And the more one
          gives, the more one grows.

          The Center’s regular offerings include:
          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Tuesdays, 6pm
          • Monthly karma yoga and study group
          • Library & Meditation Dome
          • Guest room w/bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi - $30/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions
          For more info: 719-256-4917 or sriaurobindolc@gmail.com.


          __________________________________________________

          October 2011

          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


          May light, joy, peace and love be with you every moment.

          Namaste :-)



          __________________________________________________



          September 2011

          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center


          The following is excerpted from a talk given by The Mother of the
          Sri Aurobindo Ashram 54 years ago, on July 10
          th 1957. Always a
          woman ahead of her time . . .


          The Great Adventure

          “In the supramental creation there will no longer be any
          religions.
          The whole life will be the expression, the flowering into
          forms of the divine Unity manifesting in the world.
          ... Meanwhile, we are in a very special situation, extremely special,
          without precedent. We are now witnessing the birth of a new
          world; it is very young, very weak – not in its essence but in its
          outer manifestation – not yet recognized, not even felt, denied by
          the majority. But it is here. It is here, making an effort to grow,
          absolutely
          sure of the result. But the road to it is a completely new
          road which has never before been traced out – nobody has gone
          there, nobody has done that! It is a beginning, a universal
          beginning. So, it is an absolutely unexpected and unpredictable
          adventure.

          There are people who love adventure. It is these we call, and we tell them this:
          “We invite you to the great adventure.”
          It is not a question of repeating spiritually what others have
          done before us, for
          our adventure begins beyond that [emphasis
          added].
          It is a question of a new creation, entirely new, with all the
          unforeseen events, the risks, the hazards it entails – a
          real adventure,
          whose goal is certain victory, but the road to which is unknown
          and must be traced out step by step in the unexplored. Something
          that has never been in this present universe and that will
          never be
          again in the same way. If that interests you … well, let us embark.
          What will happen to you tomorrow - we have no idea.

          One must put aside all that has been foreseen, all that has been
          devised, all that has been constructed, and then . . . set off walking
          into the unknown. And – come what may! There.”


          The Center’s regular offerings include:

          • Conscious Evolution Synergy Group, call for current timing
          Savitri reading & meditation, Tuesdays, 6pm
          • Library & Meditation Dome
          • Guest room w/bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi—$30/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions

          For more info: 719-256-4917 or sriaurobindolc@gmail.com.


          ______________________________________________________


          August 2011

          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

          August 15 is the anniversary of Sri Aurobindo’s birth. What was
          his great gift to the understanding of spirituality? To me, it was
          his conviction that evolution was the progressive divinization of life
          on Earth. In so many traditions, worldly life is spurned—only by living
          away from it is a true spiritual life possible. But in Sri Aurobindo’s
          teaching, All Life is Yoga! To realize our true Self, and unify with the
          One, yes—but that is not the end of the journey! This passage from
          Savitri perfectly describes the allure of transcendence—and then
          the admonition that the work is not finished:

          A STILLNESS absolute, incommunicable,
          Meets the sheer self-discovery of the soul;
          A wall of stillness shuts it from the world,
          A gulf of stillness swallows up the sense
          And makes unreal all that mind has known,
          All that the laboring senses still would weave
          Prolonging an imaged unreality.
          Self’s vast spiritual silence occupies Space;
          Only the Inconceivable is left,
          Only the Nameless without space and time:
          Abolished is the burdening need of life:
          Thought falls from us, we cease from joy and grief;
          The ego is dead; we are freed from being and care,
          We have done with birth and death and work and fate.
          O soul, it is too early to rejoice!
          Thou hast reached the boundless silence of the Self,
          Thou hast leaped into a glad divine abyss;
          But where hast thou thrown Self’s mission and Self’s power?
          On what dead bank on the Eternal’s road?
          One was within thee who was self and world,
          What hast thou done for his purpose in the stars?
          Escape brings not the victory and the crown!
          Something thou cam’st to do from the Unknown,
          But nothing is finished and the world goes on
          Because only half God’s cosmic work is done.
          Only the everlasting No has neared
          And stared into thy eyes and killed thy heart:
          But where is the Lover’s everlasting Yes,
          And immortality in the secret heart,
          The voice that chants to the creator Fire,
          The symboled OM, the great assenting Word,
          The bridge between the rapture and the calm,
          The passion and the beauty of the Bride,
          The chamber where the glorious enemies kiss,
          The smile that saves, the golden peak of things?
          This too is Truth at the mystic fount of Life .


          Savitri

          The Center’s regular offerings include:
          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Tuesdays, 6pm
          • Conscious Evolution Synergy Group, Thursdays, 7pm
          • Library & Meditation Dome
          • Guest room w/ bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi—$30/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions

          Info: Swaha at 719-256-4917 or sriaurobindolc@gmail.com.

          ______________________________________________________



          July 2011

          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

          The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center
          Integral Soundscapes Intensive

          Come explore the evolutionary
          Integral Yoga with us!


          A Bliss, a Light, a Power, a
          flame-white Love
          Caught all into sole, immense
          embrace;
          Existence found its truth on
          Oneness’ breast
          And each became the self and
          space of all.

          Savitri, II, III


          The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center is hosting a potent retreat
          experience during the last week of July called an Integral Soundscapes
          Intensive. Some talented people will guide our exploration of sound/
          vibration, including
          Leigh Ann Phillips and her incredible crystal
          bowls,
          Jillian Klarl Ellzey leading a powerful practice called Yoga of
          the Voice, as well as kirtan; and renowned artist
          Marika Popovitz
          exploring the sound of color. Other planned activities include the
          yoga mantra of Savitri, sounding with instruments, listening to
          Nature, the sound of silence, Qi Gong & breathing, feeling into the
          vibrational qualities of food and variously treated water, and a full
          moon Chi practice and moonwalk in the Great Sand Dunes National
          Park and Preserve.

          The intention for this gathering is a kind of research—a
          deep exploration and discovery of the impacts of sound and vibration,
          both audible and subtle. In order to concentrate attention, we will
          remain in silence from 6am to 6pm each day, except for presenters and
          any focused inquiry or sounding that is evoked by them.
          Timing: Tuesday, July 26, 5pm—Sunday July 31 at noon.
          Cost: $235 includes all activities and meals (vegetarian),
          from Tuesday dinner through Sunday breakfast; plus a small
          additional fee for art supplies. The number of participants
          will be limited, so reserve your space soon!

          Co-creating evolution
          The Center continues its commitment to hold a space for those
          wanting to explore ways to co-create the future together. In late June,
          we hosted a joint potluck for the Transition Crestone and Conscious
          Evolution groups to explore synergistic possibilities. If you are
          interested in not just surviving, but visioning and working with others
          to create a vibrant, sustainable world that works for everyone,
          please join us! Meeting times may shift as the movement grows, so call
          for current timing.

          The Center’s regular offerings include:
          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Tuesdays, 6pm.
          • Conscious Evolution Synergy Group, call for current timing
          • Library & Meditation Dome
          • Guest room w/bath, kitchen privileges, WiFi—$30/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions

          Call Swaha at 719-256-4917 or write sriaurobindolc@gmail.com for more info. on any of the Center’s offerings, or to register for the Intensive.

          _____________________________________________________


          June 2011


          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

          May saw the initiation of a Conscious Evolution course at SALC.
          The Center’s steward, Swaha (formerly Kathryn Van Note), has been following a course given by Barbara Marx Hubbard in association with The Shift Network, and is so thrilled with the optimism, synergy and collective empowerment that she is experiencing with others worldwide that she wants to share it locally – and create a Conscious Evolution Home Team!

          A flyer around town describes this course as “midwife training for planetary Birth 2012”. To expand on that a little: There is a tremendous amount of awareness and energy globally around the 21 December 2012 date. Predictions and scenarios abound, be it apocalypse, ascension, transition, transmutation, merging/emerging, destruction and new creation, pole shift, new grids, parallel universes, returning to star source, etc. Some scenarios are hopeful and some provoke fear, but for the most part they leave us waiting and/or preparing for something to happen
          to us.

          The aim of Barbara and the Shift Network in offering this course is to connect and synergize as many people as possible worldwide, to create both a “map of what’s working” and a pooled field of talents for ecstatic co-creation that is an exponentially potent evolutionary force. Whether we are aware of it or not, we ARE participating in a process of “evolution by choice, not by chance”. So - what do we choose? What do we imagine that we CAN choose?

          The SALC’s aim in mirroring the course locally (with lots of room for spontaneity) is to create a participatory, resonant field of infinite possibility right here, and a co-creative, no-dreams-barred vision and action plan for the concentric circles of I – individual, family, community, country, planet.
          Humanity is now empowered to create the collective reality that we want to live in. This is the evolution foreseen 100 years ago by Sri Aurobindo – human will merging with Divine Will, through progressive union with the Essential Self (psychic being, indwelling divine) - the whole evolving consciously and naturally through each one discovering and living the truth of his/her being. This course offering happens Thursdays, 7PM.

          The Center’s regular offerings include:

          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Tuesdays, 6 PM.
          • Conscious Evolution Traiing, Thurdsdays, 7 PM.
          • Library & Meditation Dome Open
          • Guest room w/private bath & kitchen priv. - $30/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions

          Call Swaha at 719-256-4917 or write sriaurobindolc@gmail.com for more info.

          ______________________________________________________



          May 2011


          The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

          Beautiful, fertile May to everyone!
          Work continues on refreshing the Center, with another room painted, more insulted curtains made by Charter School students, and new carpet on the way. Donations to continue this much-needed work are gratefully received! We have a new website up: www.sriaurobindolc.org – do have a look. Peas and onions are up outside and we’ve been eating fresh salads for a few weeks already from our little greenhouse that was re-built last year with the assistance of our hard-working Solar Corps students. We will be hosting a young intern in May. Our disappointing news is that it looks like Sraddhalu from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India will not be venturing out west this trip, as his Boulder program was cancelled. We’ll keep you posted if another scenario develops.

          The Wed evening
          evolutionary space offered last month presented a scheduling conflict with Transition Crestone (another worthy venture!) and weekly appears to be too daunting for regular attendance. However we still feel that holding a space for sharing of Shift-related tools, teachings and experiences is key to the Center’s intention and purpose, so it will be held twice monthly on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays at 7PM. Call for info on the current offering.

          “The teaching of Sri Aurobindo starts from that of the ancient sages of India, that behind the appearances of the universe there is the Reality of a Being and Consciousness, a Self of all things, one and eternal. All beings are united in that One Self and Spirit but divided by a certain separativity of consciousness, an ignorance of their true Self and Reality in the mind, life and body. It is possible by a certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true Self, the Divinity within us and all.

          Sri Aurobindo's teaching states that this One Being and Consciousness is involved here in Matter. Evolution is the method by which it liberates itself; consciousness appears in what seems to be inconscient, and once having appeared is self-impelled to grow higher and higher and at the same time to enlarge and develop towards a greater and greater perfection. Life is the first step of this release of consciousness; mind is the second; but the evolution does not finish with mind, it awaits a release into something greater, a consciousness which is spiritual and supramental. The next step of the evolution must be towards the development of Supermind and Spirit as the dominant power in the conscious being. For only then will the involved Divinity in things release itself entirely and it become possible for life to manifest perfection.”

          (excerpted from
          Sri Aurobindo On Himself.)

          The Center's regular offerings include:
          • Potluck, Savitri reading & meditation, Tues., 6 PM.
          • Confluence of evolution learning/sharing,
          • 2nd & 4th Thursday 7 PM.
          • Library
          • Guest Room w/ private bath & kitchen privileges.
          • $30 / night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions

          Call Swaha at 719-256-4917 or write
          sriaurobindolc@gmail.com for more information.

          _____________________________________________________________




          April 2011


          Sri Aurobindo Learning Center

          We take this opportunity to give you advanced notice of the visit of one of the most captivating speakers on the meaning and relevance of Sri Aurobindo’s Integral Yoga alive today, Sraddhalu Renade. Sraddhalu plans to be in Crestone June 5th -7th, and will offer a public talk. Topic, date/time and location will be announced. This is an opportunity that you won’t want to miss! (www.globalonenessproject.org/videos/sraddhaluclip1 for a 5 minute “taste” entitled The Essentiality of Oneness).

          Also in April we are trying something new: films or recorded lectures followed by reflection/discussion; guest lecturers; participant-generated topics sparked by a poem, experience, intuition, or dream; deep dialogue or sharing about the increasing, “non-ordinary” experiences and perceptions that so many of us are having – pretty much anything related to an “evolutionary” topic.

          The space will be held at Savitri House, 83 Baca Grant Way, on Wednesday evenings, 7:00 PM.

          We want to be fluid as to the topic and mode, so feel free to call ahead to check on the current week’s offering – or to suggest or offer one! The intention is
          confluence - to spark and strengthen shared awareness of emerging realities/ possibilities in this accelerated transformational period - to share tools, teachings, inspiration, breakthroughs, insights, skills, information – ultimately to cultivate and nurture our felt experience of Oneness.

          From Savitri:
          The master of existence lurks in us
          And plays at hide and seek with his own Force;
          In Nature’s instrument loiters secret God.
          The Immanent lives in man as in his house;
          He has made the universe his pastime’s field,
          All-knowing he accepts our darkened state,
          Divine, wears shapes of animal or man;
          Eternal, he assents to Fate and Time,
          Immortal, dallies with mortality
          The All-Conscious ventured into Ign
          orance,
          The All-Blissful bore to be insensible.
          Incarnate in a world of strife and pain,
          He puts on joy and sorrow like a robe
          And drinks experience like a strengthening wine.
          He whose transcendence rules the pregnant Vasts,
          Prescient now dwells in our subliminal depths,
          A luminous individual Power, alone.


          Book I, Canto IV –The Secret Knowledge

          The Center’s regular offerings include:
          • Weekly potluck, Savitri reading and meditation, Tuesdays, 6 PM
          • Confluence of evolution learning/sharing space, Wednesdays, 7 PM
          • Study Group - 2nd Sunday of each month - April 10th
          • Library Open anytime - call to be sure. :-)
          • Guest Room w/private bath and kitchen privileges - $30/night
          • Cozy space for intimate workshops, functions.

          Call Kathryn at 719-256-4917 for more information.


          _____________________________________________________________


          March 2011


          The Mother

          February 21
          st is the birth anniversary of the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Who was the Mother? What did She represent?

          According to Sri Aurobindo
          , “The Divine Mother is the Consciousness and Force of the Divine – which is the Mother of all things. …”

          “The One whom we adore as the Mother is the divine Conscious Force that dominates all existence, one and yet so many-sided that to follow her movement is impossible even for the quickest mind and for the freest and most vast intelligence. The Mother is the consciousness and force of the Supreme and far above all she creates. But something of her ways can be seen and felt through her embodiments ….

          There are three ways of being of the Mother of which you can become aware when you enter into touch of oneness with the Conscious Force that upholds us and the universe.
          Transcendent, the original supreme Shakti, she stands above the worlds and links the creation to the ever unmanifest mystery of the Supreme. Universal, the cosmic Mahashakti, she creates all these beings and contains and enters, supports and conducts all these million processes and forces. Individual, she embodies the power of these two vaster ways of her existence, makes them living and near to us and mediates between the human personality and the divine Nature.”

          When asked whether she who is called the Mother at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram was the “Individual” Divine Mother, he answered simply “Yes”.

          Upon further query he responds,
          “Her embodiment is a chance for the earth-consciousness to receive the Supramental (the consciousness that can realize the perfection of embodied existence) into it …” The Mother was the most receptive, active and perfect instrument of Sri Aurobindo’s evolutionary Yoga, the ultimate aim of which is the manifestation of a divine life on Earth. The Mother worked tirelessly, not only on all aspects of the rapidly growing Ashram, but with the very cells of her body, in order to prepare them to increasingly receive the vibrations of divine Truth and Love.

          The Center’s regular offerings include:
          • Weekly potluck, Savitri reading and mediation, Tuesdays 6PM
          • Study Group - 2nd Sunday of each month - March 13th
          • Library open anytime - call to be sure. :-)

          Call Kathryn at 719-256-4917 for more information.

          ______________________________________________________


          February 2011


          The Power of Savitri

          “In a real sense, it is the sound body of Sri Aurobindo’s own consciousness.”
          – M.V. Nadkarni

          One of the goals of the Sri Aurobindo Learning Center is to help make the extraordinary, evolutionary teachings of Sri Aurobindo more accessible to the seeker. Let’s face it – taking on his 1024 page
          The Life Divine or his 24,000 line epic poem, Savitri, can be a daunting prospect! Sharing the experience with others – some who have been engaged with the material for many years – can make it more approachable.

          For our weekly
          Savitri readings, we have opened up the format so that questions that arise from the reading can be explored at the beginning of the following session, and other texts and scholars who can shine a revealing light on various sections can be brought to the discussion. That said, reading Savitri is rightfully more of an experience than a study. Savitri is mantric poetry, considerably more powerful when read aloud.

          Why might you want to take up this practice, make the effort? American scholar Raymond Frank Piper said about Savitri: “It ranges symbolically from a primordial cosmic void through earth’s darkness and struggles, to the highest realms of Supramental spiritual existence, and illumines every important concern of man, through verse of unparalleled massiveness, magnificence, and metaphorical brilliance. Savitri is perhaps the most powerful artistic work in the world for expanding man’s mind towards the Absolute.”

          The Mother indicated that the entirety of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga of transformation was contained within its pages. She says: Savitri is a revelation. It is a meditation, it is a quest of the Infinite, the Eternal …. One can find there all that is needed to realize the Divine. …The words are expressed and arranged in such a way that the sonority of the rhythm leads to the original sound which is OM.”

          Sri Aurobindo said: “Savitri
          has not been regarded by me as a poem to be written and finished, but as a field of experimentation to see how far poetry could be written from one’s own yogic consciousness and how that could be made creative.”

          Join us for this weekly adventure of consciousness, Tuesdays – 5:30PM potluck, 6:30 discussion, 7:00 reading, followed by meditation.

          We also offer a monthly study group each 2
          nd Sunday of the month, 4-6 PM. The library /reading room is open on request.

          Call Kathryn at 719-256-4917 for more information.

          ______________________________________________________





          January 2011



          “A universal vision that unites .

          Savitri, Book III, Canto III


          New Stewardship at Savitri House

          The Sri Aurobindo Learning Center Board and community would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to Pavita Decorah, who is retiring from her years of selfless service to Savitri House and its founder, Seyril Schochen. Pavita has shepherded the Center since Seyril’s passing 4 years ago, and has been keen on building bridges with the larger community. Her grant-writing efforts allowed the Center to become a work study site for students from the Crestone Charter School to learn about renewable energy applications and efficiencies, while moving the Center toward a lower carbon footprint and earning the students money for their annual school trip. Pavita and her partner, Sandia Belgrade, have moved into their newly built, light and cozy casita on Lost Cave Way. We wish them peace and fulfillment in their new home and future endeavors.

          And let us introduce the Center’s new steward, Kathryn Van Note. Kathryn has called Crestone home for 3½ years now, arriving here from Auroville in South India, where she resided and worked for the previous 12 years. In her tenure here Kathryn has served on the boards of the San Luis Valley Citizens Alliance and the Baca Grande POA, and was an active member of the Annexation Task Force. As a consultant to Saguache County she researched, compiled and drafted oil and gas regulations, solar development guidelines, an emergency operations plan and the County’s comprehensive plan. She has most recently been involved in public information and the NEPA scoping process on the proposed Low Altitude Technical Navigations (i.e. airborne combat practice) being proposed for our skies by the Air Force.

          Kathryn brings a deep devotion to Sri Aurobindo and The Mother, a passionate love of Savitri and a wide experience of working in the complex, international, human unity experiment called Auroville. She was first introduced to the Integral Yoga of Sri Aurobindo by Seyril, whom she met in 1981 while both were living in Boulder. Kathryn has always felt a deep connection to and gratitude for Seyril, who represented for her a kind of lighthouse, guiding her to her spiritual home after a decade of searching and exploring various paths and teachings. She is honored to be the Center’s new steward.

          She wants to further the Center as a living bridge – a resonant outpost if you will - of Auroville, as Seyril envisioned, as well as a venue for transformative learning. She hopes to discover ways to make the evolutionary teachings of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother more accessible to the wider community of seekers.

          Weekly potluck and Savitri readings continue on Tuesday evenings. Potluck begins at 5:30 PM this month, with reading and meditation at 6:30. We have also embarked on a monthly study group, which meets the 2
          nd Sunday of the month (Jan 9th) from 4 to 6 PM. For more info or to visit the library,

          Call Kathryn at 719-256-4917 for more information.



          _______________________________________________________________________




          December 2010


          “One soul’s ambition lifted up the race;
          A Power worked, but none knew whence it came.
          The universal strengths were linked with his;
          Filling earth’s smallness with their boundless breadths,
          He drew the energies that transmute an age.
          Immeasurable by the common look,
          He made great dreams a mould for coming things
          And cast his deeds like bronze to front the years.
          His walk through Time outstripped the human stride.
          Lonely his days and splendid like the sun’s.


          - Sri Aurobindo, Savitri


          In the early morning of December 5, 1950, Sri Aurobindo left his body.
          He lay in state, in the South Indian heat, for four days, charged with a
          golden light, and was interred four days later. Although not well known
          here, the revolutionary pr o p h e t - seer is one of the fathers of Indian
          independence from Britian, and his photograph appears on Indian TV
          news each evening. The Integral Yoga, which Sri Aurobindo brought us,
          differs from the traditional yogas of which it is a synthesis and
          “the next step” in human evolution. In a letter to a disciple,
          Sri Aurobindo explained: “The principle of this yoga:
          The old yoga demanded a complete renunciation extending to the
          giving up of the worldly life itself. This yoga aims instead at a new
          and transformed life. But it insists as inexorably on a complete throwing
          away of desire and attachment in the mind, life and body.
          Its aim is to refound life in the truth of the spirit and for that purpose to
          transfer the roots of all we are and do from the mind, life and body to
          a greater consciousness above the mind. That means that in the new life
          all the connections must be founded on a spiritual intimacy and a truth
          quite other than any which supports our present connections. One must
          be prepared to renounce at the higher call what are spoken of as natural
          affections. Even if they are kept at all, it can only be with a change which
          transforms them altogether. But whether they are to be renounced or
          kept and changed must be decided not by the personal desires but by the
          truth above. All must be given up to the Supreme Master of the yoga.

          “The power that works in this yoga is of a thorough-going
          character and tolerates in the end nothing great or small
          that is an obstacle to the "Truth and its realization.”

          - Sri Aurobindo on The Intergnal Yoga


          C e n t e r activities:

          • Naomi Lake will facilitate the empowerment
          of the global feminine — a dynamic meditation on
          Peace, Wednesday, December 1 at 4pm, at Savitri House.

          • T h e Savitri Reading Circle meets each Tuesday
          evening at 5:30 for a potluck meal, reading
          Sri Aurobindo’s epic poem, Savitri
          followed by meditation.
          All are welcome to join us at 83 Baca Grant
          Way.
          Call 256-4917 for information.

          • Study Group the second
          Sunday of each month at 4pm, at
          the home of Marika Popovits.
          Call 256-4917.


          _____________________________________________________