Moving into our second year of operation, the Prama Institute is growing rapidly through sponsoring rentals, artistic events and environmental conferences, as well as supporting our own retreats, seminars and newly developing internships.
In the fall we hosted two large yoga groups, Lighten Up Yoga from Asheville and Moving Mantra from Raleigh who gave three and four day workshops. A Reiki Workshop was held in October by Renate Sorensen a Reiki Master of the Dr. Mikao Usui lineage. In November we sponsored a well published Jungian analyst, Bud Harris, who gave a workshop entitled “Becoming Whole as a Spiritual Necessity”, drawing on his recent book “Sacred Selfishness”, and a Peruvian shamanist, Jason Blaesing, who held a workshop at the dome. In October the Ananda Marga Atlanta Region Fall Retreat was held with 35 people attending.
This winter we held Ananda Marga meditation classes taught by Didi Ananda Usa and Ac. Vishvamitra. In March we hosted two Qigong workshops, one offered by Michael Clark on the Nine Step Healing Qigong, followed by a week long Qigong teacher’s workshop by internationally known Master Wu. On March 28 and 29 Robert Bly returned to Asheville for another highly acclaimed love/spiritual poetry reading, Awakened Heart, backed up by the world music trio Free Planet Radio, and a workshop for 45 writers the following day.
In April we had an Advisory Board luncheon that included a broad spectrum of individuals from the business, art, sustainability and spiritual communities that are available to consult with the Prama Institute (PI) regarding its development. With the support of our advisory board and the recommendations of the PI board we committed to starting an internship which will combine yoga and meditation classes and service work at the Prama Institute and Ananda Girisuta Master Unit. Dada Ajay will be the director of this program beginning in June as a one, two or three month internship assisted by the staff of the PI in the teaching and supervisory duties. Interested parties 18 and older should contact our website for more details on the internship.
Several workshops were held in April: Christine Kaoverii Weber gave a subtle yoga class for yoga teachers. Interplay, a group from Asheville engaged its participants in games, dance and drama to develop their creative and playful potentialities. Wholelife, a group from Louisville Kentucky, conducted shamanistic rituals, yoga classes, sweat lodge and ended with initiation of five participants at the Master’s level of Reiki. The Wholelife participants were from New York, Savannah, Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida, as the PI begins to draw participants from the region and beyond.
Future workshops and programs include a retreat with Dada Nabhaniilananda, Atlanta Region retreat, and two yoga groups in May; beginning our internship and hosting a Raja Yoga group in June; Ananda Marga Yoga Teacher Training in July, and Yoga Fest representing all the yoga groups in the region in August.
The PI is engaged with Warren Wilson College, the Wilderness Society and a number of local writers and environmental groups in planning a bioregional conference for Southern Appalachia entitled “Headwaters Environmental Conference: a Community at the Crossroads” for March of 2009. Bill McKibben and Winnoa LaDuke will be keynote speakers at this conference that integrates the arts, science and activism among citizens of the bioregion.
The PI is committed to engage annually in sponsoring conferences that educate the public on critical issues involving Neohumanism and Prout themes concerning all round sustainability and social justice. Please examine the article on Prout and Master Units in the section on sustainability in this newsletter.