The CNS of Asheville, the Prama Institute, has seen its most active year with Ananda Marga retreats and seminars along with rentals every week that include yoga/meditation groups and like-minded alternative service organizations.
Notable events this last four months include Ananda Marga Yoga Teacher Training that included 15 margiis from the US, Europe, Latin America, Portugal and the Azores . There was a successful Yoga Fest that drew people from all over the US including 120 campers and a total attendance of over 250 people. The program consisted of 6 Ananda Marga meditation/yoga workshops and many other workshops by yoga groups from Western North Carolina as well as vendors booths and continuous spiritual music and kiirtan in the amphitheater beside the Prama Institute.
More recently Hiranmaya and Vishvamitra conducted a biopsychology workshop in Greensboro at the Unity Church entitled “The Journey Within”. Vishvamitra and Dada Nabhaniilananda conducted two meditation workshops at the Prama Institute for new people. There were a dozen people initiated from these events.
The Prama Institute is helping plan a conference with Warren Wilson and the Wilderness Society for next March entitled Headwaters Environmental Conference: Southern Appalachia at a Crossroads. Featured speakers include Bill Mckibben and Winnoa LaDuke. The goal of the conference is to create environmental activism among the citizens of Southern Appalachia.
Future plans include working with Dada Ajaya, our new Atlanta Regional Secretary, to develop a widespread pracar program on campuses in the region that would culminate in an Alternative Spring Break at the dome co-sponsored by the Prama Institute and the Ananda Marga Atlanta Region. We have already made contacts to start yoga and meditation clubs on campuses at UNCA of Asheville, UNCA at Chapel Hill and Duke University. Dada is contacting other campuses throughout the region. We are hopeful that this university campus activity will help grow our Prama Institute Internship.
The Prama Institute is beginning to realize its goal of becoming a sustainable non-profit business while offering more of its own seminars that contribute to pracar activities in Ananda Marga. The Prama Institute is becoming well recognized in the regional yoga community as inclusive and supportive of working together with others who have similar self development and service goals.