I wonder if Neil Young knows about the Ashram. It's a place tucked back in the hills of Calabasas California. And there you can go back to Sugar Mountain. When life was easy and you had time to play.
The Ashram is a safe place that, for reasons I could never explain, other than it just works. But I’ll try. My guess would be that the number one reason it works is because it is honest. It does not advertise one thing and give you another.
The Ashram knows exactly who it is, and that knowledge starts with the truth. Their truth. There is no fine print. No hidden agenda. No tricks. Sure, people show up there with that stuff, their stuff and they are welcome. But the Ashram does not falter. It carries on, regardless of what is happening around it. It’s not for everyone and that’s fine, for those of us that get it we come back. It becomes part of your life. Like extended family. Very extended.
I think that's understood by the guests. Every Saturday a group of 13 or 14 show up at the house. All walks of life. Some of us come with a friend, but mostly we come alone. We come with all different reasons, and most who come have come before. We come with anything from just wanting to recharge, to losing some extra weight, to heavy hearts, bad habits we need to drop, anxiety, pressures, loss, you name it. And for 7 days we drop the world at the front door and head into the house and start to re connect with our selves. And in the process we start to connect with each other. It’s truly an amazing place. And it comes down to honesty. From the top all the way down, from the support staff straight through to the food they put in the table. Everything is about as pure as it gets.
I have had many experiences at the Ashram. Too many stories to recount, but all of them have enriched me in one way or another. I have laughed my self silly. I have cried on the trails, I have confided extremely personal things to complete strangers and I have exchanged meaningless gossip. I learned what an intention was, and last but not least I have lost weight!
I remember one time I was sitting with the owner in Spain. I had walked the Camino de Santiago with the Ashram, and I said, “You should charge more. You don’t charge enough.” “Why”? “You can make a bigger profit.” She put her arms around me and hugged me and laughed her signature laugh -“That’s not what we are about Beata honey”