Archive for May, 2011

Summer Session Schedule!

SUMMER YOGA! June 13- Sept 1


Deming    call or email for directions

Tues. 9:45 am    mixed levels

Wed. 5:15  pm     beginning

Wed. 7:00 pm     intermediate

8 Petals Yoga

1317 commercial #203 bellingham

Mon.    5:15 pm   beginning

Mon.    7:00pm   intermediate

Thurs. 12:00pm mixed levels

The summer series is a 10 class session.

Please note: NO CLASSES JULY 4, AUG. 2-4, AND THE WEEK OF AUG. 22nd.

Also note the schedule change for evening Turtle Haven classes.



Ten class session: $130

For 9 classes:$125, for 8:$110, 7:$98, 6:$87, 5:$73

Single drop in fee: $15

Summer pass, come as often as you wish; $195

For a pdf of the summer session flyer go here.

The schedule is also up on Elizabeth’s Google calendar at her website here.

Questions? Email Elizabeth at

or call her at 360.303.3892

Remaining Classes For Spring!

Here are the classes yet to come for Spring schedule, for those enrolled, for make-up classes, or for drop-in! Monday, Memorial Day, May 30th, CLASSES ARE IN SESSION, at 5:15 and 7pm at 8Petals.

May 31st, Turtle Haven classes at 9:45, 5:15 and 7 pm, and Thursday at noon, at 8 Petals all will take place.

There will be a Tuesday morning Turtle Haven class, 9:45 on June 7th, the final class of all Spring Session classes.

The summer schedule is posted on the blog, and begins  the week of June 13th.

Across the faith traditions, there is a universal path of divine love that calls us to our highest destiny: the ineffable mystery of oneness with the Divine. In different ways, yet with one voice, scriptures and mystics down through the ages have sounded a clarion call to ‘become the Beloved’:

“I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.” (St. Paul)
Aham Brahmasmi (I am Brahman)  (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad)
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46)
Anal haq! (I am the Supreme Reality)  (Al Hallaj)

How do we answer this urgent call of the soul?  Whether we identify as Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew,  Buddhist – or none of these – how  can divine love become the living truth and core of our being, rather than mere flowery rhetoric or theological ideal?

In these precarious times of growing conflict between religious traditions, it has never been more important for lovers of the Divine from diverse traditions to gather together – to listen, to learn, and to deepen together in shared contemplative silence, conversation, prayer, and celebration.

The premise of this conference is that where two or more spiritual traditions are gathered, there shall God be also.  Program sessions include silent contemplative practice and prayers, inspiring presentations, interactive groups, breakout sessions with presenters, and chanting & dance and other celebrations.

“On this path, each stage is attained only by becoming that stage oneself,” says Jnaneswar. Join us to explore the path of divine love in your life, and find the support to walk this path in your unique way, whether or not you belong to a recognized faith tradition.

Featured Presenters

Ravi Ravindra is a spiritual visionary and leading interfaith scholar of religion, science, and spirituality.  He is author of fourteen books including: The Yoga of the Christ, republished as The Gospel of John in the Light of Indian Mysticism and Pilgrim Beyond Boundaries and The Wisdom of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  A student of J. Krishnamurti and G. Gurdjieff, Ravi is Professor Emeritus of physics and comparative religion at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.  He is author of Science and the Sacred and other books on science and spirituality.  Ravi teaches across the globe on the world’s spiritual traditions, yoga, and science.

Mirabai Starr is author of ten books including critically acclaimed translations of the timeless Christian mystical classics, Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross and The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila.  Mirabai has edited six books of writings and prayers from other Christian icons including St. Francis of Assisi and Hildegard of Bingen.  She is professor of Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos, and is a certified bereavement counselor.   Her forthcoming book, God of Love, focuses on the path of love in the three Abrahamic traditions.

Jamal Rahman is a Muslim Sufi minister, co-founder of the Interfaith Community Church in Seattle, and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. He is author of Fragrance of Faith: The Enlightened Heart of Islam, and co-author of Getting to the Heart of Interfaith and Out of Darkness, Into Light.  He travels nationally and internationally with a Rabbi and Christian pastor in a unique emerging ministry-affectionately known as the three “Interfaith Amigos”-spreading a message of inclusive spirituality.

Swami Ambikananda Saraswati is a Hindu sannyasa, and founder of the Traditional Yoga Association in the UK and the MUKTI project for dispossessed children in India.  Raising her children in England and India, she was a disciple of Swami Venkatesananda, and was initiated by Swami Chidananda Maharaj, the “sage of the Himalyas.”  She is the spiritual leader of the Hindu Temple in Reading, UK, and author of Healing Yoga and translator of the Katha Upanishad and Uddhava Gita.

Sister Lucy Kurien is a Catholic nun who founded the Maher interfaith refuge in 1997 for battered and destitute women in India.  Maher honors all religions and repudiates the caste system, and has saved and rehabilitated the lives of 1,550 Indian women.  Sr. Kurien’s work is featured in the book Women Healing Women by William Keepin and Cynthia Brix.

William Keepin and
Cynthia Brix
are directors of the Satyana Institute and founders of its Power of Reconciliation International project, which has convened gatherings in six countries for healing and reconciliation between women and men.  They are authors of Divine Duality: the Power of Reconciliation between Women and Men and Women Healing Women: A Model of Hope for Oppressed Women Everywhere.  Will is an environmental scientist and spiritual retreat leader, and co-author of Song of the Earth: The Emerging Synthesis of Spiritual and Scientific Worldviews.  Cynthia is an interfaith minister and spiritual director, and co-founder of the Women’s Spiritual Mastery project which produced a DVD entitled Cultivating Women’s Spiritual Mastery.

For more information and to register, go here.



A Letter from the Friends of Maher:

Dear Friends,

Friends of Maher is a local and small, yet dedicated and heartfelt group offering support, and receiving inspiration from the Maher community in Pune, India. Our relationship began when meeting Sister Lucy as she traveled on tour across the country with Will Keepin and Cynthia Brix, authors of the book about the community Sister Lucy seeded more than a decade ago. Sister Lucy’s powerfully compassionate presence and humble visionary spirit made an immediate and deep impression on us. Since that time, we have been exploring ways to connect with this remarkable sanctuary from violence that honors all religions, nurtures and educates its residents and surrounding community, integrates sustainable living practices and demonstrates a compassionate, wholistic and thoroughly ingenious approach to healing. The vision includes the overarching principle and demonstration of seeking solutions to problems in the larger culture that lead to violence towards women and children. To learn more about Maher Ashram, please visit their website,

On June 7th at 7:30 p.m.. we will be graced with Sister Lucy’s presence when she will offer a talk and presentation in the Sanctuary at the First Congregational Church of Bellingham, 2401 Cornwall Avenue.  Sister Lucy has a wondrous spirit and a powerful presence; she is an individual whose vision and actions demonstrate the integrated practice of following an inner calling. You can download the pdf of the flyer pictured above for Sister Lucy’s talk here. We hope you will consider joining us to learn more about Maher Ashram, through the eyes and heart of this delightful and inspiring woman profoundly dedicated to helping others. There is no charge to attend this event, though donations to Maher are welcome.

On June 17th, at 7 pm at Presence Studio, Shantala will once again offer kirtan devotional singing and dance as part of their Unity in the Community Tour and as a benefit for Maher Ashram. Last year’s event with Shantala in the vibrant and warm atmosphere of Presence, provided a joyful evening of weaving community through sound and movement. While some sat quietly absorbing the music, others joined in voice, in dance and ecstatic movement. Heather and Benjy, both very talented musicians, travel the country leading kirtan. To read more visit their website Tickets may be purchased in advance from either Community Food Coop. While we may have tickets at the door, last year the event happily sold out! Advance tickets are $20, and those at the door will be $25. Please see the flyer below for more detailed information, and feel free to share this by passing along this email to others. You can download a pdf of the flyer pictured above for the kirtan here.

For more information about either event, please call Jillian Froebe at 360-319-8704, or visit

Blessings of Spring and Renewal,
Friends of Maher
Paula Brown, Jillian Froebe, Krista Hunter, Elizabeth Kerwin and Shirley Osterhaus

Reminder: No Classes May 9th-May 13th

Just a reminder that there are no classes at 8 Petals or at Turtle Haven this week. But this would be a great week to email if you are coming to any part of the yoga – philosophy – potluck event on Sunday, May 22.

For all the details see the earlier post, here.

As requested, here are more details on the books mentioned in class this week.

Inner Yoga: Selected Writings of Sri Anirvan

This book explores the meditative aspects of yoga. It might be of particular interest if you are experimenting with or beginning to think about sitting meditation. Written by Sri Anirvan, who was a monk, scholar and philosopher, this book includes the meditation which you might do during savasana this week: breathing the vastness of the sky in on the in-breath and breathing oneself out into that vast sky on the out-breath. This book is not at the Bellingham Public Library unfortunately, but you can order it through Village Books here.

Yoga-for-a-World-Out-of-Balance-coverThis book, written by Michael Stone, activist and ethicist, explores how yoga can help us to live an ethical, sustainable and just life. The book has been described as an explanation of “how yoga belongs in our world and how the world belongs in our yoga.” The Bellingham Public Library has it here. Or you can order through Village Books here.

Yoga The Iyengar Way

This book, published a couple decades ago by Silva, Mira & Shyam Mehta (with the blessing of Mr. Iyengar), is very useful for home practice. It has large, informative photographs of asanas and detailed instructions about how to work in the poses and how to work toward the poses with props. The text includes sanskrit names for poses,  sequences for a variety of ailments, as well as discussion of breathing practice and overall yoga philosophy. And it’s all in very much the Iyengar style. This book is available at the Bellingham Public Library here if you want to try it out before purchasing. It’s also available at Village Books (at the moment there’s one sitting on the shelf there).

If you have a book that you’ve found helpful in your yoga practice or in understanding and exploring yoga philosophy, please share it in the comments.