Category: Others in Need

0001BJWe are  excited to anticipate another heart warming, community building event with Heather and Benjy and their guest musicians, Sean Frenette and Paul Gorn as Shantala once again joins Friends of Maher Bellingham in a fundraising kirtan! There will also be beautiful hand made bags and other items just purchased from the Maher community,  as well as  Shantala’s items for sale at the event. Our event takes place once again at Jenny Macke’s warm and inviting Presence Studio; Jenny has been a pivotal support for our Friends of Maher events, and we have much gratitude and joy in being in her beautiful space. Amazingly, Heather and Benjy have now synchronistically MET Sister Lucy, the founder and inspiring powerhouse and deep soul who established the wondrous healing community in India called Maher, which means Mother’s Home in the local Marathi language. They have been even more deeply inspired by Maher after their direct encounters with Sister Lucy in the U.S.,  during the same tour when Sister Lucy was here in Bellingham, and various other parts of the country. Of course feel free to visit the Maher Ashram website, as well as Shantala’s!  PLEASE NOTE: we are inviting people to help us during the evening of the kirtan, with set up and take down, as well as with selling items for Shantala and Friends of Maher! Please let me know if you are interested in helping out. And of course we hope you will come to our event, and bring your family and friends! Children may come for free, or for a smaller donation, as needed.

Pull back the curtain and welcome...

Please join us for a talk on Friday evening, September 27th, and a Bollywood dance class on Saturday the 28th in the afternoon, followed by a dance to celebrate the love and brilliance of the Maher model of healing that works through the assistance of many loving hearts, helping hands, and a spiritual backbone of depth and breadth, within a deeply inclusive community. The dancing is for all ages, and is in the spirit of celebration and fun, so please join in!

A Merry Upcycled Christmas

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Elizabeth will be offering a full quarter of classes in the auction at this fundraiser for the Lighthouse Mission. Please get your fancy frocks and duds on and check out this Upcycled Fashion Show! To see a pdf of the flyer, click on the image above!


Everyone is invited to a benefit kirtan for Maher Ashram in Pune, India. Maher Ashram is, in their own words:  A vision where, through sheer love, understanding and caring, distressed and traumatized women and children from rural India, are given hope and the right to a better life, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

Shantala will be playing the kirtan and you can read more about them here. Click on the image above to download a pdf of the flyer.

Tickets are available AT BOTH BELLINGHAM FOOD CO-OPS or from Elizabeth! She’s also happy to answer your questions about Shantala, kirtan or Maher Ashram.

Mercycorps Vision Statement

I thought I would put the “mission” statement on my blog, for Mercycorps. By the way, their assistance is WORLDWIDE, icluding our own country! Their website is full of interesting information, in case you wish to visit. Here is the larger vision as they describe it, pasted below. For me, their efforts reflect yogic action in the world, and they are nonsectarian which is wonderful considering the diversity of philosophical and faith traditions to which my students seem to consider their own.

Our Mission:

Alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

Our core values:

We believe in the intrinsic value and dignity of human life.

We are awed by human resilience, and believe in the ability of all people to thrive, not just exist.

We believe that all people have the right to live in peaceful communities and participate fully in the decisions that affect their lives.

We value stewardship of the earth’s health, pledging to accountably and efficiently preserve and manage its resources.

We believe that it is our duty to be effective stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us.

March 26th Fundraiser Results

I had a wonderful time teaching backbends, as well as in discussing Sutra 1-33 and guiding pranayama and meditation. I must say, before even leaving the studio at 9 p.m. I added up the money that flowed in for Mercycorps, and experienced delight in knowing that our collective efforts, and donations will bring $276 to the work of Mercycorps, bringing housing, medicine and food to people around the world most deperate for these nessessities. If you have not visited the Mercycorps website, please go…. you will be inspired, and impressed with the organization’s record for efficiency in using funds! I send much gratitude to all those who participated in classes last evening!

A Wonderful New Idea

Here is an amazing opportunity for us to help other people in an innovative and moving way! I have received this letter from several others, and am passing it along here….
Hello Friends,

This is maybe the most important moment of my life. I’m writing this email through tears and immense joy. As many of you know, I was in a car accident with my brother Keegan who was killed instantly when I was 18 and he was 20. The guy who caused the accident fled the scene and my brother had no under-insured motorists insurance. Our family was stuck with all of the funeral expenses as well as my ambulance and hospital bills without any assistance.

I have spent the last year of my life, using all of my free time and energy, creating a local non-profit that will provide financial assistance to local families that are victim to tragic events and disaster here in Whatcom County. The name of it is Pass The Hat, and it’s brilliant. The model is to get as many people as possible to chip in $2 a month, every month. Here’s the kicker: No one can give more than $2. We won’t rely on fundraisers, auctions, or people making large donations. Instead we will get five, ten or twenty thousand people signed up, each only giving $2. Our mission is twofold; first we help families. Second, we empower people to get involved in philanthropy and make a difference even if they have hardly anything to give.

We have teamed up to partner with The Red Cross, Community Support Officers, Police departments and other local agencies. Our staff includes many local community leaders; Kelli Linville (Mayor), Steve Clarke (School District), Tamara Tregoning (United Way), Marinda Peugh (Red Cross), Chief Michael Knapp (Ferndale), and Grant Fishbook (CTK Church), just to name a few.

As of exactly an hour ago, the website is completed and live. I do not ask much of anyone, ever. I am asking you now to go, check it out and sign up. Then I want you to forward this email or create your own and email, call and tell every person you have ever met to go sign up as well. Talk over coffee, lunch, dinner, tell everyone.

SPECIAL REQUEST: We are in our soft launch phase. PLEASE KEEP THIS OFF OF FACEBOOK. We have until March 7th to get as many people signed up as possible. That’s when we are meeting for the first time, picking a cause and helping our first local family. We want to create a success story BEFORE exploding all over Facebook and in the media. Please help us spread the word “under the radar” for now and get others signed up. Make sense? No Facebook. Once we are ready, we will ask everyone to blow this up and get it all over Facebook, the paper, radio, etc. all at once.

Here is the link, go now and be amazing:

Galen Emanuele
Marketing & Sales Director
The Upfront Theatre
(360) 733-8855

Hearty thanks to all of you who participated in raising funds so that others may eat, and eat well! Together we raised $1,075 dollars to disperse through these worthy organizations, which will provide benefit locally and abroad in the larger world.

The first week of 2012, I will offer any class free, to current students, as well as to others, who would like to try a class with me at 8Petals or Turtle Haven. If you are a current student, you can help by inviting current and new yoga students to attend these classes. For any who would like to partake in a class to begin the year nourishing not only themselves but others as well, there will be an opportunity to donate and all proceeds will go to the food justice organizations described below!

Proceeds will be put to work right here in Whatcom County with Localfoodworks, an organization that has projects designed and implemented to create inclusiveness in healthy local foods for all segments of society. You may read more below if interested!  Additionally, funds will be offered to Mercy Corp, also described below.

The Class Schedule for the week is the usual schedule:

Turtle Haven:

Tuesday: 9:45 Beginners and Intermediates
Wednesday: 5:15 Beginners
7:00 Intermediates


Monday: 5:15 pm Beginners

7:00 pm Intermediates

Thursday: 12 Noon Mixed Beginners and Intermediates

Be the Change | Mercy Corps is specifically for programs providing training for farmers, seeds and livestock, and clean water to people in need around the globe. The fundraising efforts will focus on clean food and healthy nourishment for people in our own community, and for people in other countries, to make an offering locally and globally!

Local Food Works is a grassroots organization that promotes food equity, self reliance, and sustainable living practices through the cultivation and sharing of knowledge, skills and resources in the foothills communities. We are an all-volunteer group and for the past four years have been moving beyond the “wouldn’t it be cool if…” stage to actually doing projects based on communal brainstorming sessions around cups of tea at kitchen tables.

Their projects include:

Assembling and distributing Liberty Garden Kits, over 200 each spring to four local food banks. Kits include a foothills-specific gardening basics booklet, seeds for 4 different types of open-pollinated veggies/tomatoes, and resources from Master Gardeners, etc.

Doing the same with Bean Teepee Kits, over 400 this year, that they give to all K-2nd graders at Acme, Harmony and Kendall Elementary. Kits include pole bean seeds, instructions for planting them and building a bean teepee trellis, and a short list of fun garden-related books that kids can read while they sit inside their bean teepees.

Collaborating with Mount Baker High School horticulture teacher and students to grow veggie and tomato starts for food bank clients–they give them the seeds and potting soil; they use their awesome greenhouse with automatic watering system, etc. to grow them out to starts.

Raised garden bed kits, 10 this year, provided to food bank clients who expressed interest in expanding their garden space and skills.

Share the Bounty campaign, where they coordinate and organize gardeners and small farmers to grow a little extra for the food banks; they offer to take turns picking up and delivering the produce.

Self-reliance/do it yourself workshops such as backyard beekeeping, seed saving, seed starting, garden problem-solving and planning, sauerkraut making, etc. More in the coming year!

If you would like to help us organize at Presence Studio for the benefit Kirtan on Friday, we could use some helping hands for the setting up of the space, and then reorganizing again, at the end of the evening. If you wanted to come, but are not able to afford a ticket at this time, one option would be to volunteer and request a discounted or if needed, free ticket. Our time with Sister Lucy Kurien, who started Maher, was inspiring and delightful— she has a wondrous sense of humor and is a great storyteller! To those who were present for Sister Lucy’s talk, thanks for welcoming her to Bellingham. On Wednesday morning the 8th, Friends of Maher hosted a breakfast meeting with people who came from Lydia Place, Whatcom Counseling and Psychiatric Clinic, Womencare Shelter, the Interfaith Council, and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County (DVSAS) to share with Sister Lucy aspects of services offered locally, to those offered to parallel populations through Maher in India. It was a fascinating and heart warming experience, holding mutual inspiration and ideas of new possibility for all who attended.

A local filght attendant, who had coincidentally met Sister Lucy on a flight two years ago, and was completely drawn to her, had introduced herself, and received the book about Maher Ashram directly on that flight from Sister Lucy, HAPPENED to be friends with one of the women at the breakfast gathering. Sister Lucy had “prayed to God” for the last two years to somehow again meet the woman who had been her flight attendant, going from Seattle to Copenhagen. It was a glorious moment when that same woman “interrupted” our meeting at the Congregational Church to find her long lost friend— the two hugged and kissed as we all basked in the mystery and synchronicity of our human lives. The only challenge was in getting us back on track for our original intent in meeting— which I can report DID happen!

Hoping to see many of you in summer classes…it is always a delightful and relaxed practice time.