Category: Ravi Ravindra

For those planning ahead for Autumn, here is our flyer announcing the next retreat at Turtle Haven with Ravi.We’re especially excited for this theme! There will as always also be a public talk on Friday of the retreat. Let me know if you have any questions; other announcements will be forthcoming.

This Friday, Oct 18th, at 7:30PM, Ravi Ravindra will be giving a public talk at 8 Petals Yoga Studio.  Please come – the public is welcome to participate!


As the glorious summer days continue to grace us with sun and abundance, a few subtle signs of waning light and the transition towards autumn gradually reveal themselves. We notice the invitation towards more inner reflection as we move into a new cycle of harvest, then quiet, and the revitalization of our spiritual exploration which comes with Ravi Ravindra’s wisdom, heart and presence. He returns October 18th through 20th, in the usual format, with a Friday public talk in Bellingham at 8Petals Yoga Studio and a Saturday and Sunday weekend retreat in Deming. Our theme this time will be “Journey of the Soul: Self Knowledge and Self Transformation.” Weather permitting, we also plan for time to walk the labyrinth, and to enjoy the forest and river trails, and the ever evolving land and shrines of Turtle Haven (retreat site).

Ravi Ravindra Fall 2013 Retreat Flier Image

To get a pdf of the flyer, click on the image above.

One Tuesday not long ago, the Turtle Haven morning yoga class was about to begin, and I was on my way out of the housephoto-10 when I grabbed a card with a hand scribed poem from our friend and fellow yogi, Bill Baroch. Bill is also, by the way, Turtle Haven’s trails and grounds landscape artist. I read the poem in class, and was asked by a wonderful student and friend to post the poem on this blog! I thought I would add a few more thoughts, and some of the story behind the wheel….

We have  on the land, near the labyrinth, this poetic prayer wheel which was created by Chris Moench in collaboration with me, to honor Jillian’s birthday a year and a half ago, the same year she was ordained as an Interfaith Minister. Aaron Westgate and his friend Andy Phillips created a beautiful pagoda-like, earthy and elegant structure to hold the beautiful vessel. I include a photograph of it in this post (above).

In recent days, we had a very intimate, small gathering to initiate this blessed addition to Turtle Haven, and Bill brought a poem he had written for the occasion. Since the Tuesday class SEES the wheel, and some go out and visit it, I thought to bring the poem into class— and as I recall, it had to do also with the notion I wanted to speak about that morning, that we need places to go with our our prayers, intentions, joys and sorrows, to bring them out from our own hearts and minds, into some outer form. To speak, mutter, write, or sing them and offer them out…. in this way, a different relationship arises with what we were formerly holding within. In the Gospel of Thomas, as Elaine Pagels and others have pointed out, Jesus is said to have brought this teaching: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” These are powerful words that tell us in a larger sense something of the teachings of the Niyama, and Svadyaya, self reflection, and then bringing ourselves forward into the world, in whatever way is healing and contributes.

Part of our “bringing oursleves forward” includes being aware of places where we hold questions, grief, emotional stirrings, desires for inner change, or for shifts on the outer plane, and all the many inner mysteries of existence in human form. I have always loved the ritual in church of lighting candles with prayer and intention, and have let that expand into the same form in a broader array of places. To have specific places to visit and revisit creates a potency and a remembrance that can bring a deepening in our connection with the Innermost Mystery, however we name that in a particular way, according to our own experience and beliefs. Some of the Tuesday morning yoga practitioners have also created a Patanjali yoga shrine area, that started with a beautiful rock engraved with the second yoga Sutra: “And then the Seer Dwells in his own True Splendor,” a sutra that speaks to our ultimate yogic realization of our deep oneness with the Supreme Intelligence. This rock was a gift for another long time student and community member Frances, a few years back. Now the shrine has a Patanjali figure housed in a hand built by Bill sort of small, beautiful “cathedral in the woods” structure which was dreamt up by Maureen, Frances, Bill and me last year. We had a blessing for it as the culmination of last Spring’s retreat with Ravi; Felicity Green was here as well at that time! So there has been a rich flowering here at Turtle Haven for which Jillian and I feel so much gratitude, as we steward a place that reflects our desire to listen deeply and hold this place on the Nooksack as a haven for our community to come and remember what is most important. Here is Bill’s poem:

Watch the Earth turning!
In her lovely round dance—
Witness the turning!
She sets the sun
Fills the sky with stars shimmering
Spins out the night
Returns to light….
Breathes out clouds
Feathering, sun mitten
In rhythm with the turning.
Brown leaves settle into damp Earth.
New green leaves seek the Sun.
Sleepers rise. Risers dream.
Dreamers dance…
In rhythm with the turning.
From the center turning.
All is one turning.

The Earth is a Prayer Wheel.
The Earth is Prayer Wheel.

The Earth is a wheel
Full of Prayers.
Each Being a Benediction.
A veneration. A Holy Communion.

Robin. River. Rain.
Redlegged Frog.
The silent sound of salamander steps.
You and I.
Our thoughts
For each other
Each heart a prayerful page,
An intention of Mystery.
We are seeds sewn in dark soil.
Delicate leaves unfolding.
We are flowers.
Everything is a flower.
No mistakes.
We are pages and pages of prayer,
Folded and unfolding.
Warm sun.
Moonless night.
Turning without. Turning within.
Turning! Turning!
On this beautiful wheel
Nothing but prayers
Apparent in daylight,
Hidden at night.

Ravi Ravindra will once again be returning to Bellingham, this time to explore the presence of love in the Bhagavad Gita and the Gospel of John. There will be a Public Talk and Meditation on Friday April 12.There will be a retreat at Turtle Haven in Deming on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th.

ravi flier revised march 2013 jpg

To get a pdf of the flyer, click on the image above.

Ravi Ravindra, physicist, theologist, philosopher and seeker will be leading a retreat on “The Heart and Purpose of Yoga” the weekend of October 12-14, kicking off with a public talk in Bellingham on Friday, October 12 and followed by two days featuring discussion, meditation, chanting and optional yoga asanas at Turtle Haven in Deming. To introduce people to Ravi, below is the beginning of an essay he wrote on the topic of “Yoga in Daily Life”, followed by a link for a pdf of the complete essay. If this speaks to you, you might consider coming to the retreat for which there are some spaces still available. For complete details about the retreat go here or talk to Elizabeth.

Yoga in Daily Life

            Renouncing all actions on Me, Mindful of your inner self,

            Without expectation and selfishness, Fight, without agitation. (BG 3:30)

                         Here Krishna invites us and enjoins us to make our daily life into a spiritual practice, a yoga.  No one can be without action.  Even if we simply lie down, doing nothing visible, we are still engaged in action. “Because no one can remain actionless even for a moment. Everyone is driven to action, helplessly indeed, by the forces of nature” (BG 3.05).  Even if the body is still, the mind is in action, associating  this with that, dreaming, desiring something, fearing something else. The question is not whether to act but how to act. Similarly, no one can avoid daily life; the question is not whether we should participate in daily life, but rather how to participate in this life we live daily.

To download the complete essay in pdf form go here.




For a pdf of the flyer, click on the image above or go here.

Schedule and Tuition:

At 8Petals yoga studio in downtown Bellingham

Friday           7:30 pm – Public Talk and Meditation led by Ravi

At Turtle Haven sanctuary in deming

Saturday      9:00 am – 10:15 am Optional yoga class

10:45 am – 5:00 pm  Sessions with Ravi

Sunday        9:00  am – 10:15 am Optional yoga class

10:45 am – 3:00 pm Sessions with Ravi


Sliding Fee of $175 to $195. Limited scholarships and bartering available. Morning yoga classes additional $12 each.

For those attending only the Friday evening talk, cost is $15 with part of the proceeds going to Maher Ashram (

Questions? Contact Elizabeth  or 360-303-3892

The Heart and Purpose of Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras

The Yoga Sutras attributed to Patañjali and the Bhagavad Gita are the two classical texts of yoga, but their approaches to yoga are very different, even though both of them aim at freedom from what one calls oneself.

The Yoga Sutras aims at attaining samadhi, which is defined by Patañjali as emptying of oneself,  by working at diminishing all the obstructions to it. It is mainly devoted to the mental discipline of cultivating a counter-flow to all the usual tendencies of the mind, thereby gradually leading to deeper and deeper meditation.

The yoga taught in the Bhagavad Gita is aimed at fulfilling dharma, that is to say responsibility for the maintenance of order, at all levels—within oneself, in the family, in the society, on the planet and in the cosmos. Therefore, there is naturally much attention given to right action, sacred knowledge and love in this book, perhaps the single most important text to originate from India.

Although the main focus will be on the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita, occasionally attention will be drawn to the many similarities and differences in the other spiritual traditions, especially in the Gospel of John, long considered the spiritual gospel among the canonical gospels, and the non-canonical gospels of Thomas and Philip.

There will be optional asana and pranayama classes (paid for separately) with Elizabeth Kerwin, as well as self reflection exercises and some singing and chanting, as a part of the workshop.  The participants are welcome to attend the optional yoga classes with some asanas and pranayama before the formal workshop on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

For more information about Ravi go here: Ravi

Questions? Contact Elizabeth at or 360-303-3892
Celebrate Easter with Ravi Ravindra in a meaningful and inclusive way in retreat at Turtle Haven, March 30 through April 1, 2012.  Our most recent retreats last year in April and October with Ravi felt the most graceful yet, as we crafted a container with multiple facets that seemed to serve well in generating community support for interspiritual inquiry and reflection.

The Spring theme is A Spiritual Celebration of Easter: A Mythic Journey of Sacrifice, Death and Resurrection.  We will gather in community for a unique spiritual celebration of the Easter season, exploring the symbolic meaning of death and resurrection in our own lives and in that of the collective. Our reflections will dwell in part on different interpretations of the meaning of sacrifice, investigating the cultural overlay that has come to see sacrifice as an undesirable experience. We will see how we might “resurrect” the sacred and mystical dimensions of this historic event.

One of the remarks from the Gospels we will consider is from Phillip: Those who say the Lord died first and then rose up are in error, for he rose up first and then died.  Our explorations will carry us into the heart of the meaning of “rising” before we experience our own physical death. In the spirit of honoring our shared path as Spiritual Pilgrims, we will examine parallels in other faiths such as when Buddha remarked, “Look within, you are the Buddha.” or the remarkable reminder from the Sufi tradition that “If you die before you die, you will not die when you die.”

Our inner travels will engage the intellect, the body, the voice and the senses, as we ceremonially celebrate the spirit of Easter through guided and silent meditations, labyrinth walks, movement awareness exercises, song, and connection with the natural world in the beauty of spring at Turtle Haven on the Nooksack River. We look forward to another immersion in our own cherished and collective community wisdom and that of our warm and wise guide, Ravi Ravindra. 

Tea and good company will be provided, with each retreatant bringing his or her own lunch and snacks.

We will initiate the weekend with a talk by Ravi on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Bellingham; this will be a fundraiser for Maher Ashram in India, open to the public and optional for retreatants at no additional cost.  On Saturday and Sunday, we will meet at Turtle Haven in Deming, for access to the river and forest trails, and the quiet and peace of  the 11 circuit labyrinth.  Saturday’s schedule, which will include a collective lunch, will be 10 a.m. until 5p.m.  On Sunday, we will gather at 10 a.m. and finish our day at 3 p.m. with a shorter lunch period.
We have explored opportunities for out of town participants to stay with a local retreat participant.  Please let us know if you need help with housing.

The cost for this retreat will again be a sliding fee scale of $165 to $190.  Once registered, you will receive a reading list and more detailed information.  Please send your name, address, email address and phone number with the full tuition payable to:  Jillian Froebe, 6551 Rutsatz Road, Deming, WA 98244.   If a payment plan or financial assistance is needed, please let us know.  If something unexpected arises that changes your ability to participate, and you notify us prior to February 29, your tuition will be refunded minus a $50 administrative fee. Tuition is nonrefundable after this date.  Registration is limited to create a more intimate experience, and the retreats have generally been full, so we suggest you register soon.

Questions? Contact Jillian Froebe  360.319.8704   or Elizabeth Kerwin 360.303.3892

The Spring Quarter will begin April 9th, and a flyer is here. Please feel free to pass along the flyer.
Also please note that Ravi Ravindra will be here the last week-end of the month; he will offer a public talk on Friday night March 30th at First Congregational Church on Cornwall Street at 7:30 pm, with a suggested donation of $15 to benefit Maher Ashram.
Also, on the 26th, I will be offering the two classes I have been mentioning in announcements this week. There will be a 5:30- 7pm class, Opening the Heart: Backbends for All Levels, followed by a Discussion at 7:15 of the Sutra I-33, on compassion from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The discussion will be followed by a breath awareness (pranayama) period that leads into sitting meditation. I invite any of you to attend for free; if you have the resources/desire to donate money, I am suggesting $10 to $15 per each of the two classes with proceeds in full to be donated to Mercycorps International.
When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.  BKS Iyengar






JUNE 23 – 29, 2012


Program Tuition Fee: $495

Add 6 Day Lodging & Meal Fee: based on your choice of accommodation…Click Here.

*Invite a Friend to the same 2012 Summer Retreat & Receive $100 “Bring a Friend” Discount Each!!! (Details Here)

How do you know if you’re on the right yoga path?  How do you navigate life moved from within?  How do you flow with quiet grace?

The cultivation of the qualities of curiosity, wonder, willingness and vulnerability are essential if we are to fully receive and benefit from yoga’s deepest teaching. Life brings us to this again and again, but do we approach each moment with the openness and undistorted perception to meet life’s deepest purpose?


Join Kira Ryder & Ravi Ravindra on the wondrous journey toward the eternal, which is Now. During joy-filled practice sessions sprinkled with her one-of-kind gentle humor, grace, and skill, Kira will guide you towards experiencing your essence.  Combining asana, pranayama and meditation, she will inspire a keen interest and attentiveness to our intimate tender relationship with life’s vital force, Prana.

Ravi Ravindra will then awaken deep contemplation about the nature of Spirit and Being. Drawing mainly from the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras, as well as the great texts of other major spiritual traditions, Ravi weaves science, philosophy, religion and mysticism in a profoundly relevant manner shedding new light on the wisdom of the texts.

The beacons by which we will navigate through this retreat are:

  • The Heart and Purpose of Yoga
  • Becoming Intimate with the Cosmological Order
  • Dharma, Yajña and Yoga: Responsibility, Sacrifice and Discipline
  • Seeing More Clearly: A Yogi’s Guide to Unknowing
  •  Yoga off the Mat in Daily Life

Kira Ryder is grateful for all her teachers and the teachings that have been so generously shared with her.  Named one of Yoga Journal’s Top 21 Yoga Teachers under the age of 40 “shaping the future of yoga,” Kira is the Den Mother of Lulu Bandha’s and the International Ojai Yoga Crib. Her teaching techniques are designed to prepare the soil in which the seeds of Yoga can be planted.  With attention to the subtle energies and feeling tones, she emphasizes tuning into the alignment within your own heart. Her website is


Ravi Ravindra was born in India and received his early education there. He went to Canada as a graduate student and later as an immigrant. Now he is a Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he served for many years as a professor in three Departments: Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Physics. He was a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla, and the Founding Director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge. Ravindra’s spiritual search has led him to the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, G. Gurdjieff, Yoga, Zen, and a deep immersion in the mystical teachings of the Indian and Christian classical traditions. He is a prolific author including: Krishnamurti:Two Birds on One Tree, Science and The Sacred, The Wisdom of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras and The Inner Journey-Myth, Psyche, and Spirit. These and many more can be found on his website: