Recently we traveled with Patrizia, a German friend of ours, to the Sat Yoga ashram in Costa Rica where we had a very inspiring and life-changing time!
Situated in the evergreen cloudforest, the Sat Yoga ashram is a 270 hectare property next to the biggest national park of Central America, located in the middle of the mountains. We immediately experienced how good it feels being in abundant, unpolluted nature and silence all around!
What is an ashram?
An ashram is an Indan name for a meeting place where people live together and come to a reflection through meditation, yoga or other tools, in order to gain knowledge about the self and the world. The Sat Yoga ashram is definitely all of this! It is a place for study, healing, meditation, transformation and realising one’s highest potential. The ashram is guided by the powerful presence and teachings of ShunyamurtI.
Living sustainable and off-grid
A fresh mountain water reserve, springs, organic vegetables and thousands of fruit trees that have been planted are just a few of the assets of the spiritual community. Shunyamurti’s vision for the future is a visionary art and esoteric wisdom school, a permaculture farm village, a multidimensional spiritual retreat and healing centre… An ashram for the current times, a place to be in all its aspects!
In ancient India gurus were very respected spiritual teachers or guides (and of course some still are!?). Unfortunately it became a risk to put your full trust in (Eastern or Western) gurus because of the influence of material interest and false teachings.
So first thought you might have: another guru?
Not to us! Shunyamurti is a strong leader of the community, a very wise teacher and mentor. His personality is very deep and he is a revolutionary, looking the present times in the eye and offering a vision to (western) spiritual seekers…
On Tuesday January 23rd, we were happy to leave grey and cold Belgium, up in the Amsterdam sky on the way to 30 degrees sunny Costa Rica, a democracy without army, for an 11-hour flight against time.
The first picture we saw just before entering the plane, was a KLM publicity Unknown, here I come! ....announcing an amazing journey!
After a pleasant flight we arrived in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. We spend the night in a wooden family-feeling hotel, in the nearby city of Escazù.
The next day after a delicious vegan breakfast of sunripe pineaple, papaya, passionfruit and more, we took the road south towards San Isidro, driving through the desolate and awesome mountain landscape! We arrived at the retreatplace within 5 hours driving.
Arriving at the ashram
Purusha, a bright young yogi, welcomed us to the ashram. He was happy to see that we too were experienced yogis, as we practice Raja Yoga meditation since many years! So we quickly went over the house rules and habits. Purusha then guided us towards wooden cabanas, where we each had a private, clean and cosy room with a balcony, overlooking the vibrant rainforest. So we installed ourselves for the next 7 days. We wanted to simply visit and live with the residents to experience life in the ashram.
The evening of our arrival, we were introduced to the group by Shunyamurti. We met him as a great man, spiritual, open hearted and very present. A teacher and a friend, someone with a special vision for Arunachala, the name of the holy mountain of the Sat Yoga Ashram.
A day at the ashram
We had early evenings going to bed when it gets dark, around 8.30 pm and waking up at 3.30 am when the day is on its way. Imagine the sky covered with stars or a blue full moon, walking from the cabana with a flashlight to the center of the ashram in the middle of the silent nature, fresh air and pleasant temperature.
Then you enter silently the meditation hall where everyone is peacefully meditating in a circle, heading to the centre where a yogi guides the meditation. We experienced such a deep peace and connection to ourselves, that one hour meditation felt like the biggest present of the day! So extremely empowering and uplifting! After this magical and refreshing morning silence, we listen to a satsang (teaching) of Shunyamurti, where he shares his daily wonderful inspirations.
Then we went back to our room, have some relax time, study , reading, dress up and at 7 or 8 am have a great breakfast with green smoothies, tea, Costa Rican coffee, breads, grains, salads and sweet Costa Rican nirvana fruits! We loved participating in the ritual of blessing and offering the food by facing the handpalms towards the food and singing AUM… A great way to eat in a mindful way.
Later in the day we choosed to do some karma yoga. We helped in the kitchen, garden or green house. Or we walked and sat under the tree of life, a magnificent tree, the mother tree of the whole forest to reflect and let nature heal our system. The yogis living here are very cool, they make time to listen to you and share their lifestyle. One morning they were all helping filling walls with clay for a couple young yogis who were building their eco house.
Instead of the ratrace feeling where so many people are trapped in, here at the ashram, far from the so called civilised world, we enjoyed every minute and time seemed to be of an other dimension. So plenty of time to be (with) yourself, get help if needed with private sessions of Shunyamurti or from radiant Radha Ma, yogini and his life companion. We sat in nature, walk, read, think or smile to life and people passing by. Feeling free and recharging to the max!
Saying goodbye, to the Sat Yoga ashram, a window to heaven
These were unforgettable days! The time went by slowly, but 7 days go by anyway. So time to leave and say goodbye.
We went back home from the Sat Yoga ashram as an other person, transformed and letting the learned and experience find its way… The amazing knowledge, such as analysing the ego and its illusionary world, the stillness and spiritual depth of the place and all its inhabitants, deepened our personal journey more then we ever had expected!
A story and encounter to be continued!
With love and gratitude,
Veeke and Jan