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It's in Our Hands

Volume 25

October 2011

In This Issue
Upcoming Retreats
Knoxville Recap
 AMS Links



 "It's so simple to be happy, but so difficult to be simple."



Dear Meditators!

      Now is the time to register for the Thanksgiving retreat in the St. Louis area.  This year it will be a weekend retreat beginning on Friday and ending on Sunday.  Our website is still in progress and the bookstore is getting closer to being functional, but is not quite ready yet.  Make sure to sign up for the weekly reflection! you will get a quote from Gururaj every Monday moring in your email.. The sign up is separate from the newsletter sign up.  Click here to sign up for the Weekly Reflection! 

Upcoming Retreats


Saturday, October 22, 2011


Place: The Wilson House, of the First Baptist Church, White Plains, NY
Time: 10 AM to 6:30 PM with optional potluck to follow.
Cost: $30
Theme: Letting Go of Wanting, Trying, Needing:                                       Why and How
Contact person: Merrill at 914-946-5334 or


Overnight accommodations possible in homes of local meditators


Date: November 25 - 27th, 2011
Location: Todd hall Retreat & Conference Center, 

                 Columbia, IL (fly into St. Louis airport)
Cost: Double - $190 ($95/day), Single - $ 236 ($118/day)
Deadline: November 7 (After deadline add $10 per day) 

Contacts:  Babita McKasson:

                   2 Hillcrest Drive, Carbondale, IL  62901                                        618-529-4824


                   Pashya Spellman at 314-388-0495 


Theme:   I AM

You are here with your Guruji, your beloved, as you are all my beloveds.  So in that oneness of feeling the closeness, we can say I have come from nowhere and I am going to nowhere, but I am here in this moment... of here and now.


Now, the why falls away.  How about just saying, I am.  I am what I am, not  why am I?   Because as soon as you prefix with why, you are questioning that which I am  Do you see that "G"?  Operate on that level, for you are that G, you are that God, you are that Divinity, you are the infinity, you are the eternity, and yet you allow your stupid minds and thoughts to bring conflicts in realizing that eternity.  

                                            ~Gururaj Ananda Yogi - US 84-11

The Thanksgiving Retreat is a wonderful, warm, and relaxing escape before the hectic holiday season takes hold of our lives. During the weekend we will come together to chant, meditate, and study Gururaj's teachings. 

The Todd Hall Retreat and Conference Center has beautiful grounds for walking with paths through the local woods.  The rooms are double or single occupancy with private baths and have individually controlled thermostats. All linens are provided.   The food is prepared by fellow meditators and Todd Hall staff.  


The center is located 45 minutes from the St. Louis airport.  Limo service is also available at reasonable rates.  Bus and train terminals are twenty-five minutes away.  

REGISTRATION: Please click here for the Thanksgiving retreat registration form. 

2011 Knoxville Retreat Recap


Of all the retreats I've been too, Knoxville is always my favorite!  It's beautiful, the people are friendly, it's the epitome of "Engagement with the Divine."  You really become embraced by the other meditators and this allows you to really open your eyes to circumstances you may have closed off.  My tidbit was definitely Harry's quote, "Serve it tea and send it on its way."  Here are some remarks and media from Camille and Joe.  Thanks ya'll! 

 ~ Sean 


      A fall weekend in East Tennessee was the perfect setting to engage the divine. The air was perfect and the trees were filled with color. It felt amazing to meditate and spend a laughter-filled reunion with my spiritual family. Grace surrounded us constantly and I will never forget the feeling of love and lightness that flowed in the Satsang room during our conversations.  Sharing and exploring our heart's deepest longing reminded me of what matters most. I got to remember that we are divine and God's grace flows endlessly. It is simply a matter of forgetting that we get lost. The divine light within creates an amazing flame when we all come together to recognize and remember. I love you all! ~ Camille



A video from Joe 

AMS 2011 Fall Regional Retreat 7-9 October
AMS 2011 Fall Regional Retreat 7-9 October

Excerpt from Gururaj:

"From Darkness to Light"

 The Path Is Not Always Easy, p. 52


     Without understanding that which is divine, we can never fully love. There are four thousand million people in this world, but there are very few who really know love in totality. Total love requires the total integration of a person, an integration of mind, body, and spirit. Until that condition comes about, no one can love totally.
     But this is no cause for disappointment! We are on the path, and it is good to be on the path. This path can be filled with many obstacles to the achievement of love, which is synonymous with the achievement of God. We have to develop the strength within us through meditational practices and by making an effort in our daily lives to overcome these obstacles- and it is not always easy. Vivekananda, for example, said that the path to God is the hero's path: it is not for weaklings! All will become strong. It might take a hundred lifetimes or more, but we all will reach home. Everyone has to go home.

About Memory and Presence, pg. 65

     A great harm is done in reliving the past, for in reliving the past, you are totally forgetting the present. You have your memories and you are projecting those memories into the future. This means that at this moment, you are non-existent, and yet, you should be existing because your very nature is existence. Nothing in the universe can exist without you- even that which we call God. God exists because you exist, and you exist because God exists.
      So, to have memories is to deny existence. You are not existing; and by not existing you do not know what life is. Life is an Is-ness and Is-ness is the only viable existence. The mind, although we call it a storehouse of memories, is nothing else, to repeat, but a sponge. A sponge absorbs water. If you submerge the sponge into water it will be saturated with water. But if the mind or sponge is not fed the water, it will remain dry and that very dryness is the existence of the moment.



Meditator Contributions
     As always we are looking for contributions from our meditators!  You can email Sean by clicking the link "Newsletter Submissions" under AMS Links at the left.  Please feel free to send photos, poems, or even ideas to help the newsletter's production.
     This newsletter's contribution is from Sami.  If you've been on a retreat with her, you know who she is!  I asked her to contribute a poem and now we have this polished gem to share.  Thanks!      ~Sean

They say...

They say time flies when you are having fun.
Does time stop when you are not having fun?
They say God works in mysterious ways.
Does He work in ways that are not mysterious?
They say to be thankful for what you have.
Can you be thankful for what you do not have?
They say time heals everything.
Do you always die burdenless?
They say you can't take it with you.
How do THEY know?