On October 19th, 2019 ten visitors from the Shanti Yoga Ashram in Bethesda, Maryland came to spend the day in the Madison, Virginia Homa community. Agnihotra has been performed at Shanti Yoga for many years, so we were especially happy to strengthen and renew the bond between our two communities.
Unlike many ashrams, Shanti Yoga is located in a busy urban area. Founded by the late Victor (Vyasa) Landa in 1983 as the Shanti Yoga Center for Harmony, it has offered classes and programs, and later expanded into the School of Life. The ashram has a core group of six residents who serve its many visitors through a wide array of classes and services to help people integrate health and peace into daily life. Programs include such topics as yoga, aromatherapy, introduction to Ayurveda, homeopathy and gardening.
Upon arrival, we read in unison some blessings brought by Shanti Yoga members. A delicious vegetarian potluck lunch followed. After the meal, everyone participated in a lively question-and-answer session on Agnihotra . The importance of using exact timings to the second was stressed.
Next, Richard Powers led the group on a walk to White Oak Lake, for some peaceful time in Nature.
Finally, the group assembled at the Parama Dham Fire Temple for meditation and evening Agnihotra.
Heartfelt thanks to Laxmi and Durga for organizing the visit. We look forward to seeing the Shanti Yoga group again!