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Sahaj Sandesh No: 2007.23- Friday, June 08, 2007

Dear Sister / Brother: 

SPURS Ranch Retreat Center for the Americas in Austin, TX

It is with immense gratitude to our Beloved Master, that we share the happy news of the completion of procurement of the SPURS Ranch Retreat Center for the Americas in Austin, Texas, USA, by the Sahaj Marg Spirituality Foundation (SMSF). The 28 acre retreat center project, which is located in southwestern Travis County in a scenic Central Texas’s Hill Country setting, was first presented and approved by Rev. Master in October of 2006. With the Blessings and Guidance of our Rev. Master, the legal formalities were completed on this joyous day, June the 6th, 2007. Our Master’s gift of this retreat center represents an unfathomable opportunity for ALL the abhyasis in the Americas. 

The effort to identify a Retreat Center in the Americas began in August 2006, when the permission to commence the search was granted by Rev. Master during the inaugural CREST session at Bangalore (please see Sahaj Sandesh, dated 23 October 2006). We were led to the retreat center property after an extensive search, in October 2006. It is a 28-acre ranch about 20 minutes drive from the Austin city-center located in the Texas Hill Country, which is a spiritual and cultural hub for this region. The location of the ranch was considered ideal with close proximity to Austin and San Antonio, the two major cities of Central Texas. The outpouring of support from the abhyasis from the Americas was heartwarming. By May 2007, we were confident that the legal and regulatory issues were adequately addressed to our satisfaction and that we would indeed be able to procure the property.

The 28-acre ranch also includes a 2,350 square feet country house that will serve as the dorm for those in retreat, a 900 square feet caretaker’s cottage, a 900 square feet hall that will serve as the meditation hall, and a 530 square feet breezeway area that may be developed into a library in the future.

The primary purpose of the Retreat Center is part of Master's vision to provide places where abhyasis may remove themselves from the routine worldly life for a brief time for concentrated spiritual reflection in a retreat atmosphere. In speaking about the tradition of the spiritual retreat, Master tells us that, “abhyasis will stay for a minimum of three days, and for a maximum of thirty” and that “a RETREAT was for always the few, who needed to retreat from everyday life, and retire in seclusion to introspect, meditate, brood over one's inner condition etc. The purpose was to re-enter normal everyday life refreshed spiritually to face life with a renewed sense of purpose, to restore balance to one's life. A retreat could never be for the many or for the multitude.”

The Spurs Retreat Center for the Americas will accommodate approximately 20 abhyasis at a given time who will live in dormitory quarters, and will be responsible for cooking their own food and maintaining the facility in pristine condition.

Responsibility for one's time at the retreat center is placed in the hands of the individual abhyasi. One's sadhana will be at the core of his or her stay at the retreat center, leading to a deeper appreciation and understanding of the spiritual quest. Master has stated that there will be one satsangh a week for residents and that “a resident prefect will be available for personal discussions, and advice.” Physical exercise (jogging, walking) and/or work (lawn mowing, tending gardens, maintenance) on the ranch property may form a part of the participant's individual program. Abhyasis may choose to spend some of the day in the center's library which will house diverse literature and audio/visual media as well as important works that strengthen the aspirant’s resolve on this journey towards the Goal. In short, those in retreat may hope to gain a better understanding of a balanced existence spiritual enrichment, physical activity, and intellectual development

The following quotes from Rev. Master provide us the guiding light:

“So these retreat centres—this also came to me out of a vision, you see. Let us say Sahaj Marg has been a mining company—mining ore. You know, I mean in some way preparing that ore for smelting, for steel-making, etcetera. Now comes the second organization in the process which will put you through the smelting process, refine you, purify you, and give inside you not the steel of the metal, but the steel of integrity, the steel of devotion, the steel of determination that ‘I shall achieve this goal within this lifetime.’”

“Group satsanghs ONLY for the residents undergoing the retreat will be held only once a week. A resident prefect will be available for personal discussions, and advice. Residents are EXPECTED TO MEDITATE INDIVIDUALLY IN THEIR OWN ROOMS.”

“the Retreat Center shall be like a cave hidden away from public view and available only to those abhyasis who wish to improve their abhyas”

 “… none of the birthdays, and other usual holy occasions will be celebrated formally in such retreats. Abhyasis in retreat must use the sacred and auspicious day in celebrating, in an inner way, and resolve to emulate the great lives of our Masters.

“... I hope you will make use of these centres for the purpose they are established. Come as you are, go away something else.” 

“So here we look into ourselves, find ourselves as we are with the courage to look at what we see, and to accept what we see, and then comes the boldness and the determination to change what we see into what it should be. That is the culmination of yogic practice.”

The Retreat Center will be open to participants later this year. A description of the Program, Application Form and Calendar is forthcoming. We welcome with open hearts the participation and support of all abhyasis in this GIFT that Rev. Master has bestowed on us.

Some photographs of the SPURS Ranch Retreat Centre can be seen at:



July 2007 Celebrations – Transportation Update

Overseas abhyasis traveling to Tiruppur for Rev. Master's birthday celebrations in July may request for the following assistance with transportation:

  1. Bus from Manapakkam ashram to celebrations venue (and return)
    Last Date to submit request:  12th June, 2007,
    Information: http://srcm.org/members/24july2007/transport-overseas-bus.jsp
  2. Flight booking to / from Coimbatore
    Information: http://srcm.org/members/24july2007/transport-overseas-air.jsp

All abhyasis, including those from Indian centres may request a shuttle between Coimbatore airport and celebrations venue.  The last date to submit a request for this service is 30th June, 2007. 

Information, forms and clarifications regarding transportation can be found at:

Abhyasis should also note the following:

  1. Arrival Dates in India / at the venue
    • Abhyasis (not including volunteers) are advised not to arrive too early at the celebrations venue since preparatory work will be in progress. Facilities at Manapakkam for transit stay will also be at a minimal level since attention will be on preparations for the celebrations at Tiruppur.
  2. Abhyasis entering India through ports other than Chennai
    • Overseas abhyasis entering India through ports other than Chennai are advised to make their own arrangements for accommodation and transport to one of the specified pickup points - i.e. Manapakkam ashram, Coimbatore airport or Tiruppur railway station. Ashrams other than Manapakkam are not to be used for lodging purposes by abhyasis in transit.
  3. Travel itinerary for all overseas delegates
    • All overseas delegates who have registered online will soon receive an email with a link to a webpage, where they can enter the particulars of their travel itinerary. This is required to be filled out by ALL overseas abhyasis coming to the celebrations – before the 20th of June, 2007.

All forms and instructions related to the July 2007 Celebrations are located at: