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Old 03-04-2009, 08:07 AM   #1
Striving
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Song of the morning ranch

Hi everyone,

I'm planning my holidays for the summer...

In addition to Convo, I feel drawn to go somewhere within driving distance from my home in Southern Ontario on personal retreat for a few days. Some of the ideas tossed around are: renting a cottage, going camping, etc. But I'm also toying with driving to Song of the Ranch in Michigan.

Last year I also though about it, but doubted myself because I wasn't sure what to expect. At Convo last year, I had a joint conversation with a lady from SOTMR and one of the monastics, and was encouraged to go. The relationship between SRF and SOTMR, if not completely formal, is apparently a very positive one. Furthermore, Yogacharya Oliver Black was apparently a loyal disciple of PY until his dying day, when he consciously left his body while meditating.

I was wondering if anyone had any additional info on the history between SOTMR and SRF, if anyone has been there (Greg - I suppose I'm looking in your direction because I know you were there last year with your kirtan ensemble), and if you had any experiences or advice to share?

Jai Guru. And thanks in advance...
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:00 AM   #2
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Hi Striving - I've never been there and no information to share, but if it is pulling at you since over a year, you should go! Sounds like a wonderful place. The worst that can happen is you don't like it, right? I found some photos on the web - is this the place? O God Beautiful!

http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/inde...albumId=309424

My mother-in-law has been encouraging me to visit Plum Village (the meditation grounds of Thich Nhat Hanh) for some years. It is very near her home, and easily gotten to if we visit her. The timing is not right currently, but even though it is a Buddhist place I definitely plan to take her up on that someday (God willing). I think Master does not care if we visit spiritual places outside SRF, so long as they are in line with basic God principals and inspire us on our path rather than deter us. Go! Go! Go! Then tell us all about it. lol.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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Hi Striving,

At Convocation last year I met a very lovely couple from Ontario who were planning on going to Song of the Morning Ranch for a retreat. Later in the fall, I received a very nice letter from the lady I had met and she told me what a wonderful experience they had had at Song of the Morning retreat. She described it as a "community of people who live in the same place, have or are building their own homes there, and all follow Master's teachings."

She wrote to me of some of the activities and experiences at the retreat and it sounded very uplifting and beautiful.

I hope if she reads this and sees the quote she won't mind, as I have left her name anonymous.

Nice that you live close enough to make it possible.
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:59 AM   #4
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Hi Striving,

In the past the relationship between Song-of-the
Morning-Ranch and SRF was not the best. I won't
go into detail but I am from Michigan and I had no
desire to visit there. Instead I went to the Convo.
Mr. Black could have donated his property to SRF
instead of his daughter........just a thought.

Anyhow, I am not privy to the current situation. It
seems to be better.

My concern if I was going would be the current mind-
set. I read over their website and it impressed my as
pretty weird with a bunch of new-age, bliss-bunny
sort of stuff. I know that sounds negative. I am just
trying to analyze the situation. You may want to read
thru their website.

If you go, give us a report. Personally, I would go
camping in some of that glorious country you have
in Canada. I love Canada and visit Banff, Waterton,
Yoho whenever I can afford it. (not often these days!)

Regards
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
Striving
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Thanks everyone...

@Snow Angel - Thanks for the positive words. I'm wondering if I happen to know the couple you're talking about. BTW - we didn't really get the opportunity to connect last year...if you go to Convo this year, I'm hoping we can maybe do a mini-pilgrimage to the Biltmore and possibly meditate together again!

@Delsol - If I go, I'll definitely post pics both on the MSB and Facebook, just for you.

@Iceman - Thank you. Your honesty is sincerely appreciated. It's always good to hear two sides of the story. From what I've read on Yogacharya Oliver Black, he was a widely respected man in SRF circles, and by Yogananda himself. Not sure what his reasoning was behind leaving the property to family, perhaps his intention was to start an informal spiritual community.
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-PY
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Old 03-04-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Striving View Post
Thanks everyone...

@Snow Angel - Thanks for the positive words. I'm wondering if I happen to know the couple you're talking about. BTW - we didn't really get the opportunity to connect last year...if you go to Convo this year, I'm hoping we can maybe do a mini-pilgrimage to the Biltmore and possibly meditate together again!

.
I'll PM you re the couple. Actually, I think you might know them because I think I saw him in the group photo you posted on the Niagara Falls retreat.

I would love to do a mini pilgrimmage to the Biltmore this year and meditate.
I have booked my hotel for Convocation already--not the Westin, I am going budget but I really like walking to and from so it works well. Let's hook up before convocation and plan to do the pilgrimmage for sure. My roommate would love it, too.

Nice to hear from you, as always.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Striving View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm planning my holidays for the summer...

In addition to Convo, I feel drawn to go somewhere within driving distance from my home in Southern Ontario on personal retreat for a few days. Some of the ideas tossed around are: renting a cottage, going camping, etc. But I'm also toying with driving to Song of the Ranch in Michigan.

Last year I also though about it, but doubted myself because I wasn't sure what to expect. At Convo last year, I had a joint conversation with a lady from SOTMR and one of the monastics, and was encouraged to go. The relationship between SRF and SOTMR, if not completely formal, is apparently a very positive one. Furthermore, Yogacharya Oliver Black was apparently a loyal disciple of PY until his dying day, when he consciously left his body while meditating.

I was wondering if anyone had any additional info on the history between SOTMR and SRF, if anyone has been there (Greg - I suppose I'm looking in your direction because I know you were there last year with your kirtan ensemble), and if you had any experiences or advice to share?

Jai Guru. And thanks in advance...
Hi Striving,

Sorry for my late reply.... yes, SOTMR has a good connection with SRF. My friend visited with Bro. Turiyananda many many years ago, and and he asked my friend if he wanted to move to Southern CA to be near Master's places. When my friend replied he was a regular at SOTMR Bro suggested he stay up there with Yogacharya.

My experience at the ranch was very positive. It was a bit more warm and sticky than I had expected but it was doable. If you would like to hear more about the accomodations, pls send me a PM and I will share some more.

They hold evening meditations, but no formal retreats. If you want to do the EE's chances are you will need to do them in private. They hold a regular service reading Sunday morning. Everyone there was nice, and devoted to Master according to their development. I would say the food is a bit 'iffy'... depending on the cook they have at the time. I would also recommend a room that has good ventillation because it can get warm in the rooms... no air conditioning.

The landscape is beautiful... there are lots of walking paths.... I would recommend SOTMR to anyone looking for a nice quiet retreat for a week or more.. or a long weekend.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceman View Post
Hi Striving,

In the past the relationship between Song-of-the
Morning-Ranch and SRF was not the best. I won't
go into detail but I am from Michigan and I had no
desire to visit there. Instead I went to the Convo.
Mr. Black could have donated his property to SRF
instead of his daughter........just a thought.

Anyhow, I am not privy to the current situation. It
seems to be better.

iceman
They have conducted things more along the lines of SRF ever since Bro. Vishwananda visited there a number of years ago. They are a yoga retreat, so they have events which appeal to a wide variety of people, such as a raw foods weekend, etc., but other than the various events, the meditations and services were conducted SRF style.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:21 PM   #9
iceman
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Hi Greg,

Thanks for the input. It's good that things are
more harmonious. I know the property is very
nice.

The fact that they are a "Yoga Retreat" explains
some of the "bliss bunny" activities. I won't be
going there since I am some 2000 miles away
but if I was in the area, perhaps I would.

Regards
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Old 03-28-2009, 11:05 PM   #10
Striving
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg View Post
Hi Striving,

Sorry for my late reply.... yes, SOTMR has a good connection with SRF. My friend visited with Bro. Turiyananda many many years ago, and and he asked my friend if he wanted to move to Southern CA to be near Master's places. When my friend replied he was a regular at SOTMR Bro suggested he stay up there with Yogacharya.

My experience at the ranch was very positive. It was a bit more warm and sticky than I had expected but it was doable. If you would like to hear more about the accomodations, pls send me a PM and I will share some more.

They hold evening meditations, but no formal retreats. If you want to do the EE's chances are you will need to do them in private. They hold a regular service reading Sunday morning. Everyone there was nice, and devoted to Master according to their development. I would say the food is a bit 'iffy'... depending on the cook they have at the time. I would also recommend a room that has good ventillation because it can get warm in the rooms... no air conditioning.

The landscape is beautiful... there are lots of walking paths.... I would recommend SOTMR to anyone looking for a nice quiet retreat for a week or more.. or a long weekend.
Thanks Greg...I'll be sure to check it out. I'm planning on going...just haven't settled a date yet.

I was hoping to time it to be there when Prema Rupa goes back, but I don't think it's in the cards at this point...

Jai Guru!
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"Be not afraid, child of Eternal Lightning. March on with unperturbed steady steps, elbowing your way through a million darknesses. Why, what is the Body? What is this passing show? They are soon gone. But the candles you are lighting and burning in your Father's house will show you the way here and hereafter. Stand by God and His servant, and you will see His hand working through all things."

-PY
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:57 PM   #11
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I spent last weekend at Song of the Morning Ranch while Bro. Jayananda and Br. Martin were visiting. I will post more about it if anyone is interested. I am very glad I went!

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Old 06-06-2013, 02:50 PM   #12
Striving
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I spent last weekend at Song of the Morning Ranch while Bro. Jayananda and Br. Martin were visiting. I will post more about it if anyone is interested. I am very glad I went!

I'd love to hear more about your experiences there! It's still on my bucket list and I've been intending to go for some time...

IDF
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"Be not afraid, child of Eternal Lightning. March on with unperturbed steady steps, elbowing your way through a million darknesses. Why, what is the Body? What is this passing show? They are soon gone. But the candles you are lighting and burning in your Father's house will show you the way here and hereafter. Stand by God and His servant, and you will see His hand working through all things."

-PY
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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I spent last weekend at Song of the Morning Ranch while Bro. Jayananda and Br. Martin were visiting. I will post more about it if anyone is interested. I am very glad I went!

Jai Guru indeed, Nilima. Simple words. But profound underneath feelings perhaps?
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:28 PM   #14
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I spent last weekend at Song of the Morning Ranch while Bro. Jayananda and Br. Martin were visiting. I will post more about it if anyone is interested. I am very glad I went!

Yes, I would love to hear more about your visit
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:12 AM   #15
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Striving,

I forgot about this thread or I would have sent you a private message to see if you were able to visit while the monks were there since it's such a long wait between visits. There was at least one person and his daughter who traveled from Canada to be there. From where he lived in Ontario, it was just a little more than a two-hour drive!
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:16 AM   #16
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Mr. Black could have donated his property to SRF
instead of his daughter........just a thought.
Sri Yukteswar could have donated his property to SRF as well.

There are differences about external matters even between saints. And I think that's wonderful. What's not to like about an honest disagreement over a forced agreement?

I like to think that, on the other side of death, there may be quite a few who will have a little chuckle with Master about how serious the Matas were.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:23 AM   #17
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Mr. Black could have donated his property to SRF instead of his daughter........just a thought.
There may be more to this story (from what I've been told), but I suppose it isn't really our concern.
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Last edited by Nilima; 06-08-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:14 PM   #18
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There may be more to this story (from what I've been told), but I suppose it isn't really our concern.
Hi Nilima,

There was a bit of an adversarial relationship between Song of
the Morning Ranch and SRF. Not like Kriyananda but not a great
relationship.

Anyhow, things are good now, so I wouldn't worry about the past.

Be Well
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