June 21-September 18, 2017
With Claudiu Vaduva
Hridaya’s Karma Yoga Immersion is consecrated to deepening the understanding of the yoga of action, Karma Yoga. It is a deep spiritual process that aims to transcend personal psychological and physical limitations in order to dissolve resistance and face the identification with tendencies and habitual patterns.
This course is offered as a space for those who have a longing to cultivate or deepen their awareness in a spiritual context. The capacity to remain present during various life situations is something that can be developed and is the direct result of proper spiritual investigation. For this to happen, it is necessary to build a solid understanding of what awareness is and to cultivate a strong aspiration to transcend common ways of reacting.
The Karma Yoga Immersion offers participants a period of three months of introspection and the chance to actualize profound transformations through the direct method of Self-Enquiry. Such periods of stepping away from everyday environments and routines must be long enough for reactive tendencies to be thoroughly and regularly seen and questioned—and gradually replaced with a different approach to life. Bringing intense awareness to every action, via a proper spiritual understanding, is called Karma Yoga.
This course is based on the non-dual teachings of Hridaya Yoga. Due to its intensity, it is meant for those beings who have an earnest aspiration for truth and freedom and are willing to selflessly serve while diving deep into the Spiritual Heart via Self-Enquiry, atma vichara, as taught by Ramana Maharshi.
The main aim of the program is to develop the stability of the Self-Enquiry practice in everyday life situations—whether practiced on the mat or in “the market.” For this, we develop a strong foundation of resting in the Heart based on four pillars:
- A deep trust in the Heart, based on understanding and experience
- The anchoring in the sacredness felt in the Heart Center, as described by Ramana Maharshi
- Resting in the recognition of the “I am”-feeling
- Awareness of the present moment
Of course, these pillars are all ultimately the same.
The process of this course facilitates an awakening to spontaneity and availability to life through constant surrender to Presence, which is an expression of the natural state. This is an intimate celebration of life in the present moment. Participants perceive a progressive purification of the identification with the personal domain.
Karma Yoga Immersion Program Details
The course unfolds over a 3-month period. The program consists of daily meditation, hatha yoga, lectures on various topics that support the understanding of Karma Yoga, heart circles that enable a deepening understanding, and daily service activities performed in the spirit of Karma Yoga. Participants also learn via specific challenges related to leadership and surrender. Hridaya Yoga teachers guide the process and participants are counseled as needed.
During the first two months of the Karma Yoga Immersion, the syllabus of the Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 1 Intensive is covered, with the various topics explored in great detail. We constantly match understanding and knowledge with personal experience and development. For example, we investigate the yama ahimsa (non-violence) in a direct, experiential way via Self-Enquiry. Such inquiry is supported by group reflection, personal challenges, journaling, and discussions.
Topics from higher Hridaya Hatha Yoga modules, as well as supplementary teachings are shared during the course to develop various aspects—mental concentration, purification of the emotional-mental domains, transmutation into awareness, etc.
Additionally, each participant in the Karma Yoga Immersion attends two 10-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats. After each retreat, the program offers space for participants to process insights and experiences within the group and provides immediate guidance to support the direct application of the teachings in daily life.
During the program, the group develops an intimate friendship as a spiritual family. A space of confidentiality and vulnerability is encouraged so that deeper patterns can be uncovered, shared, and processed in a safe place.
- 1-hour morning meditation
- 2.5-hour hatha yoga session
- 4 hours of Karma Yoga service (5 days per week)
- 2-hour evening lecture
Note that the group has Sundays free except while participating in Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreats.
This is not an exchange program. Therefore, daily Karma Yoga activities could be anything. They might involve cleaning up the beach or the town, chopping vegetables, or sweeping a room—all done in meditative awareness. In this way, the willingness to surrender can be developed so that whenever needs appear the joy of service arises in the Heart. Every participant is supported throughout the program with personal check-ins, interviews, and group sharing.
Additional program activities that support Self-Enquiry include:
- Studying and practicing Nonviolent Communication
- Taking group tapas (systematic and challenging spiritual practices)
- Discussing and exploring aspects of the yamas and niyamas and the 14 Hridaya Attitudes
- Participating in Heart Circles
- Engaging in weekly tests and challenges to open to more authentic living
- Participating in special lectures and discussions on topics related to selfless service
- Taking time for contemplation and discovery, constantly integrating lessons into daily life via journaling, discussion, and action
- And many more…
To celebrate the debut of this course, Hridaya Yoga is offering it for the very affordable price of $10 USD per day—a total cost of $900 USD. This fee includes basic dormitory accommodation, healthy vegan meals, all course sessions, and individual guidance from experienced teachers. Note that meals are not included on Sundays except during meditation retreats.
Any special meals, activities, trips, etc. are not included.
The course is an invitation to those who have a deep spiritual longing and are looking to develop a more profound understanding of Self-Enquiry. Even if new to Self-Enquiry, it is important that applicants are keenly interested in spiritual endeavor and have an openness to and a fascination about the spiritual mystery of life. Applicants should have a deep calling for selfless service or an interest in discovering and developing this capacity. It is also vital that they have the willingness and interest to test personal limitations and go beyond personal comfort zones.
Whether or not applicants have taken the Hridaya Yoga Retreat: Module 1 Intensive is irrelevant, as this 3-month course offers the opportunity to investigate everything deeper. Therefore, it is helpful if applicants have completed Module 1, but it is not a pre-requisite.