Easwaran established his ashram in 1970 in Northern California as a residential spiritual community within the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation (BMCM). He called the property Ramagiri, a Sanskrit word meaning "Hills of Joy." The BMCM offices and ashram buildings are located on the same property.
Building the ashram community in the 1970s and
80s was a wonderful spiritual adventure for the residents. You can find interviews with
some of the longtime members of the ashram in our “Quietly Changing the World”
Easwaran lived and meditated in Ramagiri until his passing in 1999, and his wife, Christine Easwaran, and other ashram residents continue to live in Ramagiri today. Christine Easwaran is a Life Trustee and Easwaran’s chosen representative, guiding the future of the ashram and the BMCM.
The ashram has a special role within the BMCM. Its purpose is to demonstrate the daily practice of Easwaran’s eight-point program of passage meditation for realizing the Supreme Goal of life.
There are currently 19 residents in the ashram. We also have an extended ashram community that includes longtime passage meditators who have chosen to move to Tomales and other nearby towns. Ashram residents and friends in the local community regularly join together for spiritual activities together, such as meditation, volunteer work, or mantram walks on the local beach. We feel that it's a great strength to live and work closely together.
FAQ: Ramagiri Ashram
Ashram residents aspire to live out Easwaran’s teachings, immersed in his program for realizing the Supreme Goal. They observe the four ashram touchstones: morning meditation, evening meditation, spiritual fellowship of the communal evening meal, and gathering together in the evening for inspiration from Easwaran.
Ashram residents are responsible as individuals for their own physical, financial and emotional well-being. Ramagiri is not a monastic community, so some residents are married and others are single. Each person, or couple, has a private room, and all share common spaces.
Residents pay for room and household/meal fees, and participate in volunteer teams for community chores such as cooking and gardening.
Some ashram residents are retired, some are employed by the BMCM, and others work in the outside community.
We’re always happy to know people are interested in finding out more about Easwaran, the BMCM, and the ashram. At the same time, we aim to preserve a peaceful atmosphere within the ashram for pursuing spiritual goals. This is a long-term residential community, and we don’t have facilities for short-term stays.
The best way to learn about Ramagiri ashram, Easwaran’s work, and the BMCM is by attending a retreat in Tomales, which will include a tour of the BMCM grounds and some of the public spaces in the ashram. Please see our retreat calendar for dates.If you are unable to come on a retreat, we can provide a short tour of BMCM grounds if it is arranged a few days ahead of time. Please call us at 707 878 2369 or email us to make an appointment.
Easwaran is the only spiritual teacher and spiritual director of the BMCM in perpetuity. The ashram is organized to enable residents to turn continuously to his teachings for guidance in their spiritual practice.
The practical work of daily life is managed by ashram teams coordinated by the President’s Office under the governance of the Board of Trustees.
To join the ashram you need to be a longtime passage meditator
who has attended many BMCM programs. You
will also need to go through an extensive period of discernment.
The best first step is to contact our spiritual support team.
“This place has been hallowed by our lives and work here all these thirty years. Shanti, our meditation hall, has been made sacred by all the devotion we have poured out at the feet of the Lord. Some mathematical wizard has calculated all the hours I have spent in Shanti with you in meditation.
“All this is part of this place now, and I hope it will be a deep well of pure water for many generations to come.” – Easwaran