“Challenge and Certainty” — Autumn Postcard from the BMCM


“Ordinary though we may be on the surface, within the heart of each of us lie tremendous capacities for love and service, and if we can keep our eyes always on the Lord of Love, there is no problem on earth too dire for ordinary people like you and me to solve.”   — Eknath Easwaran

Dear Friends,

Our hearts and mantrams are with you in these extraordinary days, and we are inspired to work together to meet the challenges of our times.

Recently a friend said to us, “At the end of each day, my spiritual reading brings such deep reassurance. I don’t know what I’d do without the companionship of the great mystics – and I’m glad I don’t have to find out! In the midst of all my inner and outer challenges, this sense of security comes through their words. It’s like they’re trying to tell you what can happen for you and for those around you if you just keep showing up for your spiritual practice.”

Her words, and the words of many of you, give a powerful sense of all the “showing up” for self-transformation and a nobler world that is happening in Sri Easwaran's worldwide community. 

This commitment to transformation resonates particularly strongly with us now, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our Ramagiri Ashram. To a casual onlooker in 1970, watching early residents move in, it might have seemed fantastically unlikely that the community would still be going strong half a century later. Funds were meager. The buildings had been neglected. Parts of the land were overgrazed and eroding – literally crumbling and washing away. Not to mention all the challenges inherent in training the mind, as individuals and as a community.

But Sri Easwaran’s unceasing infusion of love and wisdom, Christine’s constant support and guidance, the daring dedication of the founding members, the loving commitment of those who have come after them, and the time, talent, resources, and prayers from Easwaran’s students and friends near and far – these offerings have made the difference. These have beat all the odds. 

Perhaps what’s most awe-inspiring to me – for all the complexity of our modern challenges – is how much a great endeavor really does seem to come back to patience and perseverance. Those quiet, often unwitnessed, undramatic decisions to align yourself with your ideals, even when you don’t feel up to it – in joyful times and dry times, raw times and times of healing. And, slowly, the impossible becomes the inevitable. 

Folded in the embrace of this anniversary celebration are those who have made their contribution at Ramagiri and are no longer here physically. The depth and sincerity of their efforts endures here as a lasting gift.

We want to thank each of you who has played a part in helping us reach this milestone!

Today, after five decades (and the planting of five thousand trees), Ramagiri has become a refuge for wildlife. The trust of the creatures continues to grow. Above: A bird alights on a resident’s hand. Below: A young buck rests at the doorway of Shanti, our meditation hall. 

The year Easwaran established Ramagiri, he began working on a sweeping, three-volume commentary on his beloved Bhagavad Gita. A labor of love many years in the making, The Bhagavad Gita for Daily Living holds a unique and precious place in our history and in the body of his teachings. As part of celebrating this anniversary with you, we are sharing it through a fresh design and new formats.

We are reissuing Easwaran's magnum opus and sharing it with you in
redesigned print books, a new ebook, and an upcoming audiobook.Easwaran's vivid, practical commentary is filled with stories from his daily life here as well as observations of the world at large – lighting up the Gita’s wisdom for our times and offering an intimate, enduring expression of Easwaran as a teacher in action.

Redesigned print books and a new ebook will be released in bookstores on November 10th. And – as one labor of love inspires others – an audiobook, after two years of recording, will be available in the first part of 2021.I n a rapidly changing world, we are grateful to know that there is so much love and wisdom we can count on, so much we can do together.

We have missed being together in person, and we feel grateful to be able to connect with you online. In that spirit, we invite you to join us in going deeper together through our free online program, BMCM Satsang Live, Tuesdays at 4:00 PM Pacific Time and Sundays at 10:00 AM. The simple format of absorbing Easwaran’s words, watching one of his talks, and then meditating together has surprised even us with its inspirational power. For another way to connect and go deeper, our six-week introductory course starts in October. Next year we are adding a new introductory weekend retreat to expand the range of our online retreat offerings.

We also warmly invite you to join us for a Day of Mantrams for Peace and Healing on October 25, in honor of Easwaran's life and teachings.

If you are interested in learning more about Ramagiri Ashram and the evolution of the BMCM, we welcome you to explore our free documentary series Quietly Changing the World

I’ll leave you with these words from Easwaran:

“The Lord within is the source of all power, and when we live for others in accordance with the unity of all life, this power flows into our hands, enabling us to take on the biggest problems facing the modern world."

We look forward to deepening together the quiet capacity of being equal to whatever life brings, and to celebrating many more anniversaries with you.

With all our mantrams and best wishes,

David Bishop