Building Conscious Community
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
'Sangha' is the sanskrit word which can be translated as a 'gathering in the company of the wise' or a community (of practitioners)'. It is the rational means of supporting the spiritualisation of the student with the teacher. There is both verbal and nonverbal transmission to the aspirant from the teacher. As our individual lives and economic circumstances ebb and flow, we can feel the richness of creating community together and supporting each other through the different phases of our lives. Sat sang is offered twice weekly, in the form of lecture and discussion and chanting. Do not miss the wonderful opportunity to sit in the company of Shantiji and others.
Education: Learn, connect, thrive
Realising that there are common interests in sections of the community, we host a wide range of programs that inspire, engage, inform, educate, entertain, empower and promote individual and global health and harmony. Our programs and events span various levels of experience with the arts, meditation, healing, yoga and the human spiritual journey.
Human Rights: Our difference and commonality
People who come to our centre may have different faiths, follow different spiritual traditions, have different paths of practice and opinions, including political views. They are of different genders, different sexual orientations, and physical, perceptual and mental abilities. What we share as a community is a genuine connection to contemplative practice, a desire to lead sane, dignified, confident lives, and the aspiration to realise a more wakeful, sane society. To provide an environment in which awakening could flourish in the West, in the early 1970s, Shantiji presented the spiritual journey in the cultural context of yoga, via a personal and societal vision of awakening that is accessible to everyone, all the time, even in the midst of busy, daily life.
Believing that there is a global community of people committed to actively creating a more compassionate and enlightened world, together with her encounter with the Western world, and based upon the specific wisdom imparted from Vedanta, Yoga and Buddhism, as a resource for individual and cultural virtue, Shantiji set out to create a place in the world in which enlightened world citizens can lead meditative lives of bravery, gentleness and intelligence, where they act with responsibility and delight in caring for one another.
The Pure Shanti view is that every human being has wholesomeness, warmth and intelligence as their fundamental nature. This nature can be cultivated through the wisdom practices of yoga and meditation and it can be further developed in daily life, so that it radiates out to family, friends, community and society. Through the Shanti Yoga practices we cultivate the capacity to be fully open to our experience, and the ability to respond to everyday life situations with greater clarity and respect.
Whilst, during the course of our lives, the wholesomeness can easily become covered over by doubt, cynicism, fear and egotism, the journey of becoming fully human means seeing through those habitual patterns and waking up to our natural intelligence. Shanti Yoga does not promote, encourage, actively facilitate or endorse harmful, threathening and voiolent bahavious towards others or oneself. It takes kindness to ourselves and others, and courage to wake up, when we are so deeply asleep. However, when we do, we discover the world to be naturally sacred, wholesome and full of interest and beauty. We begin to clearly see and acknowledge the wholeness and wisdom of others, and to feel compassion to help them in myriad ways.
Inspiring enlightened society, the Shanti community exists to support for those who aspire to follow this path. Members feel part of a connected community devoted to a way of life worth spreading and the pursuit of their unique 'one wish to change the world'.
The Shanti community is a diverse group of engaged and committed people from around the world who provide vital support for our work.
The Shanti Yoga and Health Institute Australia is the flagship that provides unique, educational programs and living experiences that support forward-thinking leaders of all ages to tap into their inherent creativity, compassion and wisdom in order to affect positive transformation in individuals, families, communities and the world. This enables newer students to meet Shantiji earlier on the path than has generally been possible. For older students, it provides us the opportunity to study directly under Shantiji.
Perspectives and Guidelines for the Shanti community
Respect, Honesty and Loyality: We support members that are trustworthy, honest and respectful of other members, the community at large and Shanti Yoga. It works best for all involved when your intentions, requirements, affiliation and expectations openly, clearly, truthfully and accurately reflect those of the organisation.
Service before self: The initiatives are inspired by the perspectives of Shanti Gowans who says: Healthy and sustainable transformation of outer structures begins with the discovery of natural inner resources and capacities of individuals to be of service. However, with the current trend of encouraging the 'me generation' we may have welcomed the age of selfishness. People born in the 1970s, 80s and 90s are said to be the first group of people to believe that the needs of the individual should come first. They are oblivious to a world that places duty before self. However, nothing stands still. The answer is simple, yet profound. The truth about change is that there are no fixed answers. One time this might feel appropriate, another time it may not. To go with the flow, you may need to go against the grain. Just be still and present with each experience. Only when we make peace with ourselves can we hope to make peace with and in the world.
Meditation: We must reach within first, in order to embrace humanity. Generosity is the key to infinite abundance. When we value and share the natural, inner wealth of peace, love, happiness and wisdom, we can experience true and lasting prosperity.
Conversations: Our conversations, deep dialogue and learning best practices supports taking us to explore those questions that stir the heart, towards mutual understanding beyond polarisation, balance between economy and ecology, learning to be both rational and spiritual, cultivating more positive relationships, and a life of with flex and flow, compassionate connection and authentic action in a chaotically evolving world. Our task is exactly commensurate with our life.
- One World. The future (creation) is based upon the opposite of war, which is destruction.
- Respect the life and dignity of every living being without discrimination or prejudice.
- Reject violence in all of its forms and towards all beings.
- Resolve conflict with grace and graciousness.
- Reconcile differences and pursue harmony.
- Support freedom of expression and cultural diversity.
Spam and Solicitation: Misleading, false, potentially harmful or dubious claims, gossip, and exploitation is not encouraged or honoured. We do not support solicitation, such as sex, self promotion, deals, selling your products, services or brands, spam, broadcasts or job recruiting as part of sangha activities.
Advice: Please do not provide medical, psychological, legal, financial, emotional advice, promises of health, mental cures, financial gain or money schemes.
Harm, Intimidation, Hate and Violence: The sangha is not for glorifying or promoting unsolicited, predatory, manipulative or non-consensual activities that serve to intimidte or violate personal boundaries. Harmful, threatening or violent behaviour against individuals or groups, inciting hatred towards others or oneself is not supported.
How you can participate in the Shanti Community
During this time of unprecedented, evolutionary change, many people find themselves alone with their questions and challenges. With traditional religion no longer fulfilling spiritual needs, scientific materialism presenting soulless, exploitative, competitive explanations, and not finding respite from current relationships, people today need an expanded community of others to share the journey with. Your tribe is gathering.
At the Shanti Yoga Health Institute Australia we encourage you to come together in an extended family to talk about some of the topics we table, such as health, spirituality, mindful parenting, quality relationships, evolutionary change, environmental actions, emotional wellbeing, helpful perspectives on ageing, death and dying, or whatever you find of interest. This is a wonderful way to make new friends and to learn from one another.
The following programs are ongoing and open to all. No previous experience necessary to attend.
FEEL BETTER GROUP PRACTICE SESSIONS
The first step is by attending classes. Group practice is one of our most basic and most important community activities. Each session is an opportunity to experience the power and joy of coming together, however briefly, as a community of practitioners. Group practice not only encourages our individual practice but also supports others in their practice and helps build a thriving, practice community. Check out our timetable page for ongoing opportunities for group practice and group sitting.
LEARN MORE PROGRAMS
Have you come to an increasing realisation that the life you are living is somehow not the one for you? Or when the meaning that urges you to wake up in the morning with energy has deserted you? These times in our lives are rich with enticements. They beckon us to step out of the habitualised and sometimes paralysing life we have built and called our own, and into the mystery that resounds with longing and demands an authentic relationship with the world around us and the aroused feelings within us. If you are hearing a calling from within that is demanding your attention, we have an invitation for you.
Programs, workshops, retreats, training courses and various offerings are all heightened opportunities to discover the value of community practice, build community and spiritual relationships and study while deepening one's own understanding and experience. Check out our calendar and newsletter for these.
LIVE THIS WAY: NIRVANA WELLNESS SANCTUARY RETREATS
Retreats are Healthy Living Immersion Programs that offer you a holistic approach to health. This means that you focus not only on the health of the body, but also on the mind and heart and environment, helping you discover a new level of wellness and vitality thorugh study-work-life balance.
Weekend rest and restore getaway: Friday evening for dinner to Sunday aftgernoon, after lunch. Experience the perfect mini break.
Located within the extensive grounds of Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary, on the beautiful Beechmont mountains of S.E. Queensland, this retreat has it all: Yoga, Ayurveda, mindfulness and sumptuous vegetarian meals to allow you to focus simply on connecting with yourself whilst you regroup and recover.
The Queenslander house is amidst lawned surroundings, with natural bushland beyond. You will have a plenty of time to explore the property and take nature walks or laze around with a book.
The retreat is not boot camp and is suitable for all levels, from complete beginners to advanced practitioners with our teachers tailoring to your individual requirements. Spend a peaceful and wholesome weekend with Shanti Yoga teachers and mentors, fellow learners, and attendees from the general public.
Our fully accredited teachers have the knowledge and experience to provide you with relaxing yoga classes in the morning, restorative deep relaxation (yoga nidra) afternoons at retreat, and a wind down class each evening to ensure your night is peaceful and restful.
All meals are carefully prepared with an emphasis on ‘scrumptious’ and ‘healthy’.
The weekend getaway includes:
• Morning and evening yoga or meditation classes
• Afternoon wind down siesta sessions (relaxation, Nidra)
• Nature walks
• Mindful Art
• Delicious, healthy, vegetarian meals
• 2 nights shared or single accommodation in a gorgeous, retreat location
• Talks and Workshops (for example, Ayurveda, detox, diet, chakras)
• Use of extensive property
• Natural meditation corner
Share this beautiful experience with a friend or come alone to truly escape it all. Either way you will be welcomed into a friendly community of like-minded people.
Go to Retreats website
PROGRAMMED ACTIVITIES WHERE SHANTI YOGA MEMBERS SOCIALISE listed alphabetically
Ballet Queensland ballet season in Brisbane. Car pool and travel together from the Gold Coast.
Bhagavad Gita discourse
Bollywood Dance. Have fun, make friends and explore this wonderful art form. Monday 5:30-6:10pm
Bollywood Movies Join the Shanti Yoga and Bollywood Australia movie club. Free.
Celebrations. Birthdays, holy days and so on. Ad hoc dates. Refer to Shanti Yoga noticeboard.
Chanting Every Thursday night 6:30-7:30pm, during school terms. Free.
Children's Yoga. Wed 4-4:45pm. Free
Course in Miracles
Creative Art Creative fun workshops. Bring a picnic lunch to share. Open to all ages.
Drama Games and Improvisation. Thursday 4:30-5:30pm $100 x 4 sessions or $39 drop-in
Fellowship dinners & Spiritual talks $35
India Travel Pulldown menu on website
Lunchbox vegan meals Food brings people together. Mon 12.15-1.00pm. Tues & Thurs 1.30-2.30pm.$12
Meditation and the Art of Cultivating Peace. See timetable and Special Silent Meditation residential retreat
MIndful Movement in Shanti Yoga classes. See timetable.
Outings, Picnics, Garden visits Ad hoc dates. Please see Shanti Yoga notice board.
Pranayama The mindful art of breathing
Stand Up and embrace the great outdoors. Ad hoc dates
Retreats See dates in 'Retreat" pulldown menu. Email reminder sent out.
Spiritual cinema Tuesday matinee during school terms. Starts 2:00pm. Finishes at the end of the movie. Free
Study Ayurveda in India One month intensive January 1st-31st. or 15 day or 21 day residential panchakarma treatments
Walking group Ad hoc dates. Refer to Shanti Yoga notice board. Free.
Working Bees Ad hoc dates. Refer to Shanti Yoga notice board.
Touch the Earth Gardening at Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary. See dates on calendar. Free
Vedanta Studies. See dates on calendar
Vegetarian and Vegan cooking classes. Boost your health, energy, nutrition. Ad hoc dates
Yoga from head to toe, from the ground up. See timetable