As you may recall, in my introductory blog I mentioned the desire to create “a community of yoga.” That is quite different then a simple intentional community where people live together on a piece of property. Rather, it speaks to the entire scope of our life and is meant to support those who practice a yogic lifestyle in both action and thought.
In that regard I’ve always been thankful that yoga provides such a dynamic philosophy with simple but important words to help us focus our life on the bigger picture. Words such as “dharma” (the eternal truth), “namaste” (My soul bows to your soul.) and an understanding of the three tendencies in life – “sattvic, rajasic, tamasic” – to help bring awareness of our intentions and attitude, and how we approach the world around us.
Just as our inner life is supported by the spiritual values that we live by, our outer life too, needs support. Remember the Yogananda saying that I stated in an earlier writing? “Environment is stronger then will power.” There’s a lot to be said to surrounding ourselves in a spiritual environment. Imagine being able to do that, not only in our church or place of meditation, but in our neighborhood, and where we work and shop, and where our children go to school. Ideally, in every facet of our life.
In service to that intention, and as an expression of that community of yoga, Inner Path hopes to support the larger social fabric by providing living and working environments that match the inner life that we seek to nurture. In many ways we’re accomplishing that through the projects that are described throughout this website and that are set to be developed in Agoura. But those projects, as wonderful and helpful as they are, are in some ways only examples of what can be done.
The world so desperately needs opportunities for a sattvic and uplifting lifestyle and one not limited to just our meditation room or local church. In this case we are referring to some very practical aspects of our lives, such as our homes, schools, shopping centers, health centers, elder care facilities, places for rest and prayer and, of course, also the products and services that they offer.
Inner Path is dedicated to creating that “community.” To help do this, John Ernst, the founder of Inner Path, has created a separate for-profit corporation committed to building enlightened communities through business, financial and real estate services. Entitled Rajarshi Social Enterprises (RSE), its goal is to support the establishment of spiritual communities, sattvic businesses and other endeavors, through self-initiated projects, investments and business services. For more specific information, please see the Rajarshi Social Enterprises website.
Briefly, here are some of the projects that RSE endeavors to accomplish, both in the Los Angeles area (beginning in Agoura), but also throughout Southern California and anywhere else where there is interest.
One World Communities – Apartment and neighborhood communities for those who practice yoga and meditation. Just as you see apartment complexes that specialize in wonderful fitness centers, the One World Communities would support your need for an inner life. Such communities are actually already in existence though few and far between. Our goal would be to make them much more prevalent and open to people of all spiritual backgrounds. Some of the amenities would include a hatha yoga room with daily instruction, a meditation hall, beautiful gardens, and regularly scheduled events such as group meals, classes, special events and group service days.
One World Retirement and Hospice Center – A sattvic place for the aged and those nearing transition. Coming to terms with aging and impending death can be a lonely and isolating time, difficult for both the elderly and their loved ones. The purpose of the One World Retirement and Hospice Center is to help maintain an uplifted atmosphere and provide the love, service, and emotional and spiritual support that is of particular importance at the time of transition. Yogananda states that we enter the astral plane with the same level of consciousness in which we depart the physical body. Thus, we can offer a great service to those in transition by helping them to uplift their consciousness and feel comfortable with the transition known as death; to enter it without fear or foreboding, without regret, ready for a new and uplifting life on the astral plane. What a great and wondrous blessing.
Education for Life Schools – Private schools that emphasize character and consciousness development as well as academic excellence. We expect that the Education for Life School on Triunfo Canyon Road will be just one of many to be developed in Southern California. RSE itself is not in the education business, but would help with the development of such schools through assistance with property acquisition and business management services as needed. Click here for further information about Education for Life Schools.
Whole Life Shopping Center – A shopping center with all the services you need to maintain a sattvic lifestyle. Some of the expected services include a natural foods market, vegetarian restaurants, a natural clothing store, a thrift store, a green living store, a body-mind-spirit book and gift shop, a yoga and meditation center, and an alternative health care center. The shopping center would also have outdoor activities such as a farmers market and special events for children. In the case of the proposed Whole Life Shopping Center in Agoura, we expect the yoga and meditation center, and the body-mind-spirit book and gift shop to be the Inner Path Yoga and Meditation Center, and the thrift store to be operated by Seva House.