Ananda Family News

Monday, June 7, 2010

Swamiji in Rome

[Karen and David are visiting Italy, and sent the following post and these photos back from the events with Swamiiji in Rome this past weekend.]

Swami spoke to a huge crowd of yoga enthusiasts at the Rome Yoga Festival, held outdoors in a beautiful, extensive park (like Central Park) near downtown Rome. There were many hundreds of people in the audience, and very receptive and interested in Swamiji's message. It was a very young, fit audience, sparkling with energy. And Swamiji seemed as youthful as anyone there. Swami launched the first edition of Autobiography of a Yogi, published in Italian for the first time. It was a remarkable achievement for Sahaja, who translated this very difficult text. Amazing that Master was not a native English speaker.

Sunday, Swamiji dedicated a new Ananda Center in Rome. A young woman, Paola, was deeply inspired to begin this place, and after a period of training with Ananda Assisi, has opened it. Already, I am hearing that early yoga classes were so packed that they had to break the sessions into two groups of 20. The upstairs is a small store, loaded with inspirational books and other materials people might find helpful (a mini-East West). The downstairs is many times bigger, with a very large yoga classroom, and an adjoining meditation room and outdoor garden. It had a great feeling to it already. About 80 people squeezed into the downstairs room for the dedication.

Swamiji has been doing major public events 3 weekends in a row (Spain, Milan, and now Rome). This morning (Monday morning), he woke up and announced joyfully, "I am free of pain!" He felt wonderful, and immediately called Narayani over to help him begin a new program of regular exercise. I think he's already planning two more sessions today. I just saw Narayani a few minutes ago after his first session, and SHE looks tired. :) Though no doubt the staff is tired just keeping up with these three big events. It's a welcome period now of about 12 days of quiet before the next big weekend.

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