Tag Archives: Board

Comings and Goings

Transition is a natural current in an organization dedicated to transformation and upliftment. Thus, we announce a number of changes in our administrative staff, as their lives grow and change.

As Sarvataa Christie leaves to focus on personal and family matters, we thank her for excellent and enthusiastic service as Enrollment Advisor over the past year.  Hrdayaa had already expanded her availability in the last few weeks and is delighted to turn more of her attention to supporting your program choices.

Our Business Administration Manager, Sharada Macdonald, is shifting gears as well, in order to be available to her family in a challenging time.  Even with a change in focus and fewer hours at SVA, Sharada is generously making herself available to fill gaps during Swami Nirmalananda’s upcoming teaching tour in Australia. Happily, we are soon welcoming Kanchan (Connie) Mohn, one of our Board members, to serve as Staff Coordinator during this transition, supporting our staff as Sharada has done for so many years.

With gratitude for her expertise in her role as SVA’s part-time bookkeeper, we also say goodbye to Perpetua Seidenberg who is turning her attention to her sweet baby boy. We are delighted to welcome Lindsay Dittbrenner as our new bookkeeper, joining us on October 6th. Expanding to a full-time position means that she will be more responsive to all facets of our organization.

Jessica Kriel is our new Guest Services coordinator, and we have greatly enjoyed working with her during her first three weeks.  Jessica brings years of experience in hospitality and guest services. When you fly to Philadelphia for our programs, you can rely on Jessica to handle arrangements for your transportation from the Philadelphia airport, hotel shuttles from the Desmond to Ashram lunches as well as your accommodations and meals at the Desmond.




New Building for Downingtown Yoga & Meditation Center

downingtown yoga bannerWe’re almost there!  Our Board of Directors has been working for almost a year to select a building, negotiate a contract, complete the property inspections and arrange financing.  We are in the final steps to get to the settlement table. Of course, nothing in real estate is final until it’s final, but we wanted you to know that we’re almost there.

Why do we need a new building, you ask? Well, for you, of course!

In our 2012 Board Retreat, we developed a 10 year plan for expanding the Ashram, as well as a succession plan for after Swamiji is gone. We announced our plans in an article, including:

[Swamiji] along with the Board, is focusing on the sustainability of her teachings… We have the house in Downingtown, plus we will likely purchase an additional building to house our public programs and provide resident housing… and guest accommodations for visiting yogis.

Our plan is to create teachers rather than to accumulate assets; it is about the sustainability of the teachings, not of the buildings. Yet we need a building in which to base the next level of meditation teachings. We had planned to accomplish this by 2014 and we are realizing that dream on time.  Especially with the tasks of the Reawakening and the Consolidation, this is a major accomplishment.

We have looked at many buildings that didn’t have the right mix of space for DYMC (Downingtown Yoga & Meditation) along with apartments for residents and guests, and this one does. The ground floor is very large, for satsangs, events and yoga classes, which we need because our current DYMC location, right next door, is bursting at the seams. The upstairs apartments in the new building are currently rented, which helps to support the building while we grow into it.  We will be renovating and moving into the building in stages, and will keep you informed every step of the way.

Teacher Trainings will not be held in this location, as the Desmond offers a better experience for groups needing full service for YTT, retreats, etc. This building is intended for setting the Shakti, in a location that Swamiji feels very strongly about, and will be dedicated to creating community in the form of residents and guests, drawing from local community and Shishyas worldwide. Our local community is growing, as is our online following both nationally and internationally. There is a hunger for the deeper teachings, which is the way Swamiji serves both you and the greater yoga community, who thirst for that “something more” that we Svaroopis experience and understand.

In order for us to carry out Swamiji’s vision, and the vision of the organization going forward, we need this additional space. A space of our own that can hold the Shakti she pours into it. We are so thrilled to be able to provide our community with this space to grow. It is YOU who is making this possible, and it is for YOU that Swamiji, your Board of Directors, and all of the Trainers, staff and sevites serve.

OM svaroopa svasvabhava namo nama.h