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Procedure for family visits and vacation away from the ashram


Bio-Family Visits to Arunachala 

We have learned that family members are usually interested in visiting their relative but not in participating in ashram activities. Few sign up to attend formal retreats or even want to come to classes. When that is the case, these visits should be short, between 1 - 2 nights maximum. 


Inquiries from family members who desire to visit should go directly through Amrita. Every person who wishes to come must apply formally and state the purpose(s) of their visit. We will not assume that biofam visitors will be participating in our schedule beyond coming to the lodge for meals. We do not expect family visitors to join our classes, except in a few cases in which we know the visitor has serious intentions to understand the gyana (and if they do want to attend, they must first ask to be invited, or at least their yogi host must ask on their behalf, so we do not have cynical or bored people come to class). Study groups and special events such community meetings are even more stringently by invitation only. The exception is Asana classes, which are optional to join and don't require any previous notice.


Anything else including: walks to the river, any tours offered by Sat Yogis, module classes, meditation sittings and sessions with Shunyamurti or Radha Ma must be requested in advance so we can plan for this and get approvals. Prices are set and will be applied to family visitors as they are to general visitors.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Nivassi Trips Away from Arunachala

For the occasional request to leave the ashram for a bio-family vacation or other non-seva related trip that will happen within Costa Rica, we ask that nivassis consider the needs of the community and keep these trips to 2 - 3 nights maximum unless there is a very good reason to extend beyond that. Trips outside the country will usually be approved for a longer duration because of the kinds of errands that may need to be performed there (visas, legal), cost and travel time, but also should be planned with the needs and impact of the sangha in mind (ideally no more than 10 - 12 days including travel time, unless the distance is far and requires more than a day in transit each way). In either case, make your plans ahead of time - at least one month (except in dire emergency) but ideally several months in advance. Please avoid making plans to leave during our own events (including prep or closedown) if at all possible. 


The first step in planning a trip away from Arunachala is to check with Swati and Mahalakshmi to discuss the accuracy of the dates you want to be away. Include a proposal for how your seva will be covered in your absence. Once we have found acceptable dates that enable us to keep our communal functioning stable, which may take us a week or more, then please ask Shunya for his blessing to make sure of the accuracy of your plan at a higher level. 


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