I looked up the definition of Ashram today. I’m not sure why. I guess I know what an Ashram is but I also wanted an outside definition. An Ashram, as I understand it – is a place where a spiritual person (guru) has made their home and also where others are welcomed to share their space and join into their culture and daily rhythms. In India it is a spiritual sanctuary, frequently a school for children, a permanent residence for some and also a place for pilgrims to seek temporary lodging. All on a communal and donation basis.
This is how I imagine my retreat center on Maui. It will be my personal home, where I welcome seekers, offer classes for children, host pilgrims to Maui and live my own daily rituals with those who would live with me. I know it will be an extension of my own heart space – where I can dwell within and out.
As Casa de Namaste becomes a reality, I find myself envisioning how it will be. Like expecting a baby. Something comes from the name and something else from the timing but on the day of birth you finally get to look into the eyes of a being who has just arrived and is still full of wonder and promise.
The name Casa de Namaste for me means, a house where the soul in me greets the soul in others. It’s a retreat space for the soul. A place of contemplation, routine, silence and comfort. Where your personality becomes an observer and your soul can reside in the freedom within and without.
The word Casa for me has a warmth about it. In the Mexican culture I was raised around growing up in Los Angeles, Casa reminds me of a large home – not a large home but a home where a large and extended family is always welcome. Where a pot of soup might be prepared all day and the next day family and friends come in and out, visiting and sharing a simple but delicious meal throughout the day and into the evening. Where what one has is shared freely with all and everyone gives to their greatest capacity. There is a saying in Spanish, “Mi Casa es su Casa”. Which means “My house is your house”.
The word Namaste comes from the Yogic Tradition from India. I think it is a beautiful greeting. One that had profound meaning for me when I first became awakened. The idea that a soul that transcends time and lifetimes resides within each human incarnation. A soul that is bigger than the perception of limitation we place on ourselves and on the lives of others – through judgement. When I can say to every individual I meet – from my highest self, from my soul, I greet you. Not the you I see before me full of limitation, but the you that dwells within your being. The you I may have met in a past life or in the time between lives. I greet you and I welcome you into my Casa.
Casa de Namaste will become its own being. I know all too well from raising children – we are only shepherds. I look forward to meeting Casa de Namaste and residing there. I look forward to shepherding it’s development. I am thrilled to be planning for its birth and will make sure to announce updates on its arrival here over the next months and year.
We are thrilled to have found our realtor, Caron and look forward to visiting locations this spring and summer 2019.