Sonoma Ashram’s mission is to foster spiritual growth, selfless service and individual transformation by imparting the universal wisdom and timeless teachings of Aghor Yoga. The Ashram represents the only presence of this ancient mystical lineage outside India, inspiring individuals to connect with their inner fullness, and express the overflow of this fullness by being of service in the world.
In the words of Baba Harihar Ramji, founder of the Sonoma Ashram:
“Sadhana (spiritual practice) and seva (selfless service) are the two bookends of a meaning-ful life. Each conscious human being has to do some-thing simple yet concrete to acknowledge one’s wholeness—that is sadhana—and the overflow of that wholeness is seva, selfless service.”
The Sonoma Ashram is a center for self-growth and retreat, as well as a support system for people experiencing life’s challenges and transformations. The Ashram is open to all for day visits, meditation classes, personal retreats and long-term stays. Throughout the year, the Ashram welcomes people from all walks of life, regardless of religion or belief, and offers a sanctuary of peace and nurturing.
The small, intimate scale of Sonoma Ashram is a true strength and is kept this way intentionally. Baba Harihar Ramji (Babaji) lives on the premises for most of the year and offers his guidance to those who seek it. Deeper study of Aghor Yoga, as well as initiation into the tradition, is possible for those wishing to make a deeper commitment to spiritual practice.
Observances of special holidays and festivals take place throughout the year.
Ashram is a place of shelter from the heat of life. An Ashram is also a place in the community where living our highest ideals is encouraged with emphasis on love, kindness, tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness and maintaining our inner peace. The company of those practicing such ideals provides a nurturing environment where a person is able to find clarity and peace. Such a company is helpful in forming healthy habits, and bringing a steady practice into one’s life. An Ashram provides the foundation for self growth.
The best way to learn is by being in the presence of a Master. Babaji embodies love and respect with grace. One experiences peace and is reminded of his or her divinity just by being in his presence. Held in the safety of the Guru’s love, students are challenged to move beyond their comfort zones and become established in the Self. Integrating their inner and outer lives, they achieve access to their True Self.
It has been said from time immemorial that when the student is ready, the teacher appears. As a lens produces fire by focusing sunlight, the Guru’s guidance can spark and awaken your awareness of the Divine within you. This allows you to realize that you are identical to that which you worship. The Guru is the manifestation of that great unknown Divine power. A spiritual path is easier to follow with the guidance of the Guru. With the Guru’s grace, we get a glimpse of that Higher Self which lies dormant within us. Obstacles that lie on the path of Self Awakening are gradually removed.