Honoured guests, faculty,
staff, graduates and students, each of you in your own way a part of our Alandi
family-- today's graduation is a tender and triumphant moment.
It is a tender moment, as
you, the candidates, graduate from student to practitioner, or from practitioner
to doctor. Like the fledgling finches on the porch, you now leave the cozy nest
of Alandi to find your wings, to sing and soar. Some of you are moving on to
new levels of responsibility as graduates in our community, some to bring the
light of Alandi into the wider world.
It is a tender moment, as the founding students of our
gurukula graduate and move on, stretching precious cords of love and friendship
across distance and time. In myriad ways, all of us will miss our daily contact
with these graduates, who helped lay the foundation stones of the gurukula. For
four years we have chanted, meditated, eaten, studied, walked and served in
clinic together. Now these bonds of love will be put to the test as our family
matures to embrace the world.
It is also a triumphant
moment for students, faculty and the gurukula. We did it! Heather has succeeded
in graduating as a practitioner while raising her family and relocating from
Evergreen to Boulder. Paula has crossed the finishing line after four years of
patient part-time study. Annalise had upheld her commitment to Pancha karma and
body therapies despite all obstacles. Bhavna has Skped into classes faithfully
even as her young family moved from Texas to California. Ceci has surmounted
myriad hurdles with great dedication to her studies. And Lauren, Kourtney and
Heidi have stood the course through four years of demanding full time study,
determined to be the best-trained practitioners of Ayurveda ever to be home-grown
in America. Their thirst for learning and quest for excellence led us to create
our advanced programme and bring the study of Ayurveda in America to new
Each of us--students, faculty, staff and ashramites-- have
sacrificed much, enduring financial challenges, long work hours, and lack of
privacy (in the case of Sadananda), to make this moment possible. With minimal
resources, we have achieved great things. We have created a vibrant learning
community, continually pushing the frontiers of pedagogy and practice--an environment
where teachers and students alike grow continually. We have honoured the
ancient roots of Ayurveda in the Gurukula system, creating an Ayurvedic family
with deep spiritual roots. Let us
relish our accomplishment!
Dear graduates, as you
step out as practitioners, pancha karma therapists and Ayurvedic doctors, you
represent and embody not only Ayurveda, but also the lineage and teachings of
Alandi, which has nurtured you for these past four years. Leaving our walls but
not our family, carry with you our core teachings of love, simplicity and
In your time here, you
have experienced radical simplicity in Alandi's capacity to do much with a
little. As a visitor from Poland said recently, "What I love about this place
is that in a small space you do great things." You have learnt to value
authenticity over appearances and true richness over wealth. As you move on to
your own practice, remember the basic lesson you have learnt here: do what you
are here to do with what you have right now, without waiting for it to be
bigger, better or more perfect. Or as Jesus, Peace upon Him, said, "Since you
have been faithful in small things, I will give you charge over much."
If you want your dream to
Build it slow and surely
Small beginnings greater ends
Heart felt work grows purely
If you want to live life free
Take your time go slowly
Do few things but do them well
Simple joys are holy
Day by day, stone by stone
Build your secrets slowly.
members of Alandi's family, you have experienced on a daily basis the teachings
of oneness and tolerance--sahishnuta. Ekam
sat vipra bahuda vidanti. Truth is one, the wise call that by many names. Many
rivers, one ocean, as Raghudas taught us.
like a prism
Fragments the pure white light of Truth.
People in different lands
Catching sight of different colors
Have taught that 'It is green'
Or 'It is gold!'
Today, from the seeds of light
Scattered over the Earth
We reap a rainbow harvest.
As healers, carry this understanding forth in your
practice and your life, meeting each person where they are, honouring their
beliefs, culture and life path while guiding them on the path to wellbeing
through Ayurveda. This begins, every day, with meeting yourself where you are
right now, including and accepting all the parts and aspects of yourself.
Above all, carry into the world the love you have
received and shared here at Alandi. Love is the essential qualification of an
and compassion towards the sick, joy in their recovery and equanimity towards
those whose life is coming to an end; this is the fourfold attitude of the physician.
And love, compassion and friendliness are the most
important core values you have received in your time at Alandi, which exists as
a beacon of love for all beings. Let love permeate not just your Ayurveda
practice, but the tiniest aspects of daily life. Love is the need of the hour,
the urgent call of the Divine Mother. In all her manifestations, the divine
feminine calls us to leave behind enmity, callousness and indifference and
embrace the way of love and compassion. In the words of a great contemporary
dakini, Yoko Ono, "Remember love!"
Remember love, remember love, Love is what it takes to
Remember love, remember love, Love is what it takes sow love.
Remember love, remember love, Love is what it takes to grow love.
Remember love, remember love, Love is what it takes reap the fruits of love.
Remember love, remember love, Love is what it takes to be love.
love, remember love.
(Sadananda's version of Yoko Ono's song)