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Carried by a Promise: A Life Transformed Through Yoga Paperback – Jan 27 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Timeless Books (Jan. 27 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932018360
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932018363
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.6 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #535,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Swami Radhananda's absolute devotion to Swami Radha shines throughout the pages and is an inspiration for us all. --Tenzin Palmo, founder of the Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery

Inspiring! --Roshi Joan Halifax, Founding Abbot, Upaya Zen Center

Carried by a Promise, explains the transformation of a former Alberta homemaker into Swami Radhananda, head of the large ashram. --Vancouver Sun, January 27, 2011

From the Back Cover

In 1977, when Mary-Ann McDougall – mother, wife and teacher – first heard Swami Sivananda Radha speak at Yasodhara Ashram, she knew she had found what was missing in her life.

Her memoir, Carried by a Promise, is the unique story of a woman’s spiritual journey that follows her deepening commitment to Swami Radha and the extraordinary events that lead to her transformation into Swami Radhananda.

Carried by a Promise offers a very human example of how a heartfelt promise to the Divine can carry us on the spiritual path. Above all, it gives an intimate look into the love between a guru and a disciple – a sacred connection that has the power to transform.

“She and I have made a promise. She gave me a thread that connects us forever. I have seen the looks of love that shine from her eyes in blessings. Sometimes her voice comes through me clearly. She is my spiritual mother who has imbued each cell with Light, who is the flame in my heart.” – Swami Radhananda

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By all.j on May 11 2011
Format: Paperback
''This is the training. Temple, guru, rose petals, people, devotion, service ' one foot in heaven and one on earth.''

This is a book for those who look for inspiration from the experiences of others. Much more, it is a deeply touching story of one woman's inner growth and professional development, told in the straightforward voice of a woman who was continually reviewing the way she was evolving, setting herself new goals and polishing and refining others. At the same time, Swami Radhananda is teaching: posing questions readers can ask themselves, demonstrating how to gather up new learnings and apply them in daily life through the practices of journal writing and reflection. Through it, Radhananda emerges as an intelligent, practical woman, who has used her mind constructively in academic studies, a career, family and spiritual life.

Step by step, she interweaves experiences in the different spheres of her life, allowing new skills and insights in one area to cross-fertilize and enrich another. She demonstrates how she faced many challenges in her marriage, career and training at the Ashram, giving us recording the subtle shifts of mind and heart that paved the path of her spiritual growth under the guidance of her teacher, Swami Sivananda Radha. We learn how she drew on inspiration and support from Swami Radha and how that relationship sustained her.

What has stayed with me since reading the book is the account of the guru-disciple relationship, and the illustrations of how this was powered by love and commitment: ''A love for her, for all she has carried, for what she has created and for how she has changed my life''.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Puts a Whole New Light on Yoga Feb. 9 2011
By Janet G - Published on
Format: Paperback
A `must read' for anyone on a spiritual path. Grounded, practical, inspiring. This book takes the fantasy and theory out of what it means to live a spiritual life. Swami Radhananda speaks directly to a marriage that is not working, to lack of financial security, to going back to school mid-life--bringing her spiritual practices into her life then witnessing the changes that start to happen. At the heart of it all is her love for her teacher.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An Inspiring Spiritual Journey Valuable to Anyone on the Path May 13 2011
By Erin L - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Reading Carried by a Promise has provided me with the much needed traction and inspiration to continue and go deeper into my own spiritual life.
Swami Radhananda's lusciously honest memoires begin when she was still Mary-Ann McDougall, mother of two, wife, and teacher, discovering for the first time just what Swami Radha's teachings and yoga are all about. She starts from her thought-provoking introduction to different spiritual practices like standing meditation and journaling. Then Radhananda takes us along on her journey and into her transformation as her faith deepens and her devotion to her guru, Swami Radha, intensifies. She tells the story of her rocky marriage, her spiritual experiences, financial stress, the development of her relationship with Swami Radha and how she eventually comes to live at the Ashram. All of this is interwoven with inspiring gems of her guru's teaching.
What echoes clear throughout the book is Swami Radhananda's willingness to open her life to Light, and the ensuing Divine assistance she receives, propelling her forward along the spiritual path.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Inspiring July 4 2011
By AllisonAdventures - Published on
Format: Paperback
Carried by a Promise is an inspiring story of growth and transformation through various practices of yoga. I'm just in the beginning stages of learning about yoga as a philosophy and way of life rather than just a fitness regimen. This book takes you through 20 years of personal journals, on her road from a depressed and seemingly going nowhere mid-30's wife and mother to the spiritual director of a thriving ashram. She discovers a spirituality that was missing in her life; and as that grows, so does faith in herself. Using her newfound inner strength, with help from her guru Swami Radha and the "Divine Light" - she manages to pull herself out of the depths of poverty and depression to a successful career and finally life at the ashram. This book is full of useful tips and knowledge from a true guru for anyone struggling on their own path.
Carried by a Promise July 18 2011
By Deborah Rose - Published on
Format: Paperback
Carried by a Promise is a well written and honest book - it's a journal of the real life challenges and growth of an ordinary woman, mother, professional and now spiritual director of an Ashram. She had challenges in her life - they formed the pathway for her spiritual growth and her evolution. She had the blessing of finding a good spiritual teacher. All she did was say "yes" to her teacher's direction and to the opportunity to grow. The key was that she kept saying it, no matter what happened. I have read the book once and continue to reread sections at intervals. It is interesting how I can find examples of her day to day challenges that are similar to my own - this happens time and again whenever I pick up the book - and I gain inspiration and validation as I continue to gain insights about things in me that I hadn't realized before. I recommend this book for anyone who is interested in growing spiritually, or who might be curious about what the journey can be like.
Delivers even more than it promised April 2 2013
By Dr.Lynn - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
[...][...][...]Swami Radhananda's transparency of self and devotional practice are inspirations in themselves, but I was quite surprised to learn about her tough early experiences-- she was married to an alcoholic and had to care for her children and support her family pretty much by herself. She grew up and became a fierce and just role model for all women.

Learning how people develop inspires my own growth, both professionally and personally. I'm a psychotherapist as well as a writer, and I love memoirs. In fact, Serge Prengel and co-edited a book called [...] which shows how analysts, body workers, and therapists learned from their own life experiences to help their clients find their paths.