Carried by a Promise: A Life Transformed Through Yoga Paperback – Jan 27 2011
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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 RadhanandaSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
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''. Gratitude inspired her to accept the role of leadership in the Ashram, even though she was a relatively new resident and the current president was still very much in evidence. It was a challenging assignment, and Radhananda describes what happened, and how the Ashram began to change in consequence: ''the real accomplishment is the tremendous feeling of harmony, inclusiveness and unity we are building".
Radhananda's account ends with the death of her teacher: the point at which she must carry on without turning to her guru for guidance and support, continuing to fulfil her promise.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com
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.
Swami Radhananda's experience is a impressive one and shows that we can reach that spiritual experience we seek. Looking forward to reading her other material.
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.