We're doing it again...the Bhakti Toolbox continues!

Dear Friends,

There is a beautiful Sanskrit word 'dakshina,' that refers to the practice of repaying one’s teacher or guru after completing a course of study, or spiritual training. The student's offering not only conveys gratitude and respect, but also deepens their connection to the guru's teachings. 

This ‘fee’ isn’t always financial, and might involve a 'special task' the teacher asks the student to accomplish. Indian history and scripture is full of stories relating to these ‘special tasks,' but we'd like to tell you about the 'task' we've been asked to accomplish:

While in Rishikesh this past winter, we had the opportunity to study daily with spiritual teacher and author, Mataji Devi Vanamali. Every morning for a month, we climbed the winding staircase leading up to Vanamali Ashram to sit with Mataji and study the Bhagavad Gita.


The entrance of the ashram

Mataji never asked for anything in return, so we found ourselves wondering how we could repay her. Finally, after our last session on the final day, she gestured to the open pages of the Gita which rested on a little wooden stand on the floor and said, “Please place a coin here, as dakshina. This will release the karmic bond between us and symbolize the completion of the course.”

We placed our coins on the book, but was it enough? So we asked, “Mataji, we are so grateful for your time, how can we possibly repay you for these teachings?” Her answer was immediate and clear, “Go back home and share what you have learned.”

We promised we would, but as we walked down the stairs leading away from the ashram, we wondered to each other, “Did she say she wants us to teach the Bhagavad Gita? Countless scholars and great souls have spent entire lifetimes attempting to get to the essence of this book, where would we even start?”

Soon after our return to the States, we dreamed up “The Bhakti Toolbox – Practices for Presence,” a four class series currently in its final week. We are loving it so much - the vibe, the community, the sharing, the mantras, the Bhakti practices - it's too good to stop. We're going to do it again! 

As we began to think about a second series, we remembered the ‘special task’ that Mataji had asked of us: “Go back home and share what you have learned.” And then it dawned on us, “We don’t have to teach the Gita, we could explore it using the sweet format that has emerged from the first series.”

In an attempt to fulfill Vanamali's request, as dakshina, we are calling our next Bhakti Toolbox module - 'Gifts of the Gita.'


The Bhagavad Gita is a practical guide for day-to-day living and is one of the greatest yogic tools available to us. This next module, ‘Gifts of the Gita,’ is an experiential space of satsang and sharing using the Gita as a backdrop. Each week we will introduce one of the book’s core themes and explore practical ways to apply these concepts to our day-to-day lives. 

‘Gifts of the Gita’ is ideal for:

     *Those wishing to deepen their understanding of Bhakti Yoga

     *Anyone wanting an introduction to the Bhagavad Gita

     *Lovers of the Gita who'd like to explore the book in group setting


Where: Mind Body Sanctuary in Fremont 


 4204 Leary Way NW, Seattle WA 98107

When: Wednesday evenings, 7-9pm, May 24-June 14

Cost: $108 for the series

Space is limited to 16 participants.

*Registration for full series is required. Click here to register using your credit card or paypal account. Reply to this email for other payment options.  

Save the Date! 

 Monthly Kirtan with Rob and Melissa and Friends

 Saturday, May 20, 8pm


 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge, Seattle, WA

 Donation based, All are welcome!

 Click here to see our full calendar 

We're going back to India and would love to have YOU join us! 

A Bhakti Journey: Explorations of the Heart

Join us for ten days at a beautiful, secluded retreat center located on the banks of the sacred Ganges River, near the spiritual city of Rishikesh, the birthplace of Yoga. Daily yoga, meditation, kirtan, excursions to nearby temples and holy sites, and so much more! 

 Please click here to learn more and register.



 Richest blessings,


 Rob and Melissa




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