Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter


Can’t Find Work? Move to an Ashram

posted by Donna Freitas

With our economy in tatters, an interesting trend is occurring: folks who have been laid off, but even more so, those job-hungry post-grads, are turning to spiritual work to tide them over until they get that coveted investment banking job (that is, if the industry ever recovers.)
Ashrams all over the United States have seen their applications for work/live-in exchange more than double this year. Sara Eckel from the New York Times reports about why Ashrams are in vogue right now in her article, “Hard Times are Jamming the Ashrams” and how one man (among many others) who, after losing his job at Intel, signed up for a year at the Himalayan Institute, since, “in exchange for his cooking duties and an annual fee of $3,000, he gets a private room, three vegetarian meals a day and unlimited access to the institute’s classes, seminars and other events.”
And he’s far from alone on finding Ashrams a sociable, spiritually fulfilling refuge in these economically troubled times:


“The Himalayan Institute is one of many retreats where cash-strapped spiritual seekers can participate in work-study programs in which they pay typically $300 to $900 a month in exchange for a few hours a day of service, like washing dishes, cleaning rooms or weeding gardens. As the unemployment rate has risen and people have sought refuge from the harsh economy, these work-exchanges have become a hot commodity. The Himalayan Institute received twice as many applications for its summer work-study programs this year as last — its August session is full, with 22 people, compared with 11 last year — and so did two similar retreats, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in Carmel Valley, Calif., and Satchidananda Ashram in Buckingham, Va. (which is better known as Yogaville).”
What do you think? Is this a legitimate way for people to ride out the recession? Or does this sort of soul-searching have a false note about it, with people taking advantage of the situation Ashrams offer, perhaps taking away spots from those who are really serious about their spiritual seeking?



  • Louise

    Why must everyone’s motives be held as suspect?

  • http://www.leelamata.com Shiva

    This is a great alternative…if they spend time in an ashram both will benefit. The ashram has people to do the needed work and the people learn about spirituality, which in the long run leads to better people…regardless of ones motives when entering the ashram. There is no need to question the motives of the people.

  • metta

    unfortunately, i am unable to partake of ashrams like these, because i can’t afford them! besides, considering how vapid most careers are, some even to the point of being deceptive and immoral (at least in my experience), the ashrams that are mentioned don’t seem to be a permanent solution. i guess the idea is to stay at the ashram until the economy picks up or one runs out of money, but if the economy doesn’t pick up, then what? i don’t have much faith in the economy, and after having searched for a job, particularly a job with at least some ethical responsibility, for the last two years, i suspect things are going to get “worse” not better. There are apprenticeships for local farming here, however, and I am hopeful that i’ll be able to find a place for myself there. I am not afraid of hard work, but starvation and cold, that is another story.

Previous Posts

#MARCHON
In light of recent occurrences in addition to our day-to-day - we need, more than ever, to march on. #Marchon is a national platform for justice. It's the opportunity to let the world know what and how you feel. What are you passionate about? What do you believe needs to change? Where does the actio

posted 2:28:57pm Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Classic with a Modern Twist: What to Expect from Annie
It's a film that the whole family will enjoy. It's a film that will inspire you to look at life in a different lens. Moreover, it's a film that will keep you wanting more - what film are we talking about? None other than Annie. The talented cast include Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne,

posted 8:00:55am Dec. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Get Excited For the Holiday Film of the Year - Annie
Everyone is excited to see Annie, in theaters Dec. 19, staring Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhane Wallis, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz. The film is a modern retelling of the story about an orphan who seeks optimism within the adversity that she faces every day. While you're waiting for the f

posted 9:30:10am Dec. 11, 2014 | read full post »

'Unbroken' is a True Gift This Christmas
// After 57 years of being hung up, now a war hero’s story is on the big screen. Unbroken, a true story based on U.S. POW and 1936 Olympic runner Louie Zamperini will be released on Christmas Day. The timing could not be more perfect said director and producer Angelina Jolie, who was emotionally e

posted 9:57:52am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Dwayne ‘The Rock' Johnson Stars in Inspirational Show, ‘Wake Up Call’
“Wake Up Call,” a new reality series coming to TNT, is about inspiration and transformation. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson uses his personal story of triumph and determination to help everyday people, who are facing enormous challenges in their lives. The Rock, known for his distinguished wre

posted 12:05:11pm Dec. 09, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.