Ashram West


Ashram West has arisen from a perceived need for gay-centered spiritual training that employs proven spiritual technologies developed over millennia by mystics who have passed their methods for direct spiritual realization down to us. Ashram West affirms that gay persons have special spiritual aptitudes and needs related directly to our gay identities, and that these aptitudes and needs are rarely, if ever, acknowledged or addressed by traditional religious institutions. Ashram West’s mission is to help meet the needs of all sincere spiritual seekers from a gay-centered perspective, with its primary purpose being to help gay spiritual aspirants attain direct experience of God or Self. It’s secondary mission is to educate gay persons about their spiritual potential, and provide much-needed hope and encouragement for people whom society often treats as outcasts. Its tertiary mission is to educate society at large about the unique and precious gifts gay persons offer to the world, and to help non-gay persons expand their awareness to discover how they, too, can become gay in the deepest, spiritual sense.

Residential Community

The community, which is still in its formative stages, will consist of a core of gay men dedicated to God-realization and to the spiritual edification of gay persons and others everywhere. Ashram West acknowledges the spiritual advantages in intensive, spiritually-focused, community life based primarily on ecstatic, rather than ascetic, models of spiritual development. Ecstatic models emphasize transmutation rather than renunciation of desire, and celibacy, which is the primary discipline of ascetic residents, is neither required nor preferred, although it may be practiced by individuals as desired. (See Ashram West Guidelines for Spiritual Living)

As the community has minimal financial resources, prospective residents will need to provide their own support in terms of a portion of living expenses until such time as Ashram West can support them. This may require some individuals to work in outside jobs for some time to help pay for housing, food, and other necessities. The community will explore ways to become self-sufficient to enable residents to concentrate on their spiritual practices, in-depth study of spiritual literature, and public teaching.

Non-resident Membership

Sincere spiritual aspirants and those seeking more information or a deeper acquaintance with the teachings of Ashram West will be offered individual and group spiritual instruction and opportunities for participation in various activities of Ashram West. Non-resident members will participate in all aspects of the organization according to their interests, talents, and time. Some people are called to communal life, but most are not; nevertheless, all people are called to God-realization regardless of vocation.


Residents will follow a daily routine that includes regular periods of meditation, study, group and individual process, work, meals, recreation, and rest. Non-resident members may join in this routine as desired. Activities open to the public could include talks, introductory classes, workshops, retreats, celebrations, performances, excursions, etc. Activities for resident and initiated non-residents, but not open to the general public, could include certain rituals, intensives, and long-term or in-depth classes.

Non-resident members located far from a center of instruction will be encouraged to group together and to follow their own routines on the residential model adjusted to their individual needs. Teachers from Ashram West may travel to distant groups at their invitation to conduct retreats, special classes, and presentations and to offer guidance.

Outline of the Training Program

Beginning Tantra Instruction- 

    1.     relaxation 

    2.     peace meditation 

    3.     visualization with preliminary mantra 


Intermediate Tantra Instruction - 
    1.     Mantra Diksha—initiation with a mantra 

    2.     Introduction to Tantric ritual 


Advanced and Resident-Track Tantra Training- 
    1.     Gayatri initiation 

    2.     Sanskrit 

    3.     Intermediate and advanced Tantric ritual 

    4.     Vedanta 

    5.     Yoga 

    6.     Comparative mysticism 

    At every level of instruction the ideal program includes weekly meetings, both private and in small groups, to check on progress, make adjustments as needed in practices, clarify questions that arise, relate one’s inner practice to one’s outer activities, and facilitate character development through rigorous self-examination of motive and the elimination of homophobic processes. 
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