MY EXPERIENCE, BY CLAUDETTE
Jai Prema Shanti! I am Claudette. I’m 36 years old, French, and have lived in Montreal, Canada, for over four years now and plan to continue living here and eventually become a Canadian citizen. In 2010 a devotee introduced me to Swami Premananda and the next year, in 2011, I had the opportunity to come to India and visit the Ashram for the first time. Having come to know Swamiji, my stay in the Ashram, and interacting with the children completely changed my life. Back at home after this incredible journey, I realized that life has meaning only when we can help others. Slowly but surely I changed my work, from that of holding a conventional position in a multinational corporation to becoming a yoga teacher. My idea was to reproduce Swamiji’s vision – spiritual, ecological and humanitarian – here in the West. After this first visit in 2011, I managed to visit the Ashram nearly every year.
This year, a little while after Mahashivaratri, I met Devi, the New Premananda Youth Groups Coordinator. We talked about the Lingam Swamiji had given for the Canadian Youth Group (…) and we considered the possibility of my bringing this Lingam back to Canada and further developing Swamiji’s mission there as the new Youth Coordinator.
As I am deeply in line with Swamiji’s teachings, I agreed to take on this responsibility. From now until next Mahashivaratri will be somewhat of a test period for me. With the support of other coordinators I would like to set up and develop one or more youth activities, such as introducing young people to Swamiji’s spiritual teachings, organizing concrete ecology related activities or projects to help the needy, singing bhajans and/or doing pujas, etc., thereby allowing Swamiji’s vision to spread in Canada. It will be a great honour for me to help carry out Swamiji’s mission here and I will do my utmost to fulfill this role in the best possible way for the upcoming generation of youth in Canada.
Jai Prema Shanti!