Lighting the Lamp of Wisdom: A Week Inside a Yoga Ashram

A friendly encounter with the spiritual life of three different ashrams, with a helpful glossary of the yoga and meditation practices encountered there. Part guidebook, part spiritual memoir, Ittner invites us to journey with him toward enlightenment.

John Ittner

6 x 9, 224 pp | 10+ b/w photos | 978-1-8793361-52-2

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The insider’s guide to Hindu spiritual life.

Ashram is the general term for a study center, retreat house, or monastic community in Hinduism, the millennia-old religious tradition of India. Ashrams of various kinds are now found throughout North America, and are popular venues for spiritual retreats, workshops, and classes.

Lighting the Lamp of Wisdom takes you into a typical week of retreat inside an ashram to demystify the ashram experience and show you what to expect from your own visit. You will experience all the elements of a typical day and week, including:

  • The colorful puja, or worship services
  • Meditation practices and yoga classes
  • Classes on Hindu scriptures
  • Chanting and music
  • Satsang: an informal talk with the ashram’s guru
  • Work practice
  • …and much more.

You’ll also meet some of the people who visit ashrams to hear their reasons for going there, as well as the spiritual benefits they derive from the experience. Also included are a helpful glossary, a list of books for further reading, and a directory to ashrams in

North America that will enable you to locate one near you and set up your own visit.