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Send Leslieann to India (300YTT)

$4,020 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 56 people in 4 months
Created August 28, 2018
Yoga has been part of my life for the last 15 years. (More on that story here: https://leslieannhobayanyoga.com) But it’s during these last two years that yoga has changed my life. Transformed it in ways I cannot begin to describe. I am not the person I was two years ago. I am more Me, closer to my authentic Self than I have ever been. And this is thanks to my journey that started with the 200-hr yoga teacher training at Onyx Yoga Studio in Warren, NJ. It then continued with teacher training for Kundalini Yoga at the same studio. These trainings are not just teaching me how to teach, but they are giving me much more: they are showing me how to connect with myself on a deeper level, which in turn, translates into a deeper connection with others. My heart has grown beyond depths I thought possible. My capacity for love –in the purest sense of the word, the kind of love that comes without strings—has expanded a hundredfold. It’s a love for myself and for others, all others. For real. I didn’t know a love like this existed. And I didn’t know I could love like this. I didn’t know yoga could do this.
 
On May 30th, I arrived at Millay Colony in Upstate NY where I would be in residence for a month, working on my book. I immediately did a search for local yoga studios (priorities, you know); Supersoul in Chatham, NY popped up as the nearest spot. On their homepage, there was a button on the right-hand side: 300-hr advanced teacher training in India. INDIA! This coming January. My heart leapt out of my chest. My whole body’s vibrational energy elevated in an instant. If this wasn’t the loudest calling ever, I don’t know what is. I clicked through before even looking at the class schedule. Bhakti Yoga: the yoga of love and devotion. Teachings on the Bhagavad Gita. Learn how to lead kirtans. Play the harmonium. Learn about ayurvedic cooking. I nearly levitated (I kid you not!) from my increasingly high vibration. I couldn’t believe this program existed! It was everything I had been looking for. And bhakti yoga?? The yoga of love and devotion?? Are you kidding me?? My name –and my heart-- was all over that. And the bonus? I get to study with Raghunath Cappo, who’s been called a “teacher’s teacher” and named one of the top 100 most influential yoga teachers in the US. Whut.

32521118_1535513571502647_r.jpeg(Me and Raghunath at Supersoul)
 
I filled out the application right then and there. I didn’t think about where the money would come from. When the universe puts things in your path that you have asked for in the deepest part of your heart, you say yes. I trusted that the universe would help me figure out a way. A few days ago, during meditation, GoFundMe popped into my head.
 
If you know me, asking for help –especially when it comes to money—is the hardest thing, if not altogether impossible. I pride myself in being self-sufficient. (Hello, ego.) But if there’s anything I’ve learned on this yoga journey is that we are not islands, even if we think we are. I am terrified to ask for help, but here I am, asking, despite the terror. Here I am, answering the call of my heart and soul, humbly asking you for help. Any help you can offer. Every bit, large or small, helps.
 
This training is the next part of my journey. As I deepen my spiritual practice and strengthen my love for myself, I become more compelled to find ways to serve and uplift others, to nurture my community, to teach folks how to open up their hearts and to love, not just themselves, but others—to truly love! And with that, our world can be that much better for it. We are all connected. For real. If I got love, you’ll feel it, even a thousand miles away. Goodness knows we all could benefit from more love.
 
But first I need to put myself out there, to open myself to you and allow you --my friends, family, kindred spirits, my community—to lift me so that I can uplift others.
 
I am raising $7000 to cover the cost of tuition ($5000), a harmonium ($480), airfare (today’s research priced flights at $1300) and one night’s stay in Mumbai for the flower festival ($135). The sooner I can purchase an airline ticket the better the price. The rest of the payments are due soon!
 
Money is currency. Currency (current) is energy. Together, you can energize this calling of mine into a reality. Please know that I am ever grateful for your help, with whatever you can give, large or small. Though these words fall short: thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my ever-expanding heart and soul.
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Update 5
Posted by Leslieann Hobayan
17 days ago
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My dearest loving and supportive community,

I am writing to you from 33,000 feet in the air, somewhere between Istanbul and Dubai. (Yes, I’ve been on a plane for 8 hours now. Only 4 more to go!) From there, I will connect to a flight that will take me to Mumbai. If not for you and your generous contributions –and your awe-inspiriting, humbling emotional and spiritual support, I wouldn’t be here, leaping through time zones.

Thank you doesn’t even begin to describe what I feel in my heart. No amount of synonyms piled together in a word cloud would do it either. But I have to work with what I’ve got.

So, thank you. I have been so moved by the outpouring of your support which tells me you believe in me and the work that I’m doing. That you believe the work I’m doing is important and worth your time, your thoughts, your money, your energy, your love. How many people can say that? How many people can say that they’ve got an army of people who’ve got their back as they venture out into the world to be the fullest expression of their truest selves? I suspect not many. But! I also suspect that the number will grow. As I look around at you--my community—as well as the larger world surrounding us, I see that more and more people are reconnecting with their inner divine selves, working towards being who they truly are and sharing that with the world. So, in essence, you are not only helping me, but you are helping others –including, perhaps, yourself—to become the best people they/we/you can be. And that, in turn, can only make the world a better and brighter place to live. When we are our truest selves, we end up serving for the highest good of all beings. It can’t get better than that.

For you dear ones, I am so so grateful. The gratitude is endless. Thankyouthankyouthankyou. You will be in my thoughts, my prayers, my meditations as I take this next step in my spiritual journey.

I wish you peace, an open heart, and an abundance of love as we begin this year of 2019.

Edit: I have arrived at the retreat center and it still feels unreal.

With much love and endless gratitude,
Leslieann
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Update 4
Posted by Leslieann Hobayan
1 month ago
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Hello dearest friends, family, kinfolk, and kind supporters—

This is it! The homestretch!

I thought to myself: what can I share with my community that can illustrate just how important this pilgrimage to India is? What story can I tell you that might inspire you to contribute to my fundraising campaign? And then I paused. I don’t have to tell you anything. You already know how important this is – it is nothing short of life changing. You already know that I’ve humbled myself and swallowed my pride each and every time I’ve posted an update and another invitation to donate to my cause. You must know how challenging it is to ask for help, especially money. We all have that ego telling us that we don’t need anyone’s help, that we can figure out something on our own.

So maybe I won’t tell you about that Sunday when I dropped everything to take Raghunath’s (my teacher) last-minute class in Ocean Grove, an hour’s drive away. I won’t tell you how my vibration skyrocketed at the sound of that first chord on the harmonium, how that vibration was sustained the entire 2-hour practice. Or how I floated out of that studio, feeling as brilliant as the sun.

Because you already know. You know that when one is lifted, so many more are uplifted even higher. That’s what you will make happen when you contribute to my GoFundMe campaign.

So here’s my straight-to-the-point pitch: consider donating just $20. If everyone I’m reaching out to right now could chip in a Jackson (doesn’t quite have the same ring as a Benjamin – haha), I’d meet my goal! If $20 is out of your budget, then consider $10. There is so much power in numbers. Every little bit multiplied by this community of mine would get me to my goal. Of course, I am not one to turn away contributions larger than $20! So if you’re feeling extra generous, I’m all ready to receive. And if you donate more than $20, you’ll receive a free ticket to Bhakti Love! Benefit Poetry Reading and Concert on Sat, Dec 8th!

Donate here:
https://www.gofundme.com/send-leslieann-to-india-300ytt

Want to come to the reading & concert? Purchase tickets here:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bhakti-love-benefit-poetry-reading-concert-tickets-51442255170

I’m hoping that you’ll make a donation to support me as I work to bring more light into this world.

For those that have already donated: THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! Without you, I wouldn’t have come this far! And I have come quite a way since late August.

My gratitude—for all of you— is, as always, endless.

Ever grateful,
Leslieann
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Update 3
Posted by Leslieann Hobayan
2 months ago
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Hello loving friends,

When I translate "namaste", I say: the divine light in me bows to the divine light in you. I say it at the close of every yoga and meditation class I teach. I say it as a reminder to my students, but also to myself. We are all divine light. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. But too often we lose sight of that or we forget altogether. And for some, we’re not even aware of this light. There are so many outer world illusions to distract us from innermost ourselves. What I have learned along this path I’m on is that sometimes it only takes a little reminder. A little nudge to change one’s direction towards something more hopeful, something brighter. For me, recently, this nudge was the passing of my father-in-law. He lived a long and full life (he was 92) with plenty of love and joy. This moment made me pause –as death is wont to do—and ask: am I living life to the fullest? With plenty of love and joy? Am I living as authentically myself as I can? Am I honoring my divine light?

And what about you? Are you living your best life?

I am going to India in January to deepen my understanding of this divine light that is me, that is all of us. What I hope to bring back is a brighter light to be of service to others and to encourage that divine light within them to shine like a supernova: an exploding star so brilliant that no one can extinguish it. No one.

Won’t you join me in this endeavor? I’m halfway to my fundraising goal but short on time! If you can, please consider contributing to my GoFundMe campaign. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS! Seriously. As they say: many hands make light work – and so: many dollar bills will make for big impact. Whatever you can offer, I would be so grateful. One dear friend who donated said: you’d better write about this trip! Indeed! I think it would be difficult not to!

For those who have already donated: thankyouthankyouthankyou. My gratitude is endless. I hope to repay you in ways that serve your highest good. For those who have considered donating: now is the time! I need to submit all tuition payments by Nov 30th. Remember: Every Little Bit Counts! It does!!

From my divine light to yours: thank you. I am ever grateful.

Namaste

p.s. If you’re wondering about the Bhakti Love! Benefit Poetry Reading, it’s been rescheduled for Saturday, Dec, 8th with --just added!-- musical guest, Joshua Ansley! This event is the final push to meet my fundraising goal. I hope you can make it to this celebration of love and life!
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bhakti-love-benefit-poetry-reading-concert-tickets-51442255170
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Update 2
Posted by Leslieann Hobayan
3 months ago
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My loving community,

It’s been a rough few weeks. I’ve had to confront so many moments that have put me in doubt, tested my will, and challenged my spirit. What am I doing? Am I crazy for going to India for a month? What about my responsibilities at home? At work? But when I think of all of your collective support –both in spirit and in finance— and all of the faith you’ve put in me, I buckle in and ride it out, trusting that it will pass. Because YES!! this is what my heart is calling me to do: to go to India, the sacred land of yoga, to study the sacred texts, and to go deep within myself. And from this, greater things can happen where I am inspired to work at uplifting our community and others. I am so grateful for all that you’ve done for me so far.

But there is still so much fundraising left to do! I’ve got about four weeks left to meet my goal. If you’ve donated, THANK YOU again! If you’ve been thinking about it, now is the time! If we can collectively pool our resources –including sharing my GoFundMe page to your peeps, your tribe, your networks (you never know who has resources to share!)—you can help me help others. As always, I am ever grateful. Thank you from the deepest part of my heart.

With gratitude,
Leslieann
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$4,020 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 56 people in 4 months
Created August 28, 2018
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