“Where Heaven and Earth meet…”
“A winding unpaved road is leading to the top of the hill among olive fields and vineyards. White and golden wrought iron gates, on the pillars swan statues which are the symbols of the purified souls.
Arriving into the Ashram is always the fulfilment of a moment filled with expectations. A place where the amazing beauty of nature and the uplifting power of the mysticism carry one with themselves at the same time. It is almost 35 years now that this spiritual centre took shape from the wilderness by the all-sacrificing, superhuman work of Master Sirio. Following the order of his Master, he left Milan city and began the creation of a place where his Master may come to hold retreats and where seekers (disciples) may do a more intense spiritual practice from time to time.
Everything that is realized here serves the pure and true life, the devotion, the sacrificing and the love of God. This true, peaceful atmosphere is pervading everything. It helps to step out from the everyday cycle, to go within, to find again, to be charged up. As all springs are originating from somewhere, the source of this all-pervading presence is Master Sirio. To completely sacrifice ourselves, surrender our will for serving others, only very few are capable. To live a pure, deep, sincere life there may be even fewer. Pure because it is the same from inside as it is from outside. Deep because of being present in every moment, spiritual practice is the most important part of life. Sincere – that means in its complete simplicity to talk according to thoughts and act according to words. This way the teaching is not only a theory but is a living example of the realization of the human and divine potential. This is the real, rare treasure. It is worth more than if gems were paving the road instead of stones. Of course, we may doubt if such a thing may exist. But everybody who would like to dissolve his or her scepticism may be certain about it personally.” (2012)
The Ashram was founded in 1979 by Master Sirio and since its foundation, many spiritual retreats have been organized in the Ashram, and keep being organized every year. Consequently, the atmosphere is very special, very peaceful, very relaxing, very silent. We could say very holy.
Many people who visited this place say that
“it is enough to just be here and breathe the air in order to feel good”.
The Sant Bani Ashram in Ribolla was also the location of three big European spiritual programs of Sant Ajaib Singh: in 1980, 1984 and 1989 with the participation of several hundred people.
So this ashram is a functioning Sant Mat or Surat Shabd Yoga meditation centre in Europe, it offers regular spiritual (intense meditation) retreats for all sincere seeking souls who would like to be benefited by this special place and experience its atmosphere.
The Ashram is run by the nonprofit Sant Bani Ashram Association. Anyone who is attending the programs must be registered as members of the Sant Bani Ashram Association. The inscription is free of charge, and all the possibilities are only and exclusively are offered to the registered members.
All spiritual programs that are organized here are for free for all attendants, the only fee that occurs is the personal cost of staying there (such as accommodation and three times daily vegetarian meals). Donations are accepted for maintaining and improving the Ashram.
The president of the Association is Master Sirio Ji who is a spiritual teacher of Surat Shabd Yoga (meditation on the Inner Light and Sound) or Sant Mat. The Master doesn’t take anything for His spiritual work; He organised and maintains, takes care of the Ashram in a completely selfless way, free of charge as a service for those who need it. (Those who would like to know more about Master Sirio Ji and His spiritual work can find further information on the siriosatsang.com website.)
Since its foundation in 1979 lots of work was done in the Ashram so by now from the beginning spartan simplicity, through the dedicated and selfless work of Master Sirio, it became a well-equipped place, besides remaining an isolated and very peaceful sanctuary in nature, far from everything. There is water, electricity, solar panels, an artificial lake for irrigation, heating, internet (wi-fi) connection. Most of the furniture in the Ashram are handmade of wood by Master Sirio.
There are four buildings that include separated gents and ladies dormitory, meditation and Satsang room, where yoga is also practised. Above this, an outdoor meditation area is also organised, where it’s possible to sit in peace during the summertime and to enjoy meditation and Satsang, do yoga in nature.
A few years ago the Ashram was broadened with a therapeutic section where it is possible to be renewed physically, to heal and purify with the help of Ayurvedic treatments (only for the members of the association, free of charge). This way we may be renewed by the means of the more than a thousand years old, ancient but still living knowledge, and Master Sirio’s decades’ experience, who is an expert in Ayurveda.
So the Sant Bani Ashram in Ribolla is really the place where Heaven and Earth meet, where body and soul may be reborn for the complete human well-being on all levels of our existence.
The Sant Bani Ashram Association only welcomes those seekers who are ready to respect the place and keep its rules. The Ashram is a non-smoking, vegetarian place where it’s not allowed to smoke, forbidden the use of any kind of drugs or to drink alcohol, plus people are requested to follow a vegetarian diet (no meat, no fish, no eggs) while staying here. Those who break these rules, behave disrespectful towards the Ashram, the Master or any other person who is staying in the Ashram are requested to leave immediately.
There’s no spiritual community in the Ashram, out of the programs people have to ask permission to stay here. As a general rule, no one can stay longer than two weeks in the Ashram. People sometimes come to offer help in the bigger maintenance works, in the preparation for the programs, cleaning etc.
Since the scope of the Sant Bani Ashram Association is the spreading of Surat Shabd Yoga, it is also functioning as a small publisher (S.B.A.Books) for Sant Mat related spiritual literature. The Association also has a small spiritual library (Italian and English language literature) that tries to offer a view on spirituality, especially from the view of Surat Shabd Yoga and it’s Masters.
Another nonprofit and selfless activity of the Sant Bani Ashram Association that began in 2017/2018 is the supporting of a pre- and primary school in India (Dehradun) where only such children go who live under the minimum, from families who live in deep poverty. This way the Sant Bani Ashram Association began a collaboration with the Manav Kendra Association (the Indian association that tries to maintain the school). Please find further information about this “Manav Kendra School” project on the school.manav-kendra.org website.
If you are interested in visiting our Ashram, to attend any of our programs or to learn more about how to support the school and the poor children in India, please don’t hesitate to contact us!