by Mandy Leng
I was born in postwar England and it was a very difficult way to grow up after I hit the teen years. In the middle of great turmoil I found a Yoga book written by an East Indian yoga practitioner. It had photographs of him doing Yoga poses and explained how to do them, along with instructions on breathing and meditating.
No-one I knew was interested in it, so I taught myself how to do the exercises from the book and practised meditating in difficult circumstances every day. It taught me spiritual survival and I credit that as being the reason that I survived during that time
After I grew up, as a young adult, I continued practising and found myself traveling to this country where during the 60's there were many communities practising different types of yoga with a teacher, and having their own businesses. Eventually I settled in one where we pioneered growing and marketing organic food and practised a westernized Kriya Yoga that was originally from Paramahansa Yogananda's teachings and vision of world brotherhood communities.
This provided me with the foundation for a sustainable lifestyle that I have maintained to the best of my ability to this day. After 16 years of living in this community, things were changing there and many people moved on and I did too. Having no contact with people from there for about ten years.
One day I found one of their health food stores in my local town, and hooked up with my old friends slowly more and more. Now there are about 100 people from there that I am friends with on FaceBook, and there is a page on there for the survivors of the original community who have land in Central Ca and teach seminars on meditation and sustainable living there. The ex Sunburst people have a reunion every year, I took my teenage son to the community to see their way of life and to show him that his "hippy" mum has compadres coming out of the woodwork everywhere.