“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”
~ Pema Chodron ~
We have been opening our home and hearts to LEAPNOW students coming from the U.S.A for the past nine years. LEAPNOW is an alternative education program from the U.S.A. offering two alternative years of college. LEAPNOW focuses on holistic and transformational learning through programs including international travel, study and academic credit through real experience; adventures combined with inspired and structured learning. In today’s rapidly changing society many youth face challenges such as peer pressure, bullying, drugs, alcohol, OCDs, and alienation. Here in Ramana’s Garden these teenagers are given a supportive, therapeutic and loving atmosphere where they can heal and reframe their lives. Their time living here and interacting with Ramana’s children, combined with programs in yoga, meditation, working with ecology, nature and inner exploration helps them rediscover themselves. Time away from home gives the teenagers an opportunity to reflect on their attitudes, behaviors and relationships with families, peers, schools, and society back home. They experience genuine emotional journeys and personal turnarounds which have a tremendous and ongoing positive impact on their lives. From culture shock to personal enrichment these teenagers experience a new perspective on their life’s purpose and learn to feel the benefits of living their authentic truth.
Testimonials from Participants of the Leap Now Group
“I am an American college student studying abroad here in India through an amazing program called LEAPYear (by LEAPNow INC.). It took me months of hard work, fundraising letters, and emotional turmoil to make this dream of coming to India come true. I am receiving college credit for my journey to India, but it will take years of hard work even after this program has ended to pay off the loans I had to get to come here. My experience thus far, not even a month into the journey, has proved well worth the monetary sacrifice.
“My experience at Ambiya Paradise, in the forest, and with the work of Dr. Prabhavati have changed my life in tremendous ways. I learned about organic gardening and helped grow food for many orphans and village children. I learned to constantly be in awe of the wonders of nature. The mountains, old trees, flowers, and animals of this forest have touched my soul. This forest and my experience here has brought me closer to God. The environment in this space has healed my heart in numerous ways and has brought our group closer together. Waking up each day to see the beauty of Ambiya has inspired me deeply and furthered me towards my life purpose. I came to Ambiya as a broken and severely damaged woman and soon I will leave healed and ready to give to the world. I thank Ambiya forest and Dr. Prabhavati for giving me this life-changing opportunity. Please know that this forest and Dr. Prabhavati are changing lives for the better and that my life would have never been so blessed if they hadn’t existed. I urge you to not let me be the last person to experience Ambiya in its fullness and the personal transformation that results.”
Mandi, participant of Leap Now Group from the U.S.A.
“I cannot accurately express the excitement I felt While our group was driving up to Ambiya forest. For me, being at Ambiya meant that all the hours and hard work I put in would finally be realized. I was going into one of the last intact biospheres in the entire Himalayan belt to help farm the crops that would be used to feed the children in the village schools and Ramanas Orphanage. I was given the chance to be with magnificent trees that were hundreds of years old in a forest that housed wild boars, chickens, thousands of insects, and endangered species such as leopards, minks, and red pandas. The energy coursing through my body was tremendous. Feeling our American hands deep in Indian soil sent tremors of glee through our spirits. Knowing that with the vegetables we were growing, schools full of village children would be nourished is an indescribable blessing.
“When we were given the chance to go into the trees and moss covered rocks a whole new part of my being was awakened. Have you ever been somewhere that makes you see with fresh eyes? Have you ever had an experience that calls you to life in ways that you didn’t know existed? The feeling is pure bliss. through the magic of Ambiya new parts of me have been besieged into feeling. The trees and noises of the forest are majestic. If it weren’t for this place I never would have seen or known all the gifts I have been given.”
Shawnalle (17) participant of Leap Now Group from the U.S.A.
“I have never been to a place so close to heaven as Ramana’s Garden. It is a sanctuary in ways that only experience can truly relate. The food is so absolutely delicious and healthy that you don’t feel like ever leaving the kitchen. The days are full of fun projects like working in the organic gardens, building playgrounds and offering creative projects for the kids at the orphanage as well as all the village schools spread amongst the sprouting Himalayas. Of course, you can’t forget the wonderful trips to the holy Ganga! Nothing’s more fun that splashing in the water, swinging giggling kids through the air, and building (not to mention smashing) sand castles galore … except maybe Satsang. The energy of this uplifting hour is truly amazing, singing wonderful songs and mantras to ringing bells, beating drums and tapping tambourines…it isn’t exactly the choir but at least you don’t have to be timid about singing along!”
Chris (19), participant of Leap Now Group from the U.S.A.