Sara Goodberlet

Home City: Kankakee, IL

Department: Retreat Center

Q: Tell us about yourself.

A: I am a Midwestern gal—born and raised south of Chicago. I have the best family—they are a passionate, theatrical, and loving bunch. I was raised early on with an appreciation for Mother Nature, and one of my favorite and preferred activities is to simply walk outside. I have always tended to be on the introverted side and have caused my dear friends great frustration because I would most often choose reading and a quiet space over socializing. I quite enjoy eating and cooking, working hard, being efficient, living an ayurvedic lifestyle, and exploring.

Q: How did you find the Himalayan Institute?

A: I heard about the Himalayan Institute back in the year 2000 (Conan O’Brien anyone? :)) when my best friend left Wisconsin to head to the Institute and do the residency program. Whenever we would catch up, she would share with me all of these fascinating and evoking mind, body, and breath practices she was learning, and I curiously started practicing them myself. I kept studying from afar, getting the magazine every month and postcards and marketing pieces in the mail, with the clear understanding that I would visit someday. In 2010 I drove from Illinois to Honesdale and participated in the brief but powerful 10 day Self Transformation Program. It was an amazing and awakening experience, and upon leaving, I knew I would be back someday.

After coming to the simple and stunning realization that I wanted to be happy, I went back home, rearranged my life, and became a resident.
Q: What inspired you to join the community?

A: I was guided by a teacher to head to the Institute over a long holiday weekend. After coming to the simple and stunning realization that I wanted to be happy, I went back home, rearranged my life, and became a resident in October of 2015.

Q: What have you learned during your time here?

A: Creating the right supportive environment is conducive to practice. Living at the Himalayan Institute, I am within a community of others with similar pursuits. I have access to amazing delicious food, nature, and the satsang of others. I have learned about surrender, negotiating the entertaining, challenging, and exasperating ways of the mind, the necessity of direct experience, and that my joy and happiness is created from helping and serving others.

Q: If there was one thing you could share about the Himalayan Institute, what would it be?

A: Living at the Institute, giving myself this time and space, has been the best gift I could have given myself…. thus far :)