Ashrams thriving as businesses fail


Contemplating your job loss? Many in your situation are flocking to places where contemplation is welcome, even expected. American ashrams for those of the Hindu faith, and Buddhist religious retreats are experiencing a burst of interest among those who suddenly have the free time to pursue enlightenment.

According to the New York Times, one ashram, the Himalayan Institute in Honesdale, Penn. has seen a doubling of applications for its 28-day, $825 work/study program this year. The Institute also offers long-term residencies at minimal cost, $3,000 a year, which includes food and lodging. Students must also carry out chores to keep the place running. Residents have the opportunity to attend educational sessions as well as focus on their meditation and yoga practice.