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at Mount Madonna, California

Our mission


Mount Madonna holds space for personal transformation. Through community of practice, stewardship of sacred land, preservation of wisdom, and lifelong learning, Mount Madonna exists to support and foster peace in the world.

A profound saying by Baba Hari Dass on how to live a positive life supports us in manifesting our mission:

Work honestly, meditate every day, meet people without fear, and play...

  • Work Honestly: to see all work as an opportunity for spiritual practice and self-discovery.
  • Meditate Every Day: to do regular daily practice and create conditions that support this practice for others.
  • Meet People Without Fear: to communicate with openness and compassion, inviting all voices to foster a multi-generational community that is caring, diverse, and equitable.
  • Play: to recognize play as essential for inspiring hope and sustaining disciplined lives in the context of community.
mount madonna tilak

A person can attain
peace by simply developing good qualities.
A realized being is one
whose presence creates
a feeling of peace.

Baba Hari Dass

Baba Hari Dass

The Inspiration

Mount Madonna was inspired by Baba Hari Dass (Babaji), a silent monk whose life of discipline, yoga, and love touched all who met him. Babaji was born near Almora, India in 1923, and lived in the US between 1971 and 2018. He motivated and guided the formation of several retreat and educational centers in the United States and Canada as well as an orphanage in India. He wrote extensively – both commentaries on classic yogic texts as well as stories for children and adults with deeply meaningful life lessons embedded in them. Above all, Babaji was a living example of one who realized the ultimate goal of yoga, or union with their higher divine consciousness.

Learn More About Baba Hari Dass
hari dass

Our History

Dawn of a New Era

Baba Hari Dass arrived in the United States from India in 1971 and a group of devotees and students began to gather around him. The students held small classes with Babaji, organized larger weekend retreats at locations around Santa Cruz, and ultimately purchased the mountaintop property, upon which Mount Madonna Center was founded, in 1978.

Read About Our History
mount madonna yoga ayurveda center california

Community Life

Selfless Service

Mount Madonna is an intentional space for people choosing a lifestyle of conscious self-development. A deep relational field fostered during the Center’s many decades of community life provides a familial space for those who find themselves here for any length of time. Meals, classes, and common spaces are shared among residents and guests. Social life arises naturally from the founding principles of collaboration, service, practice, play, and devotion.

Approximately 85 residents, as well as an extended community of local and international volunteers, work in the spirit of selfless service to support all the activities of the mission. Selfless service (Karma Yoga) as well as individual and community yoga practice serve as foundational methods for personal reflection and creative self-expression.

Life in Community
selfless service mount madonna

Our Team

Yoga of Action

Decades of volunteerism laid the foundation for Mount Madonna, and an embodied practice of karma yoga, or “the yoga of action,” remains the ethos for all who help to sustain the organization. A dedicated team of volunteers and paid staff, governed by the Hanuman Fellowship Board of Directors and Executive Director, carry out the work of sustaining Mount Madonna.

Our GovernanceOur Staff
yoga masters california

Join Us


For those with both the heart and skill to be deeply involved in and support the operations of a lively retreat center, temple, and intentional yoga community, Mount Madonna offers unique employment pathways. Our staff are encouraged and supported in living their principles and dedicating their service to sustain the mission, vision, and values of Mount Madonna.

Explore Employment Opportunities
Set Your Intention as a Volunteer
living community california

Support our Mission

Holding Space for Personal Transformation

Mount Madonna is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization under the auspices of the Hanuman Fellowship and Advaita Society. Your gift will support stewardship of this vibrant learning community, inspirational wisdom tradition, and sacred land.

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