he All USA Meeting (AUM), "Becoming Collective," will take place this year in California, August 28-September 1. The program will include a rich variety of talks, workshops, meditations, group interaction, and discussion. A partial, tentative list of speakers includes Anand Reddy from the Sri Aurobindo Ashram school, Bhavana Dee and Shraddhalu from Auroville, and Peter Heehs of the Sri Aurobindo Archives.
AUM '98 will be held at the Monte Toyon Retreat Center near the town of Aptos, located about two hours south of San Francisco and about an hour's drive south of San Jose. The retreat center is laid out on gentle slopes among giant redwoods, and the grounds will be cool and inviting in late August. Monte Toyon has a meditation chapel, an outdoor amphitheater, a volleyball court, hiking trails, and many other facilities.
he AUM Organizing Committee requests that if you plan to attend AUM '98, you use the San Jose Airport if possible. Airlines that serve the airport are Alaska/Horizon, American, America West, Continental, Delta/Skywest, Mexicana, Northwest, Reno Air, Southwest, TWA, and United.
Transportation to and from the San Jose Airport is included in the registration fee. The trip takes about an hour, and vans will shuttle people to AUM every few hours on Friday, Saturday, Monday afternoon, and Tuesday. AUM volunteers will try to accommodate people who arrive at other airports (San Francisco or Oakland), but this may involve delays in transportation.
If you are driving, Aptos is between Watsonville and Santa Cruz. A quick way from San Francisco is to take Highway 101 south to Gilroy, Route 152 west to the coast, and Route 1 north to Aptos. From Los Angeles, take Interstate 5 north, take Route 152 west to Gilroy and on to the coast, then take Route 1 north to Aptos.
Help on the way
f you are on a limited budget, some partial scholarships are available. There will also be a work-exchange program whereby you can reduce your daily fee up to $20 per day by participating for a few hours per day in some aspect of conference work. The amount of work available may vary from day to day. Please let us know as soon as possible if you wish to be involved in work exchange.
Children and families
hildren and families are welcome. The rooms at Monte Toyon can accommodate families quite well, and there will be special activities for young children (including a children's room with toys, games, and a puppet theater). Child care will be available during major presentations.
The AUM committee is working to reduce the cost for children, and has established a "virtual parent" fund so that families will be able to afford to come to the conference. If you wish to make a donation to this fund, please contact the Sri Aurobindo Association at the address below.
Registration fee and accommodations
he registration fee covers all events, room and meals, and transportation from local airports at the beginning and the end of the conference. Accommodations at Monte Toyon vary from four-person semiprivate rooms to dorm rooms with ten persons per room.
Registration fee: Semiprivate room (four beds per room), $85/day; dorm room (8-10 beds per room), $65/day; single-day pass, $50/day; children 12 years and younger, $25/day or less, depending on size of the virtual parent fund.
If you register for the full conference (four days) before April 15, 1998, you will receive a $25 discount on the total cost. Registration deposit is $100. If you cancel before July 1, you will receive 100% of your deposit back; if you cancel before August 1, you will receive 50% of your deposit back.
If you wish to have more private accommodates, motels and hotels are available in Aptos. Camping is available at nearby Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park and at New Brighton, Manresa, and Sunset State Beaches.
To register, please use the AUM '98 registration form. If you are not on the Sri Aurobindo Association mailing list and have not yet received a form, you may obtain one from the SAA at the address below.
or more information and/or to obtain a conference registration form, please contact the Sri Aurobindo Association, Box 163237, Sacramento, CA, 95816; phone, (209) 339-3710, extension 6; fax, (209) 339-3715; e-mail, email@example.com.