In 1983 Victor “Vyasa” Landa, after the preparation under his Guru, Oscar Basurto Carbonell, and upon returning from a long sojourn in India, started teaching the Spiritual Science of Yoga in the Hatha-Yoga classical modality taught by Swami Sivananda Saraswati of Rishikesh.
To offer students a better understanding of the purpose of Yoga, which is to join the human being with God (Yoga means union), the Shanti Yoga Center for Harmony was formed. In 1992 this was expanded into the School of Life Educational Society, in which those seriously interested in committing their lives to their spiritual development could pursue the studies and practices that such an endeavor demands.
The School of Life offers a curriculum of comprehensive studies in the different areas of the Spiritual Science of Yoga and its complimentary sciences, Ayurveda and Tantra. Ayurveda is a preventative and remedial art covering the study of the physical body; while tantra covers mental health, development and control. These two disciplines are interwoven with the study of the methods and practices designed for spiritual development, leading to surrender to God and Self-realization, that is, Yoga.
Using this basic foundation, as a preparation for a truly spiritual life, the members of the School of Life were then invited to undertake a more formal structural development by fulfilling some established requirements that qualified them for different levels of activity and more advanced studies as well.
At this point the need for communal living was seen as a necessity to foster the spiritual development of the members of School of Life and to give an opportunity to any individual interested in exploring the merits of a spiritually based life. The Shanti Yoga Ashram came into existence inspired by the model of Shantivanam, rooted in a strong Catholic Benedictine tradition. Shantivanam was founded in Tamil Nadu by the Benedictine monk, Father Henri le Saux and his successor, the late Father Bede Griffiths, also a Benedictine monk, who had been previously trained by Fr. Francis Archaya at the Mountain of the Cross ashram in Kerela, South India.
In 1997, in response to the need for a higher quality of food that would nourish the body and the human spirit, Spiritual Food for the New Millennium was founded. SFNM consists of the Spiritual Food CSA (community supported agriculture), a small store at the ashram and a nationwide mail order service.\\
The 9/11 tragedy with its outburst of violence called for the incorporation of Global Coalition for Peace, a 501(c)(3), with the purpose of spreading the message of non-violence and extending the practice of Karma Yoga (selfless service) for the members of the School of Life. Several projects were established stressing the importance of faith-based spirituality and the need to incorporate a spiritual element into any human endeavor.
School of Life members who had finished the studies of Shanti Marga (the Path of Peace) at the level required continued their studies in a program called Shanti Kshatriya (Warrior of Peace) that includes the study of the scriptures of the major religions, different forms of worship and/or communion with the Divine.
As a result of these studies, the light that illumined the mission to be embraced by the members of the School of Life, and that would lead to the incorporation of the Essene Church of Peace became clear. The study of the lifestyle and teachings of the Essene Brotherhood, to which Victor “Vyasa” Landa had been introduced in his early training by his guru (teacher) Oscar Basurto Carbonell, was reinforced by those brought to light by Edmond Bordeux Szekely through the discovery of The Essene Gospel of Peace in the secret archives of the Vatican. This gospel and related documents about the Brotherhood lifestyle and purpose were identified even before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Szekely translated the Essene Gospel of Peace from the Aramaic and proceeded to compile information about this ancient brotherhood. These materials became the inspiration for the establishment of The Essene Church of Peace in Maryland in 2006.
Thus, from Vyasa’s intention to offer students a better understanding of the true purpose of Yoga has sprung the School of Life Educational Society – a yoga-centered community, Spiritual Food for the New Millennium and the two independent non-profits, Global Coalition for Peace and The Essene Church of Peace.
* 1983 – Victor “Vyasa” Landa begins teaching Yoga in the Classical Hatha Yoga style
* 1985 – Shanti Yoga Center for Harmony opens
* 1992 – School of Life Educational Society established
* 1997 – Spiritual Food for the New Millennium/Spiritual Food CSA commences
* 2001 – Global Coalition for Peace, independent non-profit, is started
* 2006 – Essene Church of Peace established