One of the things I love about ashrams is the almost universal goodwill among the residents (whether these residents be long term or short). Almost without fail these places are filled with people that are searching for some sort of path to enlightenment or connection with the infinite (or god, if you prefer). As seekers, they are very open to all kinds of people. Here at Sivananda, for example, I have met really great and open people from places as diverse as Mexico, Iran, Israel, France, Autralia, Canada, Germany, and Brazil. They all share an open spirit and want to discuss the meaning of life with each other. Some of it may be touchy feely or new age, but for some reason none of that bothers me here. I accept at face value the sincerity of everyone, regardless of their path, and it makes for some wonderful exchanges.