On Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, two family members and I drove 3 hours to Stockbridge, at the edge of Massachusetts. We had a reservation to stay at Kripalu, the spiritual retreat center devoted to the practice of yoga and health. The weeks prior to Thanksgiving were so hectic that I needed this time to focus on my inner life – without work or social commitment of any kind. Everything is taken care of at Kripalu, and this allowed me to relax deeply.
We signed up for the Kundalini Program because I have been curious about this powerful energy. The wisdom of the discipline is to awaken the Kundalini to rise up from the base of the spinal column to increase the creative potential. (I must say that this is in the service of developing mind, body, spirit integration and self-love!)
My heartbeat relaxed Friday night at an introductory yoga class. This was time for reflection and letting go. Later that night at our formal program, we learned to focus on gratitude and grace. I made the intention to strengthen my voice – to be heard in the world through my writings. Our teachers, two women leaders and two male musicians, were Sikhs – glowing, passionate, authentic, gifted. We meditated for two hours + 7 hours on Saturday + 3 hours on Sunday. Usually the meditations included exercises and chanting, which moved our intentions physically in the body…or moved out any energy that no longer served.
We decided to have Aruvedic facials, which include natural oils and tinctures. It was glorious. The food was delicious while the facility was clean and calming. Staff was friendly and helpful.
When I got home on Sunday afternoon, I was catapulted from this repose by a letter from a friend/business associate. There was a miscommunication involving almost $800 and this amount was deducted from a check I received. This aroused a lot of uncomfortable and conflicting feelings that I had to resolve for myself, and convey to this person. This was especially challenging after an idyllic weekend…it actually felt like ice water was thrown on my face – a spiritual challenge…that, I am told, often happens after spiritual calm…I had new growth that could be tested. Oy vey! This took several days to accomplish and we are still working through the details to move forward to a new understanding, which respects both of us…
Thanksgiving dinner was an opportunity to relate and communicate over wonderfully prepared food while the meditative weekend allowed inner exploration – sustenance for the soul. These two aspects were a perfectly balanced experience, which fed me on many levels…to celebrate grace, gratitude and the challenge of interaction.
Happy Hanukkah! I will speak to you on December 21st as we continue to prepare for the festival of lights…
Lotus position by Craftyjoe www.freedigitalphotos.net