We just finished our third Elmore retreat. So much gratitude and thanks to the dear brother Anselm Guise for his hand in making it all happen on the beautiful land of his ancestors. What a cool place. Deep gratitude and thanks to Mama Bear Ahisha for her excellence in organizing, managing, and planning the whole thing. Wouldn't have been there were it weren't for her. And thanks and a deep bow to the angels Barbara and David for their relentless service and devotion through the weekend and days leading up. May all other angels sing their blessings to each of you in the coming days.
The setting for our third Sacred Song and Bhakti Yoga retreat was this big yurt in the middle of the English country side. A yurt big enough that it could comfortably fit 17 of us, beds blankets and pillows, nearly a dozen instruments ranging from guitars to djembes to harmoniums, and a single, central and very-important wood burning stove. British countryside in March can be a cold and wet place, so I certainly was grateful for that stove (and our epic firekeeper, Dharma Dave). Not to mention that this stove doubles as a toaster for the glorious bread that we had for the retreat! Volumes could be written about that bread but I’ll save it for another time...
It’s the sacred path I’ve chosen.
There was a lot of Magick in our preparation. The team - Ahisha, myself, David and Barbara all gathered for a crystal burying ceremony at the place where the yurt would be set up on the Tuesday before arrivals. This helped to anchor in our intentions together, sync with the land and open the portal. Once the yurt was set up, we opened up the space energetically with a yagna (yogic fire ritual) on the next night - Wednesday - before arrivals of guests on Thursday. The sacred fire and the chanting of the mahamrityunjaya mantra assisted us in clearing the remainder of psychic debris and density preventing the best possible outcomes for ourselves and the incoming passengers for the cosmic spaceship that was being created. It also helped to anchor in our yogic lineages and the presence of our teachers, guides, and the other spiritual forces present in our lives. We were creating a space for transformation and healing, which oftentimes requires a deep journey into the subconscious mind where we bring light into places that have been darkened due to unconsciousness. This was my intent, at least, and after experiencing such resonance and harmony with the team I was working with (Ahisha, Dave and B) I feel that they shared similar intentions. We certainly all wanted to show up to the best of our ability and serve the people who were coming in the highest way possible. Commitment to higher timelines requires sincere intention and preparation, and that was what we were doing.
Once the spaceship had been set, we got our last good night’s rest in a proper bed. The following day, Thursday, the pasajeros would arrive and the onboarding process would begin. Onboarding to what, exactly?
There are probably many ways you could name it, but in my words I would describe it as this: a three day intensive and investigation into the true nature of one’s being.
Drawing from multiple sacred traditions we activated our prayers through voice and sound; through songs, mantras, and music from a variety of lineages; through yoga, breathwork, meditation, fire ritual, cold plunge; and through plant medicine. We use and applied all of our practices to make the journey within to the divine realm of one’s own soul. Together, in the container of the sangha in that yurt for three straight days, we put aside our busy, scattered lives and focused all of our energy, inspiration and creativity into a single vortex of vibration to channel the highest frequencies possible and bring forth the highest dose of love, healing and transformation to all who were present.
As I fly home, I reflect on the shares in our closing circle yesterday (Sunday) , and I contemplate the completion of another deep dive like this... I would say that we succeeded.
We succeeded in alchemizing old and limiting stories about who we are and what we are capable of.
We succeeded in healing old traumas and examining the nature of our healing path.
We succeeded in downloading new instructions and blueprints for life, and our pathway forward.
We succeeded in letting go of identities and selfishness and small-mindedness and managed to step into a collective relationship with life itself - the sheer presence of Being - a place where the incredible healing nectars of Spirit flow abundantly and generously for all who are brave enough to enter Her sacred waters. I say “brave enough” because to fully enter into presence, we must let go of all attitudes and beliefs about who we are and adopt a purely innocent and responsive awareness. It is the crystalline essence of who we are - One with life and our surroundings, with each other, with the prayers and songs and traditions; One with our teachers and guides... we become the One which keeps the sacred ways passed to us by our ancestors alive, as the eternal thread of the soul continues to weave its magical web through lifetimes and across dimensions.
I am so humbly grateful to even be writing this, sharing my reflections here. I value these reflections as they help me understand the depth of the work. I hope I am not glorifying or over exaggerating. It is certainly not easy. Nor is it for everyone. To go in and face one’s own bullshit is not for the faint of heart. I’ll speak for myself and maybe you can relate : most of the time I would rather keep my separate identities as such - maintaining my separateness and desperately clinging to my tactics and strategies and the delusional mind. It’s hard to admit to myself when and where I need help to heal, when to admit I am wrong, where I can grow, and what I need to grow. It’s hard to admit those things because it means admitting to myself that I can better. And that hurts. It’s much easier to say “fuck it” and keep repeating the same ol’ same ol’. But that’s not the path that I’ve chosen. It’s the sacred path I chose. And ... for those in attendance of our third Sacred Songs and Bhakti retreat - I think I can speak for them as a quote - “it’s the sacred path we chose”.
It’s the sacred path we chose.
It’s the sacred path we chose.
It’s the sacred path we chose.
Aum Tryambakam yajaamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam
Urvaarukamiva bandhanaan-mrityormuksheeya maamritaat
We release all that is in the way of the highest truth manifesting itself through us.
To acknowledge all life as sacred.
To seek to harmonize any disharmonious energies in our own being and between us and life.
To pray on behalf of those who cannot.
To sing to the fire and the stars and the waters and the Earth.
To bow to Pachamama and the ways of Nature.
To honor our ancient traditions and the torch passed to us by our ancestors.
To honor each other as sacred mirrors and reflections of our own essence, and to learn to love all that is felt and seen and shared so that it can be alchemized by the fires of divinity.
To fully and bravely step into our power as humans of Presence and Love, standing in the integrity of our own being and the truth of the life that beats through our persistently throbbing hearts.
Yeah, I would say it was a success.
With tears, with joy, with a heart-wide open to the endlessly expanding potentials of a group dedicated to the same thing - a Sangha - I bow.
Thank you all so much for your courage, your bravery, your willingness, your devotion.
Thank you to all of our teachers - the presence and support of them was overwhelming this weekend.
Thank you to the sacred music, the voices, the mantras, the methods. The sādhana.
Special thanks to my soul sister Ahisha for stepping forward on this path and asking me to step forward with her.
Gratitude to the angels - Dharma and B. You guys are 👊 .
To the rest of you - you are family to me.
Many many blessings to Ans and Elmore court
for all the magic transpiring on that land.
Much love all.