Tuesday, December 20, 2011

a sonoma ashram summary....fullness overflowing

Greetings Friends!

I arrived home late last night from California. Some of you have seen photos of Sonoma Ashram which is where I stayed Monday - Friday. The video above will give you a tiny taste of just how sweet this place is plus the amazing work they are doing in the world.

Everything about it.

I journaled nearly four straight hours on my flight yesterday from San Francisco to Chicago about my trip. I'm saving most of it for myself. For now anyway. My trip, especially my time at the ashram was very different than I expected it to be.

I was excited to see a dear yoga student and spend much time alone, contemplating the year. Similar to my silent retreat in the woods last December. I was planning to visit local coffee shops to read and write. Perhaps tour a couple of wineries. It is Sonoma afterall. ;)

I did very little of any, especially the latter. Much of my waking time was spent with people there. Either residents, fellow retreatees, and the monk who resides at the ashram.

I spent little time reflecting on my roller coaster of a year. Mostly I basked in the goodness around me. And it felt good.


I thought I wanted, that I needed to be alone with my own thoughts and emotions.

What I needed was to be in the company, in a community of others on a path of love. I needed to get out of my head and use my hands.
I needed to help. To give back. To be of service.
I needed to get back to my meditation practice.
I needed to sing, and chant, and walk with no particular destination in mind.
I needed to stop doing. And get back to being.
I needed to be reminded that I am indeed on the right path.
I needed to be in the presence of someone who reminded me that we are all divine indeed.
I needed to be reminded that there is magic and mystery all around us. And that sometimes all it takes is a pause.
I needed to be reminded of my intuition.

And the goodness of giving and the power of a smile and a kind word.

My time included twice daily meditations.
Daily group inspirational reading and discussion while sipping homemade Tulsi tea (the tulsi is grown and dried at the ashram).
Digging in dirt to help with a paving project.
Folding and stuffing papers.
Teaching yoga. Talking yoga.
Moving furniture.
Walking the labryinth.
Sitting in one of the many perfect spots for meditation or sun bathing.
Silent meals.
Listening inquisitively to the most enlightening yet practical teachings I've ever heard.
Sacred time spent with Babaji.

Happy. Happy.

It's only now that I realize just how much I needed this time.
Fullness overflowing.

I can't wait to see those of you here at the studio soon! I've missed you.....

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