Here I am sitting in the foyer of my hotel in India taking some time out reflecting on my journey over the past three weeks, what an incredible trip it has been.
If I think back to arriving on the first day meeting new faces, we were feeling a little apprehensive as we introduced ourselves to the group, fast forward twelve nights and we are like one big happy family and it feels like a life time ago.
I have been sitting here all morning feeling quite overwhelmed with emotion starting to write this post. The trip has been absolutely breath taking, it’s a little difficult to put into words the whole experience to be honest, my spirit is still processing each awakening and will be for some time.
Before I left for India my emotions were tender, I was very excited and a little nervous. I was over the moon I was fulfilling a dream by traveling to India, there was a deep knowing that it would feel like home and it did. My soul was also feeling a little nervous about what to expect by immersing myself in the depths of rounding for twelve days. Prior to leaving Melbourne I attended two days of rounding which consisted of three rounds each day (each round goes for between fifty minutes to an hour), which was a great introduction. In saying that, the retreat was going to another extreme of up to ten rounds a day with a total of eighty one rounds over twelve days.
For those of you who don’t know what rounding is; rounding is a specific sequence of yoga asana, pranayama (breathing technique) and meditation. This very powerful advanced technique will expand your meditation practice and give your body the deep rest it’s desiring.
The rounding retreat was a process of going deep into the subconscious, dissolving stresses in the nervous system and resolving old patterns, habits and behaviours. This whole experience of awakening to ‘who you really are’ was massive for all of us, even for someone like myself who has done a lot of deep healing there are still those next layers there that are ready to be healed. Laura and Jonni mentioned to us at the start of the retreat that a rounding retreat of this intensity brings the equivalent benefit of over two years of daily meditation. Mind blowing when you think about it and very exciting for someone like myself who has a deep calling to reach a very high state of consciousness.
We began our first day of the retreat with ten people jammed into one rickshaw (tuk tuk, which is an Indian style of transport), on the way to buy traditional Indian clothes in town. ‘Welcome to the intimacy and connectedness of this beautiful land!’, quoted by our beautiful Laura who held the retreat.
Daily Ganga swims for purification of the mind, body and spirit, working beautifully as we were rounding. The skin on my body has never felt so hydrated from swimming in the Ganga, I usually soak my skin daily with coconut oil or jojoba oil and I haven’t used it once whilst I have been here, amazing. The Ganga River is the most sacred river to all Indian’s.
Navaratri – a Vedic celebration of Mother Divine over nine nights. ‘Nava-ratri’ literally means ‘nine nights’. During the celebration the Divine Mother energy (Shakti) is worshiped in her nine forms. We all gathered daily for a Durga Yagna (fire ceremony) with Pandit Baskaran on the banks of the Ganga. It was a very powerful experience of chanting mantras, offerings, fire and purification. I missed some nights due to rounding but this was held right outside my bedroom window where I could feel the energy so strongly, just incredible. These ceremonies were very intense, stripping off layers and layers of karma, negativity and old energy that has been suppressed, illuminating the light and power of the divine within.
Evening knowledge sessions were one of my favourite parts of the retreat. Laura and Jonni shared their wisdom about self love, creating conscious relationships, the art of conscious communication and expanded our understanding of the mechanics of the mind to help us recognise, access and stabilise the experience of bliss in everyday life.
We visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Ashram where we had Vedic knowledge sessions talking all things love and relationships where the ‘Beatles’, ‘Farrah Fawcett’ and ‘George Lucas’ learnt to round with Maharishi in the 1960’s.
After the retreat we traveled down south of India, we attended the opening of a meditation centre of a friend of ours which is called ‘SILENCE DYNAMISM PALACE’ in Chennai (south of India). There was a fire ceremony before Shiva was installed in the ‘yoga pool’ and then an abishekam ceremony (pouring of libations on to a statue) to activate the Shiva power.
My absolute highlight after the retreat was traveling down south to visit ‘Mahananda Siddhas Mountain’, this was one of the most profound experiences I have ever had. Siddha is 85 yrs old and is expected to live too 500 yrs. He can meditate by lying on fire and has demonstrated that it is possible to live without eating food or drinking water which he has done for many years now. The energy clearing and profound infinite intelligence that was running through me on this day left me speechless and has transformed something deep within.
I could keep writing for hours and hours, there is so much more to share and I will as the week’s go on.
Fifteen spiritual beings having a human experience, we all made deep soul connections that will last this life time and beyond. I feel so blessed to have been able to share this vulnerable, raw, authentic and loving space with such divine souls. This is definitely the beginning of many special times shared together.
Some words to sum my three weeks in India; eighty one rounds, vulnerable, raw, authentic, open, consciousness, love, oneness, infinite, intense, diving deep inward and transformational.
May my sharing give you goose bumps like the experience gave me for three weeks long.
Much love & gratitude,