a pretty picture of the spiritual retreat center in MA, featuring a big sign to the entrance of their campus reading “Kripalu”, has been on my dream board for going on 2 years now. ever since Joseph & i went on a retreat to Omega Institute in NY a while back, i’ve wanted to go on another one. but somehow we never got around to it. maybe because we subconsciously thought, why go on one spiritual retreat, when we could go on TWO fun getaways with beautiful accommodations, for the same price?? haha 🙂
but my soul had been starting to feel really brittle, so i knew i needed this, i knew i needed to make a conscious effort to get myself there one way or another. i knew the time and investment were worth it. so i made a determination to go, in my heart, no matter what. joseph was right on board with me. and of course right after we made that decision, we got our tax return, which would cover a lot of it, so i felt it was a sure sign! and of course i should have known this, as i have a quote taped up by my desk by Sark saying, “go to where you want to be, and the resources will follow” 😉
another reason i was drawn to going, was not only would this be a spiritual retreat, but a musical one. i found that Snatam Kaur, would be leading one of the retreats, so i specifically chose to go to hers. if you don’t know who Snatam is, her music is played in many yoga classes all over. she’s also almost always a featured performer for yoga festivals all over. i once was yoga-ing away during a class, and heard a beautiful voice singing a beautiful melody, and found later it was Snatam’s music. and since then, we have collected and enjoyed a few of her albums. spirituality, combined with MUSIC, why of COURSE i would have to go to this!! and to be in the same room as the source of this beautiful music, for several days? of course! my heart was drawn and there was no way back, as part of me feeling brittle is always because of a lack of music in my world.
and what a beautiful, transcending experience it was. Kripalu is a beautiful retreat space. full of such high, light, beautiful energy throughout the property. i’m usually very sensitive to energies wherever i go, especially if i am to sleep somewhere new. i didn’t get one bad vibe here at all, it just felt so peaceful and clear. and wonderful, nutritious food the whole time, too, which always helps your overall wellbeing.
we got there, and i was walking into the main room where the workshop would take place. i turned my head to the right, and there she was 🙂 she gave me the warmest smile, where i could almost physically feel it. it was almost startling, her energy was just so light and bright and full of love. she’s just one of those people that can change your insides just by being in their presence, i think she may be a human angel. and i realize i want to embody that kind of energy. i want my music to bring light to people’s souls. and to make music like that, i need to keep going in that direction myself.
we did a whole lot a meditative chanting, and by the 2nd day, i was spiritually and physically worn out. and during a chant, with the beautiful live music being played, i found myself getting really emotional. first with so much anger, over something minor (which is usually masking something major!). i was so angry and couldn’t control my eyes tearing up over it. i had to get up and leave the room. and when i came back, of course i continued to cry. and this time it ended up being because i felt so lost. i kept asking whoever or whatever is out there, ‘what am i supposed to do in this world? what is my purpose and howw do i do it?? help me find my music. help me find my music.’ all of my confusion and struggles of searching just came tumbling out. and of course the music is what made me cry the most. the beauty of it, and my heart wanting to do it so much and loving it so much. and i felt so worn out by the end of the day. i even thought i wouldn’t mind going home already.
Snatam was having a concert that evening, though. i was worn out, but walked over to the hall with Joseph anyway. we ended up being able to sit in the very front, right in front of the musicians. and… it was just so beautiful. beautiful voices, strings, tabla. i found myself singing along, even if i didn’t know some of the songs, i just started singing harmonies to go along with the music, and it was magical. you know when you’re listening to live music and it just takes you to another plane? i was on another plane, the whole room was. the power of music. we were all lifted to a higher level. and it rejuvenated me. filled me up. and confirmed that music has such a high power. and i was given the gift of music. so i need to be using it somehow. even if it’s hard. even if i feel lost and helpless and don’t know HOW.
and the next morning, i made it to the 4:30am yoga & meditation. (yes, i said 4:30am! i’ll try anything once;)) and during the savasana (lying down meditation), i saw bright lights, and colors, on another plane, like i was on during the concert. i started crying again. it was a beautiful day. Snatam had a cd signing, so i was able to talk to her and she said she’s been watching the two of us and was happy to see us grow so much 🙂 i told her i was a musician as well and we talked about the songwriting process a bit. i also gave her and her band copies of my album as a gift.
joseph bought us some beautiful malas there, his purple amethyst, and mine, pink rose quartz. we put them on the rest our time there. to infuse them with the energies of Kripalu so we could take them home with us. we wore them while we walked their beautiful labryinth, and put them on the Angel and Buddha statue that was at the center of it. i whispered my dreams and released them to the world.
we met in group discussions with the same group throughout. and made wonderful friends with like minded souls. we were to draw pictures of our states of being. mine is below. i drew me on a boat, flower in my hair, following the sun around the world, leaving behind music, beauty, and love wherever i go. and we still keep in contact with the great people we met. (so glad to have met you Laurie, John, Sara, Tom!)
yes, it was a Kundalini retreat. and there was a Buddha statue at the center of the labyrinth. but i always think of a quote i read somewhere, that when dealing with reading books, or spirituality in general, “be a sieve, not a sponge”. and i stand by that, and have for a while. i always takes what works for me and leave what doesn’t. and what i leave may work better for someone else. after all, who knows what’s best for you the most? you, of course.
we went to the cafeteria for our final meal, and chose a table next to a wall. and while we were sitting there, Snatam’s husband, little girl, and band members were looking for somewhere to sit. they chose a nearby table. but her little girl shook her head and pointed right at our table and said she wanted to sit there. i love kids 🙂 so we had our last meal with Snatam’s band and family, and it was so nice to connect and talk to them about everything. they even said they had listened to my cd and i have beautiful voice!! we were blessed 🙂 and this retreat was just what i needed.
i still don’t know for sure, where i’m going. but i do know i’m on the right path <3