We all might have traveled to various places with friends and family but how about the trip to connect with your soul family – A spiritual retreat. A spiritual retreat brings out the best in you and now I am just sharing my experience of the first retreat at Rishikesh from 22nd June 2018 to 25th June 2018.
When the opportunity for this trip came up, the odds were all against it. A solo trip, leaving my 4-year-old behind was something I had never done before. I was certain that my family wouldn’t agree. And truth be told, my own heart wasn’t sure of traveling alone. But it was magical how smoothly things transitioned. As they say, when things are meant to be, the universe conspires to make it happen. My husband readily supported me. My daughter expressed the desire to spend a couple of days with her grandmother… And I suddenly found the strength to leave my introvertness behind and take this journey, which was to change my life/perspective in so many ways.
About my Guru –
Vishal ShriPaul – Master & Life coach. He is founder at The Mahasatsanga foundation. He is simple human being lovingly called V. His main teaching is to make everyone full of love and gratitude.
In my personal views, he is a friend or an elder brother I can share anything and everything very easily. He is also fun to be with as he always instructs to not to be serious in life for serious patients are meant to be in ICU. He believes that we all should live freely. He can heal anyone with his magical voice and guidance. I have various experienced magical experiences with his different guided meditation. He shares his immense knowledge in such a way which is easy to understand.
About the retreat –
This retreat was filled with meditation, discourses, walk-in forest, Surya Kriya at the banks of Ganges amidst nature, Fun at river Ganga, sessions, asanas, Trekking to jhilmil cave and much more. At the beginning of the retreat, we were given instructions by V that the theme for this retreat is to be childlike and we were given different names so we break the conditioning of our mind to relate to an identity or maybe just to have a new birth.
As we entered the resort, the entry gate was filled with beautiful pink flowers on the top and the garden area filled with greenery and flowers. The Jeevan Utsav resort had simple basic rooms without AC and TV (Unlike the normal resort or hotel rooms) and this made us bring closer to nature and to soul family. They served delicious food with love all the time – Definitely awesome arrangement for perfect stay. In following early morning for the first time in my life, I had experienced the magic of Surya kriya. We went to banks of Ganga river to perform Surya kriya and it was the awe-inspiring experience to feel one of the best mornings in life. This made us filled with the pure energy of sun rays. And I realized that what it means to feel the nature so pure, so peaceful and so mesmerizing. We had fun at river Ganga too and enjoyed a lot. Thereafter the whole day was filled with discourses, knowledge sharing, Meditation and some relaxation time followed by evening bhajans and questions/answers.
Experience of Jhilmil Cave –
The next day we had planned to go to Jhilmil cave and got ready by early morning. The way to Jhilmil cave was trekking of around 5 to 6 kms and I felt scared as I don’t really have the habit of walking. But when in the group we all support each other and motivate each other. I got inspired the way “old age but young at heart” people were enthusiastically walked on the trekking path. And then we performed meditation at Cave, again the first-lifetime experience… never heard or never did this before in my life. But the experience was awesome and beyond words to experience. I experienced the state of no thoughts at all. I felt like a Jyoti is entering in me from the top and felt cold shiver just like someone is pouring the cold water from the top and entering directly within me. I completely surrendered myself to Babaji. And then in the bottom, I saw beautiful grass freshly filled with water but so green in color that I have never seen in my life ever. And I found out what is the true meaning of “Feeling blessed”. Thank you, Babaji for all grace showered.
Trekking experience –
On our way back, I took advantage of my slow pace walk and intentionally got separated from group… half of the members ahead of me and half of the members behind me. I wanted to connect with nature… I sat around the corner of the tree and hugged that tree as if we do to our mother and it felt like a lap of Mother Nature. I opened my ear to listen to the winds through leaves that made feel like the waterfall but actually, there was no waterfall. I heard birds chirping and admiring the beauty of nature with the thoughtless mind. Maybe I was totally present at the moment feeling loved by Mother Nature and not a worry that group might be waiting for me. I opened my arms wide as if I wanted to collect the whole peaceful beautiful this part of the world in my arms and if someone was watching me then he/she might have thought that I am crazy. And I walked more slowly touching leaves, capturing flowers on the way and in between sat down and started writing my feelings in notebook… and then members behind me came and I joined them to return.
Overall Experience –
This trip truly transformed me from within and before this trip, I was not happy though there is no actual reason for my unhappiness. But then on this trip, I realized love means the absence of judgment. This is all we need to be happy. A simple hug filled with divine love can do wonders. A soul family connection is just like brother and sisters. The positive vibes from V were so strong that it made us positive and energetic. I am not the night person but in this trip, I slept only for few hours max 4 hours or so, as we chit-chat with divine members or bhajans in the late evening but felt energetic just by standing nearby V or having communication about positive things, meditation and much more. I wonder our daily life too will become miracle if we stop judging others and drop our ego to look within to improve yourself instead of failed attempts to change others. I learned that we need to accept each other just as the way they are and we truly experience what V shared with us in the beginning –
ॐ सहनाववतु सहनौभुनक्तु सहवीर्यं करवावहै, तेजस्विना वधीतमस्तु मां विद्विषावहै।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः।
अर्थ- हम सभी एक-दूसरे की रक्षा करें। हम साथ-साथ भोजन करें। हम साथ-साथ काम करें। हम साथ-साथ उज्जवल और सफल भविष्य के लिए अध्यनन करें। हम कभी भी एक-दूसरे से घृणा न करें।