This yearís retreat was perfect for the children and the inner child in each of us. Not only was there an epic slide and mini golf course for the kids, but also bhajans, drum circles and sound baths for the mamas and the papas!
The children loved spending time with Swamiji, playing basketball and ping-pong in the gym, and the adults were inspired by his Q and A and grateful he was able to join us on the Oregon Coast for bhajans, Arathi and Closing Prayers before hurrying back to lead a silent retreat in San Ramon.
The weather was chill, even offering hail and snow, and the ocean venue was perfect, with its high, rolling waves and roaring surf! The facilities were warm and snug and tramping through the woods between buildings was invigorating, as was the wind, rain and sunshine (even) on the beach.
Many were pleasantly surprised by all the extra healing events: Gargiís wonderful Healing Sound Bath, and Shuba and Chiís transformative Heart Awakening workshop. And, the Ganapati Homa with Pujarini Meera was yet another sublime experience. The excellent workshop on recycling, picking up garbage wherever we go, and the need to eliminate plastic waste was also inspiring, and Karen Storyís mosaic activity provided a quiet, focused space for children of all ages to merge with their NW Amma community, while tapping their creative juices.
Sumati and Ravi worked steadily, with a small but enthusiastic crew of Sevites to produce the delicious food we were treated to day and night, and there were even two authentic Indian dinners, with numerous items including sambhar and potatoes.
It was a pleasure watching the well-organized members of the Portland Satsang, making everything run smoothly, and everyone doing their sevas so well. And, of course, the stalwart Seattle crew was indispensible: Ishwari, with her sound system, and Meera, Lalitha and Karthik, with their instruments. And, Karen Story and a few volunteers organized the altar with a beautiful picture of AMMA, and the lamps and flowers and Arunimaís delicious prasad.
In the final analysis, it is always great to catch up with folks we donít get to see outside the summer tour, and it is this that makes each yearís winter retreat so special. They are like big family reunions where we get to know each other better and better, one year after another!
Photo Credit - Krishnan, Mehas, Arianne, Hana, Haley, Mulloch