Many of us feel trapped in just such a desert. Sure, we can find an abundance of food in the grocery store and then take it back to our home which provides shelter. But food and shelter are only the most basic of our needs. Community support and love from friends and family are fundamental pillars of our ultimate need, which is a spiritual path to awakening.
The lack of support most of us feel for a spiritual path is made starkly clear to me when I help facilitate transformational retreats. During these experiences a community is created amongst the participants that is rich and alive. I marvel as I observe a group of strangers come together to live in harmony for weeks at a time. During these retreats unbreakable bonds are created of love, trust, acceptance, and support. At the conclusion of our retreats, many participants (who have become family) are sad to go back to their homes because they don’t live in the environment of love that is needed for transcendence.
I bow to my fellow meditators, nobody speaks, nobody willing to break the perfection of silence. Upon returning home, I await the call of the goat herder who passes my door every morning, who fills my jars with milk straight from the udder… “leche!” he cries. I brew a cup of coffee from beans grown in the hills above the village. I make eggs that were sold to me by a little girl who’s best friends are her chickens. Sauerkraut was fermented locally using bacterias from the air we breathe. The sour dough bread, too, is made from fermented dough leaving it gluten-free and mouthwateringly delicious. My community supports me, even in my morning meal.
Days in my village are never boring nor understimulating. My mind is excited by the rich conversations held in the local tea house. Impromptu gatherings are held in the alleys where we share our thoughts and ideas. Quieting my mind is supported too with many offerings around town ranging from Tai Chi, various styles of meditation, breath work, ecstatic dance, yoga and much more.
March 6th - March 10th, 2017
May 1st - May 10th, 2017
May 16th - June 14th