Sadhguru’s program in Los Angeles on October 15 & 16, the first of three large-scale Shambhavi Mahamudra initiations this fall, was a wonderful opportunity for the 274 participants and over 150 volunteers. Many volunteers arrived early Friday at the Long Beach convention center to begin the preparations. Their excited work continued through the night until the next day. A few hours before the program’s opening, the hall began to fill with eager participants, who eventually filled every inch of the orange carpets.

In the first session, some participants confessed to completing multiple sessions of the online program just the night before in order to not miss the opportunity to be in Sadhguru’s presence and learn the Shambhavi practice. Though the schedule was packed tight in order to learn the full practice in a weekend, Sadhguru found time to answer questions, and personally spend time with many participants, who during the breaks formed lines at Sadhguru’s dais to ask personal questions or simply bow down in gratitude.

All through the program, the Los Angeles Sounds of Isha group strummed some merry tunes, always greeted by clapping and dancing. Smiling volunteers could be found everywhere, checking in participants, arranging shoes, preparing and serving food, arranging the Isha Shoppe, correcting practices, keeping everything running smoothly and simply doing whatever was needed.

Sunday’s session began with a round of games at a nearby park overlooking the ocean. Two powerful initiations, delicious raw food meals, and insightful questions and answers filled the day. Many volunteers joined the participants for the lunch, meeting them and sharing the varied stories of how they had come to learn about the program. However they had come, the overwhelming feeling was clear that everyone was completely happy to be present, knowing what a privilege it was to be in Sadhguru’s presence. The end of the program saw tears on many faces and an emotional group hug with Sadhguru, which quickly turned into smiles and dancing as Sounds of Isha played Alai Alai.

Local volunteers will continue to meet with the new meditators for the next few months, graciously opening their offices and homes for sessions of practice questions and corrections in order to nurture the seed that has been planted in each participant.