Spark and Exuberance
Inner Engineering Leadership Retreat in Santa Monica
Just a few short days after Thanksgiving, participants came literally flying in from everywhere to attend the Inner Engineering Leadership Retreat with Sadhguru in Santa Monica, California.
Sadhguru's flawless weave of timeless wisdom combined with their eagerness quickly overcame any jet lag and time zone issues. The boutique hotel which was the venue for the program made for an intimate elegant setting with a spectacular, bright, panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean, and the city of Los Angeles in the distance.
Since almost all of the participants had read the book Midnights With The Mystic before they arrived, they soon settled into a genuine receptivity, sharing quite openly their reason for coming in the first evening's intro talk. One person had seen Sadhguru speak at the recent TED conference in Mysore a few weeks prior, and knew immediately she wanted to be in his Presence. Another man, a musician/composer for TV and film, said that he was there to gain control over his interior repetitive thought process and create more peace inside himself.
At some point, Sadhguru spoke about his experience with a life-threatening illness and his subsequent extraordinary healing at Kailash. Through the intimate mystique created by the Master's words, his impeccable discourse, and the gradual introduction into the practice of Shambhavi Maha Mudra, one could see the sparks of understanding and awareness beginning to break through each person's countenance, session by session. "This is remarkable," one woman commented during a short break, "Sharing this experience with Sadhguru, I am excited again about my life and feel changed already." After a simple stretching segment another participant commented, "I've never felt so light in all my life, and yet it was so simple. I need to slow down and do that every day."
Meals of course were an opportunity to sit with Sadhguru who moved from group to group, spending specific time talking about whatever was on their minds and in their hearts personally and globally. As he described the profound efforts of Isha Foundation in regard to the development of the US Center, Isha Vidhya, Action for Rural Rejuvenation and Project GreenHands, you could see hearts being touched, and a deepening of authentic interest to help growing in the eyes of those listening to Sadhguru.
By the time initiation came, the group arrived back in the room with glistening eyes, anticipating the precious event with reverence.
On the final day, the prasad closing, always so tender and tear-filled, suddenly turned into a dance of joy and exuberance. After some long and some short good-byes, volunteers from all over the LA area came pouring out of the elevator like the cavalry to save the day, and packed up the event in record time with that inimitable Isha style of cooperative organization tinged with a little chaos to keep us all alive and light on our feet.
A volunteer summed up her impressions with the following words: "We were all running on inspired energy. New friendships have been made, new frontiers have been explored, and a new understanding of many things has been given. This is something that one MUST experience. We all take away something unique."