Set on a cliff face, the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Beach, California, affords its guests a nearly aerial view of the cerulean Pacific Ocean. From its expansive windows, the surfers below appear to be birds dotting the shoreline and at dusk, the rays from the orange-hued sunset dance playfully with the water, as far as the eye can see.
This was the setting for the second US Leadership Retreat with Sadhguru and 48 participants that attended from Peru, England, India, Mexico, and throughout the United States. This wonderfully eclectic group, that included many executives from the Young Presidents' Organization, anxiously assembled that first evening - eager to delve into the program.
With his characteristic wit and unassailable logic, Sadhguru led the group through an intense three and a half day Inner Engineering. Notwithstanding the rigorous schedule and intensity of the program, the participants merged into its rhythm with relative ease. By the end of the first day, the participants were engaging Sadhguru in discourses on a multitude of subjects from politics to the more existential aspects of life.
Between sessions, Sadhguru led the whole group on a hike down the cliffside stairway and onto the blustery beach, attracting a fair amount of attention. Once on the beach, each of the participants reveled in the experience in their own unique way. With the gusty wind, hot sand, cool ocean water and Sadhguru's Frisbee hurling through the air, the walk was a feast for the senses.
Participants returned from the afternoon hike to a wonderful gourmet dinner served on a sunset-filled balcony while being serenaded by one of our very talented meditators playing violin.
As the weekend unfolded, the group became more understanding of the profound nature of Sadhguru's offering and grateful for the opportunity to experience Inner Engineering in such an intimate environment.
At mealtimes Sadhguru continued to share, sitting with many people crowded around the table, talking and laughing as the conversation unfolded from one subject to the next while the sounds of violins and drums cascaded through the air.
Adding to the experience, one evening, a meditator entertained the group with a transcendent Sufi-style dance performance, inviting members of the audience into the center to dance with her, while others sang and played music, keeping the group enthralled.
A most touching part of the weekend was Sadhguru's acknowledgment of his daughter, Radhe's presence in the class and her initiation into Shambavi Maha Mudra, now that she is 18 years old. As he thanked her for her grace and patience with the life and loss they have both endured, his tears brought tears to all eyes. Everyone was overwhelmed by the experience of Sadhguru as both a spiritual Master and a tender father reaching out to his daughter.
The event closed with much gratitude expressed by the participants, discussions of how to further Isha's mission and an oceanside lunch at which many lingered, not wanting the experience to end. They left with the possibility of returning to their lives inspired and changed, and with a different understanding of life that will influence many, many others through the sphere of their long reach.