Sukhava Bodhe means Joyful Awakening.
This colorful, loving, supportive and accepting community is exactly what I needed for my lately heavy heart to feel lighter.
During the first full day at the festival, we did yoga, danced, took a yoga class that turned into a dance party, sang. We attended a fire ceremony for acknowledging and releasing aspects of our shadow side (fear, anger, shame, ego, grief) to make space for more light (love, joy, peace, courage, truth), walked through a candlelit labyrinth with intention, ate food made with love, and met amazing people. I was overcome with gratitude for this community. I have never been surrounded by so many people where I truly felt like I could be myself without fear of judgement.
I took in the beauty of sky, water and trees around me. My teacher's beautiful voice and skillful notes on the harmonioum carried a devotional mantra right into my heart. I did not feel like I had to close my eyes in order to escape to another world or retreat into myself. Everything around me was perfect, every person around me was and is perfectly imperfect and I am perfectly imperfect. We set aside everything to be there in that moment to share our love, joy and acceptance with each other. I am safe. I am enough. I am free. I am loving. I am loved.
The first day's experiences of feeling safe and accepted allowed for the second day to unfold into new experiences and learning to trust. Catherine and I had the honor of assisting Amy during her Ashtanga class. Every time I teach or assist, it's a lesson and practice for me as well. Stepping into confidence in myself and my abilities. Fuck yeah, I can do this! Accepting that others put their trust in me, holding that trust with so much care to keep them safe. I rested, ate more food made with love, and met more people in a ceremony of sharing and community. More new experiences in trust with Heather in ceremony, with Tatiana in acro yoga therapy, in myself, the pond and the board for being able to do yoga on a stand up paddle board! We danced some more, sang some more, yoga'd some more and threw color at each other in the Holi Color Fest, creating a brilliant explosion of youthful joy!