Sunday, March 16, 2008

The True Rush

We load our stuff - luggage, Deities, bhoga, pots, propane stove - onto the two boats. When we motor away onto the lake, wonder and awe seeps into my body. I behold a magnificent sunset on the volcanoes, misty far-off valleys, jungle shores, the glassy lake we glide over, and the wind fills my lungs. I am in a tucked-away corner of the world.

When we approach and anchor at the docks, a glowing woman in a sari and tilak greets us. The mood is complete when the other boat pulls in and they're rocking out to a beautiful bhajan, filling the air with Krishna's name.

After we set our backpacks down in our rooms, we head down in the quiet evening to the glowing templeroom.

We array in one giant circle on the warm wooden floors beneath a vaulted roof of palms.

Manu then introduces us to our Japa Retreat facilitators: Divyambara, Purusha Shukta, and Giri Govardhan. I feel a rush in my veins very unlike the rush from exclaiming over my room or even speeding over the lake. No, this is a rush to draw closer to the holy name.

We end our orientation with a kirtan. Still riding the high of such an exhilarating day, I expecting a rousing, get-up-and-dance kirtan.

I am softly caught by surprise. Someone dims the lights down low and lights candles for our beautiful Bus Tour Gaura Nitai deities. Divyambara begins to sing. Her voice and soft emotion sends chills down my spine.

Aaaahhh... the Japa Retreat has begun.

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