After more than two years of being physically distant from one another,we finally came together for a magical, empowering, bonding in-person experience at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge Massachusetts. We were a small but mighty group with representatives from Breitenbush, Hollyhock, Esalen, Open Center, Omega, Guest House Retreat Center, Clear Sky Retreat Center, The Art of Living Retreat Center, the Retreat Center Collaborative as well as some bright new faces and voices from emerging centers.
For those who could not be with us in person this year, your presence was felt and your real life selves were deeply missed. We held a seat to honor those who were not physically with us but whose “spirits” were there – for the indigenous ancestors of the Stockbridge Munsee band of Mohicians, on whose land Kripalu sits and stewards; for our many friends from around the globe from centers that could not be with us this year; and for those individuals who we have not met but are dreaming a holistic center into existence.
Kripalu’s space was the perfect container for reconnection and reflection about the toll of the past few years and what the future holds. We were immersed in the natural beauty of the Kripalu campus and the sacred feeling of the space and were encouraged to rest, restore and renew. Daily meditation and yoga offerings; nutritious, delicious meals; nature walks; a cooking class; collaborative break-outs; as well as presentations on a wide range of topics such as fundraising, strategy and culture, a CRM presentation by Instil (an organizational sponsor of the gathering), and stories from those who are leading from the edge.
Our final session was aptly named “Listening for the Emergent” and masterfully facilitated by Eset Rose, a member of the senior leadership team at Kripalu and a teacher of transformation and healing. Eset led us through a powerful visioning experience that engaged our subconscious selves to open up about what we will bring into the future. We then took our emergent intentions and poured them into the sacred vessel that had been gathering our offerings throughout the week in our daily water ritual beautifully crafted by Jenyng Wu.
In a world in which we all experience a peculiar form of nihilism, expressed broadly in mainstream and social media, we can also see the roots of human solidarity expressed in moments of crisis. We who are involved in holistic centers all across our world continue in the work of making sanity flourish.
The HCN Board