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2007 Artist Retreat

August 27, 2007 by Lightwaves
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19artistshead.jpgAuthor Eileen Delehanty Pearkes shares her experience of Yasodhara Ashram’s Artist Retreat.

Imagine you are an empty canvas which holds your potential and the Ashram with its spectacular natural setting provides the paint and brush to unleash your creativity. What emerges could be a unforeseen turn of phrase for a poem in the works, inspiration for a new painting, an idea for a performance piece or as in author Eileen Delehanty Pearkes’ case – finding the direction for a novel in progress.

“I had reached a point where I needed to open the story for this novel in a new direction, but had not yet found the time and space in my day-to-day life to do so, or the confidence. During last year’s retreat, the novel blossomed. I came to know my two main characters more deeply and found myself surrendering to their story in a way that had not been previously possible. That felt really good!,” remarked Eileen, author of 3 books, a regular contributor to Ascent magazine as well as author of an upcoming timeless book publication – The Glass Seed.

Living near the Ashram in Nelson, British Columbia, Eileen is no stranger to the surrounding mountains and the sparkling waters of Kootenay Lake, yet somehow the peace and pace of the Ashram provided new inspiration.

“Being in the natural world always supports the development of ideas for me and at the Ashram, nature abounds! To be surrounded by the waters of Kootenay Lake liquefied my imagination. In addition, the Ashram is a quiet place, one where I could easily be alone with my thoughts, allowing them to expand as far as they wished to go.
Some afternoons, when I tired of sitting at my laptop, I walked out to find a quiet place on the beach, where I could watch the water of Kootenay Lake, feel the warm October sunshine and sometimes chant Hari Om, the healing mantra. I don’t have much of a singing voice, but the water and rocks didn’t seem to mind.”

The shape of a day’s retreat at the Ashram supports the inner artist with plenty of time to nurture personal projects. The day starts with a gentle hatha yoga class followed by a simple and wholesome breakfast. After this, you’ll join the Ashram community for an hour or so of work as service in the organic garden or helping out with Ashram upkeep. The day ends with the evening Satsang in the temple of Divine Light – chanting and singing with others. Here the mind can settle and the days activity gets elevated.

“Each night in satsang I stilled my mind enough with the help of mantra to enable the creative ideas to step forward later in my dreams. Sometimes, the effects were immediate. I would return from satsang and write for several hours into the night.

I am still new at this, but I am discovering how spiritual the creative process can be. It seems more and more natural to take a creative retreat into the spiritual context of the Ashram.”

This year’s Artist Retreat is Oct 15 (eve.)- 19th. Give yourself the gift of time and unleash your creative potential. Take a few days to step out of the familiar and see what can happen. 


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