April 4th - 10th 2016
with Raman Pascha at the Villa Gaia Retreat, Ubud, Bali
The Divine Soul Retreat by all reports was an extraordinary retreat, with the divine presence of Raman Pascha and held by the patron energy of the great Ganesha. Once again Villa Gaia and Her staff provided extraordinary hospitality and service giving all participants an opportunity to relax, recover and let go into the arms of their own divine soul.
Our retreats with Raman are such a true pleasure to create and hold, it is an area of our working lives where Yasmeen and I look at each other and know this is exactly where we belong right now!
This Aprils retreat followed on from the fabulously alive and uplifting Bali Spirit festival. An event that brings hundreds of teachers and musicians together from around the world to celebrate the new consciousness and an awakening to unity.
On more than one evening Yasmeen and I danced ourselves sore getting to join in with a sacred cacao ceremony for one event and being entranced on the closing night by Deya Dova with her mystical dance, enveloping music and costumes and Nakho and Medicine for the people, a musician who builds bridges between peoples.
Ubud is a magical place of smiling Balinese, a symphony of scooters, human and animal life that stimulates the senses and shakes the bones out of our more rule and ridged based western life. More than once Yasmeen was convinced I ran right into the drum size potholes on the road on purpose. But sometimes it was the choice of that or violently swerving to miss a sleeping dog beside the pot hole. Only one choice really.
But none the less we had blessed moments in the evening air scooting around a town we now know so well. Happy in the simplicity of an Ubud scooter moment.
Personally we experienced some deeply spiritual and magical moments in Ubud this trip, some under the sacredwaters coming out of the sacred mountain, others in the company of an increasing international family that we feel lovingly connected to.
Raman touched the hearts and Souls of many with two public classes and a week of private sessions. The reflection that touched us in turn was how many people, all experienced spiritual seekers expressed how their time with Raman was truly special and unique in their journey of self-discovery.
In a world of spiritual hunger and often intense accelerated spiritual experience it seems the gentle, clear and solid foundation Raman lays and encourages us to work with step by step is one that in the end many come to value.
The Divine Soul
The retreat itself was a gift, once again Dwi who manages Villa Gaia and his staff where outstanding in their care and kindness, this year we also had the pleasure of Glenn Philip the owner of Gaia joining us.
The retreat was at capacity and everyone connected and shared, loved and laughed in a beautiful spirit of support. On retreat one often feels the words rise up inside, ‘this is how life really can be’! We had one guest who jumped in the deep end, having never met Raman before, and he loved it as we loved his gentle presence and company, thank you Nick, you are a beautiful man. We had as many men as women on this retreat which was a rare pleasure for all. Even noted by the management how they are so used to more women than men saying yes to this kind of work and growth.
Our days started in the early morning nature orchestra of Ubud, waking up to yoga with me then divinely beautiful meditations with Yasmeen which were hard to leave, before a routine of delicious breakfast before drifting into a morning of love, guidance and inner traveling with Raman.
These periods in his company Raman guided us deeper and deeper into the Divine Soul, the energy within that is always present for us but our busy lives and rushing heads so often deny us. Day by day he held us and encouraged us, answering our questions and loving us into love, into our Selves and into the Divine. We were treated to stories of his journey and he gave us ancient Magi practices to bring into our own lives to support our connection to ourselves and to the All.
The Great God Ganesh was the patron of our Retreat and by a pleasant coincidence he is also the patron of Villa Gaia. Ganesh is the remover of obstacles and the one to carry us through life at times, while exposing the illusion of our fears and projections. But what we were treated to along with the sense of his incredible compassionate energy was the understanding that like all gods he was once also a man, a man who’s love and compassion for the elephant, a man whose absolute blending with the elephant energy meant that his consciousness merged with the Elephant consciousness, this is why he is presented as an Elephant with arms or at times a man with an elephants head.
With this in mind we made a journey to an Elephant Sanctuary, a place where 31 elephants now live a life free from the logging trade and all the pressures that come with it. Yes they spend their days entertaining us humans, carrying them around the lands, swimming with them. But what was clear was how much each mahout loved their elephants, a commitment that lasts a lifetime. In the presence of these amazing creatures you simply feel pure love and compassion along with deep, deep patience, while seemingly being in the moment, a lesson for us all.
The Divine Soul within is our total self, us the energy that simply is us. Simply present in our life, yet so hard to trust and connect to when the mind is in charge and ruling our life. Giving yourself time away from the life you have created as ‘yours’ creates a freedom and space that retreats can only offer. A world within the world, and during retreat it becomes so clear how much this inner world is the one we crave and the one that fills us with the energy and clarity to create our life more richly.
Some special moments included having our friends Franko and Lis from Gaya Tree, a New Zealand Sacred Music group hold a Kirtan evening with us, a dinner out being played to by one of Bali’s top flute players Gus Teja and an evening with world class producer and musician Maneesh de Moor, opening our hearts to the sacred sounds within.
Music was a beautiful unexpected back ground to the retreat along with the deep and simple pleasure of being in the warmth and atmosphere of the Ubud energy. The simplicity of Raman’s guidance shows us time and time again that the world of spirit, the world of love is always present, simply waiting for us to discover the door within that opens us to this unlimited world of the Divine Soul.
Our retreats are such a humble pleasure to run, I want to thank the team at Villa Gaia, and those of you who attended. You were all so lovingly supportive of each other. Louise and Luke, your Balinese wedding on our last day was a beautiful, beautiful moment that no one will forget, may your love burn bright and forge a joyous future.
I also want to acknowledge the friends Yasmeen and I made in the wider Ubud community, you make coming to Bali a deep joy for us and a chance to fill up and not just give out. Blessings on your journey and may you find your connection with us and Raman as rewarding as ours has been with you.
We are now planning our next international excursion with Raman, so look out for us in Ubud Bali again with a Retreat called Sacred Pleasures and a Spiritual Tour with Raman in Northern India early next year.
May you know yourself as the All and the All as you.
Love Jonathan, Yasmeen and Raman
Thank you guys for another grand journey, your work on our behalf is truly life changing as I believe I can attest. I look forward to continuing to benefit from knowing you all and supporting the growth in your work. Love to you all, Jeff.
Dear Trinity, so much gratitude for you all have done to support my unfolding.
No words exist to express my gratitude, will just have to use tears of happiness with all my love,
Thank you from my Heart and Soul. Your love and kindness, generosity and humanity has given me life and shown the beauty of my love. You are all so beautiful and generous and you have given me hope that I may find the courage to be myself.
Thank You, Stephen.
Thank you, Thank you, and Thank you. Words fail to express the love and gratitude I have for you both in all that you bring. Such a fantastic magical loving retreat. Thank you for your loving care and beauty divine Goddess + God. Much love to you both.
Yasmeen, Jonathan and Raman. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in a wonderful humbling experience, one which my soul has loved to be part of. My gratitude for the wonderful work that you all do.
Love Mary xxx
Dear Jonathan, Yasmeen and Raman. Thank you for the role you’re playing to push consciousness into an era of light and love.
Much love, Zita. Xxx
Dearest Yasmeen, Raman and Jonathan.This week has been a gift to my soul and heart. It has given me permission to deeply receive and fill up on the energy that you all bought to this retreat. I Bow to you!!
My Heart is beaming. Thank you. I am proud to feel it, and I am looking forward to knowing you better.
Thank you all for the growth I have received. Thank you beloved Raman as always. Thank You Yasmeen for being the clear and beautiful channel to Raman, without you there would be no Raman but also thank you for your beautiful loving presence. Thank you Jonathan I really admire your commitment to Yasmeen and to Raman. It is an inspiration.
Such a beautiful collection of Souls who have attended this retreat, it was a real treat for me to share their company, surrounded and supported by the beauty & love of Mother Nature. Raman, thank you for your wisdom, love and care. Blessings, love and gratitude to you all.