by Sacinandana Swami
As parts and parcels of Krishna, we are all entitled to a life of complete bliss. We experience this bliss by having loving exchanges with Him. This is our spiritual birthright. But in the material world that relationship gets covered over – our minds and lives tend to become cluttered with millions of unnecessary but seemingly urgent things to do. To go on retreat means to unclutter yourself.
A philosopher once defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” We all know this to be true. So if we remain inside our self-constructed comfort zones, nothing new will happen – ever – and we will experience only more of the same.
A retreat can help us enter liminal space – the threshold between past patterns and new possibilities. It is in that space of transition that we make discoveries, shifting our focus from a mix of material and spiritual concerns to the purely spiritual. Someone once quipped, “We live in an age of mass distraction – distraction from Krishna.” On a retreat we make our relationship with Krishna our prime focus by reducing distractions.
The results are often miraculous. Amazing transformations occur, and participants have breakthrough experiences or epiphanies. They may also have what in homeopathy is called “an initial aggravation of symptoms” – that is, they may first grasp their personal limitations before transcending them. It’s said, “When you want to climb a mountain, you must first cross the valley.” Sometimes this holds true during a retreat experience.
Going on a retreat is something all spiritual traditions do. In the Vaishnava tradition, retreats have historically taken the form of pilgrimages, especially during particularly sacred times of the year such as Kartika or the Purusottama month. Twice a month, on Ekadasis, Vaishnavas traditionally observe a mini retreat.
At our Govardhana and Holy Name Retreats, Bhurijana Prabhu and I are dedicated to helping our participants make spiritual discoveries appropriate for their progress. For thousands of years people have come to Giriraja Govardhan, seeking further revelations on their spiritual journeys, and Giriraja Govardhan has never disappointed.
We cordially invite you to visit the upcoming retreats. For more information, click here.
And please, if you are able to kindly support our new Govardhan Retreat Center, we will be very grateful indeed.