Last month, a group of 25 young adults gathered in Tomales, California, for a weekend for deep spiritual practice and a ton of good times. To get an idea of the range of our participants, here are some answers to the question "What prompted you to sign up for this retreat?"
- Retreats continue to be a very valuable way to deepen my practice.
- A chance to try and learn about a different meditation practice in an immersive environment.
- To attain some spiritual fellowship and to strengthen my current practice and develop my skills.
- My mom surprised me with this retreat.
- To boost my practice and reconnect with YAs from past retreats.
- My friend had gone to a retreat and shared her amazing experience. I had to come see for myself!
Although close to half of us had never met each other before, we had become a close knit group by the end of the weekend. You can see the whole retreat group below with Christine Easwaran, Eknath Easwaran's wife.
The retreat was a whole weekend focused on passage meditation and the eight-point program. Through reading, conversation, and reflection, we all examined our day-to-day habits and looked for small, practical ways we could strengthen our practice. We also took advantage of the great California weather and did some our study outdoors on the retreat house grounds.
Of course, with a balanced schedule there was plenty of time for hanging out over meals and conversation.
At the nearby local gem, Dillon beach, even a high tide couldn't keep us from our beach walk!
Volleyball is a long-standing YA tradition. Luckily for many of us, skill and previous experience is totally optional (as is the participation in the game at all). Whether you have skills or not (perhaps especially if not!), the volleyball game is always a great time to hang out together.
At the end of the weekend we were asked "What aspect of this retreat would you recommend to other YAs?" and these two answers definitely capture the spirit!
The balanced schedule shows how to integrate work, exercise, social time, and spiritual practice without feeling rushed.
Folks are super sincere, authentic, and speak from the heart. They're not too cool, or too embarrassed, to genuinely express highest yearnings and connect with each other deeply.
If you're interested, visit our webpage for more details. The next YA retreat will be February 14–16, 2014, and we hope to see you there! (There are no prerequisites for YA retreats – everyone in their late teens, 20s and 30s is welcome!)