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kula Desa Seni, A Village Resort

Volume # 24 · October · November · December

2016


Authenticity


Namaste


Kundalini Yoga Festival Fondjouan, France 2016

I have woken up in the wee hours of the morning for sadhana hundreds of times in my life. But that first morning at the festival, waking to the sound of angelic voices singing the rise up song, accompanied by the gentle strumming of the guitar was just the sweetest, most beautiful sound. There was so much warmth, encouragement and community in the sound of this little traveling band making its rounds around the campground, my heart’s smile just totally outshone any fatigue or resistance to wake up to the darkness. This is how I would be lulled from my slumber each morning for the next 8 days at the European Kundalini Yoga Festival. Four a.m., well before the dawn, I would rise through this melodic lure, with anticipation of the beauty yet to come through the early morning practice of kriya, meditation and chanting with a community of open hearts and committed souls. This summer I had the pleasure of attending the 40th European KY festival. In the beautiful, natural setting of Chateau Anand, France, over 2,000 people from all around the globe come together each year to practice Kundalini yoga and to share in the teachings of Yogi Bhajan. The festival took its first breath 39 years ago, with just a relatively small group of yogis from around Europe, and has gained momentum every year since, serving people’s longing to come together as one family to meditate, practice and awaken consciousness. The mood at the festival is one of sharing, family, collaboration, celebration and reverence. And there

is something for everyone to enjoy! After a powerful sadhana with live music drawing in the day, there were several workshops offered throughout the day by teachers from all over the world. Although it is a largely populated festival, the workshops are on a rather intimate scale, with as many as 20 workshops being offered at one time. There is something for everyone, and the atmosphere is super casual, most of the workshops taking place in various clusters on the fields or in larger tents. In the background children are running in the fields, connecting with children from around the world, playing organized games in the camp area, and just frolicking among the sounds and energies of the practices. Some of my favorite moments were when I would walk with my son past a workshop group that were chanting a mantra, and we would both just walk by holding hands, and chant along with them….absorbing the vibration and the sense of familiarity and connection. These little magical moments were the simple ones that ran deep into our hearts. Every evening a yoga class was held on the big field, and as the sun was shining its last rays of light and twilight settled, a healing circle gathered to bless all those present, all of humanity, and Mother Earth, using the mantra Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung. It was simply the way we moved through the dusk as some mingled around the bazaar, before the evening concert began and the mingling continued. After a few days of building the individual

and group energy through workshops, sharing, seva (it takes a village to serve, feed, clean, and organize all events, kids camps, etc.) yoga, song and dance, the festival moved into a three day practice of White Tantric Yoga, a meditative practice done with partners that works on clearing out the deepest corridors of the subconscious mind, so that we can liberate ourselves from the hold of those patterns to live life more fully, happily and wholly. In the words of Yogi Bhajan, “The Power of Kundalini Yoga lies in the actual experience. It goes right into your heart and extends your consciousness so you may have a wider horizon of grace and knowing the truth.” That wide horizon, that elevated space of love and liberation after these intense days was super palpable at the big dance celebration on the last night of White Tantric. Hearts and souls between the ages of 7 and 77 simply danced, sang, and celebrated with the most wonderful rave! The energy was explosive! It was an awesome celebration, with DJ’s and the sounds of freedom and love abounding! While we came to the festival knowing very few people, I can tell you that my family and I felt a great sense of ease and home there. “Your heart knows” was the title of this year’s festival. And yes, our hearts know. There is no denying the vibration of home and truth.

“Life is a flow of love. Your participation is requested” – Yogi Bhajan


The Collective

The Collective

200 hour Yoga Teacher Training

50 hour Yoga Trainings

Oct 2nd - 30th 2016


by Sandro Madaire


3 Waterfalls in one day by Julia, Ava & Taja,

Our journey started at Tegenungan Waterfall, Gianyar. (Jl. Raya Ir. Sutami, Kemenuh, Sukawati, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali) This waterfall was, anticlimactic. Two of us had been there two years before, when it was less commercial and in our opinion, untouched. There were fewer people and the only service was a stone carved shower. Word got around, more people started going and locals had the opportunity to make profit. Your image of ‘peaceful waterfall experience’ was distorted by persistent haggling. The waterfall was too crowded so we escaped down the river to an excluded bankside walled off by vines and vibrant vegetation. From this point we could still see the waterfalls, but chilled around a tall rock in the center. The current kept us busy, but fighting it was tough when getting around (it was very slippery). Overall we had fun, but not because of the actual waterfall. The waterfall itself was still beautiful; it was just now too polluted with garbage (and tourists) to enjoy. I personally wouldn’t recommend this waterfall to anyone looking for a peaceful day whether they’re visiting the beautiful Bali, or are locals/expats. Although, for those who may still be considering the trip, it’s more so of a family environment and could be fun for those looking for a busy vibrant day of meeting new people, and splashing in the water.

After Tegenungan, we took a twenty minute drive to Kanto Lampo Waterfall. (Address: Br. Kelod Kangin, Desa Beng, Kabupaten Gianyar) Starting off on a good note, there were definitely less stairs at this waterfall (bonus!). However, the steps weren’t actual steps but rather slippery stones. We enjoyed this waterfall more because there was less of a tourist cluster. The waterfall itself was smaller but in our opinion, gorgeous. The water fell down layers of thin rocks and sprayed the air. Standing even slightly close to the waterfall got you completely soaked. With rocks to climb and water to rest in, we kept busy. In all honesty, the entirety of the time we were there, we were in complete awe of it. The view from the waterfall was a beautiful, endless river, which unfortunately we couldn’t explore as much as we would have wanted to. There were restrictions on where you could venture, depending on how deep the water was, so the guides kept us in sight. The lake where the waterfall fell was only about knee deep so there wasn’t much space to swim although our toes sank into the river floor. Finally, we took a ten minute drive to our last waterfall, Tibumana. (Apuan, Susut, Bangli Regency) A picturesque end to our day, this was our

last and favourite location. There weren’t many steps, which were decorated with little bales. None of us had eaten lunch, so on the way we grabbed a nasi bungkus (takeaway rice) in a nearby market and we sat in one of the bales cross-legged, eating our local delicacy. Continuing down the steps, we found ourselves in complete wonder. This waterfall was elegant, with one stream of water free falling onto a dark turquoise lake. There were benches made from fallen trees where we left our stuff, got in our swimsuits and jumped into the water. The water was freezing but we quickly got used to it. We spent most of our time in the water and challenged ourselves to get as close as possible to the thundering water. Behind the roaring cascade there was a Balinese temple, which we didn’t manage to explore (we’ll leave that for our next article). Floating in the water was incredibly relaxing and we would’ve stayed all day if we could. We stayed about two and a half hours and left our little secluded reservoir, feeling serene. Overall, exploring the waterfalls of Bali was a great experience and hopefully we’ll explore more in the future. www.beforeweretwenty.wix.com/beforeweretwenty


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Kula Magazine Issue #24