Beejel shares insights for the 12 Themed days of the Mantra Retreat during this Facebook Live recording:
Arrival: Your exact arrival will depend on where you are flying in from. Flights normally arrive the evening before or in the early hours of day 1. Either way, when you arrive, you will be greeted by the hotel appointed taxi driver. He will be waiting at the exit with your name on board and will transfer you to the Hotel for a well deserved rest. Till date we have a 100% success rate in getting our guest safely from the airport to the Hotel.
Day 1 - Relax Recharge: We begin our day with a breakfast and our first group orientation. Today theme is “self-care”, and we will be taking time to ground, integrate, breath, relax and recharge our body, minds and spirits with an optional trip to a local spa to receive a well deserved massage and other spa services.
Day 2 - Exploring Beliefs & Culture: - We
begin our day with a late breakfast and orientation.Today’s theme is “Faith”. We will visit one of the largest and most incredible hindu temples in the world. Akshardham temple (www. akshardham.com), followed by a visit to the beautiful Bahia Lotus Meditation Temple (www.bahaihouseofworship.in/home). Here we will have an opportunity for meditation.
Day 3 - Smiles In The Slums In total contrast to previous day, today we visit one of the slums in Delhi and meet the kids and their families. This will be a very special day and it will fill your heart with joy from the reception we receive. On our way back to the Hotel we will stop at India Gate, a famous public landmark in Delhi.
Shivani wrote 'Counting Smiles' (aged 11), after our first group tour to the slums:
Day 4 - Many Paths, One Destination: Today we travel by private coach through many small towns and villages to Rishikesh, located in the foothills of the Himalayas, and known as the capital of Yoga. On the way we stop in the small holy town of Haridwar, “gateway to the Gods” where ritualistic bathing is popular on the banks of the river Ganges. Upon arriving as the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, we settle in just and take part in the Aarti at sunset, overlooking the River Ganges (www.parmarth.com).
Day 5 – Explore and Expand: Today is about exploring magical and mystical town of Rishikesh, and expanding your conscious awareness by becoming present to your senses, tantalized by the sights, the sounds, the smells, the divine character of this town. After a brief orientation you’ll have time to explore, shop, find a spot to journal, meditate, reflect. We will gather for evening Arti, and sing by the Ganges.
Day 6 – Release Into the Sacred Fire: In the morning we will visit the ‘Beatles’ Ashram. In 1968, the Fab 4 (Beatles) stayed at this, now deserted ashram in 1968, the amazing Ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In the afternoon we will be sharing and singing with Ashram Rishikumars (students of yoga and vedic scriptures). This is a wonderful opportunity to connection with these students. In the evening we get to be part of a special Agni puja (fire Ceremony) performed by the Ganga, followed by Karl Anthony Mantra Kirtan for the public.
Day 7 – Fairytale Orphanage: After a transferring to the Divine Resort Hotel, a mile or so upstream and on the other side of the river, we will make our way to the magical fairytale (you’ll appreciate what we mean by this!) Ramana’s Garden Orphanage for for another seva (service) project, followed by an amazing lunch using ingredients organically grown at the orphanage. Friends of Ramana’s Garden
Day 8 – Feel The Flow: After breakfast we make our way to a secluded spot along the bank of the Ganga, where we conduct our own private blessing and purification ceremony. You’ll have the rest of the day to explore this part of Rishikesh.
Day 9 - Calm In The Chaos: Depart Rishikesh and travel by private coach back to Delhi through small India villages. On our way back we will also be singing and getting prepared for our final seva project which takes place on the following day.
Day 10 - You Are Special: Our last service project takes place at Amar Jyoti, an amazing special needs School. What started as one dedicated teacher with a handful of students under a tree, has flourished into an internationally recognized educational institute for low income families and special needs children. In the afternoon, we will explore a local market for shopping. And in the evening we enjoy a henna party with Bollywood music and dancing.
Day 11 - Wonders of the World: Day excursion to Agra to witness the wonder and majesty of the Taj Mahal. You will also get visit Agra Fort, where the visionary of Taj Mahal, and then ruler was under house arrest by his own son for wanted to build a Black Taj for himself to mirror the white Taj he build for his wife.
Day 12 - Celebrate The Gifts of Life: We gather late morning for our closing and debrief, during which we share our memories, our key learnings from the last 11 days. After lunch we get all dressed up for celebration night including an early banquet dinner, followed by a Bollywood Musical at Kingdom of Dreams.
Day 13 - Departure Day: This is departure day, you’ll be making your way to the airport by hotel taxi to catch your flight homebound on onward to continue your own journey.
Note: Adjustments and changes are always possible because of opportunities
and spontaneous invitations.