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Expanding Light Retreat: Nevada City, California

November 12, 2011

I am awake and ready! I am awake and ready! I am positive! energetic! enthusiastic!

This is a chant I am promising to take with me from my very first “retreat” stay at the Expanding Light in Nevada City, California.

For a special friend’s birthday, I traveled to Expanding Light for a weekend of yoga, meditation and classes on How to Be Happy All the Time based on the practices and teaching of Paramahansa Yogananda.

Peace. Photo by Jenna Markowick

My biggest take aways from this retreat were:

  1. Meditate. Even if it’s 5 minutes a day. Take a few minutes for yourself and focus on your breathing and moving energy toward the area between your eyebrows.
  2. Choose to be happy. It’s always a choice, and in each of us is the power to direct our thoughts, energy and intention to be happy.
  3. When things seem out of whack, get back to the basics and start appreciating.
  4. We need to take care of ourselves before we can take care of others.
Expanding Light is perfectly nestled in picturesque Northern California, about a 3.5 hour drive from San Jose. One can easily forget the stresses of city life driving into the lush green landscape. Los Angeles seemed a world away as I got deeper into the mountains and further away from bustling civilization.
The days start early, with an optional 2 hour yoga, chanting and meditation session starting at 6:30 am. There is a second 2 hour session at around 4:45pm for the dedicated who want to do both or for those who choose to sleep in. Three delicious vegetarian meals are served daily and everyone eats in the small hall, with some meals silent. Eating silently seems strange to those who have never tried it, but it’s oddly nice, peaceful and comforting, even if you are surrounded by 50 people.  For those of us attending the How to Be Happy All the Time retreat, we had several meetings/sessions each- almost like a workshop. With the little free time we had, we explored the 750 acre community and enjoyed having the opportunity to do absolutely nothing. The weekend ended with a Purification Ceremony. I could explain what the ceremony entailed, but I fear I would take away some of the power and meaning of it.
This was a weekend I will truly never forget. It was all about being positive, appreciation, love, light and being your best self. I was surrounded by like-minded people, good friends, great energy and am now yearning to return. Taking time to be with yourself can be magical, uplifting and refreshing. I highly recommend it.

Expanding Light, Photo by Jenna Markowick

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2011 9:43 am

    YAY! so great that you did this! I’m totally in need of a retreat. 3 days sounds like such the perfect amount of time. Beautiful post love!

    • Jenna Markowick permalink*
      November 14, 2011 9:23 pm

      Thanks Ashley! ❤

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