Tears of gratitude - Helen

Dear Bart,

I have yet to find words to describe my inner experience of your 2008 Puerto Vallarta Meditation Retreat. Since returning to Toronto I've been saying things like "great" and "wonderful" when people ask. But those are just words. The experience of the inner self does not readily lend itself to words. Perhaps the truest expression was my tears of gratitude on the last morning.

Food for contemplation for me from the teachings this year included:

* Identifying eight themes to release and giving them over to the Kundalini

* The reptilian brain as a holodeck of creation and a gateway to consciousness. I've tended to think of it as a negative thing.

* The heart as hub of the universe and the mind falling into the heart

* Dynamics of the limbic system and unconscious, repetitive behaviours

* Meditation as 'not an activity one performs but rather a state of consciousness'

* Moving from ordinary to extraordinary in relationships with friends, co-workers and family members and developing the consciousness to perceive the auspiciousness and holiness of those relationships

* Breath as prana that nourishes the God within

* Thinking as no more an act of volition than breathing, and thinking as a tiny aspect of the totality of consciousness

* Signs of ego in meditation and signs of the death of the ego

* Heart as soft as butter and as strong as a thunderbolt

* Collective not as other people but rather the universe

Dr Williams' talk on Thursday was a powerful summation of the week.

Your teaching becomes more focused each year as your connection to the inner self deepens, and the depth of your connection leads us to deeper states of meditation.

The level of consciousness in the group is greater each year and the love and sense of community, which were there at the start, become greater. I experienced a strong sense of support in the group this year. You attract committed participants who are willing to do their inner work, and people feel at home. 

The energy of Puerto Vallarta is nourishing for the retreat and I was surprised and pleased to feel the energy of the meditation room and even the whole Sheraton property grow fuller and more complex over the course of the week.

The Seva experience wove in and out of and enriched the chanting, meditation and teachings. We came into our own as a Seva group and created a more coherent space for you to do what you do with such excellence.

I am grateful and blessed to have you as a spiritual teacher. I know you spend many months of the year preparing for the April retreat, and my heart rests in the knowledge that it can access this nourishment at your retreat each year. 

The word that sums up the experience is love. To be bathed in this love for a week is an experience that lasts the whole year.

With love,