Sometimes there are especially privileged moments for meditation, when cosmic forces or the energetic environment create an exceptional atmosphere and profound effects or insights are possible. For Yogis, spiritual practice in those moments not only propels one’s personal evolution but also can be dedicated to benefit others.
The week of Christmas and New Year’s – and especially New Year’s Eve – represents such a period of privileged moments, when the synchronized collective energies of large groups of the population set into action forces of a cosmic scope at precisely determined instants. We should never lose the opportunity to meditate in such situations. This year, as every year according to an Agama Yoga tradition established in 2001, we wish to offer students serious about their spiritual evolution the opportunity to choose meditation instead of social hoopla.
This retreat is inspired by the classical Buddhist-style Vipassana retreat, yet with fundamental differences such that, actually, it forms the Yogic and Tantric reply to that style. It is meant to offer a powerful, creative, and flexible alternative to the more staid approach of the Buddhist system of practice. The retreat has also been conceived to provide a true spiritual celebration during the period of Christmas and New Year’s, using the special subtle energetic environment created on a planetary scale by those events.
Among the forms of practice we will integrate into our retreat: Laya Yoga meditation, Kashmir Shaivism techniques, Taraka Yoga, yantra practice, music and sound meditation, rare Vijnana Bhairava Tantra treasures and guided meditation, plus Hatha Yoga practice for a 10-day marathon of spiritual awakening.
The retreat, held annually from 23 December-1 January, is divided into two, five-hour daily sessions. One hour of Hatha Yoga practice is incorporated the middle of both the morning and afternoon sessions. Additionally, the epic "Jesus of Nazareth" is screened over the course of six nights to bring a resonance with the birth of Jesus Christ and the true spirit of Christmas.
Besides leading the retreat, Swami Vivekananda leads special talks and guides the timezone meditations over New Year's Eve, timed to harmonize with the energies in each part of the world when entering into the New Year as we meditate on the souls of our global brothers and sisters.