Let the beauty of what you love, be what you do.
- Rumi

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BHAKTI and the BHAV

Ahhh… We are still riding the waves, still in the bhav from this past weekend’s bhakti celebration. Music, chanting, yoga, dancing, meditation, inspiring workshops, and delightful and vegetarian meals upon meals.

Bhav
bhāv or bhāva – भाव

Spiritual feeling (1) or attitude (2); devotion (3); the religious attitude of immersing oneself in the thought of God. (4)
According to Swami Kriyananda, the term “bhav” has multiple levels of meaning. It is the way one views God, and also the way one views oneself in relation to God. One can view God as wisdom, as love, or as a particular deity. Each of these is a type of bhav. (4)
For example:
“When [Paramhansa Yogananda] was in the bhav, or attitude, of wisdom, he was like a Himalayan yogi in a cave.”
—Swami Kriyananda, A Handbook on Discipleship

Every piece of this weekend was truly memorable and heartfelt. The morning meditations and hatha yoga practices, the scrumptious brunches, the movement meditation in the yurt, the afternoon free time to enjoy the property, the breeze, the sun, the water, the dinners from the heart, and the kirtan! Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma… Out of the head and right into the Heart…

What is Kirtan, you ask?

Krishna Das writes… ”A practice like chanting [kirtan] gradually bestows on us the ability to let go of pain in our hearts.”

Jai Uttal writes… “Whether kirtan is sung, screamed, or cried, it’s all praise.”

Rumi writes… “With every breath, I plant the seeds of devotion. I am a farmer of the heart.”

and my new found favourite understanding of kirtan, Sean Johnson writes… ”Kirtan is a form of purification and liberation. The mantras sensitize us, polish away the clutter in our heads and melt the numbness in our hearts, so we feel clear, awake, and brilliantly alive.”

An afternoon celebration of kirtan in our Green Tara Room…

 

Lana Sugarman, Narada Wise, Chris Gartner…

 

Evening kirtan with Brenda McMorrow…

 

Bhakti Bliss…

 

Love for All…

 

The altar, the devotion…

 

Mr. Gartner in the Light…

 

From left to right, Shanti’s Head Chef Landon Chatteron, co-creators Darin and Wendy Madore, and kirtan artists Brenda McMorrow, Adam Bauer, Chris Gartner, Lana Sugarman, and Narada Wise. Namaste.


Do you want in on next year’s Bhakti and Yoga Celebration? Stay tuned for our 2017 Retreat Lineup. Keep your August long weekend open and spacious for this offering in the making! To be continued…


Date Added: May 26, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized



Spiced Banana Bread (Gluten Free)

This recipe is far too delicious & nutritious not to share with our readers… Shanti Sous Chef Mike recently whipped up four loaves of the best gluten free banana bread known to mankind for our guests (and staff!). This recipe was found in a new Shanti kitchen favourite by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre called The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook: A Complete Nutritional and Cooking Guide for Healthy Living.

SPICED BANANA BREAD
Makes 1 loaf

DRY INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot powder (we used tapioca flour)
1/2 cup ground flaxseeds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
…and I would recommend pinches upon pinches of cinnamon, too!

WET INGREDIENTS

5 large organic eggs (veganize it by substituting with 5 flax eggs: 5 tbsp flaxseed + 25 tbsp water)
1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (3 medium bananas)
1/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil (and more for greasing the pan)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE MAGIC…

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat an 8.5 x 4.5-inch bread loaf pan with coconut oil.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In another mixing bowl, beat together the wet ingredients with an electric mixer. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and beat together.
3. Pour batter into prepared and greased pan and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pan, then loosen the sides with a knife, and turn over onto a wire rack, allowing to cool completely.

Divide up some healthy slices, share with friends over tea, and even double, or shall I say triple the recipe to enjoy all week? Freeze a batch for next week? Delicious served with nut butter and good conversation!

Snack well, be well,
The Shanti Family


Date Added: May 18, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Shanti Kitchen,Uncategorized



How To Step Into Spring & Break The Stress Cycle by Francesca Durham

When your stress levels reach an all time high, listen to your body because it knows when to feed your soul. Quiet time to decompress, gain clarity and perspective is necessary for healthy conscious living.

Staying calm and peaceful for most people is not an issue. However, staying focused day after day, meetings, deadlines, multi tasking, flexing between projects, emails, relationships and constant technology interruptions will eventually take their toll. There comes a time when you need to disconnect from it all, break the stress cycle, and return to a place of inner peace.

When’s the last time you invested in yourself? Well, there’s no time like the present to do just that. My recent discovery of Shanti Retreat located on Wolfe Island, a Ferry’s ride across the water from Kingston, certainly left an impression. More important, it reminded me how necessary it is to take care of oneself. The best way to break the stress cycle so you really can step into Spring starts with listening to the call for R&R. Shanti retreat makes a perfect weekend or mid-week getaway.

Run by co-creators Wendy and Darin, Shanti is a hidden gem on the island. I learned this tranquil retreat is frequented by many clients who return year after year. And, the staff are some of the kindest most warm hearted people you’ll ever meet.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Just remember, it’s never to late to step into Spring. What matters most is believing wholeheartedly you’re worth it.

by Francesca Durham


Date Added: | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living Seasonally & Locally,Living with Yoga,Shanti Kitchen,Shanti's Retreat Offerings,Uncategorized



Yin’spired

A very moving weekend was had by all this past weekend at Shanti. Angela Jervis-Read of Toronto joined us for her second season at Shanti and brought with her the beautiful offering and gift of yin yoga. Yin yoga is a slower paced style of yoga with asanas held for longer periods of time. Its teaching in the west was found by the martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink, who has definitely contributed to allowing for a more relaxed and nourished society through this practice. Yin poses apply only moderate stress to the body’s connective tissues, tendons, fascia and ligaments, with the intention of increasing the circulation of the joints and increasing flexibility.

Yin is described as “a more meditative approach to yoga. [Yin] aims at cultivating awareness of inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality,” and is intended “not as a complete practice in itself, but rather as a complement to more active forms of yoga and exercise – yang.

Appropriately, the weekend was rather rainy, a beautiful symbol of yin, allowing guests to surrender entirely into yin; the feminine, more passive, more curious side of Life, allowing emotions and feelings to arise up to the surface and to wash away with the rain’s river. Mother Nature always has a way with arranging herself, giving us all what best serves us, moment by moment. She knows.

In from the rain, guests helped us out with our labyrinth project by painting a rock to contribute. An inspired set of 11 or 12 yoginis from the group painted the afternoon away over good conversation, relaxation, tea, and a slice of the best gluten free banana bread that I think I’ve ever tasted. Stay tuned for this recipe…

A relaxing and rainy Sunday afternoon, here we are, another retreat has come and gone, flown in and flown out. Thank you to Angela and all of your guests for your receptivity through this weekend to the gift of yin. I am truly yin’spired.

Look for Angela back at Shanti the same weekend next year, and also for a mid-week retreat in the Autumn.

P.S. If you haven’t practiced yin yoga with Kim Eng’s DVD Presence Through Movement: Yin Yoga, I highly suggest you to allow her yin to inspire and change and mold your yin. We sell it here at the Shanti Boutique for $27.50+HST.

Warmly,
The Shanti Family


Date Added: May 15, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings,Uncategorized



Manu, Mona, and May Mid-Week Getaway

Last week we had back the wonderful and magical Manu Akshobhiai for a spontaneous and sweet three day spring retreat, Tuesday to Thursday. Manu has been hosting retreats here at Shanti for a number of seasons, and has lately been offering two weekend retreats with us each fall – one with focus on the practice of yoga nidra (“yogic sleep”), the other focused on truly going within with a 3 or 6 day retreat in complete silence. This week, Manu’s guests –  an intimate group of six – got a real taste of the teachings and offerings that he shares, in the form of seated and walking meditations, energy based hatha yoga, and an incredibly powerful practice called tandava. Tandava is known as the dance of Shiva, described as a dance that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution. We were guided by Manu throughout the session to soften our breaths, our tongues (to dissolve tension), and our bellies, or our hara (also known as the dantian, or our life force energy).  Moving from this place of softness and curiosity without judgement really allowed us to connect to our intuition, our creative energies, allowing for a greater sense of connection to ourselves, to the Divine.

Last weekend, the magnificent Mona Warner graced us with her presence from Kingston for a women’s weekend of self-care over the mother’s day weekend. With her own mother by her side, Mona lead her guests through an inquisitive, gentle and compassionate weekend. Together, everyone had the chance to dive into learning more about themselves through an ayurvedic lens. Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing modalities based on the notion that health depends on a balance between the mind, body and spirit. Mona helped her guests become more aware of their own unique elemental make-ups – air, earth, ether, water, and fire – so they could form their lives in a way best suited to their unique bodies, their minds, and their spirits!

This past week, Sunday to Thursday, we had our first Mid-Week Getaway offering of the 2016 season. A few guests joined us for 1, 2, 3 or 4 evenings here on the Island for a relaxing time away from their day-to-day and into down time. We began with a beautiful Italian Sunday evening dinner for all, and started the week off fresh Monday morning with a meditation in our yurt lead by Darin, followed by a hatha yoga practice lead by Wendy. It was a small group through the week, with six or seven or so guests at a time, which made for a bonding experience among all. This is such a beautiful part of the Mid-Week offering, I find, when guests have afternoons of free time between the morning brunch and the evening dinner to connect – with themselves, with nature, but also with one another. Advanced practitioners, and curious yogis who wish to start a practice, and all others in between, come together to rest, relax, nourish and nurture themselves. Friendships are formed so easily when you give yourself the time to slow down and really open up, go within, and reach out to a fellow yogi or yogini turned friend.

We look forward to welcoming you this season – one weekend, one week, or even one evening!

Namaste,
The Shanti Family


Date Added: May 13, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized



Happy Spring, Stay Sweet!

This weekend, the beautiful and wholesome Maria Carr returned for another visit from Port Perry Flowyoga with a family of friends with beautiful offerings. Her long time friend Shirley came again alongside for her annual Saturday evening sage circle, and “Kala on Fire” came over again from Kingston to share the gift of movement meditation on Saturday afternoon in our yurt. This group, like last weekend’s, gave themselves the gift of taking in the documentary Awake: The Life of Yogananda on Friday evening after our delicious and infamous black bean and quinoa burgers, perfected over the seasons by Chef Landon, with so much guacamole – leftover guacamole?!? When does this ever happen!?!

We were blessed with beautiful weather, especially so on Saturday, and it was so nice to see everyone out using the chairs overlooking Brown’s Bay, reading and lounging and really taking in the energy of retreat. Many guests, I noticed, took time alone, even if they came with a friend or family member, to really connect – with themselves, with their book, with their practice, with nature. A beautiful reminder, this is, to carve out time for ourselves as the sweetness and softness of spring slowly turns into the sometimes business of the summer. It’s magical to see so many people come through Shanti who have this commitment to going deeper in their lives, to committing to wellness, to living a holistic life, to bringing in Spirit each day.

And, with Spring comes new installments at Shanti…

…a gorgeous new green house for the soon-to-be kale and cucumbers and tomatoes and sprouts and….


a new landscaping installation including several native tree species, blueberries, and high bush cranberries!

Spring is here! Stay sweet!

Warmly,
The Shanti Family


Date Added: May 1, 2016 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized



About Us

Enjoy the tranquil 11 acre property where our spacious century inn and cabins are situated on 1000 feet of private shoreline. Now in its 13th season, Shanti has become a popular retreat destination in Ontario. More…

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