Know thyself and you shall know the universe.
- Lao Tzu

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Tapping Into the Infinite Supply of Energy- A transformative Reiki Retreat with Brett Bevell

On July 13th, Brett Bevell – alongside his lovely wife and newborn – arrived on the island from the Omega Institute area in New York. Brett is an incredible reiki master and spiritual healer who has graced this planet to spread well being to all whom he meets. He is the founder of the Magical Awakening Institute and is also a world renowned poet and author – of The Reiki Magic Guide to Self Attunement, among others.

From the 13th to the 15th, while participating in a retreat with Wendy and Darin, guests had the chance to experience Brett’s offerings directly. He began on the Monday evening with a group healing session in our yurt right before bed, which really set the tone for the retreat. On Tuesday, guests were attuned to the energy, enabling them to give both themselves and others treatments.

Guests worked in pairs experimenting with sending each other energy, and experienced what it was like to allow this infinite supply of universal energy to flow through them. “I could feel her hands on my head before she even touched me,” one guest remarked. “Her hands were so hot, and when the treatment started, I felt such a sense of peace and calm.” Little do a lot of us know that this energy is readily available to us. All we have to do is become present, become aware of our breath, believe, and let it flow.

Before Brett left, he collected e-mails addresses of the guests to send them recordings of his sound healings on his SoundCloud. This man is truly a magical man, and if ever you get the chance to meet and experience Brett Bevell, do exactly this!

For more information on Brett, reiki, and the Magical Awakening Institute, you can visit his website at http://brettbevell.com/


Date Added: July 27, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings



Eat the Rainbow..and feel the prana! July’s Conscious Cooking Retreat with Darin, Wendy and RHN Lacey Budge

On July 17th, Wendy and Darin hosted a summer retreat, alongside Shanti’s manager and Registered Holistic Nutritionist Miss Lacey Budge, who shared a series of workshops on Conscious Cooking. Guests were invited to reflect on the effects of food choices on the physical body, as well as the energetic, mental and spiritual bodies, as well as the planet.

With such a rich and colourful harvest from both our organic garden and the garden over at Okee’s Farm on the island, guests practiced eating locally, seasonally, and… intuitively eating the rainbow: red peppers, orange carrots, yellow beans, green herbs, blue-berries, purple cabbage, white radishes – a chakra salad indeed!


This weekend we also had our largest group out for the Sunday morning walking meditation with Darin! About 20 guests awoke early to feel the peace around the big and beautiful tree just out front with the swing. Inhale… Exhale… Left foot… Right foot… Nowhere to be but here. Each step, cultivating stillness, awareness, and loving kindness with Mother Earth. It is a beautiful time of year to be outside, to Simply Be.


With our labyrinth almost complete, guests also had the opportunity to continue this walking meditation through the labyrinth, beginning at the beginning and making their way all the way through to the center in meditation.

By Andrew Burrows


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



What to expect at your first yoga retreat? A guest post by Emily Hunter

The older we get, the more we tend to think about keeping, or getting, our bodies in shape. Our mortality becomes more obvious every day as we feel aches and pains we’ve never felt before.

We begin to think about how healthy we’ll be as we age, hoping we’ll be well enough to take care of ourselves.

Middle age is often when many of us start to get these realizations. As young adults, we probably felt pretty invincible. But with those days behind us, it’s time to really focus on getting and staying well.

Wellness encompasses a number of aspects in our daily lives. Most obvious is our physical appearance. We want toned legs, abs, and arms. We notice the cellulite, love handles, and double chins. But wellness is more than just how we look. It’s how we feel. Are we out of breath when we climb a flight of stairs? Can we play tag with our children? Are we tired when we wake up in morning? Can we sleep well at night? These are all indicative of how well we actually are.

Wellness is also how we feel emotionally. Are we feeling out of control, overwhelmed, or anxious most of the time? How do we react to normal, everyday stressors? Do we find things to laugh about daily, do we enjoy little things, and can we feel comfortable in our own skin?

Another aspect of wellness is our relationship with others. Whether we live alone or with a family of ten, how do we relate to people in the world around us? Are we agitated by normal human interactions or do we accept others? Do we argue a lot or hide away from people?

And how do we feel about ourselves? Are we constantly reinventing or searching for ourselves, or have we determined who we are, understanding our inner beings? With all those facets to wellness, how can we work toward being our best selves?

One of the best ways to take a good look within is to take a step away from the world, while still being connected to it. A vacation is a great way, but taking it a bit further, a yoga or wellness retreat is an ideal way to make huge leaps in self growth.

What exactly is a yoga retreat? It’s a place to stop time and listen to your inner voice. And it’s more than just yoga. It’s a wellness retreat. But really, what is it?

A full-service wellness retreat will include:

● Healthy meals served three times a day, taking into account special health-related concerns, balanced diets, and caloric requirements. Some resorts will focus on certain health trends like detoxing or weight loss.

● Spas, complete with soothing saunas, massage therapy, skin treatments, and other therapeutic treatments. Some will be holistic with non-traditional experiences, while others will consist of more western medicine and therapy.

● Peaceful surroundings, whether it’s a desert oasis, a mountain vista, or a relaxing beach setting. There are countless beautiful resorts around the world.

● Yoga classes in one or more of several types of yoga styles.

● Excursions to try new activities like scuba diving, canoeing, fishing, bird watching, or hot air ballooning. The sky’s the limit!

● Well-trained instructors, doctors, and therapists, helping you work on wellness physically, mentally, and spiritually.

● Various fitness classes, from aerobics to team sports to swimming.

● Like-minded seekers of health, giving you the chance to connect with others and make new friends.

What you can expect depends on the retreat you’ve selected. Some retreats are highly structured, with planned activities every minute of every day, each geared toward a certain aspect of wellness and health. You may start the day off with an hour of yoga, a healthy breakfast, classes with healers, and continue the day knowing exactly where you’ll be every moment.

Other retreats will allow you more autonomy, giving you time to choose how you want to rejuvenate and reconnect with yourself. You’ll have time to explore the local town, relax in the pool, or order healthy meals delivered right to your room.

When you get the urge to explore the depths of your inner and outer health and wellness, take some time to research vacation packages at some of the world’s best wellness retreats.

Budgets vary, but you’re sure to find something that works, even if it’s only for a day or two. Our lives our finite, but our health can always be just a little bit better than it is. You owe to yourself to push for the healthiest you.

**

Emily Hunter crafts content on behalf of Samahita Retreat, a health and wellness retreat located in KohSamui, Thailand. In her spare time, she cheers for Spirit of Atlanta, Carolina Crown and Phantom Regiment, creates her own sodas, and crushes tower defense games. Follow her on Twitter at @Emily2Zen


Date Added: July 24, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga



Creating Sacred Space: building a labyrinth (and community!)

The Labyrinth is here and is bringing everyone together!

This project has been an idea of Darin and Wendy’s for quite some time, and this year it is manifesting (and fast!). “We always thought it would be a beautiful addition to the property, and we have been recently re-inspired after traveling and spending time in other communities and retreat centers such as the Omega Institute, COSM and Esalen, who also have beautiful labyrinths,” shares Wendy.

In the spring of 2015, 2 of Shanti’s retreat guests shared that they themselves have a labyrinth at their property just outside of Kingston, and recommended a local Reverand from Kingston whose passion and hobby is to create authentic labyrinths.

We contacted him the next day, and invited him over to take a look at our property. After choosing an appropriate location and size, we got the project underway.

We began by placing down a large plastic sheet on the grass (to prevent future weed growth) and covered it with wood chips ….a lot of them! We are so grateful to friends on the island who helped us bring in so many chips to cover the area.

It was 2 days of raking these piles to get them down to an even layer. It was a time consuming task, but one that brought the Shanti team together (and even got us singing together!). “It was a really hot day, but felt so good to be working outside in nature, and working together as a team. We had a short window to get it done, and we did it!” shares Lacey.

The next step was to welcome back Reverand Drew from Kingston to mark down the design. “The design we chose was the replicate of the Chartres in France,” explains Darin, “it is one of the most well known patterns, and found in the Chartres Cathedral.”

After the pattern was laid out, Darin picked up several loads of rocks and then it was time to start unloading…one trailer at a time. “This was my favorite part, it was not arduous at all, but so calming. I repeated a mantra and placed each rock with intention” shares Wendy.

 

Many rocks were painted by guests as a part of the 2015 summer art project. The guest’s rocks are all unique and painted with awareness, and will remain  a part of Shanti forever! While we were out placing the rocks, some of our neighbors came down and also placed some rocks. This labyrinth is truly bringing people together!

We look forward to welcoming you back to Shanti so that you may walk your first steps in our labyrinth. It will be there for anyone looking for a few minutes of stillness, to reflect, to walk the path inward. Darin will also lead walking meditations through this sacred symbol during Shanti’s Retreats. ”

Final photo coming soon!

So what is a labyrinth anyway?

“A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.

A labyrinth is an archetype with which we can have a direct experience. We can walk it. It is a metaphor for life’s journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to “That Which Is Within.”

Labyrinths and mazes have often been confused. When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.

A labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal. The way in is the way out. There are no blind alleys. The path leads you on a circuitous path to the center and out again.

A labyrinth is a right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A more passive, receptive mindset is needed. The choice is whether or not to walk a spiritual path.

At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.” Source: http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm

“Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path… exactly where you are meant to be right now… And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.”  

Caroline Adams

By Lacey B.


Date Added: July 12, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings



Meeting you where you are at: a weekend retreat with dallas from studio 330

This past weekend marks dallas delahunt’s 10th consecutive year of retreats at Shanti. The beautiful (and fierce!) dallas from just across the ferry in Kingston has been celebrating all things yoga with us just after our first location in Prince Edward County came to be.

Guests love the flavour of her retreat offerings; you can always count on carefully crafted playlists in class (with lots of acoustic versions of well known songs), neat and playful workshops (arm balancing and headstands), and she never fails to bring along a bundle of goods for her guests. This time, we were all gifted hand made salty coconut lime body scrubs in miniature mason jars and oodles of home made chocolate covered almonds.

During dallas’ retreats, you can expect to be totally pampered and catered to. All of her classes and all of its sequences, vinyasas and postures are made very clearly optional, as she invites her students to continuously check into the needs of their bodies time and time again. She always takes the desires of her students into consideration. She teaches to all shapes and all sizes, to every yogi with a will to jump on the mat, regardless of where they’re at on their path and in their journey.

Yoga is for every-body. It’s heart warming to know her studio in Kingston is just a ferry ride away. If you ever get the chance to roll through Kingston, be sure to make Studio 330 (330 Princess St) a priority. This unique community and warm space created by dallas is like no other you will find, truly, and we are lucky that she brings this vibe with her to the Island.

Many thanks, and much much much love to you, dallas. See you again in August!

By Andrew Burrows, Karma yogi extraordinaire at Shanti Retreat


Date Added: July 11, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings



It’s an annual tradition: Celebrating Canada Day with a Retreat!

To celebrate Canada Day and what appears to be the official arrival of summer, Wendy and Darin hosted a mid-week retreat, June 30th through until July 2nd.

Highlights of this retreat were the delicious meals (And desserts!), the spectacular fireworks, and the afternoon art project (see more pictures).  We collected rocks from the island and painted them white, then guests had the opportunity to spend a few hours relaxing and painting. All of the rocks that were painted are now contributions to Shanti. Into the gardens they go, and into our soon-to-be labyrinth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The evening of Canada Day, we were graced with a beautiful Canadian coconut cornmeal cake by Chef Sheran, who created a Canada flag upon it made of fresh raspberries. After dessert, we all head to the dock to watch the fireworks that were going on in Kingston, and celebrated as well with sparklers.

{pic with sparklers}

Ah, to be children again. Summer is here to stay!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Andrew Burrows

 


Date Added: July 6, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga,Shanti's Retreat Offerings



Reuniting with Yoga, with Loren Crawford

The witty and charming Loren Crawford and his yogis from Ottawa just left the Island yesterday with big smiles on their faces after a Thursday to Sunday stay with us. Guests left feeling rested, rejuvenated, enlivened and informed, after a full weekend of practice and self-inquiry.  Throughout the weekend, Loren’s offerings included meaningful discussions and lectures on tantra and ayurveda, and these teachings were beautifully interwoven into his asana classes in the yurt. Guests learned about how to practice and live in a way that respects their unique ayurvedic constitutions, as well as how to use aromatherapy and essential oils as medicine.

It is inspiring and also hopeful to witness how yoga in the west has continued to unfold; it is coming full circle, I feel. “A yoga retreat is a catalyst for healing and change,” writes Loren. When yoga first arrived in the West, most of its roots made it here, for it was initially practiced in a way that closely resembled the sacred Eastern practice and way of life. As time went on, and as we have evolved into an appearance-focused, fitness-friendly, consumerist society, a lot of what yoga once was has dissolved. Yoga has become commercial, and a business, and something to invest in. But what a lot of practitioners in the West today are forgetting is the original flavour of yoga, the original investment: an investment in and a compassionate connection to the self, to the heart, to stillness. The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root yuji, which means “to join” or “to yoke” – merging and uniting opposites into a sacred Oneness;  finding centeredness amidst polarities; sensing peace within chaos. Yoga is a conscious connection, and awareness is the secret of yoga. Loren’s retreat this past weekend had a way of bringing Shanti guests back to the core of yoga, through the open and safe space for discussion and inquiry provided all weekend. It is warming to see and to feel the origins of yoga being reignited here in the West.

It was lovely to have Loren back on the Island again this season, and we look forward to having him back next season for further yogic investigation and inquiry.


Date Added: June 16, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Shanti's Retreat Offerings



Classic Oatmeal Raisin Cookies…with a twist!

It’s almost a guarantee that oatmeal raisin cookies will win over a crowd. They have this nostalgic quality to them and taste good, not matter your age.

The Shanti kitchen team prepares these cookies to sell as nutritious and delicious snacks during afternoon free time. This past weekend, Shanti’s newest volunteer, Isabelle, suggested that we add lemon zest to the cookies…and let’s just say there is no turning back.

We used cranberries in this batch, but feel free to stick to the classic raisin recipe or any dried fruit that you enjoy.

Ingredients

2.5 cups spelt flour

2 cups rolled oats

1 tsp bakin soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1.5 cups dried raisins or cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup coconut oil

1 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp lemon zest

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda and powder, and salt in a large bowl. Toss in dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon.

Mix the coconut oil (room temperature), maple syrup, vanilla and lemon zest thoroughly in another bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until all the flour has been absorbed.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet. Bake for 13 minutes.

Enjoy out of the oven or allow to cool.

Makes 25 giant cookies, or more if smaller.

Inspired by Jae Steele, in Ripe from Around Here

By Lacey Budge


Date Added: June 8, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Whole Foods Living



Have you ever tried a gong bath? Read and re-live a Crystal Journey with David Hickey!

On Sunday May the 31st, the magical and bright-eyed David Hickey of Hamilton, Ontario visited Shanti for the third time for his Crystal Journey performance. He arrived Saturday evening with his beautiful wife and daughter just short of 2, in a ginormous white van filled with a stunning set of quartz crystal singing bowls, a vibraphone, santoor, and 8 18 Paiste Planet, symphonic and sound creation gongs. He also came with a table full of beautiful mala beads and CDs of his sets to share. Crystal Journey has toured and touched Canada and the US from coast to coast for the past ten years, performing over 1,000 live shows, and we were lucky enough to have David and his family of gongs back again for another cozy, meditative and rainy Sunday afternoon of “gong bathing.”

Each of his gongs feature a “strong fundamental note tuned to represent a natural harmonic series based on the orbital properties of the Sun, the Earth, the Moon and the other planets. It’s like having a full orchestra” or a “sound odyssey.” These gongs resonate in harmony with the celestial bodies, and communicate a distinct aspect of the Music of the Spheres, first documented by philosopher Pythagoras in the 6th century BC.


David’s sound odysseys, also known as sound journeys, take place usually in two 40 to 50 minute sets. Nothing is ever amplified or rehearsed, leaving him a lot of space to intuitively see what feels and sounds right, to improvise spontaneously in each passing moment. This is yoga. At his performances, guests are invited to sit or lay down as close to the gongs as possible to feel the subtle frequencies and vibrations of his gongs and bowls, and to really connect with the set up close. There aren’t words that exist that fully match the sensations felt at one of his concerts; you simply have to experience them yourself. It’s a beautiful process and journey to be a part of. “It took me to another place,” our head chef Sheran says.

Essentially, every thing and everyone is in a constant state of vibration. The planets vibrate. All matter vibrates. Everything consists of atomic material in constant motion. Motion is manifested in everything in the Universe, and nothing is at a state of complete rest. This motion generates frequencies which thus generate sound in the form of waves known as sound waves. Whether we hear them, everything has a sound, a vibration, all of its own. These frequencies of movement determine specific sounds. Hazrat Inayat Khan, an ancient Sufi master, says that “the knower of the mystery of sound knows the mystery of the whole Universe.”


Sound waves have a tremendous influence on human functionality. Sound is vibration that causes resonance and rhythm in our bodies. It moves us both physically and emotionally, and therefore spiritually as well. Because of the demands we are subjected to in our modern day to day lives, the increase in stress-related dis-ease is of little wonder. Many external and internal influences have a proven effect on our well being, including the sounds of a gong and a singing bowl meditation experience. When asked about the intentions behind David’s sound creations, he says his aim “is to try and bring some peace to the current times that we’re living through on the planet. A lot of people, myself included, are having a time of it, just trying to adjust to all the energies that we seem to be bombarded with. We clear one thing out, and another thing comes up, then we clear that out, and another thing comes up, and it seems to be endless, so I really find that this music helps with not only clearing it, but helping to understand it, why we’re clearing it, and then letting it go. It’s a very peaceful process.”

If the opportunity arises for you to partake in one of David’s sound journeys, I highly, highly recommend you take advantage of it! Allow your body to melt and soul to dance among the gongs and bowls, dissolving into loving spaciousness and freedom. If you are curious about his whereabouts and want to learn more about his performances and his instruments, head on over to his website at www.crystaljourney.ca. Here you will find a photo gallery as well as videos of his work.


Date Added: June 4, 2015 | Comments (0) | Filed under: Uncategorized



A playful weekend of yoga, music and simply being!

On May 29th, we welcomed the return of the lovely and inspiring Ichih Wang from just east of us, Ottawa.  Again this year, she was accompanied by the musically gifted Lucila Al Mar for a Saturday evening satsang filled with guitars, drums, chanting and journaling. And, for the first time, friend and guest instructor Nigel Walker, who lead us through a restorative Saturday afternoon yin practice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ichih’s weekends with us at Shanti always have a light and playful energy to them. Her classes invigorate the body and soul, and offer opportunities to warm, strengthen, release and heal.

Guests also had the chance to purchase from a table full of goodies for sale from her travels – mala beads, bracelets and necklaces from her travels through Mexico, India and Costa Rica.

As our head chef of last season, Landon, has taken off into the beautiful unknown, we officially warmly welcome our new head chef for the 2015 Shanti season, Sheran. He graced us in the kitchen with a Greek night on Friday – spanakopita and halva balls, along with a delicious vegan creamy broccoli soup and a raw sunflower seed pate on Saturday for lunch. For dinner, a classic and rustic squash and black bean chili topped with cacao and served with guacamole. Sunday’s brunch frittata were as excellent as ever, and helped fuel up Ichih’s guests after a weekend of vinyasa flow.

We look forward to welcoming you back this time next year, Ichih. Thank you for the energy, the support, and for reminding us to play while “holding hands with our feet!”

By Andrew Burrows


Date Added: | Comments (0) | Filed under: Living with Yoga



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 12th season, Shanti has become a popular retreat destination in Ontario. More…