Last month, Shanti was blessed with the return of two good long time friends of ours, Tiffany and Kristof, to offer their inspired and annual Sacred Relationships retreat here on Wolfe Island. In partnership, the two have created and continue to shape Living in the Self, the space for the home of their offerings and the place through which they inspire others to live in an authentic and tantric way. Tantra is a Sanskrit word that means “woven together.” Buddhist and Hindu practitioners of meditation use “sexual union as a metaphor for weaving together the physical and the spiritual: weaving person to person, and humanity to the divine. The purpose is to become one with God.”(1) With this at the forefront, Tiffany and Kristof’s retreat here is continuously laced with different techniques and exercises to bring about union and intimacy – both union within and with oneself, but also with another, as two souls come together to celebrate, in connection, a sacred relationship.
I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to partake in bits and pieces of their retreat here a few weekends back. I feel especially blessed to have participated with my partner who, as of this season, I live and work with here at Shanti. Together and among other couples, we were sweetly guided by Tiffany and Kristof through a variety of partner yoga postures and exercises, breathing techniques, the creation of a relationship manifesto, and a ritual involving foot massage and the whisperings of what I like to call sweet everythings, also known as adorations.
I now understand a little bit more when I see the couples of these retreats leave Shanti with a detectable lightness and palpable brightness to them. I now understand a little bit more how when they say that this weekend changed their lives and their relationships, this is absolutely and indeed the case. Spending the few sessions together with my partner in this sacred context was such an enriching experience. Synchronizing breathing and gazing into the eyes of another with one hand on our heart and one hand on theirs – a beautiful practice of connection, or reconnection, and union.
Being in a relationship is such a rich experience, one that is constantly changing and unfolding all on its own. It is an experience that can be as organic as we allow, and can also be the arena in our lives where we learn the most about ourselves. Although we all come into this world alone and leave in this same way, we are forever in relation with those around us – firstly with our mothers who gave us life, as well as with our fathers, our siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, and also with strangers.
Undeniably, we are social creatures, and Tiffany and Kristof’s retreats here remind us of exactly this. Not only do they remind us of this, but they remind us to enjoy it, and to completely embrace the sweetness and the sacredness of human to human connection – eye to eye. They remind us to embrace the highlights and joys and the celebration of relationship, but also the challenges, resistances and difficulties that arise and inevitably show up. Embracing the totality of the human (and human-to-human) experience, all highs and all lows, and all else in between, is what guests of this retreat can expect to take home with them.
Next year, fortunately for all, Tiffany and Kristof will be back to host two Sacred Relationships retreats: June 26-28 and September 29-October 1. Get in touch with us at Shanti today to make your reservation either by e-mail (email@example.com) or by telephone (613-777-0247). We look forward to welcoming you and yours.