Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

facebook twitter instragram Threads Youtube
facebook twitter instragram Threads Youtube
New Vrindaban Leads Beach Retreat
By New Vrindaban Communications Team   |  Dec 10, 2022
nw

Tropically settled on the southern coast of the Sunshine State, Delray Beach is a welcome home to many- especially those looking to catch some waves or connect body, mind, and spirit! A month before the Bhakti Lifestyle Retreat, five New Vrindaban devotees had scoped out the area during a short fall vacation earlier. At the time, they didn’t realize Krishna would soon place them back in Delray Beach to gift a spiritual revolution to the salty-haired yogis they had crossed paths with- but they were more than happy to receive the invitation.

Ananta Gauranga was one of the main organizers of the Bhakti Lifestyle Retreat. Ananta is a 2nd generation devotee from New York who has been living in New Vrindaban, interning under Jaya Krsna as a young leader. He often helps organize major retreats and teaches bhakti philosophy and kirtan. Melting hearts with his melodious kirtans and sharing deep Krishna Conscious philosophy in a relatable, practical way is just a microscopic sample of his sincerity and realizations in bhakti. Vrindavan Priya would also lend her equally mesmerizing kirtan talent and friendly wisdom in this endeavor.

 

 

A pattern was very apparent in Delray Beach. “Everyone was nice… on the beach, shopping, walking down the road, hiking…” a delighted Anuradha expresses. Each individual they came across was engaging, reflective, and, most of all, in tune with spirituality. This health-conscious community, bereft of anxiety, was prepped by Krishna to receive bhakti. It seemed like the collective fashion verdict was swimsuits or yoga pants, and the yoga studios were just like temples. Everyone had a membership and would go daily. Some even twice daily! Ananta Gauranga feels they “hit a real pulse by going to a city where people were naturally interested in spiritual life. Some of these people moved to Delray to be close to the yoga community. So connecting with those people felt like a streamlined, easy connection.”

These observations did not sit idle for long before the team started dreaming of Lord Caitanya’s mission coming to life in every town and (as Delray is known) this “Village by the Sea.”

Reaching out to all their new friends and acquaintances, one by one, they invited sincere spiritualists to join them in a weekend Bhakti retreat. One of the connections made was a local, top-rated yoga teacher who encouraged her inquiring students to come! Thankfully (and maybe also mystically), the small devotee team transformed Sarah’s little seaside townhome into The Bhakti Lifestyle Retreat Center hosting 20 guests.

 

 

The retreat was organized as a gift to these new friends, consciously sculpted to be conducive to their lifestyle and to give them a taste of what life in bhakti looks like. Attendees were diverse in lifestyles- ranging from homemakers, dieticians, lawyers, doctors, photographers, etc. But still, the team knew rising for mangala-arati and ending the day with chanting were some practices that would provide a solid foundation for spiritual life for anyone. The retreat spanned from Friday evening (6 pm-9 pm), Saturday (6 am-9 am & 6 pm-9 pm), and Sunday (6 am-noon).

Slow burning just under the horizon, after a surreal morning of japa meditation and mangala-arati together in this spiritual refuge, everyone would migrate to the beach for Surya Namaskar. The sun invited new energy to everyone, beachside yoga was highly anticipated, philosophy classes inspired everyone, and the fantastic prasadam honored afterward was home-cooked by local Delray and New Vrindaban devotees. Two Prabhupada disciples even helped by welcoming and offering their unique services to the newcomers. Presentations on Ayurveda and Ayurvedic-inspired meals helped people understand their bodies from a more elevated perspective and how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle to practice bhakti- rather than just keeping a beautiful body for the sake of being beautiful.

 

 

These six devotees’ enthusiasm and willingness to be instruments in this glorious spiritual mission resulted in a beautiful orchestra of spiritual sincerity and connection, again, a testament to Krishna’s perfect hand. A rich spiritual practice and culture that invites chanting, dancing, and true friends to celebrate every day of life with. Ananta reflects that the biggest reward was “seeing people apply bhakti in their life and get a tangible result. To the point where they kept applying the practice in their life after the retreat. They expressed that they felt deeply moved and wanted to know more. Wanting to evolve their spiritual practice after coming in contact with Srila Prabhupada’s teachings about bhakti.” It was clear that sharing spiritual knowledge and practices with others is one of the most intimate ways to show love and connect.

 

 

We welcome anyone interested in hosting a Bhakti Lifestyle Retreat to reach out to us, especially any yoga studios! The retreat is based on a simple but very successful model. We would be happy to collaborate with you and visit your city!

More Topic
en_USEnglish