I kept hearing the answer to the sutra ‘There is a way through every block” even before Summer Solstice. Love. Over and over again. Love.
My first Solstice I had to dig real deep to get there and to get through it but I felt at home, everything familiar. When I told people it was my first Summer Solstice after 15 years of Kundalini Yoga everyone always seemed surprised. I know many people in the community around the world, this blessing made the experience so very full and also very challenging. I felt my weakness, frailty, and pain were on display.
Each day I was confronted with blocks, with circumstances highlighting deep seated fears and painful places. My need to fix things, obsession with perfection – in everything, fear of chaos and the unknown, doubt, not doing enough, making mistakes, and hurting others unintentionally because of my own feelings.
The experience brought an immersion into peace, a commitment to honoring my bodies needs, to say no, to create boundaries, to keep up, to give and love even through pain and doubt. I recognized my deep need to give, and be loyal, and to fully appreciate the grace and beauty of my own radiant smile that touches peoples hearts deeply.
Almost every day I hitched up or down the mountain, some days both. There is no other time or place I would consider doing it, but it was part of the experience and plan to connect with more people, to gain sparkling nuggets of divine wisdom.
Leading up to Tantric I was told how important it is for us to heal the generational karma so that we can break the chains of karmic bondage and fulfill our destiny. The final day of Tantric we chanted Akal, the air thickened with the energies of the souls connected to us. What laid out before me was the importance of generational healing that transcends any obligation in the physical. The work we do as yogis is profound, the soul clearing, the karmic purifying is the reason I incarnated into a family I have never quite understood, felt so much turmoil from, could always palpably see the entanglement of illusion, meanwhile resisting it every minute.
Photographs © Andy Richter. Andy is currently immersed in a photographic exploration of yoga that will take form as a book in the coming years. The journey continues to lead him into the presence of great masters, to ascetics meditating in caves, to massive gatherings of humanity and always to a deeper knowledge and experience of yoga.To see more of his work, please visit www.andyrichterphoto.com.
I saw the light of love and partnership, the possibility for me in the smiling face of a beautiful child. The last day of the festival I hitched up with Sat Siri of Ra Ma Da Sa Institute. Sitting in the backseat with her beautiful daughter, her eyes on my face, and holding my hand against her heart brought home what I discovered in day two of Tantric.
When I am asked if I want children I always, very particularly say no. My attitude against something tied to my perspective and experience of relationships, and family was a massive block to finding peace and happiness in those realms. That fear, taken on from generations of karma and my own parents experiences passed onto me was wedge in my destiny. What I felt, in a wave of release and love was the possibility, and heart felt desire to have children, and the faith and hope of the possibility of that fulfillment.
While Solstice was extremely painful, while I was confronted very obviously with challenge, I will be back next year (and not just because I anticipate my debut album to be released). There is no other stronger, more sacred experience I have been through that has given me the opportunity of healing, of forgiveness, and growth. And meanwhile I am still crying over its loss, pain, and beauty…I am basking in its joy, and infinite love, its breaking open of my heart. While I am still feeling pangs of hurt, having moments of serious wailing and weeping, it is the way through, and part of the process for me. Healing generational karma can be a tough job, but it is a great soul service, one made with love and devotion.