Closing Circle – This Occasion Shows Us How Much Our Hearts Have to Share

After a sweet, short afternoon Yoga practice with Mirka, we gathered in a circle one last time.

Sangha candles

It is amazing that we feel like we really know each other and that we could be extremely open with people who were strangers to us a week ago.  Time has been behaving strangely here.  There have been so many insights, so many possibilities for transformation for almost 30 of us, that it seems unreal that our first trip to the Basilica of St. Francis was only a week ago!

Mirka told us that she began our time together invoking the teachings of Kriya Yoga because it offers a way to receive Grace.  As we went around and shared our insights and experiences from the week, it was clear that opening to Grace was something we all had the chance to experience on some level or another.  Mirka told us that “This occasion shows us how much our hearts have to share.”

There were many touching experiences shared with the group and some profound reflection on what it means to make room in your life for an experience like this.  I couldn’t possibly record them all.  Some thoughts were very private, but there were a couple of sweet jewels of words that stuck in my mind as I listened:

“Let things happen on God’s time, not my time”

“I live in the ocean, but I came here for the source”

“Every time I come here, I peel back another layer of myself” – this from a beautiful man with a thick Texas accent, which makes the words sound even sweeter.

Amy said that the week was like “living for five days with an open heart,” and I think that perfectly expresses the way I have felt this entire week.  When we are in the midst of our lives, it is hard to remain open and still feel safe and secure.  A retreat like this is such a rare opportunity to have sacred space of openness and trust with an amazing group of people.

Our friend Jennele has led us in song a few times this week.  She introduced to one song that came back a few times over the week and keeps coming to mind for me:

I will be gentle with myself.

I will love myself.

I am a child of the Universe being born each moment.

A the end of out circle, she asked if she could end with a traditional Kenyan song used for when a group of people have come together and now must part but hope to reconnect again.  It was a fun, upbeat song that we all ended up singing together before we departed.

I have no photos from this time to share because were were all very much participating in this special time.  Afterwards, however, we enjoyed and all went out to dinner in a great little restaurant named Ristorante Degli Orti, which is fantastic!  The atmosphere is really pleasant and peaceful.  The menu is a selection of Umbrian dishes prepared with a light, healthy style.  The staff is really nice, and there were even able to handle all 30 of us without much notice.  It was a lovely, fun evening to bring an end to an amazing week.

Assisi 2012 Sangha, I will be thinking of all of you and your amazing stories as this all gets absorbed into my being!  Thank you, thank you for making this week so amazing.

On the way to dinner, the six ‘sisters’ let me take a photo. These ladies didn’t all know each other before this week and happened to all be staying a day or two in Rome before coming. They met there and bonded like sister, immediately. Their laughter could be heard everyday somewhere in town!

Every other photo I have of Carlo, he is making a silly face. This is how handsome he really looks.


Mom and daughter sharing a lovely week in Assisi (Jennie and Karen took some great photos for us!)

Father, mother, son – our friends from Israel. Somehow, I see a family resemblance here.

Jennele and Di.

Mirka, Sandra and Russ sharing a moment

Jennifer and Erin – harest working women in show business (more on their story in an up coming post)


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