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 Satsang Cafe - General Discussions on AYP
 AYP Retreat Experience, Mensch Mill, PA - Oct 2010
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920 Posts

Posted - Oct 25 2010 :  12:17:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
The retreat this past weekend did finally happen! Difficult to express in words everything that took place

The leaders - Shanti, Kirtanman, Carson and Katrine were absolutely fabulous, steeped in silence and effortless in their actions of leading the group, that also arose out of the silence. The practices were powerful, and all of us left with more inner silence than we did arriving at the retreat. Although most of us had never met one another before this, we left with a sense of deep bonding and being part of something far bigger than us. Many of us will have meaningful friendships arising out of this. The sharings were moving, and the Q and A sessions positively wonderful. No question was too small or too big to ask or recieve an answer to. The bhakti permeating the whole place (which was also perfect, by the way) was palpable. In short, the first AYP retreat here was a huge success So much so, that we would love to make this an annual event.

Thank you Shanti for organizing everything so beautifully. Thank you Katrine for your amazing presence (which is still with me), Carson for your childlike view of everything, and Doug for your extensive knowledge and kirtans.

And thank you Yogani for making all this possible.



3115 Posts

Posted - Oct 25 2010 :  2:41:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ananda's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Wish i could've been there, but very glad it happened and yes i am pro it being an annual event also but not always in the U.S where it's really hard (almost impossible) for people from where i am to go to...

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347 Posts

Posted - Oct 25 2010 :  3:05:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Parallax's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I want to express my thanks as well, but the words are wholly inadequate...

To the retreat leaders, there is sooo much gratitude for all of the energy you put into outpouring that occurred. I am eternally grateful...each one of you are such amazing and unique expressions of That. It was the most amazing experience I have ever been a part of. I have never experienced inner silence like that; the silence, the bliss and the ecstasy that were experienced were more than I ever imagined possible.

I want to go on and on about how deep and profound the experience was, but am finding it hard to express the sheer beauty of it I will leave it in silence.

To everyone who was there, I love you all very much and thank you for sharing yourselves with me.

And Kami, thank you for getting the process rolling...I really appreciated your presence there.

ps: Carson I think I'm starting to get over my "sushumna envy", but it may take a while...

pps: Yogani I don't even know where to begin...but thank you for everything
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849 Posts

Posted - Oct 25 2010 :  5:05:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Wow, sounds great!! Glad you all were positively effected :)

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26 Posts

Posted - Oct 25 2010 :  6:28:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
yes, this past weekend was unbelievable - i am still processing everything that happened in me/the group. i opened in ways i couldn't have previously imagined. thank you again to everyone from the depth of my soul (you too yogani) -- to everyone for sharing the depth of their soul. i went just as me but left as everyone!

there's no question as to whether i'd attend an annual event.

on a lighter note bewell pointed out to me that my name is read most obviously as 'dan sin every way.' lol this didn't even occur to me. (leave it to me to not see the obvious.) it was intended to be read as 'dance in every way.'

ps (is reformatting a name an option on here?)

Edited by - DansInEveryWay on Oct 27 2010 4:25:09 PM
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8 Posts

Posted - Oct 25 2010 :  7:15:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit JuZen's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
The retreat was very good for me and I decided to join the forum. Read your messages and writing some too can help me with my English language, I think!

Today, with my students (I'm a primary school teacher), I teach some techniques of Insight Dialog (pulse your ideas when you listen another student). It was very good for them, I think! Thank you Katerine, for this!

So, thank you everyone to accept me even if I don't really speak. Next year, I promise that I speak English! Carson tell me he talk french fluently next year too!!!! Hihi

I have some pictures, where I post it?
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318 Posts

Posted - Oct 25 2010 :  9:51:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Pheel's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Juzen,

Welcome to the forum! To respond to your question, it'd be great if we have an AYP ftp for people to share large files like recording or retreat, devotional music, videos of previous retreats, etc..I release this in silence now...

To Shanti and to all the members,

Thank you all for the purification and the opening, for together creating the transformative experience!

Edited by - Pheel on Oct 25 2010 10:26:21 PM
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171 Posts

Posted - Oct 25 2010 :  9:57:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit wakeupneo's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
As I search for the proper, clever words to put on the screen, I fall into silent, heartfelt gratitude for all the facilitators, participants, and the teachings themselves...

Perhaps it's best to leave it at that...

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1275 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  03:03:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
" enraptured heart seemed shattered into a thousand pieces." What beautiful words!

One summer day on the beach -- a day of walking and talking and watching dolphins play surprisingly near the shore! -- I saw these beautiful words in Yogananda's autobiography, Chapter 19. Yogananda used these beautiful words to describe an experience at Dakshineswar Temple, and more specifically in the "nine-domed Temple of Kali, where the figures of the Divine Mother and Shiva rest on a burnished silver lotus, its thousand petals meticulously chiseled." Yogananda was deeply mindful that it was a place where Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa had worshiped.

When I read those beautiful words on the beach graced by dolphins, I was shocked for reasons of my own. I had seen some of those words before in a poem by a Mississippi-born poet, my writing teacher, an African American man by the name of Al Young who seemed to double as my unwilling guru. Al Young who wrote:

Get that feeling sometimes
you-can’t hold-me-down

Wanna shatter
Ten thousand fragments of emotion —


Young's poem -- his "fly-away song" --had flipped me out before, and that day on the beach where dolphins played, I realized a deeper resonance of the words he had chosen.

I pondered those words for years, wondering when I too might feel their meaning in my own heart.

Thankfully, at the AYP retreat, I too felt my heart shatter with emotion. As I write this noticing tears in my eyes, noticing the time, 3 am, I realize that this time for dreamers and flyers too, I recall a word that Al Young says we just cannot use too often: Love, love, love.

Dare I speak "love" in the silence now, and let it go into silence, risking becoming what is?
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1651 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  07:17:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by dansineveryway

pps i have audio from all day saturday (minus the insight dialogue, i deleted that) and sunday (minus the goodbyes, unless you specifically want to hear them). before i post a link, does anyone who was there object?


Not for me .... but for the privacy of everyone who was there.

If anything, this audio should be available only to people who there, and with any names/statements made by people who want their statements and/or names 100% private, edited out (easy to do, I can work with you on this, if you need).

Thanks -- and thanks SO much for recording -- I know several of us are very grateful that you did!

To All:

This retreat was truly amazing - enough so that even Kirtanman can distill it down to one word:


More later.


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1651 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  08:43:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kirtanman's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

Hey All,

FYI, for anyone who's on Facebook, I just set up an AYP 2010 Retreat Group - and added the people whose Facebook IDs I had handy.

The Web address is:

For anyone who is not on Facebook, it takes just a minute to join, or if you don't want to, we do know of at least one other Retreat participant who is setting up a blog of retreat photos, and will post a link once that's done.

NOTE to JuZen and All --- it's really easy to upload/post photos to Facebook groups --- so please feel free to add photos, comments, etc.

Thanks again to all for an amazing, beautiful and fun retreat!



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26 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  11:45:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
i absolutely agree with you, kirtanman. privacy is of utmost importance here. i'm not going to release it unless i have everyone's word; and then only to those who were there and request it.
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3189 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  1:44:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

I have just arrived home from the retreat....about 12 hours and an unplanned overnight stay (due to delayed and cancelled flights as well as a missed connection) later...but I am home now.

The retreat was like nothing else I have ever experienced. Like others above, words cannot describe it, nor do I really even care to try. The Silence, the Presence, the sheer beauty of it All is well beyond anything words can even point to. There was much laughter and many tears...and they were not necessarily happening at separate times.

I feel almost overwhelmed with the sheer connection that was (and is still being) experienced....both with "others" as well as with Self. The gratitude pouring from my heart is enormous. Gratitude for the sharing, on all levels, of Self, Soul and Silence.

Like Parallax, I could gush for days, but really, Silence says it this is where I will leave least for now.

Thank you everyone for Being There/Here/Now. I will see you all inside. I love you


Oh, and PS...Dan, I would love to be able to listen to whatever you have recorded. Privacy is not an issue for me (as I'm sure is obvious to EVERYONE hahahahaha ) but I understand the need for it as well. Let me know if you need help editing it at all....I still got a ProTools rig at home
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821 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  1:54:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
This was the most beautiful 3 days I've experienced in years, possibly in my life. The love and silence was felt strongly. It felt like family. The most beautiful part was the constant sharing and giving to each other.

This might be premature to report, but upon coming home, relating to the people in my life has become much deeper already. My experience of Life is deeper. People are really beautiful, man! It's amazing. And fortunately the laughter has toned down to an almost "sane" level

Thank you, everyone. It was awesome to meet you all. I learned and benefited from each and every one of you. There is only love and gratitude in my heart for you.

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1813 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  3:52:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit Katrine's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply

Hi all

Yes - it was a tremendously powerful retreat.
So much bhakti, courage, openness, willingness, sensitivity, compassion and wisdom flowed from everyone of you, it was such a privilege to be with you all. The resonance will linger for a long time, and for me the retreat also validated the sense I have had for a while now that leading retreats will be a major part of the work happening from here.

Welcome to the forum Juzen

I am still at Shantis house - enjoying the stillness, in company with Sparky (her dog) :)

Carson, Kirtanman, Shanti - it was such a privilege to work with you.

Thank you all for sharing your experience of the retreat - it is both very beautiful to read and also helpful regarding future events.

Each and one of you is in my heart - may the impact/consequences of the retreat keep unfolding in deep and ever opening ways for all of us.

Group hug

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88 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  5:31:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
though i am not an ayp meditator, i feel so happy to read the beautiful posts up there :)
i would really love to be part of the next retreat - should we wait until next year? ;)
much love to all..
hope to meet you in person and in silence one day

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292 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  5:57:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I concur with Swaha!

As I am reading the posts from the AYP Retreat, it is wonderful to read how everyone had beautiful retreat time....and then I realy want to be there===and I am just meant to be here and so glad that people may share some insights, how did this meeting get started? who facilitates the retreat? where was the retreat(what state/city)?

Thanks for sharing!
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1275 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  6:18:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by cosmic

...upon coming home, relating to the people in my life has become much deeper already.

I am noticing the same thing -- my relationships have improved. I just had a visit with my friend who paid my way to the retreat, and strange as this may sound, it seems that the retreat changed his life too. We did a kind of automatic insight dialog with non-anxious eye contact, relaxed pauses, and mutual discovery.

I am in awe. We are in awe. Growth happens together, and we are not alone.
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3189 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  6:19:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit CarsonZi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi sage

Originally posted by sage890

how did this meeting get started?

Kami suggested it and then Shanti did the necessary logistics to bring it into manifestation.

Originally posted by sage890

who facilitates the retreat?

This specific retreat was facilitated by Katrine, Shanti, Kirtanman and myself. Mostly Katrine, Shanti and Kirtanman though... I was mostly just there

Originally posted by sage890

where was the retreat(what state/city)?

It was at The Mensch Mill retreat center close to Allentown Pennsylvania.

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920 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  8:30:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Originally posted by bewell

Originally posted by cosmic

...upon coming home, relating to the people in my life has become much deeper already.

I am noticing the same thing -- my relationships have improved. I just had a visit with my friend who paid my way to the retreat, and strange as this may sound, it seems that the retreat changed his life too. We did a kind of automatic insight dialog with non-anxious eye contact, relaxed pauses, and mutual discovery.

I am in awe. We are in awe. Growth happens together, and we are not alone.

So true. How could there have been so much beauty within, yet I never saw it before? You all made it happen. Thank you.

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46 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  8:49:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit Nicole's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I am so happy to hear the retreat went so wonderfully! I did not make this one, but I plan on going to the next one. It is so exciting to see AYP growing and being appreciated. Thank you Yogani, Carson, Shanti, Katrine, Doug and anyone else that helped, for all the hard work and making this happen!
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17 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  9:05:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
For me, the retreat was a deeply transformational experience that will be cherished always.

Thanks to all who worked so selflessly to make this happen and to the participants for a tremendous bonding experience. I give thanks everyday for the day that I discovered AYP - it has changed my life in ways I could not have expected.

Katrine - many thanks for the Insight Dialog exercise. To me, this was the most difficult part of the retreat, and yet it was what I needed the most!

Yogani - With deep and sincere reverence - Pranaam.
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66 Posts

Posted - Oct 26 2010 :  10:15:43 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
I am very grateful to every one of you for your incredible presence this weekend. I have difficulty finding words to express how I feel. To all the leaders, I was profoundly touched by you... in a subtle and profound way I was transformed by your presence. Shanti, you were an inspiration with your perfect display of stillness in action. Kirtanman, you gave me glimpses of the simplicity and awesomeness of simply being there in the now. Carson and Parallax, you really shown me how living with inner silence doesn’t have to be serious with your wonderful sense of humour… I had a lot of fun.
Katrine, being in your presence, or should I say That Presence, was a blessing beyond my understanding. Meeting eyes with you in Satsang filled me with something words can’t convey … a glimpse of my Self maybe.

Thanks to everyone for sharing yourself with me. A special thanks to Yogani without whom that would have been impossible. I love you all and look forward to meeting you again.

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5192 Posts

Posted - Oct 27 2010 :  10:43:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit yogani's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi All:

Very happy to hear that the Pennsylvania retreat proved beneficial for so many of you.

On the subject of additional retreats, it will be good to do annual events -- everywhere. But this will not be enough. The ideal for many practitioners will be attending retreats 2-4 times per year. They don't have to all be in the same place, though it would be nice to have places where retreats are occurring quarterly like clockwork. Eventually it will get to that stage of development. It will evolve organically. Now that the "cat is out of the bag" that retreats really do work, there will likely be increasing demand for them. Bravo!

Speaking of which, we are now a "go" for the Kripalu March 20-25, 2011 retreat. So we have a world class facility lined up in Massachusetts, USA for a larger AYP retreat 5 months from now. Here we are on the Kripalu schedule. This information will be linked from the top left border of the AYP website and forums soon. Sign-ups will be through Kripalu.

You may have noticed me dropping a few hints in the forum recently that anyone anywhere can arrange for a facility, and we can provide the retreat leadership and help find attendees for it. Let me know if you are interested, and we can provide support.

In the course of doing more retreats here and there, it is expected that others will learn the ropes for leadership (encouraged), so we can be increasing our team of AYP retreat leaders, and keep expanding the number of retreats occurring around the world. It can grow organically like that.


The guru is in you.

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734 Posts

Posted - Oct 27 2010 :  11:22:40 AM  Show Profile  Visit mr_anderson's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
From me, deep heartfelt thanks to Katrine, Carson, Kirtanman and Shanti. Furthermore, extending the same heartfelt thanks and love to everyone else who attended.

As Yogani says - retreats do work. This one caused a significant leap ahead in my practise progress. I can now very comfortably do 10 mins of SBP + 20 minutes of DM (which results in A LOT of inner silence), whereas before this would've overloaded me.

On an interpersonal level, it was just wonderful to meet all of you. I was very deeply moved, and I was equally pleased to meet every single attendee of the retreat, I liked everyone. I was able to express myself on a level that I normally keep locked inside, unable to communicate. Sensitive, deep, compassionate people.

Thank you all so much.
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4854 Posts

Posted - Oct 27 2010 :  1:16:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shanti's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
This has been by far one of the most beautiful experiences I have ever had.

I have so many of you to thank and yet no one to thank. How could I thank an individual, when what we experienced happened becasue we all let go in silence. Anyone could have made the arrangements for that retreat, but no one person could have made that retreat what it was as an individual... we all added our stillness into the stone building we met in and transformed it into... in Bewell's words... paradise. So my heartfelt thanks to all.

The one thing that I do want to share, it was amazing how so many of us spoke at the retreat, but all I was hearing was happening at the level before the words... hence it was so wonderful to realize, we all say the same thing, we use different words, phrases, experiences, style, but everything that came from any of us, be it the leaders or the participants, it came from the same place, inner silence.

When Katrine spoke, I heard the words, but the essence was the exact same as when Kirtanman spoke or when Carson spoke or when Parallax spoke or I spoke. The essence was same when Kami asked a question or Rohini asked a question or Phil asked a question. The reply came from the same stillness that the question came from and the answer, no matter what it was, satisfied everyone at a level beyond the mind. The process of verbally communicating happened all throughout the weekend, but the real understanding and communication happened at the level of inner silence. The silence we all shared by being there together, being ready to drop our barriers, our fears, our inhibition and truly surrender to the process.

It truly was an experience beyond words... it was an experience in silence. Thank you._/\_
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