I am listening to your chants as I write this and I marvel at how much richness, clarity, enlightenment, joy, love and connected-nes you have brought to my life.

To describe fully what P.V 2017 was for me could start to sound like "processing" (uh-oh, noooo!) so I will just tell you about 3 of the many highlights.

I came to the retreat in the grace of knowing that my ego was going to do its utmost to stay in control. I don't do things by halves, and neither does my ego. Go for broke is my motto, and it appears my ego responds in kind :-)

I arrived from the most chaotic circumstances ever, with lungs and a head too congested to chant to boot. My hotel was too noisy to offer any peace. Bring it on, I thought.

People at the retreat were lovely of course. However, there were people particularly precious to me who misunderstood my intentions or my words, and others with whom absurd words came out of my mouth. I observed all of this with awareness and acceptance, uncharacteristically feeling no need to "fix" things. (Ego: 0, Liberation:1) I briefly mourned relationships that might never be the same again and was at peace and grateful for the experiences. (Ego: 0, Liberation: 2) 🔆

Towards the end of the retreat it was at about Ego:0, Liberation:28 when a coughing fit hit me in the middle of meditation. I wanted to put distance between myself and the group to minimize being a disturbance. Going out the main exit doors would have disturbed even more and so the only option I saw to isolate myself somewhat was the bathroom. Thus I found myself in a small un-ventilated bathroom, looking around wondering if I should finish meditating sitting on top of the toilet. All of a sudden, all I could do was laugh. The total absurdity of the situation was just too funny. And then I was overcome with gratitude for the experience.

At the end of retreat, I made my customary trip to the clinic for blood tests. To collect enough blood from my veins always requires several attempts with much maneuvering of needles in tender areas. The pain was hitting a high point when all of a sudden I felt my base chakra open with a speed and totality that I had not experienced all week. I was so enthralled and captivated that the room disappeared. I left the lab in total gratefulness and wonder of the experience.

Where in the past irritation, disappointment, criticism and blame would have surfaced, I experienced happiness in the midst of ego-generated chaos, love in the midst of ego-generated isolation, and throughout it all, laughter and gratitude that set me free.

Dr. Williams' words stay with me: Today I feel safe. Today I feel whole. Today I do not need courage - just love for myself and my beloved. Fear is a part of my past - Love is what I am....Let me feel in Union every moment, every second of the day. 

And Bart, your chanting fills my house, my body, and my soul.

In gratitude for you, the Sevites, Pascal 

and all who attended, corporeal and otherwise

Ellen

pv retreat 2017