The heart of Shasta Experience 2011
By Clare Russell
From September 11-17th, with LCS implementing the organization, I along with 7 co-facilitators from around the world, created the Mount Shasta Experience – a week long adventure to connect deeply with ourselves, to experience the beautiful Mount Shasta and surrounding national park, and most importantly to experience ourselves co-creating as a community. Together Aang Aakha, Carly Grace, Pedro Dantas Cardoso, Rebecca Venkatraman, Simon Sutton, Vaz Sriharan & Yantara Jiro, along with the London College of Spirituality we had the incredible opportunity to co-create this tour and bring to Mount Shasta 44 amazing beings from all over the world!
My co-facilitators and I felt strongly that one of the key challenges and opportunities available now is to learn to create collectively in a way that:
- Is always from the heart and recognizes unconditional love as the platform for harmonious, effective and sustainable creation.
- Empowers each individual to recognize the abundance of gifts, skills, insights and unique talents they have to give.
- Honors all life, celebrates the abundance & beauty of Gaia and listens to her wisdom.
- Opens to flow, synchronicity and the ‘aliveness’ of each moment.
And with these understandings, the retreat unfolded itself in ways that challenged, opened and shifted us substantially, a metamorphosis from which there is no going back! Here are a few of the highlights
When we arrived in Shasta, our total tour size had grown to the perfect size of 44. Many of you will have felt the significance of double numbers; my feeling is that they open and hold a possibility of new, clear, more potent energy. Some call these ‘master numbers’, gifted to us at certain times for certain purposes.
4 is representative of the 4th Chakra = the Heart, and we went to Shasta to run a retreat culminating in the Heart Calling – an event to recognize the immense love we hold within us and ceremoniously offer this love to the planet and all who live on it. The whole group resonated and felt this heart opening profoundly, and in the town of Shasta, we became known as “UK44”.
Giving & Receiving
We went up the Mountain for meditations and as I sat taking in the majestic snowcap, smelling the pine fragranced air and feeling the clarity that this level of purity in nature provides, I gained a deepened understanding of what it means to give and receive.
I felt how it is only when I honor the abundant resources within me that I can give fully. To give from a place of not valuing who I am, what I have to share, (or considering these gifts small), dishonors who I am and cuts off the opportunity to grow into my potential. Equally, to receive requires the same honoring of self, to allow this soulful, infinite self to receive. On Shasta, I felt giving & receiving as a dance of life communicating with itself, in the same way that a couple gracefully gliding across the dance floor are not ‘counting’ how many times their partner twirled or followed them, equally the flow of giving and receiving becomes one flowing movement, an interchange between different aspects of life. As one such aspect, my responsibility is to step more fully into who I am and then I allow the dance to begin.
The Natural Flow & Opening
Mount Shasta, and the surrounding areas are recognized by the Native Americans as a place of many sacred and spiritual sites. Indeed, Shasta has become a place of pilgrimage, meditation, ceremony and retreat for people of different faiths. I also met people in Shasta who were of no particular faith, however felt a special calling to the mountain, traveling from all over the world to vacation here. Their demeanor was one of stillness, peacefulness and also communicating that they felt fed by the energy of the place, even though they did not quite understand how.
As a group, we quickly dropped into the same energy, feeling the distinct energies of each sacred sites.
With all of nature’s sacred spots, what comes from the experience is beyond words, awe at the magnificence of the place. We lose the edges of who we are and expand into nature as part of it, at one with it.
The retreat experience also included profound, beautiful workshops, meditations, music &talks by each facilitator, amplified and imprinted by the landscape. These events merge with the experience of being there, the distinction between ‘work’ and ‘play’ diminished and the flow of the week unfolded in new & beautiful ways.
Thank you Gaia, Shasta, UK44 and the amazing co-creators who shared this experience with me!