Dates: December 8 — 23, 2018 (tentative)
Location: Maharashtra, India
Group size: 10 –12 travelers + 2 facilitators
Join us for an adventure of a lifetime through rural and urban India in the state of Maharashtra. This trip merges social consciousness with our own personal and spiritual development, offering an entirely unique way to immerse yourself in Indian culture. Unlike many yoga or meditation retreats, our experience takes us on a socially-minded journey that will prompt self-reflections on privilege, interconnectedness, and health and well-being of women and communities everywhere. Of course, this is a spiritual retreat too and we will reserve plenty of space for receiving and integrating messages from our spirit guides. The theme of this trip is to connect with our Higher Self through connecting with lives of people very different from our own in our global community.
We start in Jamkhed, Maharashtra with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project, learning about sustainable, participatory community development and women’s empowerment from the Indian non-profit organization that’s been working with rural villages for many decades. Our time here will ground us in Indian culture and society, helping us understand women’s issues, the Indian caste system, varied religious traditions, and challenges of providing healthcare and nutritious food to remote, impoverished areas. We will stay in group accommodations on the campus of the Comprehensive Rural Health Project, and also have the opportunity to do an overnight village stay with the family of a village health worker. From Jamkhed, we’ll have an overnight excursion to Ellora Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring spectacular rock-cut Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain temples dating back to the 6th century. Ellora is a truly astonishing piece of world heritage!
The next stop on our adventure takes us to the lush village of Wai, Maharashtra to relax into retreat space for deepening our own connection with Self and Spirit. A lot will arise for you through the learning and interactions of our first week in Jamkhed, and we will explore “what comes up for you” as a reflection of what’s important to us and who we want to be in the world. In Wai, we will share messages from your spirit guides and helpers about your own place in the world and the internal transformation that this travel experience is prompting for each of us. We can also take a bumpy ride on a bullock cart or a boat ride across the dam, or mozy the town’s market for spices and trinkets, while visiting the local Ganesh temple.
Finally, we head to the urban centers of Pune and Mumbai for a brief dip into city life. You will quickly see that rural and urban India are two different worlds! Staying near the Osho Ashram in Pune, you’ll have time for shopping and exploring together or on your own. The program includes a massage or Ayurvedic treatment (I recommend the Shirodhara!) and a visit to the Gandhi National Memorial and other historical sites. In Mumbai, we prepare ourselves for the journey back home, but not before trying a variety of tasty street foods and walking the Arabian sea wall.
Shannon Elisabeth has been taking groups to India for educational experiences for the past five years, and is excited to offer a combined educational and spiritual program for the broader community. Previous travelers with Shannon have found the experience to be “life-changing,” “forever memorable,” and simultaneously “challenging on a personal level and beautifully inspiring.” For Shannon, leading these travel experiences is an offering “to open up to ourselves and the world, and connect with others leading very different lives, allowing them to reflect for us who we are.” An open-mind, humility, flexibility, and a desire to connect deeply are the must-haves for anyone participating in this program. This is a powerful experience for learning and self-reflection and, importantly, we’ll have lots of fun!
Program fee: $2,550 (includes accommodations, most meals, ground transportation, site visits and entry fees, program activities, messages from spirit by Fun-Freedom-Oneness and Hiraeth Holos)
Additional travel costs
Roundtrip airfare to BOM: ~$2,200 (range ($1,800 — $2,400)
Immunizations, travel visa, health insurance: up to $400
A non-refundable $500 deposit is due by August 30, 2018 to hold your place for the trip. Travel visa and airfare will be purchased by September 20th. Remaining program fees due by October 20th.