Our annual retreat with Ram Dass ends at the beach under a soft grey sky; two Hawaiian healers lead a beautiful blessing ceremony in a sprinkle of raindrops. For the finale, Ram Dass is rolled across the sand into the ocean in his special wheelchair with big rubber wheels. He swims gently out in a sea of retreatants, steered by his companions. Soon, a big crowd is swimming together, offering flowers and following his lead in the Ocean Swim Chant: “Oh boy, oboyoboyoboy!” Followed by, “Oh joy, ohjoyojoyojoy!”
It’s a perfect expression of gratitude for the gift of opening our hearts, right in the midst of personal losses — people struggling with grief, bereavement, cancer, tough jobs like working with Syrian refugee children… Each evening, Krishna Das and his band play devotional music called kirtan. It’s an ancient, sacred practice of quieting the mind by connecting through music, chanting together in a moving, rollicking call and response sing-along. With each passing day, the powerful energy of love grows stronger, creating a poignant, joyful field of compassion.
In the same way, at InsightLA we create a field of caring that includes those in our greater community who are going through hard times. As the year comes to an end, we ask, “How can I help?” This season of giving, we’re asking not only for your support for InsightLA, but also for families at the Westside Children’s Center. Would you please be willing to donate food, new or gently used toys and children’s books, and/or new school supplies to help at-risk children?
We’ll have a donation collection area at InsightLA’s Olympic Blvd. center from now until December 17, 2016. We invite you and your family to join us at 9:30 am on December 17th at 1430 Olympic Blvd. to help box the items people have kindly donated. For questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through our offerings, we can all participate in the loving spirit of this retreat. Direct giving and service is an act of love that strengthens the heart of our community. Let’s make it real! Come taste the happiness of generosity as we “Love, Serve, and Remember.”