Mystic Art Retreat: Geometry of Bliss 

 With Ekabhumi Charles Ellik, Mavis Gewant and Krupa Jhaveri 

 

Ram Bihari Palace

Rajasthan, India

 Nov 10 - Nov 20, 2020

What is the shape of bliss? Can you actually change your mood, your mind, your subtle body or your destiny by making sacred art? Yes!

Together, we will learn the ancient system of sacred geometry and how it relates to spiritual practice. We will create artworks that actually resonate with ecstatic states of consciousness.

Sacred Geometry is a visual language that expresses the nature of reality and the universe we live in. More than just mathematical symbols, the geometrical diagrams of deities called yantras and maṇḍalas are powerful tools for invoking divine powers and expanding consciousness.

This eleven-day immersion gives you stunning sights, delicious food, luxurious accommodations, and a deep dive into sacred art with world-class instructors. We invite you to be creative, relax, stretch, eat, and enjoy live entertainment at a historic palace in rural India.

If you’ve never been to India, this is a perfect introduction; you will be pampered. No worries about staying safe or navigating the many challenges of travel in this beautiful yet sometimes bewildering country. We handle everything from the moment you leave the airport terminal: all meals, lodging, transportation, and museum entry fees are included.

Beginner artists and the merely curious are welcome to join. Besides daily art classes, you are free to join us for optional daily yoga classes, field trips, hikes, dance lessons, shopping, and temple visits.

Together we will create intricate patterns (kolam) on the sandstone patio with local villagers, and make a deity yantra in the traditional manner on a graceful veranda overlooking lovely Siliserh lake. We will learn the symbolism of each geometric shape, how they relate to mind and body. Classes include all the tools and materials you need to make a beautiful and potent work of art suitable for realization of your true nature.

Our three renowned instructors, Mavis, Krupa, and Ekabhumi, each bring decades of experience as instructors, professional artists, and spiritual practitioners. Our highly-skilled event producer, Mukul will ensure your needs are fulfilled. This event will be a nourishing exploration of playful meditation, art as a way to see reality more vividly, art as a joyful expression of your own innermost wisdom.
 

RETREAT HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Daily art and yoga asana classes

  • Homa (Fire Ritual)

  • Live traditional music and dance

  • Learn the symbolism and application of sacred geometry

  • All art materials and tools included (feel free to bring your own favorites)

  • 2 Field trips to visit local temples, waterfalls, and architectural wonders.

  • 3 meals a day featuring a wide variety of gourmet vegetarian and vegan food

  • 10 nights in the beautiful Ram Bihari Palace 

  • Airport transfers both ways


TESTIMONIALS from past Mystic Art Retreats

Thank you so much … It was an amazing experience and I will cherish our adventure into this mystical & magical country. One of the highlight was the opportunity to be in such amazing company with beautiful like-minded ladies from around the globe. I personally would love to see everyone in another future retreat. --A.F.

I truly enjoyed my experience at this Retreat and thank you for making it all possible. It has been said one never steps in the same river twice, having made this crossing, I’ve come away with so much that will resonate for a very long time. --M.K.


BASIC OVERALL SCHEDULE:

  • DAY 1 - Travel to Alwar, Orientation Meeting, Opening Ceremony

  • DAY 2 - Art Classes at the Palace

  • DAY 3 - Art Classes at the Palace

  • DAY 4 - Half-Day Field Trip to Architectural Wonders & Classes

  • DAY 5 - Art Classes at the Palace

  • DAY 6 - Art Classes at the Palace

  • DAY 7 - Half-Day Field Trip to Sacred Waterfall & Classes

  • DAY 8 - Art Classes at the Palace

  • DAY 9 - Art Classes at the Palace & Live Folk Entertainment

  • DAY 10 - Closing Ceremony

  • DAY 11 - Return to Delhi & airport or hotel drop off


Early Arrivals and extended stays: accommodations and tours can be arranged by request for additional fees

INSTRUCTORS & STAFF:


SKILL LEVELS:

  • All skill levels welcome!


LANGUAGES:

  • English

  • Hindi

​SIGHTS (As time allows):

  • Bala Quila (Massive Medieval Fort)

  • Chand Baori in Abhaneri (Massive step-well used as backdrop even in Hollywood movies)

  • Gharbaji Falls & Hanuman Temple (Sacred natural destination hike)

  • Alwar Museum & City Palace

  • Pandupole Hanumanjee Temple


CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

Classes with Mavis:

Deity Yantra
In this class we will learn one of the most powerful and esoteric of the sacred arts: how to make a deity yantra. Yantras often resemble Mandalas. They are spiritual devices that utilize lines, sacred geometry, symbolic color, and written mantras to focus, hold, and direct divine power. A deity yantra is a self-realization device that leads us from outer to inner, from diversity to unity, from gross to subtle. We will learn to make this beautiful icon in the traditional ritual manner. If this is your first time making a yantra, you will start with Śrī Gaṇeśa, the lord of beginnings and guardian of thresholds. If you have already completed this yantra, you may select an appropriate deity, such as Śrī Sarasvatī. This is a detailed multi-day course that forms the heart of this retreat. Mavis will be assisted in class by Ekabhumi so that every student gets personal guidance at every step.


Classes with Ekabhumi:

Yoga Asana
Traditionally, every day begins with an invocation of the illuminating power of the Sun. In this series of gentle asana classes, we will bring this light and warmth into our body, helping us to open, to stretch, and transform. Yoga asana helps with digestion; not just food, but also experiences and information. This class will help with all the learning and exploring we will do.

What Is A Deity?
We’ll cover different historic, lineage, and cultural interpretations of what it is that we are invoking when we do ceremony for a deity. Are we calling on a self-aware non-physical person, a psychological archetype, or an inspirational cultural myth? These and several other valid interpretations will be addressed.

What Is A Yantra?
Learn about the basic types of yantras and mandalas and how they are used in ritual and meditation. We’ll go over the elemental symbolism of basic features that appear commonly in ritual diagrams, the importance of ornamentation, as well as the meaning of colors.

Sacred Geometry
In this focused class we’ll learn the esoteric symbolism of geometric shapes actually work and why yantras are more powerful than the figurative icons of deities. Geometric shapes are understood and utilized differently in Tantric ritual diagrams (yantras and mandalas) than in European sacred geometry. Most yantras are used as ritual vessels to contain the power of deities. Their design helps move the awareness of the practitioner from material, to subtle, to sublime cosmic consciousness.


Classes with Krupa:

Kolam (morning series)
Experience the sacred art ritual of kolam from south India, while guided through a progression to understand the symbolic layers encoded in the patterns. Sessions will include introduction, context and drawing on paper, followed by guided instruction to lay the designs outside with rice powder as an impermanent offering to the earth.

Mehndi
In this fun and informal workshop, we’ll use the gentle natural color of henna to create elaborate traditional temporary tattoos. More than just decoration, this is a celebration of life, our bodies, and of sacred adornment as personal empowerment.

Community Art
Just down the street from our hotel is a tiny village school. As a group we will go on a visit to meet the children and play a few simple games to become familiar. Then, together we will jointly create playful artworks together. Last year, we created murals out of natural indigo blue pigment. This was by far the most popular and meaningful class in our last retreat at the palace.
 

 
 

Ekabhumi Charles Ellik

Ekabhumi Charles Ellik is an award-winning poet, author, devotional artist, yoga instructor, emcee, and event producer. His primary spiritual practice is creating sacred art. Through a ritualized and meditative creative method, he makes artworks for ceremonial and educational use that help people recognize the divinity of common experiences and find meaning in daily life. His artworks may be found in yoga studios, private homes, and on altars around the world. A seasoned instructor with a wide-range of skills, he helps students to expand awareness as a service to the Divine Mother.

 

His name was given by his first guru during a formal initiation ceremony into a yogic lineage in 2005. Since that time, he has studied with many spiritual teachers and traditional artists both in India and the States. Ekabhumi’s writing and artwork has been published widely, appearing in anthologies and journals like The Poetry of Yoga, Berkeley Fiction Review, and Pearl, as well as books like Tantra Illuminated by Christopher Hareesh Wallis and Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton. His instructional Shakti Coloring Book and the uplifting Bhakti Coloring Book are now available world-wide from Sounds True Press.

 

Though his first love is art, he has a wide range of interests that are reflected in his many past occupations: Yoga instructor, stock options broker, handyman, journalist, ski boot fitter, competitive surfer and champion sailor. He toured internationally as a performance poet, and the poets he coached won numerous regional and national titles. He hosted writer’s groups, produced poetry readings and organized spoken-word festivals for nearly 20 years, culminating in the wildly successful 2009 Individual World Poetry Slam.


For nearly two decades, he variously taught yoga, painting, public speaking, and creative writing to students ranging from kindergarten to post-graduate level. Ekabhumi is an inspiring, playful yet methodical teacher who utilizes the arts to help students cultivate deeper intuitive states. He is currently core faculty of livingsanskrit.com and visiting faculty for The Bridge in Shanghai. On weekends, he can be found in his garden practicing silence and learning directly from Nature.

www.oneearthsacredarts.com/ekabhumi

Mavis Gewant

Mavis Gewant, MA, CD, CLC - Sacred Artist, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Birth Educator and Doula Trainer for Birth Arts International. Mavis embodies the Sacred Mother, as passionate about the wellbeing of babies and new mothers as she is about her art students. With her calm, gentle presence, during her workshops, she holds space for her students with much compassion and patience. 


Mavis has been involved in the birth field for the past 25 years and was sparked by reading Spiritual Midwifery when she was 16. This led her on her journey to educating and supporting women, babies and their families, as well as birthing her own 2 sons, naturally and one at home. Believing that pregnancy, birth and postpartum is a sacred time, she attended The Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and received a Master's degree in Pre & Perinatal Psychology. She has been facilitating birth healing groups for the past 10 years, and was a presenter at the APPPAH/Birth Psychology Conference.
 

Since childhood, Mavis has been creating art, and understood that making art took her to a very deep and soulful place. Growing up in a time when being an artist wasn’t considered a mainstream career, Mavis listened to her inner voice and pursued going to art school in New York City.  She attended the School of Visual Arts and later got a BA in Visual Arts from SUNY Empire State College. 
 

In her early 20’s she met author and artist, Harish Johari and began a 20 year apprenticeship with him in Sacred Art. He taught her how to paint Yantras, geometric energy pieces; deity painting and mandalas, which deepened her connection between the divine, sacred and creativity. He told her she must teach, as that is her path. As a professional artist, she has mastered the Harish Johari Wash Painting Technique, a multi-layered approach using watercolor and gouache, and incorporates this style into her work.
 

A popular teacher, dedicating her life to teaching this to others, she is passionate about sharing the benefits of this healing and transformative artform. She runs a yearly Sacred Painting trip to her teacher’s family home in Haridwar, India, as well as international retreats. Her work is featured in private collections worldwide and numerous books including, The Planet Meditation Kit, Harish Johari, The Labyrinth of Birth, Pam England and The Practice of Nada Yoga, Baird Hersey, to name a few. Her own Planet MandalaColoring book for adults was released in 2016

 

www.sacredmotherarts.com

Krupa Jhaveri

Krupa Jhaveri, MPS, TIEAT-C, Founder, Artist, International Art Therapist & Art Director


Born in the US and of Indian ethnic origin, she is a living bridge between cultures through art. With formal graduate Art Therapy training from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, she has experience working with children and women with HIV/AIDS, in child protection, as a certified Trauma-Informed Expressive Arts Therapy consultant, cross-cultural social justice work through the arts, mindful artmaking, and the combined practice of Art & Yoga. Krupa is an Ambassador to India for Art Therapy Without Borders, with specialized research on the therapeutic experience of traditional and sacred Indian art forms including kolam, henna, embroidery, mandalas. She has given recent presentations throughout the United States, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and India. Inquiries welcome for international presentations, lectures, trainings and workshops in your area.

www.sankalpajourneys.com

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REGISTRATION:

  • $3,300.00 USD Solo Suite (huge room, no roommate)

  • $2,800.00 USD Shared Room (one roommate)

If you are interested, or have questions, feel free to contact Mukul directly by email at: purohit dot mukul at outlook dot com

PAYMENT METHOD:

 

Paypal: 

Info and Registration with Mukul Purohit:

purohit dot mukul at outlook dot com

INCLUDED:

  • All art materials and tools included (feel free to bring your own favorites)

  • 2 Field trips to visit local temples, waterfalls, and architectural wonders.

  • 3 meals a day featuring a wide variety of gourmet vegetarian food

  • 10 nights at the Ram Bihari Palace

  • Sight-seeing in Alwar, Rajasthan

  • Airport transfers both ways

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Air ticket from your country to India

  • Hotel in Delhi (if needed, we can recommend)

  • Visa

  • Travel Insurance

  • Drinks

  • Tips

 

MORE INFORMATION:

  • ACCESSIBILITY: Although our accommodations are well appointed, we cannot guarantee ease-of-accessibility to the historic locations we will visit. We recommend all participants be in in good health and fully mobile, as we will visit some remote locations with uneven floors and lots of stairs …and India is full of surprises.

  • LANGUAGE: You will be well taken care of with our group. But if you wish to continue travel alone, it is important to consider communication. English and Hindi are commonly spoken throughout Northern India. Not everyone speaks English fluently, however, so be patient, polite, and smile a lot. It helps to have some Hindi phrases and words memorized. If you speak English, it is unlikely you will have any difficulties at the hotels we have selected. If you are not fluent in English or Hindi, we strongly suggest you bring a phrasebook with common questions.

 

  • WEATHER IN RAJASTAN …is gorgeous this time of year. That’s why all the hotels are booked up! It’s when everyone “in the know” goes to The Land of Kings to avoid the sweltering heat at other times of year.  No rain, temperatures in the 80’s during the day and clear skies. It can get cool at night (50's) so bring a warm jacket, warm socks, and hat. The stone floors in the palace can feel cold in the morning, so slippers or “flip flop” Havana-style sandals are helpful.

 

  • CLOTHING: The temperatures can vary from warm during the day to cool at night. When you are painting, you will be sitting for long periods of time and your body may cool off. So plan on wearing layers to allow for adjusting to the situation. What’s more, it is respectful to cover your shoulders and legs when in public or visiting temples, so avoid shorts and tank tops. It is easy and inexpensive to buy clothing and scarves in India.

  • VISA: If you haven’t already, please do secure your airfare and Indian visa as soon as possible. Although it is very easy and quick to secure an e-visa, the lines for e-visa processing at the airport in New Delhi can sometimes be very long. This is because you will be arriving at the height of tourist season. So, if possible, try to secure a normal visa.

  • INSURANCE: We care about students, but cannot be responsible if you become injured, ill, miss a flight, or need emergency transport. We recommend that you buy travel insurance. Policies cover missed flights, lost or stolen luggage, and most importantly, emergency evacuation.

  • IMMUNIZATION: The rules for citizens of different countries varies. We strongly suggest that you make an appointment to a travel medicine clinic as soon as possible. They will confirm if there are any immunizations that are required by India for your entry into their country, and make suggestions based on the season, location, and any recent outbreaks. U.S. Citizens are generally not required to show proof of immunization, but it is wise to visit a travel health clinic if you can afford it.
     

  • DIGESTION & GUT HEALTH: There are many tips people give for avoiding illness while in India, like taking supplements such as probiotics and grape seed extract. The best advice is usually the simplest: get enough sleep, cultivate strong digestion, use hand sanitizer, and avoid tap water. We have had no illnesses or upset stomachs from the food at the palace, but we cannot control the quality of food you eat elsewhere. Make sure your digestion is strong. Not only does strong digestion and healthy gut flora help avoid food poisoning, it also supports general immunity and improves mood. Our host hotel will filter all water used to make your drinks and meals, so no worries in the dining room. Use bottled water for brushing your teeth (NOT THE TAP WATER) and rinsing your toothbrush. We suggest you bring hand sanitizer or “wet wipe” napkins in a sealed package to clean your hands, especially on field trips. 

  • MONEY: All your basic necessities are covered, but it is still wise to bring some cash, which you can get changed at the airport. We suggest you get some cash for tipping, shopping, and snacks outside of the hotel. ATM machines are common. Credit cards are widely accepted. We recommend you call the contact number on the back of your cards to see if there are any foreign transaction fees for your credit and ATM cards, as well as to notify them of your travel plans so you don’t get cut off by their security.

  • HIDDEN CASH PURSE & PAPERWORK: We will be going to tourist destinations, so we do suggest a hidden cash purse (either a money belt or a pouch hanging from the neck is fine) to protect valuables. Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes that allow for long walks, and bring a pair of lightweight sandals for strolling around the palace. We suggest that you bring two copies of paper printouts of your airplane ticket confirmation, your hotel(s) contact information, the contact list of our staff, and a color copy of your passport and visa. Keep them in separate pieces of luggage. It would be wise to also have electronic copies available in a secure location online and available for download. Be sure to check the suggested packing list for more tips.

  • IDENTITY THEFT: Get a special sleeve for your credit cards that prevents mobile scanners from accessing them in airports and public places. You can find them at any travel store. Or just line your wallet with tin foil. 

  • REFUNDS AND CANCELLATION: If requested in writing, full refunds will be given within 7 days of your initial payment minus a 15% service charge. Half of your payment will be refunded within 30 days of payment (or at any time for medical emergency with written proof), but no refunds will be given after 31 August. We reserve the right to cancel at any time for any reason. Full refunds will be given to all paid participants should the retreat be cancelled by the organisers. We cannot be responsible for students arriving late, or modified itineraries due to the typical chaos of travel in India, however. We will do our best to ensure your participation is as easeful as possible, regardless of any surprises. 

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