Mystic Art Retreat: Gateway to Ganesha 

 With Ekabhumi Charles Ellik, Sonja Picard and Krupa Jhaveri 

 This Event happened already! See how it went in our GALLERY

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Ram Bihari Palace,

Rajasthan, India

 Jan.14 - 24, 2019 

This ten-day immersion gives you stunning sights, delicious food, luxurious accommodations, and a deep dive into sacred arts 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. 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, and temple visits.

Together we will learn the secret language of sacred geometry, create intricate patterns (kolam) on the sandstone patio, construct a collage to invoke abundance, ornament yourself with henna tattoos (mehndi), and meditatively make a personalized prayer bead rosary (mālā) with a limited-edition silver Gaṇeśa charm.

Our three renowned instructors, Sonja, Krupa, and Ekabhumi each bring decades of experience as instructors, professional artists, and spiritual practitioners. Our event producer, Mukul, is highly experienced in hospitality and will ensure your needed are fulfilled. This 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 creativity classes
- Daily yoga asana classes
- Live traditional music and dance
- You will make and utilize your own sacred mālā (prayer beads)
- You will learn how to decipher and make a mystical diagrams (yantras & kolams)
- You will learn how to make meaningful temporary tattoos with henna (mehndi)

- 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

- 8 nights in the Ram Bihari Palace

- Sight-seeing and shopping in New Delhi (and tips on haggling)

- Airport transfer


Skill Levels: All skill levels welcome!Languages: English and Hindi

Brief Daily Schedule:

DAY 1    Delhi Sight-seeing

DAY 2    Delhi Shopping

DAY 3    Travel to Alwar, Orientation Meeting, Opening Ceremony

DAY 4    Art Classes at the Palace

DAY 5    Art Classes at the Palace

DAY 6    Half-Day Field Trip to Architectural Wonders & Classes

DAY 7    Art Classes at the Palace

DAY 8    Half-Day Field Trip to Sacred Waterfall & Classes

DAY 9    Art Classes at the Palace & Live Folk Entertainment

DAY 10  Art Classes & Closing Ceremony

DAY 11  Return to Delhi

SIGHTS (As time allows)

- Bala Quila (Massive Medieval Fort)
- Chand Baori in Abhaneri (Massive step-well used as backdrop in movies)
- Connaught Place –New Delhi (Shopping and dinner)
- Gharbaji Falls & Hanuman Temple (Sacred natural destination hike)
- Humayun’s Tomb –New Delhi (Stunning sandstone masterpiece)
- Jama Masjid –New Delhi (Enormous venerable mosque)
- Khan Market –New Delhi (Shopping and dinner)
- Lodi Gardens –New Delhi (Serene gardens with crumbling monuments)
- Lotus Temple –New Delhi (Spectacular modern Bahá'í temple)
- Ram Bihari Palace (Rustic yet luxurious re-built historic palace)
- Red Fort –New Delhi (Historic of major political events filled with impressive sights)



Classes with Ekabhumi:

Ganesha Yantra (multiple day classes)
In this class we will learn one of the most powerful and esoteric of the sacred arts: how to make a 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. Yoga Asana (part of the early morning series) 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 to digest the many new experiences and teachings of this retreat.

What Is A Deity? (evening presentation)
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? (evening presentation)
Geometric shapes are understood and utilized differently in Tantric ritual diagrams (yantras and mandalas) than in European sacred geometry. We’ll go over the symbolism of basic shapes and symbols that appear commonly in ritual diagrams, the importance of ornamentation, as well as the symbolism of colors.

What Is A Mantra? (evening presentation)
The Vedic tradition is based on chanting. Each mantra is a specific invocation made of sounds keyed to distinct aspects of reality. Most mantras are related to a specific deity and are used to invoke a specific aspect of their power. We’ll learn more about Sanskrit, why pronunciation is important, and how they can be used to resolve specific challenges, goals, and problems.

What Is A Guru? (evening presentation)
Many scriptures praise the guru as being the key to success on the spiritual path. Yet there are so many stories (even in ancient times) of frauds, abusers, and greedy “holy men” who take advantage of their students. It’s essential to learn how to avoid spiritual traps. We’ll discuss some of the positive attributes to look for in a guru and some basic principles to remember when interacting with highly-realized beings.

Home Altar Basics (Daytime Class)
Learn the basics on building, maintaining, using, and dismantling a home altar. We’ll do a simple 5-offering invocation (puja) for Ganesha together.

Classes with Sonja:

Ganesha Mālā (multiple day classes)

The most fundamental and wide-spread tool used for Asian spiritual practitioners is the prayer bead rosary (mālā), used for counting mantras during meditation. In this in-depth class, we will learn how to string and knot the beads, how to infuse it with sacred mantra, and how to hold the mala correctly when meditating. Each will be finished with a unique limited-edition solid silver charm depicting Lord Ganesha. Each of us will get to keep the unique piece that we make.

Sri Collage (multiple day classes)
In this fun and playful class, we’ll create a work of art to hold our intention for abundance, beauty, and pleasure. Collage is when we cut out images printed on paper, arrange and glue them to a surface to make a multi-layered masterpiece. No artistic skill needed!

Creative Movement Flow (part of the early morning series)
Loosen up! Yoga Asana classes can be very disciplined, linear, and even uncomfortable. As an alternative to the asana classes, we invite you to join Sonja for some flowing movement practices. As a trained belly-dancer, she knows how to get your hips moving!


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.

Henna & Healing (workshop)
Explore the traditional art form of henna (mehndi) as a tool for self-awareness, discovering personal symbolism within a safe space. Each participant can connect to the body on various levels: through adornment, attention, self-care and potential healing of scars, injuries or stories carried in the physical form. Includes an introduction to the history and traditional context of henna use, a guided meditation, drawing, henna application and sharing. We will use a natural henna paste, which each participant will learn and practice by applying on themselves.

Art Journeys (evening presentation)
An introduction to art therapy, highlights of expressive arts in India, and applications of intentional, therapeutic and community art.

Art Link (Potential additional activity)
A simple collaborative art game exploring themes through a group expressive process - including drawing and writing.


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 and visiting faculty for The Bridge in Shanghai. On weekends, he can be found in his garden practicing silence and learning directly from Nature.

Sonja Picard


Since 1990 Sonja has been creating her life as a professional full time artist. Her extensive playground of mediums come from an insatiable desire to create in limitless ways. Her spiritual landscape has shaped her creativity, from 10 years of studies under 2 Shamans to studying with various scholarly Gurus, Sonja has been driven to give voice to the sacred through her creativity. Sonja’s career started with her first 10 years in ceramics encompassing sculpture, architectural ceramics, and studio ceramics and she was the giftware designer for one of the worlds leading giftware companies. In 2000 Sonja launched a line of jewelry dedicated to the ancient knowledge of Yoga that has become one of the largest comprehensive lines infused with its wisdom and mantras. Her jewelry designs have been worn on the red carpet and have won many awards in bridal commitment ring categories. Not stopping there, glass casting and fusing, designing interiors of exclusive homes, to mix media and fine art painting all continue to be at her fingertips of exploration.

Sonja was traditionally initiated into mantras by her Guru and continues to study its wisdom as her personal life pursuit. Sonja creates from the ancient Eastern tradition of 'transmission' where the making of the piece passes through the artist in heart connection while chanting sacred mantras in the creative process. A combination of meditation, mysticism and devotion that allows the artist to manifest the vision without connection to mind or ego all while holding it’s intention. Whether it is hand carving her jewelry or creating a painting this ‘ancient technology’ has always been a part of her creative process.

Sonja hand carves each of her originals in wax, and in doing so she inspires to invoke the human spirit alongside with the sacred in every piece she creates. Picard's creations are recognized by their refined organic and sculptural quality offering a luxurious and sensual feeling while each piece conveys the ancient in a modern timeless piece.

“By chanting, viewing or wearing a sacred mantra, word or symbol this act is a form of meditation, that can lift us to a higher sense of consciousness.” - Picard

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.

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US$3,300.00 USD Solo Suite (big room, no roommate)

US$2,700.00 USD Shared Room (one roommate)

Payment method: Paypal

+Info and Registration with Mukul Purohit:


- 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 (8 at the Ram Bihari Palace and 2 in Delhi)

- Sight-seeing and shopping in New Delhi (and tips on haggling)

- Airport transfer

Not included:

- Air ticket from your country to India

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

- Visa

- Travel ensurance

- Drinks

- Tips


Planning your trip and retreat

- REGISTER: If you hear the call to participate in this retreat, first thing get in contact with us, so you can guarantee your place at the retreat thru a sign payment to Mr. Purohit,

- PLANE TICKET and arrival: at least 2 month before, buy your ticket to New Delhi, arriving on Jan.14, 2019 or before. If you are already in India before this date, provide for yourself accommodation in Delhi. We can suggest hotels at the Aerocity area (from where we are going to pick you up with our vehicle to Alwar on Jan.14). Your return should be from Jan.24 night on (you leave Alwar on that day and can be taken straight to Delhi Airport or Aerocity Area (available express metro to Delhi center).

- HOTEL: If you are in Delhi before Jan.14 we recommend you to book your hotel from at the Aerocity (next to the airport and also where we are going to pick you up on Jan.14 to drive to Alwar). Book your hotel in Delhi also if you stay in India after Jan.24.

- VISA: check for the Indian Embassy from your country and follow what is needed to receive the tourist indian visa. We recommend to do it at least 40 days in advance.

- TRAVEL ENSURANCE: recommended.

- FOOD: Indian food can be quite spicy and intense. The meals served during the retreat are an experience by itself, they are traditional from Rajasthan and are made with no additional chilly, thought to adapt the foreign taste preserving its authenticity. If you are alergic to something else, please inform as soon as possible for us to be able to make special arrangements. 

- WATER: Is not recommended to drink water from the tap. Peel the fruits you eat. 

- WEATHER: January days are warm, dry and sunny but gets cooler quite quick in the afternoons and in the shade. Nights are cold, you might use a good jumper and jacket, shawl and nice pair of socks.  Bring comfortable clothes, avoid clivages, shorts and short sleeves as for cultural respect. Bring sun cream and lips balm. Indoor shoes and tennis or hiking shoes. 

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