“Pure Magic”…”One of the coolest things I’ve ever done”…”A profoundly transformative and beautiful experience that resonates on and on…” The reviews from our first Sacred Beauty Workshop continue rolling in, marking a truly beautiful start to the Higher Haven’s Fall One-Day Retreat schedule.  Created with my good friend and great culinary light Chris Ferris, the class rolled out on a sun-dappled Sunday afternoon, bringing together a wonderfully diverse mix of like-souled women on a quest to collectively reconnect to the innate beauty within. Through teachings, talks, meditations and exercises, the group grappled with many of the beauty and femininity issues faced by modern women desiring to live more empowered lives of intuitive knowing. In the light of so many women looking for more authentic avenues for positive self-expression, the class proved timely.

After opening with a prayer and setting the day’s intentions for a non-ordinary sensory experience, we meditated a bit on the senses themselves, the six natural components upon which any human experience is built. In the West we tend to think of five senses but in many eastern theories of consciousness they talk about six, and its a very useful formulation when learning and teaching meditation. The six senses are – hearing, seeing, smelling and tasting – four that are easy to understand. The other two senses are the feeling body and the thinking mind, often arising simultaneously. According to many spiritual traditions, every experience we have will involve some combination of sound, sight, smells, tastes, feelings in the body and thoughts in the mind.

Now-centered and going deep, the group followed Chris’ lead exploring the faculties of sensation and how each relates to forming our beliefs about beauty. With a literal look at Sight, we explored how books, movies and even toys form our ideas of self worth from an early age. Taste – as in distinguishing flavor with the tongue as well as what is aesthetically excellent – was of course a grand slam home-run, given Chris’ well known and well-loved abilities, coupled with a focus on conscious eating. The menu consisted of Quinoa, lentil barley loaf, grilled and raw veggies, nuts, creamy hemp see with garlic and turmeric and of course Chocolate. Scent focused on essential oils, candles and other high-vibe olfactory instruments of ease and relaxation. Touch covered skin care through better choices around lotions and cosmetics as well as a dry brushing demo. Ericka Mason, an attendee but also skilled massage therapist, offered points on touch and technique.

At least those were the planned elements for the afternoon agenda . Being the sole, on-site representative of the Dude Nation, it was my chivalric duty to fade to the background, as the women present stepped into that secret, sacred garden created by the open-hearted feminine divine. Many thanks to Rebecca and Ashley and her friend Noella, Deirdre, Laurie, Ericka, Patty and Brinslee for taking part. And a special thanks to Chris for creating a great class as well as being instrumental in holding a Ceremonial, healing space for many. No doubt her great, great, great Grandfather, the distinguished Mohawk military and political leader Thayendanegea (translated: Two sticks tied together for strength) proudly passed on his blessing.  We’re putting our heads and hearts together at the next Sacred Beauty Workshop on Saturday, September 15th, beginning at 11 a.m, in hopes you’ll join us for another beautiful day.