New Vrindaban Winter Retreat Re-cap

The winter retreats supplied by the sacred village of New Vrindaban, West Virginia had been a beautiful endeavor. The four-night mini-retreats ran each week from Thursday via Sunday, beginning on January fifth till the top of March. It opened many avenues for newcomers and skilled devotees alike.

For new devotees, there have been Japa meditation courses, classes on the best way to put on tilak, and classes on the best way to carry out achaman- purification ritual. The newbies had been additionally welcomed to satisfy residents of New Vrindaban, find out about their life-style and mission, ask questions on kirtan, Krishna, cow safety, and take a tour of Prabhupada’s Palace. Experienced devotees might make the most of their time each individually and collectively, as in, they might select particular person studying or group courses for his or her non secular nourishment.

Serving The Cows

Protecting cows is likely one of the most essential actions of the New Vrindaban Community. The Vedas, saints, and Lord Krishna Himself proclaim that the service and safety of Mother Cow is the best answer for mankind’s struggling and is the trail to actual peace.

The observe of cow seva and affiliation is centered on the inherent therapeutic propensities of the cow—thought-about to be one of many seven moms within the historical Vedas. The cow’s hotter physique temperature, slower heartbeat, and mammoth dimension made associating with them an extremely soothing expertise, and giving them a brushing and even getting licked had been all a part of the therapeutic encounter.

There was a possibility for all of the members to watch the milking of the sacred cows and serve them. It was a service the members would at all times cherish. It supplied a lovely probability to return nearer to the Lord who’s also referred to as Govinda, the protector of the cows.

Sweat Lodge

The sweat lodge was an integral a part of the retreat. It was a reserved place integrated for the aim of connecting with nature and restoring some extent of order and stability in life. This was an non-obligatory facility that was beneath the aegis of skilled facilitators. It supplied an excellent alternative to cleanse oneself thereby fulfilling each non secular and cultural functions in a single’s life.


Meditation and Yoga

Hatha yoga with parts of vinyasa circulate, integrated with breathwork and kriyas (energetic workout routines to launch blocked vitality) was carried out by Nikunja Vilasini Dasi. Now residing in New Vrindaban, Nikunja Vilasini is initially from Moscow, Russia, and has accomplished a 200-hour yoga instructor coaching course on the Bhakti Yoga DC coaching academy, and a 500-hour yoga instructor coaching on the Bhakti Center.


Lila and Kirtan

In a Satsang or non secular gathering, we hear the pastimes of Krishna or His ‘lilas’ and sing the names of the Divine or kirtan, transcending time and area and coming into a spot of magic, surprise, and bliss.

Vrindavan Priya Dasi was the kirtan chief on the retreats. Born in Czechoslovakia, she is a good instructor who does the great service of imparting experience over completely different devices for the efficiency of a wonderful kirtan.


Srila Prabhupada at all times prioritized well being over every little thing in non secular life. One must be taught the artwork of wholesome cooking for following this specific instruction of Srila Prabhupada.

Anuradha Dasi guided the members on the best way to supply meals to the Lord. Originally from an Indian household in South Africa, she is the Director of Communications for New Vrindaban now.

She additionally collaborated with New Vrindaban Lodge Manager, Sarah Ferrer to enlighten the members on the traditional yogic observe of Shankhaprakshalana, and the observe of fasting to keep up the physique and thoughts within the mode of goodness. It should be talked about right here that Sarah holds a level in sports activities science and is a longtime practitioner of various sorts of train and vitamin.

Nature Walk/ Parikrama

We discover the outside in contemplation and reflection. Parikrama is the Sanskrit phrase for pilgrimage or circumambulation of a sacred place, a typical observe for pilgrims.

The members got an opportunity to replenish themselves via these parikramas. It was an amazing expertise for all of them. They might really feel a brand new sense of life and be very blissful being part of this specific exercise.


The following is a testimonial submitted by one of many members of the New Vrindaban Winter Retreats.

“I used to be just lately guided to go to New Vrindaban after my mom’s passing. Very reluctantly, I took on the 8-hour drive from New York City to West Virginia. Still stuffed with grief, the drive over to New Vrindaban was somber and gloomy just like the climate. Upon arrival, I used to be greeted by a devotee. He spoke briefly and left to get the visitor companies greeter. Shortly after, one other devotee appeared seemingly stunned at our arrival. She briefly gave us the necessities and the to-dos, and we parted methods. Once settled, I took within the environment after strolling across the compound, and after just a few deep breaths of mountain air, a gentle sense of peace entered my coronary heart.

Later I walked into the temple not realizing what to anticipate; I used to be greeted by a recording of the (maha-mantra). I sat in silence and closed my eyes, and that peace I felt earlier began to amplify. Later that day, I used to be requested by Sarah, one other devotee in a sort, warm-hearted method if I wish to go to the cows the next morning. I reluctantly agreed and determined to let my guard down and immerse myself wholly into every little thing the temple supplied. The following day I awoke for the 5 am prayer, it was a beautiful expertise. After the prayer the temple’s coordinator, Anuradha greeted me with a really heat welcome and instructed me in regards to the different actions I might partake in if I wanted. I agreed, and that’s when many great experiences began to unfold. Visiting the cows was a soothing expertise and introduced me a way of grounding and luxury. Shortly after, I had my first meal and met with Anuradha and Vrinde, we had a pleasant dialog, and we went over the schedule and actions supplied in additional element. The remainder of my keep was stuffed with prayer, meditation, yoga led by Nikunja an excellent teacher, water purification, studying the best way to play completely different devices, an insightful class on the instructing of the Bhagavad Gita, a tour of the golden temple, and lastly the sweat lodge. Each exercise and encounter with all of the revered lecturers introduced me nearer and nearer to a way of calmness and peace for my grieving coronary heart and my unstable feelings. I felt extra linked to the Divine or supply, as I say.

As the times glided by, peace and tranquility grew with each exercise. The lecturers had been a few of the most kindhearted and educated folks I’ve met, every displayed nice inside magnificence and peace. My final exercise earlier than leaving was the sweat lodge. Despite some hesitation, the climate and the labor, I felt it was essential to do earlier than leaving, so I took on the duty with different guests and Vrinde our instructor, to whom I’ll be ever grateful.

The sweat lodge introduced all of the experiences and actions into synchronization in a single second the place I discovered some closure and peace. I cried, communicated, and located the power and stability that was lacking and never a part of my “regular” demeanor. The issues I’ve realized and the folks I’ve met in my brief four-day keep at New Vrindaban made a long-lasting impression that I’ll carry via life. Certain practices that I’ve realized from the revered devotees, I’ve integrated into my every day routine. These practices have additionally transferred seamlessly into my profession as a legislation enforcement officer. I’m rather more level-headed and centered it doesn’t matter what the scenario presents. I wish to say thanks from the underside of my coronary heart to Anuradha, Vrinde, Banabhatta, Nikunja, and Sarah for serving to me heal and discover peace throughout a difficult time in my life. Most considerably, I wish to thank my mom for guiding me to New Vrindaban.”

The members might relish an unforgettable winter within the serene environment of New Vrindaban, West Virginia. They might be taught a wholesome life-style to focus all their vitality on serving the lotus toes of Their Lordship.

The four-day retreat had packages with costs that ranged from $499 to $649, together with all actions and meals, with additional therapies supplied at an extra price.

The essential intention behind these retreats as revealed by Sarah Ferrer was to make folks really feel refreshed for his or her non secular journey within the coming yr.

Finally, it can’t be denied that these retreats really open the door for a lot non secular development for all of the members. It should be attended by increasingly more folks yearly.

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