The desert setting of Bhaktifest was stunning. Joshua Tree skies were clear clean vast – flattening the spectacular landscape into two dimensions – too beautiful to be believed. Set against a nearly full moon rising, the subtle muted tones of natures rust, mauve, olive, slate greens and greys heightened the contrast of bright magentas, reds, yellows, greens, silvers, blues of festival goers, vendors and artists in their festival trappings. Soothing mantras emanated from the haunting voices of Deva Premal and Miten, leavened with bluesy racous rhythms and back beats. The audience became a congregation under the magic spell of sacred syllables uttered with true devotion – ancient Sanskrit sutras set to contemporary music inspired the swaying sweaty devotees to chant along in ecstatic unison. Hatha yoga, lectures on the Radiant Sutras with Dr. Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine, potions and massages were among the offerings. A lovely weekend for blissful dancing, hot bodies and hot winds. The Red Tent with Gina Sala and other Goddess leaders was a favorite gathering of all the resident Goddesses to share feminine secrets. Laying on the desert floor inside my tent I had a long Shavasana reaching perfect equilibrium sinking into the sands until I reached a sense of total union with the elements. I finished my visit with a yoga session overlooking the expanse of the desert plain dotted with tents, Joshua Trees, rocks, lizards with crows and hawks screeching overhead. I came away feeling renewed, memorizing the sense of balance and harmony visual, somatically and sensually. These images will give you a sense of the striking, austere beauty of the quiet landscape, a mirror of my inner experience.
Special thanks to my tribe for transporting me to this magical space time continuum – Laurie Kamiel & Debbie Sutz.