One Love: Reflections from Bhakti Fest 2014

Photos courtesy of Zinnia Menardi-Wolf & Abigail Danielle Tyler

Photos courtesy of Zinnia Menardi-Wolf & Abigail Danielle Tyler

It has been three months since I returned from Bhakti Fest in Joshua Tree. I still feel the effects of my time spent there. It is as if the desert sun sealed the devotional energy of the festival past the layers of my skin, bones, and deep into my heart. My heart beats in Kirtan now. I hear its beat, “One love. One love. One love.”

Bhakti Fest provides a smorgasbord of yoga culture within a collective conscious community. The festival furnishes a complete offering of activities and environments to excite, nourish and soothe your mind, body and spirit. My schedule of activities afforded me various avenues of transformation. By the third day, however, it became clear that my experience at Bhakti was made more significant because of the people.

To share a space where thousands of people arrive with open hearts was as if I walked into a world where no strangers existed. The familiarity and liveliness in everyone’s eyes loosened any need to guard one’s vulnerability. This liberated vulnerability amongst a crowd of would-be strangers cultivated a sense of intoxicating oneness within the weekend community. I cannot recall one superficial conversation. Whether expressed in words, embraces, dance or glances, all interactions were authentically soulful. So much so that I carried this openness home with me. I realize this is how I desire to interact with my fellow humans; with nothing to hide. Releasing fear, I am free to love.

I retain a great sense of gratitude for my time at Bhakti Fest. I am grateful for each conversation, smile, tear and laughter shared with such beautiful souls. Graced with a glance into the possibility of cooperative harmonious living, my faith is restored. One tribe. One Love.