What's A Sat Nam Fest, And Why Do I Go?
By Gregg A. Jackson
I just returned from my third Sat Nam Fest. Sat Nam Fest is a Kundalini Yoga and Music Festival run by Spirit Voyage. The one I just returned from was in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. It's an annual event held at the beautiful and sprawling hills at the Eastover Mansion and Retreat Center. They are chock full of Kundalini Yoga classes and workshops, as well as music concerts, lots of great vendors, amazing food, super great people, and overall, an amazing venue whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced yogi.
What I most liked about it was the overall energy and feeling of the place and people. From the moment I drove up, until the moment I drove off, I felt like the place and event was being held in a space of love, joy, abundance and healing. And that’s what I felt throughout the event. In addition to the overall vibe and energy, they had some of the top Kundalini Yoga teachers, trainers, musicians, vendors, food and support staff.
The teachers I specifically came to see were Yogi Amandeep, Mahan Rishi, Gurmukh, Krishna Kaur, Jai Dev, Dharm and Karena Virginia. And honestly, I felt that after EACH class I got my money and time’s worth and could have left. Seriously, each was THAT good and powerful. And I don’t know if this was because of the emotional/energetic space I was in, the power of the teachers, the power of the teachings, the venue itself, the power of all the people, the land, or something else, but my guess is it was a combination of all of these things.
Musically, this was a super event also. While I missed not having Jai-Jagdeesh there, as she’s been in the past, those musicians who were there totally rocked it! We had Aykanna, The GuruGanesha Band, Ajeet Kaur, Guruganesh Singh, Simrit and of course, the always magnificent and prolific Snatum Kaur. Each did an amazing job of setting the tone of beauty, joy, transcendence, peace and positive energy.
I think I might get in trouble if I told you whom I liked the best, but I think I will share with you the ones that completely put me over the top: First, the workshop by Mahan Rishi on “The Temple of Transcendence: The Other Side of the Veil,” where he led us through very powerful kriya’s and meditations along with The GuruGanesha Band. Near the end of class, the band, the guest musicians (including Ezra) and even Mahan Rishi himself, percussions rocked us into bliss and joy. It left us all full of happiness and peace.
Yogi Amandeep's workshops seemed to be a powerful bridge between all of the other teachings, especially with his focus on having us closing our eyes so that we can have "vision." I feel that his style, depth and overall presence are among the most profound of all the yogi’s and grandmasters I’ve studied with in the 20+ years I’ve been doing such things.
And then to top it all off, the pinnacle and end of the entire festival was Gurmukh leading us in a series of meditations and a kriya called “Foundation for Infinity” along with the delicious and always magnificent husband and wife team of Aykanna. After our meditation and relaxation, she had us all get up, and with Aykanna rocking the house, we all went running out of the tent, waving our hands in the air, and spinning around on the grass. It was such a joyous and fun time, it actually felt like we were all a bunch of butterflies let loose in the world to work our magic and be the change we want to see in the world.
Krishna Kaur and Aykanna also did a magnificent job of blending their magical talents in a workshop titled “The Art of Mastering Change," and yes, Krishna’s signature humor and razzing of us in the audience, helped to make the event all the more fun. Ajeet Kaur’s workshop and mini-concert on "Finding Your Vastness," was also quite profound and spiritual. I really do think I reached a new level of connecting with my vastness and higher self from her and her teachings.
The 1-2 concerts each night by Ajeet, Simrit, The Guruganesha Band, Gurunam Singh, and of course Snatum Kaur were just outstanding, and seemed to make each day even more complete and mystical, especially with these being held in the majestic tremendous open walled tent. Oh, and did I mention there was a sound bath and a gong session each night?!? Also, quite blissful and healing.
The food, well, I don’t know what to say about this, other then it was absolutely divine. Vegan and vegetarian options abounded, as well as a couple of times very delicious gluten free cakes (once was chocolate, and once was a Ginger Chai cake!) were provided. The meals were serve yourself, all-you-can-eat, and more than sufficient to keeping our bellies full! So yes, Sat Nam Fest fed us VERY WELL!
Many of my friends and fellow teachers chose to stay in the various cabins and rooms that were provided, and others chose to stay off site in or near the town of Lenox. Unfortunately, I tried to reserve my room a week before the festival, and only the expensive ones were left. So, I chose to pack up my car with my tent, sleeping bag and other camping equipment and I slept under the stars for a few nights. And I am happy I did. It felt especially grounding to retire each evening to my tent and lay in my sleeping bag on the ground and hear the wind, the sounds of the crickets and nature. One thing I particularly enjoyed was walking back to my tent each evening, seeing all of the other tents with their lights on, and enjoying the beautiful stars and moon each night. And then, each morning when I did get up early (admitting not each morning), it was super sweet and surreal to walk around wearing all white with my fellow Kundalini Yogi’s to the morning Sadhana.
Amrit, the festival organizer, all of the other staff and volunteers, and the vendors just rounded out this fabulous event, making it a heartfelt, joyous, beautiful and a spiritual time that will last within me for weeks or months to come.
I’ve certainly left many things out, and I hope I’ll be forgiven, but bottom-line, Sat Nam Fest is an amazing, meaningful, healing, spiritual and fun venue, and I’ll be sure to try and attend at least one each year. Maybe Mexico or Europe next? Sat Nam!!!
To learn more about Sat Nam Fest visit www.satnamfest.com.