Winter Retreat Day 3: Closing our retreat with a smile

Our article for the final day of our retreat today is from a dear, and long-time friend of mine, and frequent contributor to The Holistic Homestead: Aditi Devi, PhD. Aditi had been traveling and studying Goddess traditions in Asia for nearly thirty years, and has taught at Universities and Spiritual Centers alike. She now travels and teaches all around the world. She is the author of In Praise of Adya Kali: Approaching the Primordial Dark Goddess through the Song of Her Hundred Names.  For a more in-depth and personal look into Aditi’s knowledge and perspective, I invite you to enjoy this interview.


Aditi Devi (playfully modeling the googley-eye that she found) with Arwen Ek in Boulder, 2017

Coming Home

February 25, 2019


For the Holistic Homestead’s annual retreat


The sound of the words ‘coming home‘ in my mind has me smiling, exhaling, and feeling myself in my body again. Just the small inhale and feeling sensation of my body, and oh yes, here we are, home in our gorgeous body temples. What a gift! How did we get so lucky to have these beautiful sacred bodies to live in for this lifetime? And to have these beautiful sacred bodies in which to do our spiritual practices and perhaps even reach spiritual fruition?

In my spiritual lineages, to come home is to remember who and what we truly are, under the delusions and confusions of these lives that we have created for ourselves. To come home is to know who we actually are, beneath the life style, beneath the projects and agendas, beneath the job descriptions, beneath all the stories we tell ourselves and the world about who we are. If we take that small inhale and curl the corners of our mouths up just a little, we can feel something more real than all the day to day life we are playing out and playing with. If we inhale, take a soft smile, and also then exhale softly, we can find within ourselves the taste of who and what we truly are.

Now that’s simple to experience, in this small quiet moment, yet how do we experience this sacred homecoming in our lives? How do we come home to our truest nature, who we really are in the midst of these lives we have created for ourselves?

 First, you are already taking wonderful and useful steps by participating in this annual retreat; a time to slow down, connect with yourself and your community, and to receive guidance and teachings and practices to apply to different aspects of your life. It is a time to rejoice, smile that quiet smile, and remember that it is moments like this that help us in this sacred homecoming. So, continue on! Keep doing this kind of thing.

 The next thing is to have a small meditation practice, if you can. Even just five minutes a day to breathe and smile softly to yourself. It makes all the difference. I know mothers who lock themselves into the bathroom for their five minutes of breath smiles. I know workers who do their five minutes of breath smiles on the train while commuting (don’t do this while driving as it could distract you from the serious business of staying safe on the road). There are folks who walk outside to stand next to the nearest tree to do their coming home breath smiles. I never smoked, but when I last worked in an office, I would take a ‘smoke break’ and go outside and take five minutes of breath smiling while looking at something beautiful and inspiring. And, no matter where you are, there is something beautiful and inspiriting to gaze at. Just look around, feel yourself, and note what you note. 

To come home is to feel at home in our bodies, in our lives, and in our connection to the vast gorgeous primordial awe ahhhhh (however you might conceive of that). To come home is to be ourselves without falsehood and without all the trying. To come home is to be kind, to feel ourselves, and to feel others. To come home is to have gratitude for life, just as it is, even in the midst of the tough stuff. So, together, here and now, we come home. Nothing much changes when we look around us, yet inside, everything changes.

Let the breath smile practice be with you as you return to your daily life after retreat. Let the breath smile moments take you ever home. 

With love and blessings to each of you, to all of you, to all of us, welcome home.

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