In Joshua Tree, CA when Shakti Festival opens your heart to awareness, something inimitably felt begins to stir. Arrived at Shakti, full of the savory love and excitement that one become accustomed to…but couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing.
Chants, Drumming, Sound Baths, Mantras, Gongs, Dancing, CBD, good vibes, Conscious Food/Elixirs, Artistry, Meditation, Eco Apparels, Crystals & Gems, all stretching into the Unknown permeates the ether at Shakti Fest. Everywhere one turns, see villages, students of life; vibrant smiling faces greeting and encouraging to enjoy the Shakti vibe, celebrate evolutions of life, relinquish self gifts and share in other’s gifts. But still, something was missing…
Kirtan lovers, ecstatic dance fans and even those unfamiliar with reverential music all raving about Shakti being an One Stop Luv Fest. Track after track, session after session, back bend after downward dog, breath after exhalation, the festival rocked visionaries like breatharian Michael Brian Baker, musician activist Fantuzzi, lyrical artist MC Yogi, Shelly the Hoop dancer, etc…heartfelt presences and innovative musical stylings to ancient mantras of love, medicine and healing. The feels were warm and fuzzy, yet incomplete.
Wind stormed teachers, sun-kissed yogis, sisterly gurus, all offering love nods, heart hugs and namastes all day into the night, under the stars. Even the Joshua trees flex like Aerial yoga, breathe & wave Aho from all directions dancing amid the live kirtan music…sacred ground for sacred space. There was that feeling again…
As the closing ceremony concluded, hearts were topped off with love..and then it became apparent. What was missing…the reflective heterogeneity of the diverse world we are attempting to represent and connect. It is easy to proclaim we are all one when we all look alike.
Hm? Now, of course, you know that the womb hood, perpetual evolution, love and inclusion vibe that is so thoroughly practiced at Shakti Fest would never, ever, intentionally exclude anyone, especially not those many of the practices are derived from. However, perhaps it is time for all of us to increase our efforts of agape and comprisal to ensure that more members of ethnically diverse groups are invited, included and celebrated. Om Shakti, om Shaaakti!! Ommmm…
Aminah Tolbert is a reporter/photographer for Wolof Times, based in Los Angeles (CA)
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