Unlocking Sikh Creativity (in a Rainforest!)

Kudarat 2011 at Olympic National Park  on July 21- 24
“Inspiration from Within: Unlocking Sikh Creativity”

In my experience at conferences/retreats, or at youth camps there is a huge emphasis on sangat.  What is it? Who are they? Or, how as an individual, we can make impact.  In these discussions, I have intellectually understood sangat and, in some instances, would even go as far to say that I have experienced it.

It is in this moment of EXPERIENCE that relationships develop. Whether with each other through the shared experience, with the Guru, with a feeling, or with an idea.

Tolsoy has explained “art” within a similar paradigm. “The activity of art is based on the fact that a man, receiving through his sense of hearing or sight another man’s expression of feeling, is capable of experiencing the emotion which moved the man who expressed it.”

The idea of “art” is, (like experiences or even faith), a communal and collective one, which was not overlooked by the Gurus, or ancestral and modern devotees.  It is an exchange.  A feeling. An experience.  And though rarely experienced in the monotony of everyday life- those of us who have experienced IT before- seek it with an unmatched fervor.

Going into its sixth retreat, the team in Seattle, WA has put together a variety of ways for participants to consider how artistic (creating and receiving) expression is directly related to expressions of faith, love, devotion, and community.

A pedagogical model of experimental learning is integral to how they have framed the weekend.  Formerly known as Seattle Sikh Retreat, Kudarat workshops aim to help participants develop the tools to follow their own passions.  With opportunities such as morning and evening diwans, the retreat is a special time for individual exploration and community development.

Not only with their choice of content, but in the act of being in a temperate rainforest facility away from the city, Kudarat is a full sensory experience.  There is something very special about going away to engage with sangat that everyday life cannot accommodate.

If you haven’t had a chance to attend, I highly encourage you to sign up for this year. For more information about speakers, workshops, or to register please go to www.seattlesikhretreat.org.


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2 Responses to “Unlocking Sikh Creativity (in a Rainforest!)”

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