Heading out through the eastern Riverside County foothills and up into the meandering mountain roads, the landscape transitioned spectacularly into sweeping vistas and sparkling late summer skies. We discovered this quiet gem only an hour and a half or so from the bustling SoCal suburbs below.
This is the 40th year that this community of spiritual, holistic people will come together to celebrate their common community, express their joy in connection and share one big heartspace. The WBW has its roots in the early 70’s with an eye to an enlightened future.
The Whole Being Weekend is a non-profit devoted to the betterment and connection of the community at large. Attendees are charged only what it costs to host the event. With everybody chipping in — some a little, some a lot — they are able to create an atmosphere of community, connection and participation, truly making this event belong to the attendees.
My own experience began when we entered the grounds at Buckhorn Camp and were sent off to locate our cabin. You can camp in the meadows or trees or sleep in a cabin. We stowed our gear and headed off to do our volunteer stint at the registration table for holistic and spiritual practitioners and like-minded businesses.
I discovered to my amazement that anyone can come to WBW and select a spot on the grounds to present a lecture workshop or demonstration and simply post it on the community bulletin board. There were more than 60 of these free workshops and lectures that weekend ranging from nutrition, spirituality, self-help, drumming, yoga, sufi dancing to holistic health topics.
It was a blessing to meet all of the presenters as they registered and …. I confess, gave me a little edge in deciding which events to attend.
I especially enjoyed the sufi dancing.
The meals were vegetarian, communal and accompanied by joyful live kirtan music while love and connection filled the room with palpable energy and famous Whole Being hugs were in abundance.
The following day I discovered the Healing Garden. Oh my, a dream come true. Bodyworkers, chiropractors and energy healers set-up their mats and massage tables under the trees and shared their gifts with all comers at no charge. I went for the chiropractic treatment and later spent an hour with an energy medicine practitioner. What bliss to do this in such a setting.
Saturday evening was a raucous concert in the amphitheater with Karl Anthony that had half the attendees dancing on or in front of the stage before the festivities were over. It is one of my dearest memories of that weekend.
And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Sunday rolled in with even more workshops, a private photographic hike on the spectacular mountain top and, the best surprise of all, the classic WBW closing activities where all the attendees gathered in the meadow for exercises in trust, in sharing, in bonding and committing to living our authentic lives throughout the year.
Have you ever experienced an Angel Wash? Oh, you gotta come to WBW for this alone. Picture this: you have spent the whole weekend bonding with these beautiful, loving spirits. All these heart-centered Whole Beings begin to form two long lines facing each other while transforming, uplifting music wafts on the warm breeze.
As the first person at the head of the line, you are asked to close your eyes as you are ushered slowly and gently through this tunnel of pure love; where the people you have come to know whisper all the things they have come to love and appreciate about you on this Whole Being Weekend journey.
This delicious shower of respect, affection, appreciation and love washes over you like a dream. When at last you reach the end of the line there is a safe, sweet embrace to hold you and bring you back into the light, where you get to take your place in the line and wash others in turn with love that you received.
This experience brought me to tears and I assumed it was because I was a newbie. But as I looked around, it was clearly touching for everyone present.
To find out more, check out: Spiritual Retreat