Online Virtual Retreat: April 22-23, 2023

The Art of Creating Delight

  About this course

What Creates a Satisfying Inner Experience?

Whether watching film or television, listening to music, or seeing a beautiful picture, we are constantly consuming art. What is it that we are trying to experience inside ourselves through these artistic or aesthetic experiences? What do we hunger for exactly, and how is that craving satisfied? How does a meaningful experience of art impact our experience of life?

Thousands of years ago, the ancient wisdom traditions explored these questions in depth in a body of teachings referred to as Rasa Siddhānta: the principles of rasa.

The theory of rasa identifies nine aesthetic "flavors" or "nectars" that can be expressed or experienced through art. Each rasa is connected to different states of emotion (bhāva). Together, bhāva and rasa come together to satisfy our internal longing for deep and varied inner experiences. This is not a passive act: the artist and the viewer both engage skillfully and with a refined awareness so that the most satisfying and profound inner experience can occur.

In this very unique upcoming retreat, we will develop awareness of how emotions and their subtler states express themselves in both life and art, beginning by exploring our own life experiences.

Our world-renowned teachers will also help us understand how rasa and bhāva appear in traditional sacred arts such as dance, music, or deity art, as well as in the art of meditation and yogic practice. Together, we will transform how we understand and engage with art, resulting in a richer and more fulfilling experience.

This event is being offered both as an in-person event at our center in Freestone, California, as well as online globally via livestream. Please note that this is the enrollment page for the online only retreat; you can access the enrollment page for the in-person retreat HERE.


The Nine Nectars of Inner Aesthetic Experience

Join Us Live & In Person

At our new center in Freestone, California

Connect Meaningfully

Experience the joy and richness of practicing with a community of sincere students and devoted practitioners, all committed to upholding a sacred, authentic, and loving space.

Delight in Nature

Immerse yourself in the exquisite natural beauty of spring in the Sonoma Coast region, surrounded by ancient redwood trees, grazing animals, colorful wildflowers, the wild Pacific ocean, lush vineyards, and luminous golden sunshine.

Nourish Your Being

Allow yourself to be blessed and nourished at every level by meaningful learning, self-exploration, creative expression, good company, traditional food, devotional practice, and a beautiful sacred environment.

Deepen the Experience

All retreat participants will have access to the full video recordings for a year, online community discussions, follow-up classes, and more learning tools to continue developing your understanding and skills.


Shambhavi Dandekar
Senior product manager
Shambhavi is a world-renowned Kathak master and performing artist, enthralling audiences and students around the globe. She started her training under the guidance of her mother, renowned Guru Pandita Maneesha Sathe, a celebrated dancer and teacher from Pune, India. Shambhavi Tai, as she is called by her students around the world, also has extensive professional training and degrees in music, Sanskrit, and the dramatic arts.

Over more than four decades of performing, she has won numerous prestigious awards. She is a member of the International Dance Council of UNESCO. Along with her mastery of her art, she shares her mature spiritual knowledge, joyful warmth, and vibrant creativity with all her students.
Ekabhumi Ellik
Senior product manager
Ekabhumi is an award-winning poet, author, illustrator, yoga instructor and arts educator with 20 years of international teaching experience. His poetry, prose, and illustrations have been published widely, including his own Bhakti Coloring Book and Shakti Coloring Book, available from Sounds True Press.

A founding faculty member at Living Sanskrit, Ekabhumi is also co-founder of Mystic Art Retreats. His current artwork, available at One Earth Sacred Arts, is based on experiences arising from daily ritual and meditation. He has a unique ability to explain very profound concepts in understandable terms and brings great energy and enthusiasm to all of his teaching.
Shivani Hawkins
Senior product manager
A meditation teacher and artist, Shivani is the founder of Living Sanskrit. She has been a student of meditation and yoga since birth, and began teaching in 2001 at the suggestion of her guru. She has since led courses and retreats both within and outside the U.S., including a fellowship teaching meditation at Berkeley Law School.

She is currently developing our physical center in Freestone, California, which shares space with a community coworking center and her artistic studio, Studio Freestone. Her skill as a teacher is helping make esoteric concepts and ancient practices accessible and alive. As an American born into the tradition, she strives to ensure the teachings land safely and respectfully in non-native contexts.

Registration Information

What's Included?

  • Livestream learning on Saturday, April 22 10am-6pm PST, and Sunday, April 23, 2023 10am-7pm PST
  • Interactive Q & A 
  • Full Video Recordings, Community Forums, & Follow-up Learning Exercises
  • One-month Living Sanskrit online subscription



Tuition Policy:

We offer generous payment plans, scholarships, and work-trade options so all of our students can attend our courses. Please message us at [email protected] to apply!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need art training or a specific spiritual background to participate?

You do not need any art training at all – we will have options for all skill levels, from newcomer to advanced. You also do not need to have any prior spiritual training or background in any of this to attend. Beginners and curious people are warmly welcome!

Do you offer refunds? What is your cancellation policy?

Should you be unable to attend, if you let us know at least one week in advance, you may apply the amount as a credit towards future learning events. Or, if you wish, you may also transfer your seat to someone else before the event begins.

I cannot attend, but want to contribute to the scholarship fund.

Thank you for your generosity! You can help someone else attend by contributing HERE.

What age do I need to be to enroll?

Anyone 14 years or older is welcome to attend!

What if I have other questions?

Please email us any time at [email protected]! We are happy to speak to you and answer any other questions you may have.

Course Materials

This registration page is for the ONLINE weekend retreat offered via Zoom on April 22nd & 23rd, 2023. If you would like to participate live and in person, please sign up HERE.

If you would like to apply for a scholarship or work-trade, please message us at [email protected].