Swamiji Says Blog
Universal Shaiva Fellowship

2025 Fall Retreat

Date: Sept 11-21 proposed dates!

Immerse yourself in the mystery of yoga, and learn practices that dissolve limits and experience the teachings of non-dual Shaivism in its purest form! Come join us in the birthplace of the non-dual Trika tradition of Kashmir Shaivism for a 12-day retreat designed to help you attain a profound knowledge of the practice of Kashmir Shaivism. Add your name to the waitlist and get notified when registration opens!


Date: Sept 11-21 proposed dates!
Length: 11 nights/12 days
Location: Kashmir
Group size: Up to 40
Cost: (not including air)

Luxury accommodation
Shared Room: $TBA pp 
Private Room: $TBA pp

Basic comfortable accommodation
Shared Room: $TBA pp
Private Room: $TBA pp

Registration for the 2025 Four-Day ONLINE Study Retreat (Date: Sept 11-14) will become available closer to the event.

 Questions? Contact us here

Registration is expected to open in May 2024.
Add your name below and we'll email you when it's open.

Registration Reminder Sign Up

Complete this form to be added to the waitlist and be subscribed to our email list. Be sure you click confirm in our follow-up email. If you're already subscribed to our email list, you will receive an email confirming that you are on the waiting list. We will contact you when registration opens. You may unsubscribe from our email list at any time.

Meet your hosts

This retreat is led by John, Denise, Shanna Hughes, and George Barselaar and Claudia Dose. John, Denise and Shanna lived in Kashmir for over a decade and recorded more than 700 hours of Swamiji’s translations of the teachings of Kashmir Shaivism, the great non-dual Trika tradition that dates back to Abhinavagupta, 924 to 1020 CE. 

John and Denise Hughes with George Barselaar
Swamiji’s ashram, tea house, and temple.

About the retreat

Kashmir, India; exact location and recommended travel will be shared upon registration or upon request.

What to expect
This twelve-day journey to Kashmir includes:

• Admission to the Swami Lakshmanjoo Annual Mahasamadhi celebration at the Ishwar Ashram in Nishat, Srinagar where Swamiji lived for over 30 years. This day-long Mahasamadhi (fire celebration), is conducted in the traditional style by a pandit/priest who was personally selected by Swamiji to perform this intimate ceremony.

• A four-day study retreat at the ashram on the foundation of Kashmir Shaivism

• Gentle yoga

• Meditation as taught by Swami Lakshmanjoo

• Practices from the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra

• Studies of scriptures on grace and practice

• Discussions

• Delicious Kashmiri vegetarian food

• Comfortable accommodations

We will visit many of the sites/shrines which Swamiji considered important in the history of Kashmir Shaivism. These include:

• Shiva Rock (where the Shiva Sutras were found/revealed)

• Abhinavagupta Shrine at Gopi Tirtha

• Shiva Temple at Rainawari

• Kheer Bhawani Shrine

• famous Nishat and Shalimar Gardens, which overlook Dal Lake.

We will also experience the cultural wonder of Srinagar including the beauty of the lush and mystical Himalayas that surround the Srinagar Valley, the Muslim prayers called “Salat al-fajr prayers”, that rise up across the mountain range at sunrise and throughout the day; also, the handcrafts and artistry of the region. 

Watch video


Typical Daily Schedule

Schedule subject to change

Typical Daily Schedule

Each day begins at 8:00am with yoga, followed by meditation and recitation of Sanskrit verses specially selected for worship (puja) by Swamiji.

Following this, using the sacred revelations given by Swamiji, we will examine a number of important texts central to the philosophy and practice of this great tradition of Kashmir Shaivism.

We usually end by 7:00pm after a group meditation.

Suggested Reading
Texts we may cover during the retreat to be announced.
Practical Meditations from the Vijnana Bhairava

In the Vijnana Bhairava, Lord Bhairava (God) clears the doubts about the essence of the path toward Self-realization. He explicitly reveals 112 meditation techniques for entering into the state of God consciousness. We will be sharing one of these practices each day.

Yoga Classes
Shanna will teach the yoga classes in the morning. Classes will interweave movement for strengthening and stretching the body, linking the breath with the movement, pranayama (breathing practices), and aligning the heart, body and mind through the sharing of stories and poems. 

Recordings will be available for those who cannot attend the livestream. 

Feedback from past participants

I was very pleased and delighted with all of them, learned immensely from the materials and the downloads especially the audios of Swamiji and subsequent commentaries. It was like a mini retreat. Or, maybe I could say, it was analogous to the concept of Yoga in action in the sense that Swamiji’s birthday retreat and Swamiji’s Mahasamadhi Havan and retreat were like our daily meditations early and late. Then the webinar was like the “Yoga in Action” strengthening the practice in between.
Jai Guru Dev.
—Bruce Catalano

One of the most tangible, practical and accessible teachings that perfectly marries the world of science and spirituality and provides tools that all of us can use to make the world into a better place.
—Jody Weiss

I want to congratulate you all of the Academy for reaching this milestone of conducting a successful webinar. This was a great experience for me after a long time. I enjoyed every minute of it and look forward to the next one.
Thank you all for doing this.
Jai Guru Dev!!
—Manika Kaul

Thank you very much for the just concluded and enlightening Webinar series!
I grew up in Srinagar and had heard about Swamiji, but never had the good fortune to either meet him in person, or to listen to his commentaries while growing up.  You, through your assiduous work, have allowed people like myself to go back in time and relive moments, as though in the presence of dear Swamiji. Kudos to you all!
The series was very well conducted and the topic chosen, the Bodhapañcadaśikā, was simple, yet profound. I look forward to more seminars from the Academy. I am sure, having spent a number of years with Swamiji, you folks are in the best position to select the next topic.
—Dr. Jatinder Bhan

Nishat Mughal Garden and Zabbarvan Mountain range near Swamiji’s ashram

Not joining us in India? Join our four-day online retreat!

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