Flying into San Francisco, Carmelle and I, after driving a couple of hours north, arrive at Harbin Hot Springs. A truly tantric paradise! Beautifully quiet, no phones allowed or work anyway, with hills and luscious greenery all around. We checked into simple but pretty rooms which will be home for a while. Feeling excited and full of beans, despite the jet lag!
Venturing out to explore, we pass the library, divine temple, the market store selling delicious foods, fresh juices and various lotions and potions. An Aladdin’s cave full of silks and gems in an array of colours catches our eye and tempts us in.
That evening, we say hello to the various clothed/unclothed people with open smiling faces, passing us as we make our way to the pools. There are four in total, all using 100% spring water and not a whiff of chlorine. You could soak for hours with this water. Bathing at night is one of the most delicious experiences… as we lower ourselves slowly into the meditation pool, everything just melts away… a stream of thoughts dissolving into the water and rippling gently out. The sounds of wild animals and the cool night air soothes us into a tranquil night of sleep.
We wake each day at dawn for the morning meditation. Neither of us are such early birds generally, but isn’t it funny how you are able to immerse yourself, and how much easier it tends to be when you’re in a different environment. During our time here, it could be described as both roller coaster and blissful, but one thing was for sure, we were both fully engaged and focused on the present moment – an essential part of Tantra.
Harbin has a wonderful array of workshops that run all year round. Many are designed around sexuality, intimacy, love and it’s healing aspects. An important part of the workshop training involved bringing to the surface our deepest fears and insecurities. Wow, it certainly did bring things up, including a great deal of resistance in most of us. However, then we can begin to move beyond these states, revealing us in our pure and true nature. Thank goodness for much laughter and dance to balance the mood!
It reaffirms to us the deep healing power that Tantra has on our own lives, and the personal transformational effects we witnessed in the group we were honoured to be a part of. We found Harbin to be the perfect retreat centre to study and progress with our own personal discoveries, a path that unfolds the deepest truth and joy within ourselves.
We have been back to Harbin many times since, both for trainings and pleasure. If you ever find yourself in that part of the world, we recommend that you treat yourself to a visit to this tantric paradise, even just for a soak in the pools!