by Deep Ecologist Val Silidker, M.S. & Sarah Lesch, 500-Hr RYT

“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
– William James

Have you ever been in a large group and felt like you were a part of something special? Maybe it was a big gathering like Burning Man, a music festival, or a small, sacred ceremony. But you left feeling deeply connected to the people you were with—rejuvenated, happy and healthy.

We used to feel this sensation in our nightclub days when everyone seemed to be in one vibe with the music, lost in the magic of the rhythm. The dance floor felt like one big ocean of movement pulsing to the beat, and you would leave with a dewy afterglow of joy and sweat on your skin.

Scientists define this group experience as “Collective Effervescence.” The group energy creates a bubbling enthusiasm that can be healing. In the National Geographic article, “Karma of a Crowd,” writer Laura Spinney describes this phenomenon at the Kumbh Mela celebration along the edges of the Ganges River, where millions of people unite, believing the water of the river to hold healing powers. Many of these visitors are elderly, live in sparse conditions while there, drink and bathe in water that is (despite their beliefs) polluted. Yet the incidence of sickness is extremely low. The power of the group defies our practical knowledge. They should feel worse when they leave, not better. Yet, as Spinney summarizes, it is the positive energy of people coming together in shared beliefs where “a throng of millions can become one.”

You don’t have to dance all night or journey to India to feel connected; you just have to find the right crowd of people to connect with. Many feel it in yoga classes when the breaths unite, and the group energy feels like one synched pulse. In those moments, we lose the “I” that keeps us closed up and isolated from others, and we become a “we” that is energetically connected. Connect with positive people and feel your rigid structures melt. Here are five ways you can bring this sparkling energy into your own life more often:

1. Connect with like-minded people.

2. Talk about things that matter.

3. Listen to music and dance with others.

4. Travel and immerse yourself with others that feel the same.

5. Follow your heart; listen to your intuition.

 If nurtured with compassion and consciousness, harnessing this feeling of Collective Effervescence can be the doorway that invites new ideas to emerge, ultimately leading to deep transformation in ourselves and our world.

The Zen Cruise, sailing to Jamaica and Haiti in February 2015 for its second year, was established with these ideas in mind. This immersive mind, body, spirit adventure is an invitation for people all over the world to come together for empowered transformation and to celebrate mindfulness through world-class yoga, healing arts, workshops, music, dance and a nourishing, conscious community. 

The Zen Cruise, recently voted one of the top five theme cruises of 2015 by Porthole Cruise Magazine, was created in response to the growing number of travelers seeking unique vacation experiences that combine fun and celebration with a deeper sense of being, community and self-development. Nearly two-dozen powerful presenters are onboard, including chart-topping musicians Nahko and Medicine for the People; Kirtan gypsies Mayapuris; lyrical sensation Ash Ruiz; Hay House author Jennifer Grace; yoga phenomenon and I Love Yoga founder Moses Love; Keith Fox; Kelly Brookbank, and many more captivating presenters, musical performances and DJs.

From Sunrise Gong Meditation, Invigorating Shakti Flow Yoga and Thai Yoga Massage to Liberation Breathing and Blindfolded Trance Dance, The Zen Cruise offers inspirational experiences and practical tools to transform our lives and our world, as well as many inspirational moments to come together with community to experience the magic of Collective Effervescence.

For the full lineup of presenters and to book your trip, visit For inquiries, [email protected] See ad page 7.