The Jubilee Peace Fest

Amanda Nicole SmithExperiences 2 Comments

The Jubilee Peace Fest : Fifth Year Anniversary

October 17th-22nd,  2013

Loveland, Ohio @ Grailville Retreat and Organic Gardens

The Jubilee Peace Fest was a beautifully organized event that brought people of all sorts together to embrace and celebrate a world of peace. We celebrated everyday with yoga, food, music and dance starting dark and early at 6:30am until 11pm. We were on a large piece of beautiful land where cows roamed freely, and where trees and empty land surrounded the distances. There were a few small buildings scattered around, we would sleep and bath in the bunk houses, eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert in the dining room, practice yoga with some of the best teachers, enjoy music, and lectures in the Oratory, attend food demos in the House of Joy, and take nature walks on the trails.  It was truly a sacred space.

Jubilee Peace Fest SunriseIt’s a place where you can be your beautiful self with no judgement. We all want to live in peace and harmony which is why we share ideas, stories, experiences, resources and tools with everyone. We want to share and express our experience of what peace means.

I was very honored to have been a presenter at this beautiful event. I had a busy schedule with many classes, demos, panels and performances but I had fun at every single one of them and it has inspired me to continue on this path.

The first day of Jubilee I taught a strength and stretch class in the Oratory, I incorporated exercises from aerial acrobatics and gymnastics. We did handstands, backbends, splits, and some of them even touched their toes to their heads; just when they thought it couldn’t be done! I also taught 3 food demos, or I should say dessert demos. On the first day I taught a Raw Vegan Fudge Brownie recipe, a super simple recipe that tastes like heaven. That class was not only a success but a man came up to me and gave me a stone, we hadn’t met yet but he said “[you are meant to have this stone]” I gasped in astonishment, it was my birthstone; turquoise, I had been thinking about finding one but it found me 🙂

After 3 amazing vegan meals with a bunch of goodies in between, classes, demos, lectures and many fitness activities we all ended the day with a wonderful welcome from the creators Anna Ferguson and Mark Stroud. Following was an Evening of Kirtan & World Music with Mekala and Ajeet Kaur. We sat on pillows singing sanskrit, listening to beautiful music and loving every moment.

The next morning I went to a class led by with Kathleen Kastner called Learning to Fly, we focused on arm balances from the ashtanga primary series. I had actually met Kathleen when I was living in Kansas City, my good friend bought me a class package at her studio, Maya Yoga, for my birthday. I had only taken classes from her husband but I had seen her practicing and couldn’t believe some of the moves she was doing, I was very impressed. I’m so glad I took Kathleen’s class because she’s outright amazing, she definitely pushed my limits and gave me some new moves to practice. I was so sore in all the right places and kinda wish I was back in KC to take her classes all the time! I’ve continued to work on the moves and I’m hoping to incorporate these moves into my pole tricks.

Walnut TreeIt was a beautiful day and learning to fly was just the beginning. After a delicious vegan lunch buffet and fantastic conversations in the dinning room the sun’s beaming rays started calling for me. I brought along a new friend, and we walked the nature trails in search for the Little Miami river.  It was a peaceful walk with the autumn colored rustling leaves, walnut trees dropping walnuts everywhere and birds chirping incessantly. We even came across a wooden xylophone tied between two trees, I played around a little, adding to the forest symphony. After walking quite a ways we stumbled upon nature’s jungle gym, a Tree Trapeze, or in other words a strong vine! It wasn’t until sunday when I brought everyone to the “tree trapeze” to play around.

Tree Monkey's at the Jubilee Peace FestI had to run back from our peaceful walk to make it to the Oratory for a Plenary Panel on The Art of Peaceful Food Preparation with Mimi Loureiro, Jason Wyrick and I on the panel. We had all gotten to know each other before hand, Mimi is a hardworking, mother and business owner, she has a yoga studio and vegan restaurant in Boston, MA. Jason is a vegan chef, teacher, author and has a food delivery service based out of Arizona. I was thankful to be able to tell my story, give advice, tips and answer questions with these 2 successful entrepreneurs .

Full Moon Yoga with Erica JagoAfter the panel Erica Jago came to set up for the next class in the Oratory. It had been a long day and I was almost ready to head back to the Benidicte, where my bunk was, to relax before dinner but then Erica brought out the crystals, people started burning sage, the candles were lit and cards laid out. I’ve always been intrigued by these things, so I stayed curious. It was time for Full Moon Yoga and I could feel that I was meant to be there. The room piled up with what must have been at least 50 people. We did a lot of breathing exercises, held yoga poses, spoke and sang in sanskrit, meditated, and did a full moon circle ritual, I can’t remember exactly what it was called but it was a celebration of the Full Moon in Aeries and eclipse. I felt so incredibly uplifted and strong afterwards. Ahh, I can still feel it resonating…After class we quickly ate and headed out to view the moon, hoping to see the eclipse..we didn’t see it but we still had good laughs while moon-gazing.

Full Moon Yoga

The next day was my Raw Vegan Ice Cream demo with 3 different kinds of ice cream and also my anticipated acro-pole performance. I was able to use the best ice cream maker on the market to make my vanilla cashew avocado, maple pecan and simply banana with chocolate and caramel sauce.  There were many children and adults that came to the class. I have never met a group of children with the level of intelligence, understanding, and calmness as the children I met at the Jubilee Peace Fest. Not only wise beyond their years, but fun, high energy, and hilarious!  They recognized most of the ingredients I used in the ice cream recipes and also the appliances and ingredients they already had at home. They all put in a helping hand, de-pitting dates and un-peeling bananas. We made three different kinds of raw vegan ice cream along with a raw caramel and chocolate sauce all in under an hour.  There were many laughs over ninja avocado skills, ca”cow” butter and many mhmms over healthy ice cream. They were just an absolute joy to be around and I am thankful for the time we shared together! Also a huge thanks to the parents for being such wonderful influences and helping create a peaceful, loving world.:)

These beautiful young souls were also meditating, practicing yoga, playing music, eating healthy vegan food, going on nature walks and purely enjoying life. It made me really happy to know they had a sacred space at such a young age.

Meanwhile I had to prepare for my performance and also finish preparing the Cultured Cashew Cheesecake complete with rejuvelac starters, crust, and toppings.  After I finished my cakes I ran everywhere from building to building, through the nature trails and back to prepare myself for 10 minutes of straight acrobatic dancing. I stretched my sore muscles and emptied my mind so I could freestyle and express myself clearly.

The performance went fantastic, I had so much fun, I could feel the warm energy, and I could hear the gasps “be careful”. I became my character, nailed each trick and danced my heart out to my favorite artist IAMX and his beautiful piano and string based songs with his enchanting voice. It was for me, what I hoped it was for everyone, an emotional, expressive dance with beautiful lines and an element of danger.

Right after followed great hip hop artists including DJ Cavem Moetavation, an activist, Eco-Cultivator/Educator and much more, following DJ Cavem was amazing performance by of Dead Prez. His words touched deep, his poetic ways of spreading awareness is genius. Im sure many would agree, they are both a class act and I’m very thankful to have met them and’s beautiful, inspirational wife Afya Ibomu.

Then came the last day, it all happened so fast, I had the pleasure of cooking and teaching my last food demo beside an amazing award-winning vegan Chef Mark Stroud. He along with Golden, another head chef, cooked the most amazing vegan foods I have ever had the pleasure of eating.

Jubilee Cultured Cashew CheesecakeAt home I make all of my meals from scratch with the best quality ingredients and great company. Jubilee Food was no different, everything was prepared from high quality ingredients and there was plenty of good company. Although I didn’t have to cook breakfast lunch or dinner, the wonderful kitchen volunteers did all of that, I was still in the kitchen preparing for my 3 dessert demos getting to see and be apart of all the magic.

There was rarely a time you could walk into the main kitchen and not see people diligently working to prepare the next meal.  Their buffet style meals included vegan, raw vegan, gluten free, burgers, tacos, manicotti, sushi, juice, wheat grass shots, enchiladas, scrambled tofu, salads, homemade dressings, tacos, soups, and so much more. The kitchen did a wonderful job feeding a large amount of people, cleaning up and preparing for the next meal, I was impressed with every aspect of the food experience. They even had a garden with a bunch of goodies, like kale, sprouts, wheat grass, tomatoes and bunch of other veggies.Jubilee Peace Fest Food

There is so much that happened, I could write a novel but I just wanted to give my friends and family a little insight on what happens every year at The Jubilee Peace Fest. I hope I can inspire more people to come celebrate with us next year because this event will touch your heart in ways that will leave you feeling stronger than ever.

The greatest part, in my opinion, were the people. There were all sorts of people there with radiant energy. We loved everyone, even people we had never met. We hugged as though we had been missing each other our whole lives. We cherished the moment, taking each breath with intention. We listened to those expressing their fears and problems, we listened to those expressing their gratitude and happiness. We embraced each other’s individuality and encouraged each person’s uniqueness. We lived in peace and harmony.


Love you all xoxoxo


Comments 2

  1. It sounds like you had a beautiful experience, I think it is wonderful that you were able to share your knowledge and passion with so many, I am proud of you! Love you!

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