Retreat & reflection
VANI KOLA discovers life in the slow lane, at a spiritual retreat on the edge of a lake in Maharashtra.
It has become customary for most of us to go on a vacation at least once a year. “I could really use a vacation,” we say very casually whenever we are frustrated. Why do we go on vacations anyway? What do we hope for at the end of it? Perhaps a change of scene that can reset our mood, relax our stressed bodies, so that we come back refreshed and renewed, with a new attitude towards our daily life? These days, going to a detox center once a year is a very ‘in’ thing. It is prescribed as a way to reset bad eating habits and remove toxins. So going for a spiritual retreat should also not be such a difficult concept to consider once a year. Our spirit, our soul also needs time to reset, recharge and renew from time to time.
Why do we go on vacations anyway?
What do we hope for at the end of it?
Perhaps a change of scene that can reset our mood,
relax our stressed bodies, so that
we come back refreshed and renewed,
with a new attitude towards our daily life?
I was at a Heartfulness Retreat center recently in Maharashtra in India. As I left there, I was deeply moved by one thought: my spiritual progress is not a burden on a path I am trudging alone. I have wellwishers watching out for me and I have support to draw upon. I only have to reach out for it. Others are willing to give their services to allow me this time and opportunity to practice and progress. Without volunteer support the retreat centers cannot be run and maintained. My retreat was possible only because of silent work by many who give selflessly of their time and effort.
The magnanimity of our Gurus to create these retreats, and the love and care that goes into the upkeep and impeccable service by volunteers, strikes me at the core. They serve without fanfare, without looking for reward or recognition, so that I may focus on my well-being; that is the reward. Isn’t that the best example of unity? All I have to do is go to the retreat, use the facilities, take advantage of all that it offers and benefit.
A silent retreat can be intimidating to consider at first. We are so enamored of the daily bustle of our life. And our electronic devices own us more than we realize. Even as I recognize it, I have slipped into a habit to check messages when I get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of night. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it. Though I know very well the world does not depend on me to solve any impending crisis, the worst habit I have picked up is to constantly be on the device.
And silence is one thing absent in our lives. …
Read the complete article in Volume 2, Issue 2
Article by VANI KOLA
September 02, 2017
September 01, 2017
August 01, 2017