Monday, May 17, 2010


Eleven mid-lifers (including a Salesian from Kolkata) began explorations of their life experiences and their impact on their psycho-spiritual journey at Sumedha Centre for Psychology and Spirituality on May 7 and concluded them today.

Sumedha Centre is situated at Jeolikote in the Kumaon foothills of the Himalayas, 18km below the tourist town of Nainital in Uttarkahand.

These mid-lifers looked at what was happening in their lives at this current juncture of their life and tried to discern what God was inviting them to through all that was happening and had happened in their lives. They sought answers to the questions who they are, how rich and fulfilling their relationships are, how generative they are, and how much they are able to invest all their life experiences with meaning and coherence.

They were assisted in this process through rich input from the facilitator Dr. Jose Parappully, intensive journaling, expressive arts, meditation and sacred rituals they created. Films such as Siddhartha, About Schmidt, The Motorcycle Diaries and Tuesdays with Morrie helped to deepen their explorations.

“I have been extremely satisfied with the programme,” said Sr. Reema (all names changed), a just-retired Provincial of an international congregation. “It has helped me see the patterns in my life and grounded me more solidly on the path I have chosen. I return with new focus, new energy”

Sister Anita, from a neighbouring country, remarked: “When I saw the brochure describing the midlife programme, I felt a deep longing to attend it. I knew it will give me what I needed at this time in my life. And my longing has been one hundred percent satisfied.”

Sister Angela, just entering midlife, confessed: “I came here confused, and not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. There was so much restlessness, fear, doubt. The programme has given me so much clarity. I go back happy and at peace.”

Fr James found the liturgies very meaningful. “I have attended various programmes at a number of centres,” he observed. “Nowhere did I find the liturgies so creatively and meaningfully integrate the day’s experiences as here.”

Participants were appreciative especially of the way the programme integrated psychology and spirituality in the exploration of the midlife journey. “I would have been bored if it was all spirituality. But there was such fine balance,” observed Ms Celine, a lay woman and psychotherapist. “The programme took me to the core of me, to discover the blocks that prevented me from living life meaningfully, and to chart new pathways.”

Sumedha Centre is offering this programme entitled “Midlife Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey” twice next year, July 17-31, and August 17-31.

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