Ten women and three men did a ten-day meditation retreat at Sumedha Centre for Psychology and Spirituality, from 20th to 29th May. The retreat was directed by Jose Parappully, SDB, PhD.
Each day began with a 90 minute Mind-Body-Spirit meditation which utilised centering, Qi gong, yoga, walking meditation, aerobics, music and dance to create a holistic sense of wellbeing. The beautiful surroundings of the Kumaon hills, with melodious bird song serving as soothing music all through the day, helped to create a prayerful, reflective and relaxing environment.
After some inputs from the retreat facilitator, retreatants had the day to themselves. They were supplied with readings and scripture passages to stimulate reflection and prayer. A creative liturgy in the evening helped to integrate and deepen the day’s experiences.
“I came here all confused and troubled. This retreat brought me profound healing and transformation. It is unlike any retreat I had all these years” Sr. Rani, a hostel warden, remarked at the conclusion of the retreat.
“I had lost my way, and I had lost sight of Jesus. Through this retreat I rediscovered both. I am so happy” said Sr. Bessy, a nurse and hospital administrator.
For Sr. Floret, a university professor and theologian, the Mind-Body-Spirit meditation in the morning was the best experience. “It was a new experience for me and had a profound impact on me,” she acknowledged. “It created an inner atmosphere of stillness which helped in deepening the day’s encounter with God.”
“The atmosphere here was excellent. The talks deeply reflective. The music and songs inspirational,” observed Fr. Xavier, director of a retreat centre.
Sr. Reena who had just retired after nearly thirty years in administration voiced the feelings of many when she said, “The various experiences of this retreat—inputs, reflections, the morning exercise, meditations, dance, liturgy, prayer, the nature—everything evoked in me a deepening, a greater centering each day. Every part of my mind, body and spirit was touched and somehow came alive—I feel a greater oneness within myself.” (All names have been changed.)