April was very eventful at Sumedha Centre.
On the 2nd group therapy commenced. Participants of the Sumedha Sadhana were divided into two groups for therapy. One group was led by Dr. Peter Lourdes (counselling and somatic psychotherapist based Kolkata) and the other by Dr. Jose Parappully, the Director of the Centre and a clinical psychologist. For a number of Sumedha participants, group therapy was the most useful of all the modules offered in Sumedha Sadhana.
Participants were prepared for Group therapy with a module “Befriending Our Emotions” facilitated by M. Goretti Kankarathinam. She explored some of the major emotions, the role they play in our psychological and spiritual integration and how to express them appropriately and helpfully.
The day group therapy concluded that is, the 11th, Sumedha Centre had two important visitors, Dr. Robert Rosenbaum and his friend Robin Boustead. Dr. Rosenbaum was Professor of Psychology at the Californian Institute of Integral Studies in
, when Jose Parappully, the Director of Sumedha Centre, was pursuing his doctoral studies there. Later Dr. Rosenbaum became Jose’s graduate student advisor, internship supervisor and chairperson of his dissertation committee. Dr. Rosenbaum and Robin were on their way to trek in the San Francisco Himalayas (A 100-day long trek!) and kindly accepted to visit the Centre and stay for a day and night on Jose’s invitation.
Picnic to the Lakes
The day following the conclusion of group therapy all the participants of Sumedha Sadhana packed themselves into a bus and went on a picnic to the lakes. They first visited Naukuchiatal (The Nine-Cornered Lake) where trees growing over the lake waters gave the Sumedhans the joy of climbing on them, though the risk of falling into the lake was very much there. Guess group therapy had made them bold!
After snacks (the ginger tea was wonderful) at a local tea shop they proceeded to Sat Tal (
Seven Lakes) via Bhimtal (Bhim’s Lake). Sitting at the lake front at Sat Tal, they had the picnic lunch. The eagerly awaited boat ride in the lake didn’t happen as the rains started to come down after lunch and the boatwallas shut their shop and went home. So, the Sumedhans too came home, relaxed and buoyant, experiencing a further deepening of the bonding that had happened during group therapy.
Holy Week Retreat
A unique feature of Sumedha Sadhana this time was that the last week of the programme coincided with Holy Week which was spent in silent retreat directed by Jose Parappully. Conclusion of Sumedha Sadhana was celebrated at Easter Vigil with an enriched Vigil Liturgy.
Sumedha Sadhana concluded on Easter Monday. The day began with a fantasy and dance meditation accessing Inner Wisdom in sacred space symbolically created by the participants and led by Jose Parappully.
Later in the day each participant shared an integrated narrative of their Sumedha Experience (some of which we hope to post on this blog later) using creative collages.
Just as Sumedha Sadhana commenced 60 days earlier with a Eucharist at which the participants of Sumedha Sadhana were introduced to the themes of Sumedha through the Emmaus story, so too it concluded with the Eucharist at which the Emmaus story again provided a wonderful metaphor for the Sumedha experience.
This Sumedha Sadhana commenced on February 25, with 18 participants (five priests and 13 nuns) coming from different parts of Indian and abroad. The modules last month included Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey facilitated by Dr. Jose Parappully, Psycho-Sexual and Celibate Integration, facilitated by Dr. Joe Mannath, and Jungian Perspectives on Self-Awareness, facilitated by Dr. Ajoy Fernandes.
“The entire programme is systematically planned and meticulously carried out. A very holistic programme which has brought me lots of integration” P. Pragash, Assistant Professor of English.
“Very useful for my personality development, both spiritual and psychological. It was a community living experience.” M. Sebastian, Parish Priest.
“Therapy was most useful because it helped me to overcome my fear and anxiety and I learned to handle certain issues and problems we face in life.” M. Fernandes, Social Worker.
“Sumedha made me grow. I saw my life reflected in all the classes. As I leave, I feel so happy within myself.” C. Kanlaya, Parish Assistant
“I found this programme of Sumedha has touched all the areas of my psychospiritual journey… All the modules were useful and they have helped to integrate myself, bringing healing and transformation…. The module that was most useful to me personally is midlife dynamics. ” R. Corte, School Principal.
“It is a well planned, organised and substantial programme…Hospitality, accommodation, food, facilities and services were very good. Felt at home. I came here at the right time in my life and I am so glad I came. It has been a profound spiritual journey.” Sujita, Medical Practitioner.
Next Sumedha Sadhana
Sumedha Sadhana is offered two more times this year – May 20- June 30, and October 01 to November 29. Fro more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org