Monday, April 29, 2013


 A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey
 May 20 - June 30, 2013

Programme Description: This is an inner journey in quest of greater healing and wholeness. Participants begin from where they are, looking at what is happening on their spiritual journey. They then move on to explore the psychological dynamics that affect their spirituality and integrate them in healthy ways to create more satisfying and more productive life patterns.

Programme Content: Holistic, Process & Formative Spiritualities; Cosmic, Creation & Feminist Spiritualities;  Prayerfulness & Healthy Emotional Life; Midlife Dynamics & the Spiritual Journey; Celibacy & Sexuality; Generativity,  Trauma, Healing & Reconciliation; Core Transformation -- are some of the major topics that will be explored. Special place is given to group therapy where participants have the opportunity to face their brokenness and fears, their unhelpful patterns of living and relating and move on to healing and wholeness. 

Tools & Techniques: Insights from Christian faith and wisdom traditions, various psychological theories of development, as well as experiential tools and techniques from Psychosynthesis, Intensive Journal, Expressive Arts, multi-media, prayer & meditation practices, and Sacred Scripture are used to explore and enhance one’s psychospiritual journey. (Age limit: 35-60 years)

Only 3 more seats available. (contact:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The participants of Sumedha Sadhhana went out of their way to prepare a grand celebration to honour Fr. George Malyail, the Administrator of the Centre on his name feast today.

The preparations began yesterday with a number of them busy in the kitchen preparing for the grand dinner tonight which followed the celebration of the Feast Day Eucharist for which too the participants worked very hard.

Participants were very appreciative of the friendly way George relates to them and his ever readiness to meet  their needs, often going out of his way. All the work they put and the grand way they organised the celebration was their way of expressing their appreciation.

Sunday, April 21, 2013


Six weeks of the nine-week long Sumedha Sadhana concluded yesterday. During these six weeks there were four difference Modules. The first and the longest, facilitated by Jose Parappully PhD, the Director of the Centre, was "Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey" during which Parappully helped participants to evaluate and enhance their spiritual journey by means of relevant psychological theories of developmental  especially Eriksonian, Attachment and Self-Psychology.

Following that Ajoy Fernandes PhD, helped participants explore the question "Who am I?" using Jungian perspectives. Participants discovered their personality types using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and how their type influence particularly their spirituality and their relationships. They discovered their "persona" and sought to redeem their "shadow" and integrate their "animus" and "anima."

The third module, facilitated by Gerard Alvarez MA, was "Stories: Ours, Jesus' and the Universes's." Alvarez helped participants discover how these three stories intertwine on the psycho-spiritual journey. He demonstrated, through films and rituals, how sacred scripture(Jesus' Story) can be a powerful means to deepen one's own story and the importance of being more aware of and paying greater attention and respect to the Universe Story.

The last module was "Sexuality, Celibacy and Intimacy" facilitated by Joe Mannath PhD. Mannath helped participants to retrace their psychosexual developmental journey and address some major tasks and challenges on the way to healthy integration of sexuality and intimacy on the celibate journey.

Time at Sumedha is not all serious inner work. There is also time to play.
Having completed the six weeks and the four modules participants took time to relax by going on walking picnic down the stream that flows below the Centre and had some fun jumping over rocks and climbing trees by the waterside.

These modules have prepared the participants for the climax of the the entire programme, namely group therapy and the concluding spiritual retreat. Group therapy begins on 22 April and will be facilitated by Peter Lourdes PhD and Jose Parappully PhD. The spiritual retreat which follows the group therapy will be facilitated by Jose Parappully.

Between the therapy and the retreat, participants will take time to relax by going on a day-long picnic to the lakes that are such an attractive feature of the landscape surrounding Sumedha Centre.

The current progrmame concludes on May 10th and the next Sumedha Sadhana commences on May 20th.

Friday, April 19, 2013


A conference on Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Maturity, the theme of the book recently published by the Salesian Psychological Association and the South Asia Formation Commission of the Salesians, was held at the Don Bosco Renewal Centre in Bangalore from April 12-14.

One of the featured speakers at the Conference was Jose Parappully, the Director of Sumedha Centre, whi is also one of the editors of the book. He took two sessions on “Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Maturity: Some Behavioural Challenges.”

Parappully’s topic covered five of the 29 chapters in the book. Based on the participant’s need he focused on the following behavioural and existential challenges: (Re) Awakening of Sexuality and Intimacy Needs at Midlife and Beyond; Celibate Loneliness, and Celibate Friendship.

A number of other contributors to the book were also featured at the Conference. These included Jose Kuttianimattathil ( Psychosexual Integration, Celibate Maturity, Formation and the Formator), Anton Paul (Canon Law and Sexual Boundary Violations), Marie Gabrielle Riopel (Spirituality, Psychosexual Integration and Celibate Maturity), Joe Mannath (Celibacy: Meaning, Motives, and Formation), John Tharakan (Ethical Issues for Formators and Pastors), and Joe Thannickal (Accompaniment, Resilience and Formation).

The Conference was organised by Joe Thannickal, Programme Director at Don Bosco Renewal Centre,  Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore and the President of the Salesian Psychological Association.

The Conference was open to all perpetually professed religious. Forty-one participated

A similar conference will be held at Don Bosco Provincial House, Hyderabad, on June 3-4, 2013.

Monday, April 15, 2013


The 22nd Sumedha Sadhana is half done. Another month to go.

During these past four weeks of the Sadhana, participants explored the psychological dynamics on their spiritual journey.

Using concepts from psychological theories such as Eriksonian and Attachment, Jose Parappully helped participants to relive their developmental history through theoretical inputs and experiential exercises. He further helped them to examine the contours of their spiritual journey through the lens of these developmental experiences.

Participants were further helped to discover themselves and know more about their personalities through approaches and techniques based on the psychology of Carl Jung. Ajoy Fernandes, helped them discover their personality types (Myers-Briggs), recognise and redeem their shadows and integrate their animus/anima.

Gerard Alvarez helped participants to further deepen their self-understanding by  exploring with them their Personal Stories, the Story of the Universe and the Jesus Story.

Through these different approaches and techniques they have gained, the participants remarked, a deeper understanding of themselves and the dynamics that drives their behaviours and relationships and the way they live their spirituality, and also gain insights and tools to better integrate and enhance their psychospiritual journey.

During the month the participants were also privileged to receive a visit from Most Rev. Anthony Fernandes, the Bishop of Bareilly. He spent around 45 minutes interacting with them and sharing with them the history of Jeolikote and the Pastoral Centre which is now housing the Sumedha Sadhana.

Psycohpspiritual wholeness journey was also enhance through participation in the celebration fo the Paschal Mysteries - the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

The 22nd Sumedha Sadhana continues for another month.

And the 23rd Sumedha Sadhana commences on May 20 and concludes on June 30th. A few seats are available for this programme.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Ananda Amritmahal           

More than a year ago, during October and November 2011, I participated in a psychospiritual course run by the Salesians of Don Bosco  in Jeolikote (about 17 km down from Nainital) in Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills.  

I found the course very good - a fine combination of theoretical inputs, much discussion and sharing, deep reflection and personal exploration and prayer - and I think I gained a lot from it. 

 When it was suggested to me and I agreed, I made up my mind that I'd fling myself into the programme as completely as I could, so as to get the most I could out of it.  There was no way I was going to come back thinking, "If only I had...": I had to justify having taken 60 days out of my life - and out of the work at the College - for this!

So, anyway, there I was, entering into everything with everything I had, putting myself on the line wherever it seemed called for.  And truly, I think all that grim determination did pay off.  A lot of stuff that needed unravelling and sorting out inside received the attention it had wanted for years.  

Several processes were initiated and I definitely experienced a certain amount of healing (of still- open wounds from the dim distant past that had been buried so deep I didn't even know that they were still oozing!) and learned how to carry the process further.  I learned to understand why I am who I am and why I function as I do, and learned also (this was epoch-making!) to like myself a lot more.  

The place is truly beautiful, a little like Jaiharikhal, though of course the Kumaon hills have a unique flavor, quite different to the Garhwal hills.  It got colder by the day – reached about 10 degrees at night and 16 during the day.  Chilly enough for even a cold-lover like me!  The mornings tended to be clear, but by about 1 or 2 in the afternoon, the mist would come creeping in, and it looked so beautiful, with rays of sunlight slanting through to touch the dimly seen trees and hills with a hint of sparkle.  I wish it had been possible to bring a little mountain mist back, but our Bombay warmth would have made it disappear even before I got home!  

The cook there had a charming little boy, three years old, named Arpit.  He was amazingly unspoilt, given the amount of attention he got from all of us.  I usually called him "Bablu" which is my love-term for all little male creatures.  One day, he wanted me to come and have lunch with him on the table where he had been parked by his mother (her way of keeping him out from underfoot, since he’s still too small to climb down by himself!), so he kept a lookout, and when we arrived, called out "Bablu, bablu" over and over again until I responded!  Somehow, he'd realised that it was a term of endearment, even if he got the gender a bit wrong.  

A friend of mine had called during my first week there, and asked how it was going.  I'd answered that we'd been doing a lot of digging - I meant into ourselves, our pasts, our memories....


2013 (10th Anniversary)  
Upcoming Programmes 

1    (SS-23) Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) – (42 days)
May 20-June 30

2       (SD-8) Sumedha Dhyana (Psycho-spiritual Retreat)  - (10 days)
July 11- 20 

3       (SD-9) Sumedha Dhyana (Psycho-Spiritual Retreat) - (10 days)
July 24- August 2 - 

4       (SM-08) Midlife Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey - (20 days)
August 12-31 

5.   (SS-24) Sumedha Sadhana (A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey) - (60 days)
September 25- November 23 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Sumedha Centre marked its 10th Anniversary with another workshop. This time the workshop was led by internationally reputed somatic therapist Don Hanlon Johnson and Jungian Analyst Barbara Holifield.

Johnson is professor of Somatics at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and the founder of the first graduate degree program in Somatic Psychology. He is the author of several books, collections, and articles whose focus is on the role of direct bodily experience in organizing our personal and communal worlds.

Holifield is a Jungian analyst practicing in the San Francisco Bay area. She weaves somatic and relational perspectives into her analytic practice, and works extensively with the psychophysiology of trauma. An adjunct faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies, she teaches Authentic Movement in the United States and abroad.

The workshop titled “Body Practices, Authentic Movement, and Personal and Professional Well-Being” was held at Bosco Psychological Services, New Delhi, on March 31 and April 1.

There were 16 participants, 13 professional women and three Salesian priest psychologists. All were involved in the healing ministry either as psychologists, counsellors or therapists.  They represented a number of different theoretical and practice approaches to healing and transformation.

At this workshop Johnson focused on touch and breath and Holifield on Authentic Movement.

Authentic Movement, a combination of Jungian Active Imagination and body movement and awareness is a profoundly simple process in which one, in the presence of a witness, closes one’s eyes, and turning his or her attention inward, listens for prompting from the psyche as well as impulses for movement or stillness.

The workshop was a very “moving” (in many different ways) experience for the participants. It helped them to get in touch with parts of themselves and possibilities they were not aware of; brought a greater awareness of both body and psych. It also helped them to be aware of new dimensions that they can introduce into their existing practice.

As one participant wrote: “The workshop was a beautiful experience.”

Within the short a-day-and-half workshop participants could only get a taste of the possibilities that touch, breath and authentic movement offered for personal and professional well-being, and they thirsted for more, wanting Johnson and Holifield to return and do a longer workshop.