Sunday, October 26, 2014


The half-way mark through the 27th Sumedha Sadhana was celebrated with an afternoon picnic to the River Bola, near Jeolikote,  on 25th October.

The river currently does not have much water. So, the participants could wade through the water, jump over the rocks  and prepare tea on the dry river bed famous for its  dark sand.

The 27th Sumedha Sadhana commenced on September 25. The first two weeks were facilitated by Jose Parappully, the Programme Director.

Parappully helped participants to look at the current realities on the psychospiritual journey, discern what God might be telling them through all that is happening and make choices as response to those invitations.

He traced the rise and fall of dominant cultural paradigms, especially the Dualistic-Mechanistic and the Holistic-Ecological and presented the impact of these paradigms on spirituality. He presented 17 characteristics of a “Mature Spirituality for Today” and helped participants to assess themselves on these characteristics and redesign their priorities.

He also helped them trace their developmental experiences through infancy to adolescence. He will be addressing Midlife dynamics later in the programme.

The films “Siddhartha,” and “Chocalat” supplemented class explorations.

The third week focused on “Personality and Spirituality.” Ajoy Fernandes, a counselling psychologist an currently Vice Provincial of the Mumbai Don Bosco Society, helped participants discover their personality types through the MBTI, and explored the implications of each personality type for spirituality. 

Fernandes presented the Jungian concepts of Persona and Shadow, Animus and Anima and their impact on personality and spirituality. He explored these concepts using structured exercises and the films “Spider Man” and “EarthSea.” The entire module was integrated through creation of Mandalas.

The theme for last week was “Sexuality, Celibacy and Intimacy.” This module was facilitated by Joe Mannath, currently Secretary of the Conference of Religious of India. Topics explored include Stages of Psychosexual Development, Celibate Maturity, Sexual Attraction in Ministry, integration of Sexual Feelings in Celibate Life, Helps to Happy Celibate Life, and Celibate Friendship. 

Class explorations were supplemented by films such as “Love Comes softly,” “Dead Man Walking,” and “Joshua” as well as Video Meditations.

“Somatic Meditations” – consisting of Music, Songs, Yoga, Dance, Sacred Scripture, Centering Prayer and other forms of Meditations -- to begin the day are regular part of the Sumedha Sadhana. These are facilitated by Jose Parappully.

The  day concludes with creative Liturgies that integrate the day's experiences through Scripture, Songs and the Eucharist. 

Participants whose birthdays fall during the period of the Sadhana are felicitated with some level of festivities.

The 27th Sumedha Sadhana, the last for the year 2014, concludes on November 30.

Friday, October 3, 2014

27th SUMEDHA SADHANA - An Introduction

Sumedha Sadhana is a programme of inner journeying together with fellow seekers in quest of greater healing and wholeness, so that we can live our lives in more fulfilling and satisfying ways and be more effective in our service to others. A variety of approaches and techniques are used to reach these objectives.

We begin from where we are, looking at what is happening in our lives at this juncture on our psycho-spiritual journey. We try to discern what God might be telling us through all that is happening in our lives. Jose Parappully helps us explore these current realities, as also our spirituality in the context of changing paradigms.

A major portion of the programme is devoted to the exploration of the psychological dynamics affecting our spiritual journey. We look at our early childhood developmental experiences, and more especially our midlife dynamics of identity (who we are), intimacy (the role of affectivity and sexuality in our lives) generativity (how we work and nurture future generations), and integrity (how we make sense of the whole of our life). Jose Parappully uses insights from various psychological theories, as well as tools and techniques from Psychosynthesis and Expressive Arts to help us explore these issues.

Working from a Jungian perspective Ajoy Fernandes helps us explore especially our identity and understand our personality type and its implications for our spiritual journey, and helps us move toward greater personal integration by exploring and owning our persona, shadow and animus/anima.

Sexuality has a profound impact on personality development as well as our spiritual journey. Often our sexuality has been wounded by wrong attitudes and negative life experiences. Joe Mannath helps us explore and understand human sexuality and affectivity and their healthy integration within our celibate lifestyle. Jose Parappully explores the prevalence and effects of Sexual Abuse and suggests healing remedies.

Jose Kuttianimattathil helps us experience Core Transformation by exploring and examining our least liked behaviours, feelings and responses to move toward the wellspring within us (Core State) which radiates peace, love and harmony.

In “Feminist& Women’s Spiritualities” Shalini Mulackal explores the meaning and scope of feminist spiritualities and looks at certain salient characteristics of spirituality from women’s perspective. She helps us look critically at some of the popular images of traditional Christian spirituality, the process of masculinisation of women’s spirituality, and religion’s subjugation of women.

We are provided opportunity for healing and transformation through group therapy. In the atmosphere of freedom, caring and trust that the group provides, we are helped to face our brokenness and our fears, our defences and our unhelpful patterns of living and relating, and to move toward greater healing and wholeness by adopting and practising healthier attitudes and behaviours. Jose Parappully and Maria Goretti K.  facilitate this process.

We conclude our Sumedha Sadhana with a spiritual retreat in which we are able to bring together and integrate all our experiences up to then in prayer and reflection around the Word of God. Jose Parappully facilitates this process.

Sumedha Sadhana provides theoretical input as well as opportunities for us to reflect on our experiences and to share them with one another and for personal and common prayer. It is hoped that through this four-fold dynamics of Input, Introspection, Interaction, and Intercession we gain a deeper feel for the psychological dynamics operating on our spiritual journey and integrate these to develop a healthier self so that we can experience greater serenity, wholeness and fruitfulness as we continue our journey into the Mystery that we know and experience as our Triune God.

There are 14 participants coming from four different countries.