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Love and Light

National Sai Retreat 2013 - Living with God is Education

It was with Swami’s Grace that I was given an opportunity to help with the SSE activities at the recent National Retreat, with the central theme- Divine Bliss: Echoes of Eternal Harmony. The activities were planned so as to give parents an ideal opportunity to participate in the workshops and to listen to the talks, while the children partook in the many activities provided for them.

The first day started with Yoga asanas in keeping with the natural beauty we were surrounded by for those early risers aged between 3 to 13 yrs where they learnt basic postures to help with their flexibility, concentration and focus inwards. Later in the morning the children had a guided walk on the beach to appreciate the different sights and sounds of the seaside. These impressions helped them to work together on a Seascape Collage. It was heart-warming to see all these children of different ages working together in a spirit of co-operation to create this “Harmony through Art” masterpiece which every single child contributed to this work by using all the different art materials that were provided.

The children’s afternoon was spent at a nearby Bodafon Animal Farm where they enjoyed tractor rides, pony rides and had an opportunity to interact further with each other and with the farm animals such as the cows, llamas, deer and goats. Their joy was evident from the expressions of happiness and excitement on their faces and in their voices!

In the evening, we all were able to enjoy the bliss provided by the bhajans, panel discussions and music presentation in the main hall.

Sunday dawned and we had another invigorating morning session of Yoga and a ‘Harmony through Movement and Dance’ led by one of our sisters. This session got the children and all the teachers and helpers on their feet to form synchronized patterns with the seaside and the farm visit serving as the theme.

The crowning moment came when the children had an opportunity to go up on stage to receive certificates of participation from our guest of honour, brother Rathnakar.

The weekend was indeed action-packed and fun-filled! It was heartening to know that the children enjoyed themselves, while utilising all they learnt in an informal environment. Personally, I think that the Retreat is a wonderful idea for us to recharge our “spiritual energies”, and feel more rejuvenated. It was a wonderful opportunity to interact with, and enjoy the company of the other SSE teachers, the parents and of course, the children. A big thank you to the youth who helped and to the catering staff who provided delicious meals and snack bags for the children. I certainly am looking forward to the next Retreat.

Miss Nuleen Panday
Regional SSE Coordinator
Region 6