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Love and Light

Retreat Experience

The over-arching emotion I feel about this year’s National Sai Retreat in Llandudno is gratitude. It must be a mammoth undertaking to put together an event on this scale with so much attention to detail and loving care for the experience of every participant. So much hard work, so willingly performed. So many people dedicating so much time and resources to making it an outstanding occasion. So much love in action. And I’m so grateful to Swami for inviting us!

I am particularly grateful to all the SSE team who put together such a fun and uplifting programme for the children. My daughter still remembers all the activities from last year when she was only four, and once again she didn\'t want to go home (neither did I!) I\'m so grateful to the team for giving us parents the chance to worship and participate in the adult programme peacefully and without worries while our children were being cared for and nurtured so lovingly. I even had time for a little rest after lunch while someone else took my child on tractor rides and trips to the beach!

For me, as a parent of young children, this is pretty much the only opportunity I have in the year to participate in bhajans and satsang without interruptions and disturbances from little people, and I value it so much, to have a few hours to focus entirely on God. I soak it up like a sponge, and it feels wonderful! I used to take these opportunities for granted, but now they are so incredibly rare and precious to me. I really feel like it is a wonderful gift from the SSE team, and I\'m very aware that it is their own selfless sacrifice of adult time to worship in this way that grants me exactly that experience – after all most of them are parents themselves. They may well be aware of what they are giving to the children with their sessions, but I wonder if they fully appreciate how much they are also giving to other parents.

My daughter and I came home on a high, both filled with a feeling of love and joy, renewed energy and a determination to practice what we learnt. The next weekend her SSE teacher at home remarked how well she was behaving and participating in class. Last Friday she came home from school with a “Star of the Day” certificate from her new form teacher. The retreat really is the best possible way to start the new school year. I’m counting the days until my two-year-old is big enough to take part too!

Jo Pratt,
Region 6