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Region 2 - Youth Retreat – i am I from Ego Self to Divine Self

Llandudno, North Wales – November 4th - 6th 2011

No words can justify the sacred opportunity our dearest Lord Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba gave to the youth of Region 2. A weekend retreat at the beautiful beach location Llandudno organised by the youth for the youth with the inner motivator being our Swami.

The retreat theme ‘ i am I from Ego Self to DIVINE SELF’ enabled all youth to self introspect in order for self transformation and self realisation. There were a variety of activities designed to allow all youth to explore the theme in various ways such as: A Beach Walk, Martial Arts, Drama, Devotional Singing, Creative Art, Meditation and Study Groups. Some of the highlights to the weekend were:

“Crush the Ego Self” Activity

This Activity, was based on a discourse given by Swami on the occasion of Mahashivaratri in February 2007. The discourse was entitled ‘Give up Ego and Attachment and Become Great’. Swami said, “…Every human being in this world must analyse for themself what is to be changed and corrected and what is to be accomplished. Accordingly, one should conduct oneself…” hence in this session that is exactly what all youth had an opportunity to do. By asking a series of questions and requesting individuals to answer the questions truthfully, everyone had a chance to examine what it is they would like to change and correct about themselves, and what they would like to accomplish. The title of this activity was called ‘Crush Your Ego Self. This was because the questions were to be answered truthfully in front of everyone and, by reading a quote of Swami’s after answering the question, we sometimes would realise, that it was our Ego that had an influence on the answer! For example: Are you at Peace with yourself? Yes or No?. Swami says “Without being at peace with yourselves, you cannot be at peace with others. And, is not peace the greatest of gifts, the most precious of possessions?” So ... are you at peace with others? Now, that is something to think about.

Choi Kwang Do

A Korean Martial Art called Choi Kwang Do was another means for youth to get to explore the retreat theme. Many associate Martial Arts to merely just kicking and punching. However, we were taught Martial Arts with a difference. Martial Arts infused with Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings on Human Values. We looked at how to handle situations peacefully, how to use your Divine Self to feel if a potential attacker is approaching and how to stop a fight before it begins. Through out our Martial Art sessions we explored how the Ego Self is the cause of conflict.
“His Divine Work”
This was an interactive session where youth expressed their future visions for the service wing of our Sacred Organisation. We discussed what kinds of new service projects the youth feel are needed and what help would be required to get these projects started. We also viewed current service activities taking place within our Organisation and how the youth could support these and get more involved. The Youth also shared amongst each other, projects they are themselves already involved in and what help is required. The outcome of this Interactive session was very positive and the Youth expressed a lot of enthusiasm in talking less and doing more, for the Service Wing.

Interview

This Activity was truly Divine. It started with everyone being told that the activity is designed “ to take you, on a sacred journey…a journey to your true self, a journey to your inner light, your inner truth . . . a sacred and sweet journey back home, back to God . . . back to You!” The Instrument or device that was to aid us on this sacred journey was a mirror. We were invited to look into the mirror and express what we saw and felt on paper in whatever form we wished, for example a picture, poem, word or symbol. We were then guided into a meditation and then invited again to express what we saw in the mirror. What sounds like such a simple activity was actually truly remarkable. The experiences the youth shared were phenomenal. It is said the ‘eyes are the windows to the soul’ and with this activity the youth were certainly given the opportunity to look deep within.

Spirituality with humour was expressed one evening through Theatrical Performances based on the Retreat theme. Just imagine expressing the theme ‘ i am I from Ego Self to DIVINE SELF’ in a form of a rap or with an underlying theme of Star Wars!
Also, A Heart to Heart session entitled ‘When Swami Carried Me’ allowed youth to unwind in a relaxed atmosphere and share their experiences with Swami to the rest of the youth. Some amazing experiences were shared leaving youth feeling blessed, happy and thankful to Swami.
Overall the Region 2 Youth Retreat was a fantastic opportunity our Swami gave his children to have fun, enjoy good company and to establish how we can continue his teaching of ‘ Service to Man is Service to God’. We the Youth of Region 2 are ever so grateful to our Lord Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba for these treasured moments we shared together as One Sai Family.

Thank you for Reading!

Article submitted by Suresh Sajnani – R2 Youth Coordinator on behalf of the R2 Youth Retreat Team.