I first heard about Brahma Kumaris around 10 years ago on entering the realm of counselling. This was when I experienced myself open up to looking at life from a different perspective. As if I were living in 3D. At the time this spiritual aspect of life, seemed new to my thinking but had actually been an inherent part of me for as long as I could remember.
Recently I decided to visit the Global Headquarters with a friend and participate on their Inner Power-Inner Peace Spiritual Retreat weekend. Looking forward to it – we made our way to Oxford to ready ourselves for the start. The weekend & accommodation was free but Brahma Kumaris accept donations – in fact this is the way the organisation is run.
The welcome was warm, accommodating and interesting. I had been here before but had pretty much forgotten everything about the place, so was interested on the events we were to experience. Lorraine and I were able to share a room with en-suite bathroom and our round window shared views of the drive and front of the grounds.
There were many people on the course and the evening started with a meditation in a newly decorated room which gave me a slight headache. I hoped this wasn’t going to be the way the weekend was going to go, so shut my eyes and relaxed in the moment.
The next meeting was more informational in structure and purpose – encouraging us to connect with others on the course and the Speakers sharing more of their paths to Brahma Kumaris with us. I met a guy called Nick and was pleased that when we spoke there was an immediate open connection, as we chatted about different aspects of our lives and how we felt and thought about being human and living a life where we learn about ourselves, others, dealing with issues presenting themselves and causing difficulties. Emotional maturity has always been a key aspect of learning in my life and I recognised that the part of me which seemed the most present was my playful, curious side but my personal self seemed to be dormant.
Meals over the weekend were provided. The menu was vegetarian. No onions or garlic is eaten as these are considered to be an aphrodisiac but what was being served up was delicious. Cous, Cous, some sort of soya curry, salad and roasted veg. In the morning there was muesli, cornflakes, homemade scones, pumpkin toast and lentil paté and berry jam. The lunch we had consisted of round Indian bread -yummy wild rice. A green vegetable and potato bhaji and a curry.
Over the morning I had began to realise that although I had previously been open, to learning about this kind of spirituality. It was now as if I had opened up to this for a long period of time, accepting some of the teachings and seeing the reality and the consequences in the actions involved. When moving in society and the world. This was when I began to realise that I no longer viewed this as a path to learning but at points thought some of the content irresponsible. I disagreed with many of the things being said.
Yet at the same time seeing the value in open-eyed meditation – the kind practiced by Brahma Kumaris. If practiced this way, then relaxation could be accessed easily. Whether you were at home in a quiet room on your own or in a supermarket queue, waiting to be served. It provided teaching on finding space within our every day lives.
I began to feel dissatisfied in the day – wishing I could leave and return home, thinking about how disappointed my friend would be. Something I didn’t want but knowing in this instance that this was definitely not the place I was in, in my life and in that moment did not want to reside for another night. The personal time spent in silence before Mike George a best-selling Spiritual Writer and Author shared his wisdom with us, nearly made up my mind. Mike George cemented it in thoroughly.
Was it just that I was in a different place?
Is it that I now see more clearly, having gone through the process and understand not just the positive benefits but the negative connotations?
Each person who goes will have to make their own mind up I suppose but one thing this showed me for sure was that I am now in a very physical place. I feel very loose emotionally, intellectually and spiritually-the physical aspect of my life seems the last to loosen up.
Practicing Nia with Vicky Rainbow was a wonderful way to spend 7am on a saturday morning. Nia is a dynamic fusion of dance, martial arts and free movement and helped me become aware of my stiffness. It was great fun also!
My desire I recognise is to connect with the world not detach from it. I question if I have outgrown spirituality in this form or has my mind closed to this type of learning. It has also shown me where I am in my life, even if I don’t know exactly what the outcome of that will be.
Have you been on a Spiritual Retreat and what did you think ?