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  • Writer's pictureMadhusudan

Sabras Retreat

A wise person once told me that “every Heart is wounded, so go on loving everyone you meet, healing yourself and the other in that process”. And that’s how the idea of Sabras came, a 5 day residential retreat in Gandhi Ashram, with an intention to connect with yourself, connect with community and to connect with nature. 12 of us came together in that spirit and what unfolded was very enriching experience for us collectively. The retreat was held in Swagyan Mandir within Gandhi Ashram, from 19th-23rd feb, a place where we are doing small experiments of love through farming and heart circles.

We had decided that there won’t be any selection process, whoever comes first is the right person at the right time. It helped me drop my own judgments so many times in this process and I realised that I am mere an instrument and all I could do was hold space for someone, just like I was held so many times by others. The entire experience was a very spiritual one. Receiving the gift of universe in every step. The space was whole heartedly opened by Jayesh Bhai supported by community volunteers visibly and invisibly, cocreated and held by brother Diken and Devesh. All 12 of us were participants, cocreating the circle together.

Just few days before the retreat, I received an envelope from a dear Friend with a donation which was a gift to her from her grandmother. This sacred offering became the seed resource to support this gathering which had no entry fees. We collectively did an experiment by putting this money in a clay pot in the center of the circle and inviting participants to take from it to support their own personal expressions and gifts. Receiving is not always easy, but it’s when we receive with grace and gratitude our capacity to give and share increases. We realise that we are not separate from others. As the famous African wisdom Ubuntu illustrates, “that I am because you are”.

The theme of 5 days was to explore our own personal gifts through trusting our intuition till it leads to our Swagyan (self knowledge). We moved from Dosti (friendship with each other) on first day to Disha (identifying our personal gifts or expression) on second day, then toDrishti (Sharing our gifts with local community) on the third day and then Srishti ( connecting with larger world) on fourth to finally on 5th day to Shunyata (forgetting the ego that we even have a gift and become an instrument of flow).

Our activities included, cooking our food together, working in the Ganga Ma farm, harvesting our vegetables, visiting various service projects and organisations, visiting leprosy community, walking pilgrimage to meet a saint, heart circles etc.

For me personally these five days has been like a sacred pilgrimage, where I truly experienced again flow of life, through various moments of grace and my faith in our interconnectedness has strengthened. All we have is this moment and we can choose to love or to not love and I want to make an effort to choose love again and again.

Here’s a glimpse of retreat through pictures. (for all pictures pls click here)

Expressing our personal gifts through art

We cooked our lunch together with fresh vegetables from the garden, under the shade of a tree on a banana leaf 🙂

Walking pilgrimage in the midst of heavy city traffic to meet a saint, who has been running a free kitchen for the poor.

Beauty in most unusual places..watching sunset on the middle of the road

Praying for world peace in near the peace pole in Ashram

Love is all there leprosy community

Circle with Krishna (Christopher) in Leprosy community

Banyan grove

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