A Spiritual Retreat

Are you someone who likes to glance within? Interested to know how equipment’s work, what part of the plant is a coconut, how do we grow a banana tree, oops sorry it is not a tree but the largest herbaceous flowering plant. If we take this curiosity a little further, we can ask, who am I. Of course I am a human being. I was born one day and will die one day! Hmmm, so what is the purpose of my life? How am I different from the animals who are born and die. I can think & reason unlike animals. However that seems a very trivial reason! So then what? Hence the simple question “who am I?” which would have popped up within each of us at some time or other of our life is conveniently ignored until it reaches a stage when it is the only question that is un-answered or one with no clue of any kind !

Before I continue let me clarify; Spiritual does not necessarily have to be connected to religion. The word Spirit is derived from the latin word spiritus, which evolved to spiritualis and spirituel(old french). One of the meaning’s of “Spiritus” is breath. Another closely related usage is “…. put up a spirited defense”, here it is something like vivacity, energy, or liveliness. However in today’ world the moment we hear the word “Spiritual” the only thing that pops up is religion, faith and the kind. Religion is all man made….. Hmmm… I am treading into controversial areas….. Well it is my Random Thoughts, you do not have to believe what I say. Like I have said before, a belief lasts until another belief suppresses it. The old belief gets subdued and over time will be replaced by the new belief, if the new belief is a result of one’s personal experience else the new belief dies away and the old belief continues. Let’s take a basic example; Chillies are hot. True everyone knows that. However once you have experienced the pungency of the different types of chillies, your understanding and belief is different. Until you have experienced, all types of chillies are kind of same, they are hot. Until the individual’s first encounter with chilly the taste is not known.

Wikipedia says “A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.” So religion = beliefs+cultural systems+world views and is related to humanity(?). Let’s look at wikipedia for some basic definition of the three components that make up a religion; “Belief is a mental representation of a sentient being’s attitude toward the likelihood or truth of something”; “A cultural system is the interaction of different elements of culture”; “World view is the fundamental cognitive orientation of an individual or society encompassing the entirety of the individual or society’s knowledge and point of view”. And all these related to humanity; “The human species”.

So we are saying that humans can exist without the animals, plants and ecosystem; now that is interesting. So probably that’s why humans show no concern or interest with regard to nature and peaceful co-existence. Now in India since time immemorial we have believed that we need to abide by the eternal laws of nature and learn and respect nature in all its glory. “Mata bhumih putro aham prithivyaha” from Prithvi Sukta says, Mother Earth is adorned with heights, slopes, plains, hills, mountains, forests, plants, herbs and treasures; and She takes care of every creature that breathes and stirs. May She give us joy, wealth, prosperity, good fortune and glory!

Hence Spirituality is at a higher plane than religion and its likes. Spirituality is more of peaceful co-existence with our surroundings. Spirituality is about basic, complete, fruitful living. Spirituality is about contributing back to nature(not just for 100% tax savings!!). Each of us can contribute back in in the best way I as an individual can. So I quote “a re- treat is all about treating yourself to the splendours of nature and living as close to it as possible, no frills, no luxury and synch the functioning of the self with nature as much as possible”. Even the death valley can have a full bloom with the environmental conditions perfect. In the same way at least a week or a couple of days at a retreat can if not transform, can bring changes in thinking, perception and beliefs(from the experience). It is also about charging your batteries, discovering hidden potential’s, raising the bar of personal competence, learning that your weaknesses are actually your strengths and vice versa, letting go off some ego, be made aware of our everyday luxurious living (% of luxury is as per the individual), learning to look at a person as a HUMAN(throw away all the other addons),………… the list is endless after all no two humans are like!

Spirituality is also about energy levels of individuals. Anything and everything is energy. An individual is a small spec of energy that co-exists with all other forms of energy. Energy that gets tarnished over time, and needs purification to the earlier level or better. All this for the self and our near and dear. Energy and time are the basic components of existence.

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