Saturday, May 26, 2018

37th SUMEDHA SADHANA CONCLUDES


The 9-week-long 37th Sumedha Sadhana – A Psychospritual Wholeness Journey - concluded on May 16.  The programme had begun on March 15.


There were 15 participants from India and abroad (Thailand and Malaysia). The participants were extremely satisfied with the programme.

There were four main modules in this programme.

Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey


In the module “Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey” Dr. Jose Parappully explored with the participants the following topics: Holistic and Mature Spirituality, Cultivating Contemplative Prayerfulness, Psychosexual and Spiritual Integration at Midlife and Post-Midlife Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey.


Women’s and Feminist Spirituality

In “Women’s and Feminist Spirituality” Dr. Shalini Mulackal explored the meaning and salient characteristics of spirituality from women’s perspective. She helped participants look critically at some of the popular images of traditional Christian spirituality, the process of masculinisation of women’s spirituality, and religion’s subjugation of women.

Unconscious Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey


In “Unconscious Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey” Dr. Johny Dominic helped participants explore the dynamics behind the helplessness that they often experience in not being able to do what they want and doing what they do not want.  Using concepts from Freudian, Jungian, NLP and Transactional Analysis theories he helped them unleash the powers of the unconscious to facilitate healing and wholeness.

Personality and Spirituality


In “Personality and Spirituality” Dr. Ajoy Fernandes, working from a Jungian perspective, helped participants explore especially their identity and understand their personality type and its implications for their spiritual journey, and helped them move toward greater personal integration by exploring and owning their persona and shadow and integrating their animus/anima.


Group Therapy
Participants were provided opportunity for further healing and transformation through group therapy. In the atmosphere of freedom, caring and trust that the group provided, they were helped to face their brokenness and their fears, their defences and their unhelpful patterns of living and relating, and to move toward greater healing and wholeness by adopting and practising healthier attitudes and behaviours. Johny Dominic and Jose Parappully facilitated this healing and transformational process.


Integrative Retreat
This Sumedha Sadhana concluded with an 8-day spiritual retreat in which participants were able to bring together and integrate all their experiences up to then in prayer and reflection around the Word of God. Jose Parappully facilitated this process.


The Sumedha Process
The process followed in the Sumedha Sadhana was very experiential. It used a four-fold methodology of Input, Introspection, Interaction, and Intercession to provide the participants a greater awareness and understanding of the psychological dynamics operating on their spiritual journey and integrate these to develop a healthier self.

Music, movies, outings and picnics and celebrations made the Sumedha experience very enjoyable, as well as meaningful and fruitful.


Feedback from Participants
Participants in general were extremely satisfied with the programme – the module, the facilitators, the processes followed, and the environment at the Centre. They left the Centre feeling that their goals had been achieved. Some said they received much more than they had expected. Some typical comments:

“The programme was very enriching – the place, the facilitators…. I am very happy and contended. I feel I am renewed and my goal was realized.”


“The programme on the whole took me to my inner depths. Each module was designed to ensure that this journey will take us inward.”

 “The content and the process were very useful because they helped me to understand myself deeply.”


“It was helpful for me to grow spiritually, psychologically and emotionally in daily life.”

 “The Retreat was a powerful God experience and on the whole I think it has made me a compassionate person.”

“As a whole it was a wonderful time of personal discovery and spiritual growth and healing.”
“It was really a rejuvenating time for me.”

“The place, class, liturgy, movies, meditations, therapy, retreat, outings, company of friends all helped me.”

“Excellent, enjoyed!”


The next 9-week Sumedha Sadhana begins on June 1 and concludes on August 2. Just foujr seats left! Those interested, please apply immediately.

Friday, May 11, 2018

PERSONA, SHADOW, THE UNCONSCIOUS AND SPIRITUALITY


Two important and closely-related modules facilitated during April 2018 as part of the 9-week-long (March 15-May 16) Sumedha Sadhana – A Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey" were: 1) the  "Unconscious Dynamics and the Spiritual Journey” facilitated by Dr. Johny Dominic Padinjar, the Assistant Director of Sumedha Centre and 2) “Jungian Perspectives on the Spiritual Journey” facilitated by Dr. Ajoy Fernandes, Director of Prafulta Mental health Services in Matunga, Mumbai.


Johny Dominic helped participants explore the dynamics behind the helplessness that they often experience in not being able to do what they want and doing what they do not want.  Using concepts from Freudian, Jungian, NLP and Transactional Analysis theories he helped them unleash the powers of the unconscious to facilitate healing and wholeness.


Working from a Jungian perspective Ajoy Fernandes helped participants explore especially their identity and understand their personality type and its implications for their spiritual journey, and helped them move toward greater personal integration by exploring and owning their persona and shadow and integrating their animus/anima.


Both these modules and the module facilitators were very much appreciated by the participants. The modules provided participant’s much awareness about themselves, particularly regarding their defense mechanisms and their shadows.


During this period the the General Councilor of the Salesians of Don Bosco for South Asia, Rev. Fr. Maria Aroka Kanaga SDB visited Sumedha Centre. He interacted with the Sumedha Participants and along with them planted a sapling to encourage ecological sensitivity and care – something that is part and parcel of the spirituality explored and practices at Sumedha Centre.



Monday, April 16, 2018

TEA IN THE STREAM! FUN MIDWAY THROUGH SUMEDHA SADHANA


14th April marked the midway point in the currently running 9-week-long Sumedha Sadhana - A Psychospritual Wholeness Journey -- programme at Sumedha Centre.


Sumedha participants marked the occasion with  a tea outing the afternoon. (In the morning they concluded the module on Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey facilitated by Dr. Jose Parappully).


They walked up the stream flowing below the Centre for about 45 minutes and settled down in a dry spot in the midst of the stream. 


They prepared tea there and enjoyed some delicious snacks. 


They had a good time playing the pools of water around and playing bingo. 


They spent about two hours there before returning to the Centre, quite rejuvenated by the experience.



PSYCHOLOGICAL DYNAMICS ON THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY



The first and foundational module of Sumedha Sadhana - a Psychospiritual Wholeness Journey - is "Psychological Dynamics on the Spiritual Journey."


This module, facilitated by Dr. Jose Parappully, the Director of Sumedha Centre concluded on April 14th, which marks the midway point of the programme. 


Parappully began the module helping participants explore what is happening in their lives at this juncture on their psycho-spiritual journey and to discern what God might be telling them through all that is happening in the "bits and pieces" of  their everyday lives. 


He then presented the evolution in spirituality in the context of changing paradigms and presented 17 characteristics of a mature spirituality and helped participants assess how much of these were present in their lives. He distinguished between prayer and prayerfulness and helped them learn some contemplative approaches to cultivate prayerfulness.



A major portion of the module was devoted to exploration of the dynamics of midlife and post-midlife years. Parappully used insights from various psychological theories, as well as tools and techniques from Expressive Arts and Bioenergetics, as well as movies and music, to help participants explore and integrate these dynamics in order to enhance their spiritual journey.



Other topics covered in this module included sexuality and intimacy needs and their integration into a celibate lifestyle. 

Participants found the module "inspiring, informative and insightful... The process followed was excellent."





Sunday, April 15, 2018

FEMINIST & WOMEN'S SPIRITUALITIES.

The module on "Feminist & Women's Spiritualities," part of the 9-week-long Sumedha Sadhana programme, concluded on Friday 13th April at Sumedha Centre.



This module was facilitated by Dr. Shalini Mulackal PhD, Professor of Theology at Vidyajyoti College of Theology, New Delhi and President of the Indian Theological Association.


Dr. Mulackal explored the meaning and salient characteristics of spirituality from women’s perspective. She helped participants look critically at some of the popular images of traditional Christian spirituality, the process of masculinisation of women’s spirituality, and religion’s subjugation of women through theoretical inputs and examples from everyday life.



Sunday, April 1, 2018

NEWNESS OF LIFE

EASTER  is all about newness of life.


Easter occurs at the end of winter when, apparently, nature is asleep and the beginning of spring when nature bursts forth in a riot of colour with new blossoms and new leaves adorning the hitherto dead-looking trees. Newness of life!


The symbols of the Easter Vigil indicate newness. There is a new fire, a new (Paschal/Easter) candle made from pure wax (supposed to!), newly blessed water, new Christians through baptism, new oils (now blessed at the Chrism Mass), renewal of baptismal promises.


All the readings chosen for the nigh vigil speak of newness of life.


And the cultural symbol of Easter - the Egg -- represents new life in a powerful way.

No question, Easter points to and invites us to newness of life, to renewal and regeneration - to a new birth.

What is the newness we are experiencing/need to experience at this Easter. Celebrating Easter without an experience of some newness/renewal in our lives, is to be stuck at Good Friday, to remain in the tomb, not  to experience resurrection.


The Sumedhans celebrated the Easter  Vigil and the Easter in grant style in a moving and meaningful liturgy and celebratory dinner. Almost the whole of Holy Saturday was spent in preparing the Liturgy. Participants showed great initiative, creativity and enthusiasm. The resulting joy was palpable!


Friday, March 30, 2018

Silence of the Tomb


Holy Saturday is the in-between time – between something old dying and something new emerging. Holy Saturday is the time between the seed falling and lying dormant but unbeholden germinating new life. 


It is a time when nothing seems to be happening, when one sees no light at the end of the tunnel. When one feels stuck. Good Friday looks like the end of the story. 


But not really. The story will continue. Light will appear at the end of the tunnel. The fallen seed will sprout. Death will be conquered. The silence of Holy Saturday will be shattered in blaze of glory.


When have we felt life to be a long Holy Saturday, when we felt like we have reached a dead end – with no way forward, no light at the end of the tunnel? …. And then surprised – at the happy turn of events?

 As a popular song says, there is sunshine after the rain, there is laughter after the pain; so too there is an Easter that will shatter the silence of Holy Saturday in a glorious resurrection!