Retreating into Your Self
by Chariji, March 3, 2008, Mazampuzha, India
To dear brothers and sisters of Shri Ram Chandra Mission and Sahaj Marg Spirituality Foundation worldwide:
Today, the 3rd of March 2008, the dormitory facilities in the retreat centre in Malampuzha, very near Palakkad in Kerala state, has been inaugurated, and a foundation stone laid for the meditation hall. It is proposed to open the facility for those who wish to commence retreats here, on the 14th of April 2008, which is the Kerala (Malayalam) New Year. And we invite all of you to register your names, for the moment, with sister Lalita in Manapakkam, so that we can prepare a list for future use. There are twenty-four rooms, each capable of accommodating up to three persons and no more. Toilet facilities are centralized; and just behind the dormitory within a few metres, there is the kitchen and dining facility.
The retreat is available to all who want to retreat for periods of three days to thirty days, and it is proposed to have a preceptor couple living in this facility to give sittings when necessary. Please note that this is not an ashram, and there will be no daily meditation and things like that, since this is essentially for you to retreat into yourself—introspect, brood over your condition, as Babuji Maharaj has advised—do some writing if you wish, and go back into life spiritually fresh, mentally refreshed, and fit in body and mind. The facility is, of course, free of all costs, as everywhere else in Shri Ram Chandra Mission, but, of course, you have to pay for your own transport and such other facilities as you may need personally with you. Telephone facilities will be available on site for limited use. There may not be an extensive library for reference initially, but it will be the Foundation’s endeavour to build up a library slowly as it has done in CREST, Bangalore.
Please note that Malampuzha is in the Western Ghats, at an elevation of about six hundred feet. It is hot in Kerala throughout the year. In June, July and August there will be heavy rain, and the rest of the year, it will be moderately hot to very hot, and always humid. Since this facility is located within a forest in the Western Ghats, be prepared to bring your mosquito curtains, mosquito lotions, etcetera, with you, though there will be adequate medical facilities here if and when necessary, which we hope not.
I hope you will all have a wonderful retreat, whatever be the period of your stay. Please dedicate yourself to it from the very beginning, for retreats are not meant to be holidays, nor escapes from life, but escape from yourself into your Self, with a capital ‘S’, where lies the Maana Sarovar—the lake into which you have a dip, and come out clean, fresh, bright.