And a Retreat in Auckland starts the journey
Most of us lead very busy lives and conduct ourselves as if we are going to live forever.
Tomorrow is guaranteed, and things can wait. We procrastinate. We stop saying sorry to loved ones. We hold on to disputes. I, me and mine is our preoccupation.
Often we find that our mind best can be categorised as a monkey mind, outwards-focused or involved with thoughts that flutter from one to another. No loyalty at play. Whatever captures its fancy it appears to go there, with a will of its own.
Some of these thoughts are mischievous and project myth that does not exist but is nevertheless real to the person’s thinking. These thoughts translate into action and if misguided, will lead to disastrous consequences for the person involved.
The Meditation Technique
Having a tool that allows the mind to quieten down becomes necessary and essential.
Meditation is that tool. But not only for this purpose but most importantly it allows for a connection with the self. The divinity within. This access then opens the door to higher truths, which is coined the “realisation of the self” or “self-realisation.”
One may ask why is this important.
It is important because if that realisation is achieved, it allows for the understanding that we are part of something much bigger than ourselves; that there exists an interconnectedness between everything in this world, there is a flow and rhythm to this design of forms including human beings. It then allows compassion and empathy to result, how can you hurt another through words, thoughts or deeds if you are part of a collective? It allows us to become a better version of ourselves as the heart opens to receive, feel and give.
We know that the body will one day drop, but are we prepared? It is known that we are not immortal but why do we conduct ourselves as if we are? Where does this disconnect come from? Why is death such an elusive and dreaded topic? What if there was another reality? Another truth. Is that possible?
The above video is also available as a podcast. Listen to it below.
A Retreat in Waimauku
A retreat in the beautiful settings of the Universal Meditation Centre in Waimauku, Auckland was held from June 23 to June 25 June 2023 to give space to the participants from their daily routine to have this conversation.
Swami Tadananda, President of the Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre of Auckland provided an interactive and eloquent delivery of higher truths that allowed participants to dive deep and feast on knowledge regarding connection with the self which is often inaccessible.
The teachings of Swami Vivekananda and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa that Swami Tadananda imparted was that “the highest goal of our lives is to realise our Divine Self, which is of the essence of infinite existence, consciousness, bliss, freedom, beauty, purity and immortality. Human life is only a very pale reflection of our true highest spiritual self. Caught in the current of life, we sometimes neglect this important purpose of life.”
Often, such conversations are considered heavy but the participants reported a deeper understanding and an appreciation for the knowledge imparted and showed their gratefulness.
The retreat had interactive sessions, guided meditation so that one can practice at home, chanting mantras around the fire, and open and stimulating discussions on the meaning of certain terminology such as consciousness.
The sessions were designed to empower the participants with two spiritual outcomes: to manage their minds better to overcome stress and anxiety; to have a meaning and purpose with a clear spiritual goal.
The retreat made people review and plan their life with a higher spiritual goal. The understanding gained was that we are mere custodians and trustees, departing this earth with zero baggage.
It is a sombre thought and reality that is often difficult to comprehend and fathom at an experiential level but an important conversation to have with oneself. The awareness that spiritual intelligence is a much-needed asset to navigate through this journey of life that is filled with challenges that need overcoming with a toolkit that we already have.
Swami Tadananda made these sessions very enjoyable. The delicious food, beautiful ambience and wonderful company made the retreat a huge success.
The Ramakrishna Vedanta Centre is located at 27 Arawa Street, New Lynn, Auckland. Phone: 021-2290369; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.vedanta.nz
Kamil Lakshman is the Principal Lawyer at Idesi Legal which has offices in Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin. She is deeply committed to serving communities and has helped in the immigration process of hundreds of migrants and refugees over the past three decades and helped them to obtain Work and Residence Visas. She lives in Wellington but travels all over New Zealand to serve her clients along with her team of legal and immigration practitioners.