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On a winter day, we arrived here. 19 of us - from Brazil, Zambia, SriLanka, and various parts of India.
After about 130 days, today, we are ready to return to our missions - healed, empowered, and integrated... experiencing a wellness that words may fail to express.
We would like to revisit the past days... sharing with you how grateful we are... how happy we feel...
Now, how do we do it? A poster on the wall outside says, "a little progress everyday... adds up to BIG results!". Our experience is quite similar. Quite like the process every mango tree goes through. Early February... freshness shoots up... it becomes the fruit that we taste these days... we would like to share its transitions of the past months with you in 30 seconds.
Life does not happen this quickly. Neither hurried nor too slow. Allow us to tell you our story, neither in a hurry nor too dragged. In anticipation, we thank you for your patience... at the end of this we will thank you again, for your patience!
We settled in the abode of love, "Snehalaya" at Atmadarshan !

The community welcomed us warmly. Fr Mathew, Brother Siluvai, Fathers Joe Kunnum, Pius, Joe Vellari, and Rajendran have been helping us feel at home here.
Visiting our neighbours helped our 'home-making'! Tarumitra served us dahi-chyuda; XTTI samosa-jalebi; Tapovan their hearty prayers.
By evening, we smiled at each other at least once; a co-pilgrimage was in the making... The initiation module led us step-by-step to tune our body, mind, heart, and the spirit. Those of us who never painted till then, began with the non-dominant hand! ... who never boarded a flight, enjoyed astral travel daily!
Sr. Aruna and Fr. Joe Kunnum accompanied us gently. Our hearts have been opening up 'to a little progress every day'. Fr. Kunnum, besides this, you facilitated Hypnotherapy, Vipassana, Psychotherapy, Research Seminar, Group Process, Practicum Processing, and Mysticism. We were so enthusiastic in the first week that we gathered together after every supper! It lasted till the research work and practicum were assigned. Tab se mahaul serious ho gaya!
We spent a quiet week journeying into ourselves. Intensive journal helped us turn the pages of our personal lives hitherto unvisited.

Fr. Joe Vellari became the Ira Progoff of our day and helped us 'work at a deep inner level in a sustained atmosphere of silence'. You helped us also in Research Seminar, and Mysticism. Since then, at the end of every module, our Director Fr. Joe Kunnum would help us, mostly on Saturdays, with Integration Processing. We start the day with a Eucharist honouring the resource person of the week; then we spend time gathering the fruits of the week and linking them with the vision of Atmadarshan Experience.

'Trance' does not remain a word any longer! Hypnotherapy has been helping us to uncover the layers of the unconscious.
Sr. Surabhi deserves special thanks for making us familiar with hypnosis and the benefit of it in healing and integration.
Myers Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram blended so well to enrich us with self-awareness and openness to own light and shadow.
Fr. Pius has been insightful and humorous, witty and wise. You were with us for Vipassana too.
By then, we deserved a break! "Patna Darshan" was hearty. Only at the gate of the Botanical Garden did we know that chicken bones attract huge birds there... who in turn threaten the smooth landing of aeroplanes! So no entry to chicken inside! Though disappointed, our spirits were not dampened! Later, we chewed on crispy chicken as we sipped garam-garam chai! We engaged ourselves in processing our dreams and making sense of the rich symbolism of the unconscious.

Fr. Tony Matta helped us make it an experience and tune ourselves to listen to the 'Teacher within'.
When it comes to Vipassana it was 100% experience! From 'gross' to 'subtle' sensations, we were helped to be mindful of the harmonious vibrations.
We made sure that the research outline was ready before we set out to the land of Enlightenment. The very look of the sizeable bread satisfied us! After the mobile breakfast, the Jeevan Sangham community did their best to make us feel fresh and at home. Fr. Lawrence guided our pilgrim steps.
By now we touched the half-way mark of this Holistic Integration Program. We paused for three days introspecting, "What had my life been?", "What my present is?", and "What shall I be?"
That was a good preparation to enter wholly into Psychotherapy. Being true to ourselves. Dealing with anger, fear, and sadness and experiencing healing and empowerment. We realize that this is needed before others say, 'Doctor, heal yourself!"
We admire the patience and empathy of Sr. Archana in accompanying us.
Eco-spirituality was a fine time to redeem our cosmic cousinship. Rooted in the Mother Earth, we were most energetic during this time.
Thanks to Fr. Robert Athickal and the Tarumitra team for providing us a nourishing time and the cosmic dimension in this Integration Program.
It is not good manners to boast! Still, we must admit that we did a good job in groups as we studied and presented nine systems of Psychotherapy. We are proud that the ninth is our own - the Awareness Meditative Relaxation (AMR), invented by Fr. Joe Kunnum and developed here.
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) helped us become keenly aware of the 'other', the social dimension. We realize that the challenge is to live the values of the gospel. Thank you Sr. Jyotisha for helping us recommit ourselves to the joy of the gospel.
Then came the most intense of the weeks. The time to take stock of our inter-personal dimension. We call it the Group Process. Emotional closeness and distance were mapped and owned up in order to be authentic and genuine in sharing feelings.
Sr. Monica walked our pace and facilitated experiential wisdom.
The Holy Week was memorable. From Palm Sunday to celebrating the brilliance of the Risen Lord. We worked in groups celebrating the paschal mystery in a meaningful way. We cherish the Good Friday message of Brother Siluvai. Side by side, we found time for both Retreat Work of preparing 30 creative meditations and Individual Therapy - recording three sessions with two clients/subjects each.
We had a unique experience of Group Therapy as we helped about 96 students of St. Xavier's College in nine groups on April 10. It was effective and the students asked for one more. We did it wholeheartedly on April 23. We admire the meticulous planning of the College. It was hearty for us to see the teamwork of Frs. Tomy, Martin, Raymond and Rajkumar.
Life-transitions helped us take stock of where we are in the journey of life.
Fr. Joe Kootinal guided the group through interactive sessions and participatory learning. It was a welcome break as we visited the Holy Cross Provincial House. We cherish the Franciscan hospitality. An evening made melodious and delicious with songs and home-made pizza!
Psycho-spiritual Integration has been the time to reconsider life, choices and traditions, challenge them and appropriate them meaningfully. An invitation to make life incarnational. Fr. Mathew Chemplany brought to us wisdom seasoned with his years of experience, in a very convincing manner.
As our group shared the fruits of Group and Individual Therapy, we listened patiently to the way each one put the AMR Therapy in practice. It was a time to learn from one another and to discover the 'therapist' in each one of us!
Our visit to Notre Dame was a heritage walk along the mission of the Sisters of the Notre Dame worldwide. The guided tour in the campus was a lovely time indeed.
The final module has been a mystical path. We identified with Jesus and experienced God in all things.
We were delighted to have our Archbishop with us last week.
As summer rains freshen us up... such was the Holistic Integration Retreat for us. A climactic experience to carry on...

With the motherly heart and cooperation of Brother Siluvai we had a smooth and homely stay.
Narration by Joseph Puthenkulam, SJ and Team
Used for the ceremony today ! ( As it is).

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