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England Meditation Trip

October 26, 2012

In May 2012 I was fortunate to attend a spiritual retreat in the Global Retreat Center, located in Oxford, UK. It’s one of Brahma Kumaris‘ major centers. It was a 4-day program, fully scheduled from early morning till time to sleep.

The center is beyond amazing. Entering the place, I felt like heaven, literally. By the place I don’t mean just the building, I mean the whole campus. The place is an old English palace, surrounded by huge space of green, to the extent that you feel the silence and aliveness of nature. From the room I stayed at, keeping windows open; I just hear the breeze blowing and birds singing, providing a perfect atmosphere for spiritual inner work. Here’s the history of the place.

Every period of the year, the center organizes a program for a specific audience, just for the ease of preparation (translations, instructors, etc). Our program was for Middle Easterners; Iranians, included.

Vegetarian food was provided every day. It was delicious by the way. The program was very lovely; it contained multiple meditation sessions, lectures, music shows, as well as private free time.

I’m not going to talk about the content of the program, as this blog is for fun activities and places. I will just show some pictures of my experience there.

Because my purpose of that trip was of spiritual nature, I didn’t take much pictures while in the retreat. Good enough for a post though.

Just when I arrived to Heathrow Airport, I got my bus ticket to Oxford city.

I arrived at the place before sunset. A coordinator guided me to my room, which I shared with a lovely friend: Abdulrahman Alkhanati. We met before this trip, but we knew each other during it. The place is prepared to include residence, lectures halls, meditation rooms, a lot of contemplating areas, as well as the vast space of nature surrounding it. It’s not a hotel service, of course, but it was clean and neat.

Each room there has a name. Ours was Patience.

Our room’s view was stunning; the backyard of the palace.

This is day 1 schedule:

Here’s one of the instructors, an English lady called Coral.

The corridor to the library and the store:

There have been group walking meditation every morning, around 6-7 am. It was very refreshing. This is the doorway to the natural green fields:

There are other free times as well, where each participant can wander or just sit wherever they want. I had few walks in nature, where you go nowhere!

One time I had a walk with a friend. She took this picture of me:

At the last day, there was an outdoor party in nature! There was food, talent show, and then, group dancing. All of us danced altogether. hahaha 😀 here’s a picture:

And here’s a final picture of us at the last sunset, after the party. The beautiful Indian lady wearing white is Aruna Ladva, who’s the manager of Kuwait’s center. I love her. I’ve been deeply touched by her. The other ladies were from Egypt, Abu Dhabi, and Bahrain.

Last picture would be a wisdom card they distributed to us. It says:

“Whatever you do with pure love will flourish.”

At final, I’d say that I truly appreciate the Brahma Kumaris peace activities around the world. They are a good example of a non-profit organization that focuses on inner spiritual journeys.

Om Shanti (Sanskrit for I am peace).

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