Ananda Marga Spiritual Conference was held at Ananda Kanan from July 2 – 7, 2017 with increased participation from last year. The weather very good with sun alternating with rain showers that cooled and added freshness to the air.
The first two days of the retreat were dedicated to Ananda Marga seminar. Ac. Rudrananda Avt. was Central Representative and Trainer and gave seminar classes on “The Intuitional Science of the Vedas – 2” and “Intuitional Practice and Its Necessity.” He explained vividly the history of the Vedas and went further into the topics, relating the philosophy to our spiritual life. The classes ended with Question and Answer session where the Margiis used the chance to ask many deep questions about spirituality and spiritual practice. Ac. Savitananda Avt. (SG SDM) gave a class on Decentralized Economy, clearly giving insights how PROUT can give solutions to all our economic and social problems we are facing.
On the second day of the seminar, we had departmental meetings followed by organizational class and a presentation of the work done by the Margiis for last six months and how they plan to render service to the society in the coming months.
On 4th of July we joined the parade in Willow Springs and in the afternoon Ac. Muktatmananda Avt. and Ac. Shiilabhadrananda Avt. (PRS HK Sector) gave classes and in the evening there was a very nice Katha Kiirtana where the devotees shared their stories.
Ananda Mela was a fun morning program with games and fun for everybody including canoe racing, basketball, volleyball and egg racing (that for vegetarians has been re-framed as ping pong ball racing), traditional tug of war, and a kaosiiki competition. Young and elderly joined together in the programs.
On the afternoon of July 5 we had presentation of the projects and good news of the Sector. Ac. Pashupati presented the AMURT work in Haiti, Jiivanmukta presented recent fruit and nut tree plantation in Ananda Arpana Master Unit and Margiis, Dadas and Didis presented their projects and pracar for the last six months.
The RAWA evening program was very successful with beautiful Swedish song by Shonalii, and a Russian song by sister Lyubov, a dance performance by sister Lorena, poetry, Prabhata Samgiita songs, and spontaneous portrait drawing by Jyudhisthira.
On the last day evening during the closing ceremony, awards were given for the excellent contributions of Margiis and Acaryas for service and the development of the Sector last six months.
Roman & Lyubov participated for the first time to the retreat in Ananda Kanan. Here are their impressions:
“We believe that we are very lucky, because we had a priceless opportunity to attend the retreat in Ananda Kanan. And this are not just beautiful words, because we had chance not only to meet beautiful acharyas from Ananda Marga, but to learn from them, to practice together spiritual practices, which became much more powerful and more deep because of their spiritual profoundness. Each of them is extremely interesting person with a good sense of humor, and at the same time they are very simple and gladly can help you in any way.
Besides that we lived in a very beautiful place in the forest by the lake, where you can hear only nature’s sounds and breath the air which feels so thick of the forest’s tasty smells that it seems like you can chew it.
We met a lot of new friends and we had a lot of fun together. It is so important for us to communicate with like-minded people and with the same goals in the life. Besides the intensive spiritual practices together, we also had sport competitions, that brought us more together.
Also the real discovery for us was a river Missouri. That crystal clear warm and calm water with the fish of different kinds and colors… the rock-ribbed brink is very high and full of caves that we were exploring curiously and discovering the springs of different sizes… and their waters are incredible tasty and sweet and full of sattvik energies…
So our common opinion is that we stayed in a place with a high concentration of a Light energy and the only regret we have that retreat didn’t last any longer.”
Kavita Dabu came from Houston. Here is her impressions:
“Aside from being one of the most beautiful sceneries I’ve seen in a while. I received a tranquil mind, the type of peace that will carry on with you. I didn’t know many people there but somehow Baba put the right ones in front of me during my stay there. The food was always so delightful, you could taste the culture in each dish that we received which were made by different chefs everyday. The outdoor activities were great for both adults and children of all ages, that unity really brought a lot of good memories. Even though leaving that wonderful place was sad, I would love to go again next year because it got me closer to Baba like when I was a kid.”
Nandana and Iishvara came from Boston:
“Namaskar, my son and I want to thank Ananda Marga for the wonderful time we had here and how welcoming everyone was. We were surprised at how beautiful this place was, and how delicious the vegetarian food was. We enjoyed spiritual practices, riding boats on the lake and swimming in the river, dancing competitions, talent shows, sports competitions, meeting hummingbirds, and rabbits everywhere. Everything is clean and peaceful. During the retreat, we met a lot of likeminded people from other states and even countries. We made new spiritual friends and cannot wait to be here again. We thank Dada Diiptimanananda for kindly inviting us to visit, we are also grateful to all the Dadas and Didis for their great effort to run this retreat and giving yogis the opportunity to practice together, meet each other, and deepen practices. We highly recommend that spiritual seekers ad yogis visit this garden of bliss.”
Manujit describes his experience:
“We had an excellent group. We felt like a group of friends enjoying the natural field of Missouri with lots of positive energy. We were well taken care of – the dadas and didis, the food, the blend of travel and time to just enjoy were all perfect.”