Kalyan Mitra in Rajkot
When collective punya becomes stronger a doorway to deepen practices open. This is what Rajkot retreat was- a doorway-Kalyan mitra Milan. This was what we wished to dive deeper into at Rajkot retreat.
Knowing, understanding and internalizing the bhaav of who truly is Kalyan mitra or noble friend. This retreat was truly co-created by all participants. Starting with space being gifted by Vasantbhai known as “Ashram”, located outskirts of Rajkot with mudhouses built by Sheetalbhai (s3 !!) . All logistics were managed by Lopa and Sheetal and more so trusting and holding on to the idea of hosting it in spite of all odds.
We began with the seed question of receiving kindness from a stranger that we were grateful for. Heartfelt stories came out, Lopa sharing that years ago her guru asked her to accept the tough decision of leaving the orphanage she worked at, to open herself to all that life offers and she felt gratitude for it in the very moment as she could be at this Maitri space. Teary eyed Jagruti shared it was her birthday and opening of their new office and this space had uplifted her spirit. Madhubhai shared about being stranded at Kashmir due to floods and how unknown people helped them throughout and for the first time when he stood in a line to take his portion of meal he realized that sometimes givers are also becoming receivers. His faith in natures’ way increased with the kindness. Jay fondly remembered his encounter with Abha at Kutch that brought back his lost passion of cooking, alive , and now he takes every opportunity to serve as an expert chef J Harish and Jharna,filmmaker couple, shared about their hard time at China and how unknown people helped them through a rough time. Dhaval who had come all the way from Kutch shared about his being at 3-day retreat in Ahmedabad and he felt very happy when he received the invite to be present at Rajkot. The circle closed with tears and laughter of love and joy. That moment we were all feeling oneness with everything around.
Then came Kalyan mitra straight from Nipunbhai’s heart flowing through stories and vivid explanation of what Kalyan means-what’s noble for each one and who is that true friend. His clear message was to build affinities that will support your journey not only in for this moment but for the future as well. And the way to built it? What can be done in this human form? Here and now? - Love and serve. How to love and serve? Doing small acts of kindness with love. The formula is simple, its about putting it in practice and making it the way of life. Once we take the first step nature will do the rest for us. The key “step it up”. That opened our hearts and we were all beaming smiles by end of the session.
We enjoyed a full “kathiavadi” meal before our hands were at work. To close the day, everyone bowed in gratitude to the space to all those moments that brought this day to us. For most, it was the first time -- and a powerful experience. Spontaneously, we held each other at the closing circle at the “Buddha kaksh” as Bhumika ended with “saghachadwan”, Lopa shared she wished for the song !! The day ended with Bhajans from Bhumika and Lopa that once again brought tears to our eyes.
A friend asked me “what was new at this retreat”—the only answer is we grow each time, as we learn each time. Every retreat brings an opportunity to serve with love to create and deepen those roots of affinities that will last 10000 years and not let our souls wander hither thither … it’s a chance for insurance of sorts, of building a deep resilience for the ups and downs in the long journey ahead.
Love all Serve all.