into the weeklong retreat, I’d expected a fun vacation that would relax me. I
wasn’t expecting a deepening of my personal growth and spiritual yearnings in
unexpected and strong ways.
many suggestions I received from fellow attendees and facilitators were
life-changing. For months afterwards, I’d review my worksheets from the retreat
every day after waking up. This included statements like (paraphrasing), “A
good friend is like a mirror, and I appreciate it when a trusted friend points
out how I could handle a particular situation better.”
was able to ask a great many questions I simply wouldn’t have been able to ask
in a shorter retreat. This wasn’t just because I had more time. It was also
because the deeper I went into the retreat, the deeper I grew, and the deeper
the day on the mantram, I learned how much more I could be “in the mantram.” I
began to see the mantram not just as a tool, but as a state of being. That day,
I got closer to falling asleep in the mantram than I ever had until then.
the day on putting others first, I discovered some strategies for how to put my
landlord first (who I hadn’t been too happy with). By the end of the retreat, I
felt calmer, happier and more loving about my relationship with him.
Don’t Need a Spiritual Teacher!
the weeklong retreat, I’d look askance at anyone who spoke of having a
“spiritual teacher.” Inwardly, I’d feel sorry for them automatically being in a
cult. It didn’t even matter who the spiritual teacher was!
naturally, I was the last person I believed would accept anyone as his
spiritual teacher. I definitely wasn’t looking for one.
by the end of the fifth day, though nobody ever mentioned it, I suddenly
realized – of course, Easwaran is my spiritual teacher. It wasn’t so
much a decision as a revelation.
Impact of Accepting a Spiritual Teacher
deeply committed to personal development in general. It would be dishonest for
me to say that all of the good in my life was due to the retreat. Definitely
not! I also have friends, family, strangers, providers, coaches and
coincidences to thank for all of my growth!
accepting Easwaran as a spiritual teacher was a breakthrough moment that
continues to reverberate even now, 18 months after the retreat. It has
immeasurably deepened my spirituality.
accepting a spiritual teacher, I admitted my own helplessness over a host of
problems. I admitted that there was someone who knew better.
accepting my powerlessness, I finally unleashed my power within.
was the youngest person at this retreat by about 25 years. Immediately, I had
to wrestle with my then-natural dislike of “old people.”
the end of the retreat, I felt like I’d been adopted by all the retreat
participants as their child.
also got many opportunities to practice putting others first. I felt
comfortable knowing that we were all trying to do our best, and were
ultimately on the same journey.
felt a degree of kinship and commonality with “old people” that’s since
expanded to all ‘old people,’ not just those few retreat attendees.
are participants from then that I still keep in touch with regularly. Others
feel like friends when I meet them, even though all we did was spend one week