Seven highlights of the Virtual Winter Retreat
Happy New Year
Happy New Year from everyone here at MERU! We wish everyone in our community lots of happiness and good health.
Hopefully, 2022 is the year to move forward and achieve our goals, and for the planet to prosper.
To bring in the New Year and look back on 2021 and bid adieu, we hosted the Virtual Winter Retreat. This second edition once again proved popular and was a beautiful gathering with diverse participation.
In case you weren’t able to connect with us for the retreat, here are seven selected highlights from the 2nd Virtual Winter Retreat
1. Words of wisdom from Dr Tony Nader
To kick off the Virtual Winter Retreat, Dr Tony Nader, leader of the TM organisations, shared some inspirational words with the participants and talked about the significance of the transition into a new year. See a snippet below of what he had to say:
2. Newly released Maharishi lectures
A big draw to the Virtual Winter Retreat was the recently released series of Maharishi tapes, meaning for many of the participants they were seeing the lectures for the first time. The selected lectures came from Advanced Lectures on the Transcendental Meditation Programme, Volume 6, which are a selection of lectures recorded between 1965 and 1976. One notable insight was Maharishi talking about the importance of prevention. Commenting on a quote from Patanjali, a great seer in the Vedic literature, ‘avert the danger that has not yet come’, Maharishi says: ‘Allowing the danger to come and overcoming it is one thing. And behaving in such a way that the danger doesn’t come is another thing … we don’t have to face problems because … when the problems come they are not completely eliminated and they keep mounting … So what we should do in the scientific age is avoid the danger that has not yet come.´
One participant said: ‘The Maharishi talks are both inspiring and informative and the environment, despite being at home, was surprisingly peaceful and calm.’
‘Allowing the danger to come and overcoming it is one thing. And behaving in such a way that the danger doesn’t come is another thing … we don’t have to face problems because … when the problems come they are not completely eliminated and they keep mounting … So what we should do in the scientific age is avoid the danger that has not yet come.’ – Maharishi
3. Course leader Aalok
Of course, you can’t have a smooth retreat without a course leader! Aalok Shrivastava did a fine job and made sure the participants were comfortable and he attended to their needs. Aalok also made an excellent compere for the special guests on the retreat.
‘This retreat was a real gift to us, and I hope we can experience this again. The course leaders were excellent, kind and knowledgeable, and the tapes of Maharishi which they chose were very special and rare – thank you for the course.’ – Course participant
4. Special guests
Participants benefited from the special guest appearances in the evening sessions. These special guests included the aforementioned Dr Nader, Dr Girish Momaya, and Raj Rajeshwari Rindi. Conversations with the special guests helped the course participants better understand their experiences and Maharishi’s knowledge.
5. Group programme
One of the highlights, and perhaps most important, of an in-person retreat, is the group programme. We tried our best to replicate this by allowing both Meditators and TM Sidhas (including TM Teachers) to connect with each other for the morning and evening programme on Zoom. There were on-screen instructions that participants could follow to know when to practise Maharishi Yoga Asanas or Transcendental Meditation (and/or its advanced programmes), allowing many participants of the retreat to do the programme together.
‘So nice to press the reset button and go inward and forget about the outside stuff that can wait. I had lovely programmes and wonderful rest. Thank you to everyone who made this possible. Jai Guru Dev.‘ – Course participant
6. Global participation
Even though MERU is based in the Netherlands and time zones make it impossible to reach the whole world at times, we still had an impressive representation amongst our course participants. 165 participants from no less than 38 countries. From Bulgaria to Brazil, from South Africa to Singapore, we had participants joining from across the globe. Kudos to those who had to get up early or stay up late to join us!
7. Vedic recitations
Many people who have been on TM weekends before will be familiar with Sama Veda: a branch of Vedic literature sung in Sanskrit. Listening to Sama Veda helps the listener to settle down, whether in the evening before going to bed or before an important occasion with a lot of pressure, such as an exam. Course leader Aalok played Sama Veda at the end of the evening sessions so that participants could experience the soothing effects of Vedic recitations. If you would also like to experience the benefits of Maharishi Vedic recitations, then you can do so by downloading the Maharishi Veda app to your smartphone.
Coming soon from the MERU Course Office
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See you on one of our courses in 2022!
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