Weekend retreat in Nagano

17 – 18 October 2009

Nabekura Plateau is within the prefectural boundaries of Niigata and Nagano prefectures in Japan.  This plateau is home to 100 year old Buna trees in a primordial untouched natural forest. Buna trees are also called Japanese beeches which are native to Japan, where it is widespread and often one of the dominant trees of Japan’s deciduous forests. Surrounded by this incredible nature, Swami Purnamritananda’s weekend retreat was conducted in this picturesque place. Amma says that harmony with nature decreases our stress and restores our inner and outer balance.  One could really experience this in the calm and serene atmosphere.

Bhajan, Chanting class, Satsang and a Laksmi Puja were the highlights of the first day of the retreat.  The Lakshmi Puja was performed as part of Deepawali celebrations and Swamiji explained why Deepawali is called ‘festival of lights’. Amma’s Japanese children felt really blessed to have Swamiji instruct them to do the Puja in the traditional Indian way. After the Puja, there were cultural programs like Bharat Natyam and a Japanese folk dance. Towards the end, everyone joined together and danced joyously to Amma’s Punjabi Bhajan Matarani. On the second day, after the yoga and guided meditation session, Swamiji taught everyone to chant the Gayathri Mantra and explained the importance of chanting it every day.  In the afternoon there was eco-meditation and a nature-walk. The retreat ended with an interesting Q&A session.
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