German Youth Retreat
Atmaseva Home for the Elderly, Hohenprießnitz
May 31 – June 2, 2019
The first German Atmaseva Youth Retreat was an event of great synchronicity waiting to happen at the perfect time! The sunny and warm weekend of the retreat came at the end of an unusually rainy and cold May and it truly felt like a blessing. Bringing together individuals (eight youth and five adults, as well as residents of Atmaseva Home) from every walk of life, binding them to unite in collective gratitude for the transformative love of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, was the essence of the retreat!
Be it transport, accommodation, food or entertainment – every aspect was done, not just in the best of the capacity of the hosts Tobias, Annie, Marcus and Sylvia – but in the highest order possible. The one big lesson that unconditional Love teaches everyone is how to perform every task that would make God proud!
During the first morning Satsang of the event, they veered, like with any first interaction of all Sai devotees, towards a discussion about their individual journeys of being drawn towards the Avatar. Either through dreams, cures or moving moments of realising who Swami is and what He means to each of them; words failed them all! With very soulful song interludes, this session was a reminder and a collective resurfacing of this feeling of over-deserved, advance credit of Love from Swami, that each of them continue to have a reason to be alive!
Every meal in the kitchen, every piece of fruit that was chopped, every grain of rice that was boiled, every pot of soup that simmered, every pinch of salt that was added – all was infused with the name of Sai. And the food was so perfect, as a result! The full course meals, starting from milky Indian chai to garden fresh salad and ending with several flavours of ice cream, left everyone without reason to complain!
During the service activity, plans were revealed for the renovation and reconstruction of the property. A haze of dandelion petals began to float in the gentle, cloudy afternoon and made the youth rejoice in the magical setting for Seva to begin. Delightfully, they engaged in scraping old paint, installing roof plaques, painting doors and windows, grooming the gardens and whatever else was needed. As a silent witness, God knows that they also chatted, sang and laughed while doing these tasks, even sneaked out here and there to steal a slice of the delicious cherry cake! But the vibrations of their thoughts led into joint dedication of their actions and words towards the highest form of Love!
On the morning of day three, they shared with each other one quality that each of them liked to bring forth to the gathering. This propelled a trough of good feelings that rode over the meeting – truth, love, action, purity, forgiveness; all the good came that radiated in the room and reflected from one person to the next. An afternoon trip to the lakeside brought some of them a chance for a cooling swim and some others a chance to discuss how to bring fellow youth closer to the idea of unconditional Love.
These ideas continued to be discussed late into the night and the enthusiasm to bring new change into the world clearly seemed to reach a crescendo. The members hope to sustain this enthusiasm and translate it into action sometime soon.
The evenings were scheduled for small screenings, starting with a documentary of Sai Baba; the mystique and mystery of His incarnation. Then, the European youth coordinator's video sent them reminders on patience, purity and perseverance. Amongst their other screenings were a montage video and a talk by Brother Markus on how it all started and how it will continue at Atmaseva.
The end of the retreat was marked with grateful goodbyes and plans for new occasions. These events are bringing them closer together, making their Sai family stronger. They need them to reinvigorate them and keep them close to Swami!