Canada Retreat 2018

Jackpot...Jackpot…Jackpot! What an amazing weekend for all Canadian Mahatmas! The 2018 Canada Retreat was one eventful and unforgettable experience. Precious moments with Pujyashree, Dimplebhai, Pinkyben and Vanessaben were invaluable! The Midland cruise made so many memories of Niruma come alive. The garba under the starry- velvety night with the Gnani and Niruma’s special recipe for ‘Baadshahi’ khichdi are memories etched in everyone’s heart!

One of the heartwarming memories of the weekend was when Dimplebhai and Pinkyben helped bring one of Niruma's notable legacies alive! During satsang one evening, Dimplebhai shared how Niruma would make the ‘Baadshahi’ khichdi with so much love and affection for mahatmas many a times, years ago! The year 2005, was the last year Toronto mahatmas had had a chance to enjoy Niruma’s special hand-made khichdi. While sharing Niruma's fond memories, Dimplebhai looked at Pinkyben and casually asked her to make khichdi using Niruma’s special recipe for all the 200+ mahatmas present at the retreat. Pinkyben unhesitatingly agreed!

Then began the grand preparation. An ingredient list was prepared for the dry ingredients (masala) required to make the khichdi. The shopping was done overnight for all the dry ingredients and brought to Midland. Pinkyben, along with other Toronto mahatmas on the kitchen team spent the next day in the kitchen - cooking the ‘Baadshahi’ khichdi. Can you believe, Dimplebhai too joined in the fun! It did not end here, come time for lunch Dimplebhai and Pinkyben were ready serve it to each and every Mahatma present!

Pinkyben even sang the traditional “thaal” for all the mahatmas amidst Pujyashree’s presence. This was such an amazing moment because it was the manifestation of Niruma’s love for all to enjoy! The blissful environment made it seem that Niruma and Dada were present. Lunch was a reminder to us all of how Niruma cared, loved, fed, taught, and above all was a mother to us all.

Throughout the shibir mahatmas were truly able to enjoy Pujrashree’s company. He had lunch and dinner with the mahatmas, allowing many to serve, observe, and even speak with him. Just to be around Pujyashree was surreal. And a great chance to observe our dear Gnani in an informal setting! In a following satsang he was asked how he felt about being watched so closely while he eats, to which he responded beautifully by saying that it is as if he's eating with family, it's natural! And in that moment it felt true. It was as if everyone was truly one big family sharing a precious meal with one another and the Gnani!

Another unforgettable experience, one of many from the weekend, was the Midland Cruise. As a part of our annual Dada Darbar all 200+ mahatmas enjoyed some time with Pujyashree on the boat. It was the first time an excursion like this had taken place and each family was able to take part in quality one-on-one time for darshan and a chance to share their personal thoughts with Pujyashree. The boat ride took everyone aboard through the various islands around the Georgian Bay, making the journey truly feel like a mystical getaway experience with the Gnani.

The retreat also included a wonderful morning walk around the Little Lake Park with Pujyashree and 150+ Mahatmas that followed. The weather was beautiful and so was the opportunity to take a group picture with the gorgeous lake in the background.

The gem of the shibir was most definitely the energy of the mahatmas. Everyone present agreed that they felt an “unforgettable closeness” and felt truly blessed for all the informal time spent with our beloved Pujyashree! Such amazing moments crystallized as unforgettable memories for all!

All in all, the entire shibir seemed to take place in another dimension and surrounded people with only happiness and bliss. The circumstances could not have been more favorable and everyone should deserve to experience the energy and love that was felt all weekend. Definitely one for the books! This was by far the most spiritually-fun retreat Toronto has had, and it won’t be the last…!

Jai Sat Chit Anand!