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Spa for the Soul

Posted on July 28, 2018 | No Comments on Spa for the Soul

For most people riddled by conflicting relationships, by demanding superiors or officemates, by uncouth and rude children, and by everyday stresses, there seems to be no end to the problems of daily life. Worse, the tracts of anxiety, worry, depression and despair seem to be not far behind. But heed and take heart because there is hope in hopelessness.

The fact is there is a way out. A happy way out. Relaxing the Mind and Spirit Healing and restoration is required not just by the physical body burdened by the gripping realities of life but by the mind and spirit as well.

That is why Brahma Kumaris, a health and wellness center which is located in Tagaytay City, offers more than the physical relaxation of a person. Having grown to about eight centers now in the country, strategically situated in Baguio, Quezon City, Makati, Cebu, Manila, Tagaytay, Naga and Davao, this retreat center is all about peace, a tranquil heart, and a change of the inner self.

In fact, upon entering the retreat center, a guest is greeted with the phrase “Am Shanti”, which is translated to “I am Peace.” And that pretty sums up what the retreat center is all about.

Guests at Brahma Kumaris all want to experience a different kind of peaceful feeling — one without conflict, envy or rage. According to volunteer Sushila Montoya, questions that often hound people in such moments of uneasiness are: Why am I always so depressed? Why am I always fighting with my family? Or Why can’t I be a lot happier?

At Brahma Kumaris, they not only help answer these questions through their programs, but go deeper within the spirit of their guests. According to Arlane Tulay, a 44 year-old optometrist from Cavite City and a guest at Brahma Kumaris, the first time she came to the center, she noticed the cleanliness and orderliness, and immediately had a very pleasant impression of the place. “There was a very welcoming feeling in the atmosphere and it was very peaceful,” she says. “There was a different glow in the faces of the students and their eyes were sparkling.”

This was supported by Timtim Bargas, another volunteer at Brahma Kumaris. “Our main slogan here in Brahma Kumaris is that when we change, the world changes,” she says. “We are here basically to promote peace. The only thing that we can change is the self. So if I change, I can change my surroundings and eventually, the world. We study on things that could change ourselves.” And by change, Timtim not only refers to the physical change but to the spiritual one as well.

“What we believe here is that each one of us has their own inner power,” supports Sushila. “Through that, we help them through our activities such as Raja Yoga and meditation. Through these activities, we help our guests bring out their skills. Lahat ng tao kasi ay may kakayahan.”

The Power of Meditation
One practice at Brahma Kumaris is meditation. It is described as focusing the mind on an awareness or a thought — on what is important and leaving out all the unnecessary stuff of life that makes one bring in all the negative energy. Brahma Kumaris focuses on concentration meditation. They make guests relax in a meditation room and focus on one focal point. In this case, it’s a dot at the center of a painting which is spiral in form. And while a guest is comfortably seated, a calm and soothing voice in the background is overheard, which actually tells the guests to just relax and be at peace.

“When guests come in to meditate, the general impression we get is that they feel relaxed,” Sushila says. “The meditation itself takes away all the stress from the body. It’s actually safe to say that it is a living meditation.”

Sushila adds that one can actually do meditation anywhere — in your own home, or even in the middle of traffic. Regular practice of meditation confers a lot of benefits — just ask Arlane. According to her, she was able to give up smoking. She became more peaceful, happy, and considerate. She has learned to accept whatever happens in her life. “My life became simpler and I gained so many new insights about life, God and others,” she says.

Yoga and Spiritual Development
Raja Yoga, another practice at Brahma Kumaris, is defined as a mental yoga which basically involves the relationship of the mind and the body, and how self-discipline cultivates whatever thoughts enter the mind. In turn, what the mind conceives is mirrored through our actions, and sometimes, these actions become unproductive like smoking, drinking or being addicted to drugs. This is the part where self-discipline comes in and it is through Raja Yoga that one really gets to help himself overcome all of these vices.

Aside from Raja Yoga and meditation, Brahma Kumaris also gives lectures on spiritual development such as stress-free living, forgiveness and letting go, the power of change, overcoming anger, communication with the heart, creating a circle of fortune, and understanding God.

At present, Brahma Kumaris has ten students who come from different places, most of whom are women. The center evokes a feeling of peacefulness and calmness, and a poster near the entrance of the center says it all: “Inspirationally a vision of world where happiness for all people is as natural as breathing, the Brahma Kumaris dedicates itself to helping transform that vision to reality.”

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