The 7th Annual Divya Shakti Retreat, held at Chinmaya Mission Orlando i n Florida, was deeplynourishing and i nsightful. Ninety women, thirty from other states, gathered for the three and a half day event from October 17-20, 2019. The theme of “Finding Your Path” i ncluded a balanced program of yoga asana, guided meditations, arts and games, and, most i mportantly, Vedanta discourses and workshops conducted by inspiring teachers Vilasiniji and Vivekji. Adi Shankaracarya’s Shiva Manasa Puja was the retreat text. Both Vivekji and Vilasiniji expounded on this stotram i n practical ways. He explained how the offerings made during the puja ritual represent the virtues of the i deal which i s to be i nternalized. The key aspect of any action i s the feeling, or bhaava, supporting i t which makes that action efficient, effective and j oyful. Thus, when any action i s undertaken with the right bhaava, i t i s transformed i nto worship or puja, with Moksha, or Eternal Happiness, as the ultimate goal.
Vilasiniji used the stotram to guide the morning meditations and i nteractive workshops on finding a purpose and path i n l ife. She explained how paths vary, depending on temperaments and phases of life. Through discussions and small group sessions, she encouraged reflection of short-term and long-term goals, as well as the practices which could be undertaken to overcome obstacles along the way. In this fast-paced age of technology, self-inquiry is becoming a forgotten practice. This retreat helped the attendees realize the need to be intentional in thought as well as action. The overall atmosphere
which emerged during this retreat was conducive to spiritual reflection and evolution. Gratitude to the Guru parampara and our teachers.