It has been a busy summer so far and time has flown  speedily in my happy world, hence I write my reflections on the May retreat in mid June :-)

 

The May retreat was our first 7-Day Retreat at Beth-Shekinah Sanctuary and it was a great success in so many ways. I would like to share my reflections and lessons I feel the retreat has taught me and the other participants:

 

Take Time Off For Yourself

 

There is no doubt that all participants, the guests as well as instructors benefited immensely from the retreat. The very fact that we all had taken the time off from daily life to immerse ourselves in a spiritual week brought us a relief from worries, stress and anxiety that often follow our modern hectic lifestyles. By simply taking time off for our own benefit, both physically and spiritually, had a positive healing effect on our bodies, minds and spirits. From the morning Contemplative Prayer and Yoga to the daily lectures and activities, we were spending our days only on activities that benefited our whole beings and in that way we healed on a truly holistic level. Thus I say to you dear reader, please for your own sake, be "selfish" and take some time off for yourself. You deserve it, you need it, you have every right for it and you should embrace every opportunity you have to take time for yourself and your holistic healing. If you do, I promise you that happiness will be your companion :-)

 

 

Prayer & Meditation Enrich Your Life

 

Simply setting time each day for prayer and meditation has been proven, in many scientific researches in neuro-plasticity, to alter our brain and improve its functions. At Beth-Shekinah Sanctuary the Contemplative Prayer and Buddhist Meditation form an essential part of our daily schedule. We begin every morning with either prayer or meditation and end every day with a community prayer and meditation in the evening; sometimes we enjoy meditating during the day, especially in the nature. The effects of such a schedule was felt by all participants and within a few days a peaceful calmness had settled upon our minds; and as the days passed by the light of our spirits shone stronger, and joy and happiness grew. Simply spending 2 x 20 minutes a day on a prayer or meditation will have immense influence on your whole being, and the holistic effect will be healing to your mind and spirit. Take time for yourself and pray or meditate today, even better if you do both :-)

 

 

Yoga & Physical Exercises Strengthen Your Body and Mind

 

Simply participating in physical activity every morning before breakfast was invigorating and created feelings of bliss and relaxation within our bodies. After tending to our minds in the morning prayer and meditation we tended to our physical bodies nourishing them with exercises that build up strength, agility and rise up the energy levels through stimulation of Ki (Chi, Qi). The effects were quick to show and all participants felt much more relaxed and more at ease in their own skin as the days passed by. We followed up with nature walks, caving exploration, sight seeing and other outdoor activities. Personally, I suffer from spinal injuries and severe pains, yet I never once needed any pain killers during this week or in the following days. I slept well and deep every night. The old adage saying that if you do not take time for your physical health today you might not have the physical health for your time tomorrow is actually true. So please, take the time to tend to your physical being today and you will feel invigorated and energized every day :-)

 

 

Health & Nutrition Are The Same Thing

 

At Beth-Shekinah Sanctuary every meal was healthily and freshly made from natural and organic products on site. As we prepared every meal together we had time to talk and share our experiences, at the same time we created delicious and healthy dishes that nourished and strengthened our bodies and minds. We also had very interesting lectures on nutrition and healthy living, and learned how much our food choices affect our health. Thus, I can say with conviction that nutrition and health are one and the same thing. What you eat and how you eat directly affects how your body works and heals. The more you cook your food the less vitamins and minerals you get from it. Meat and dairy take lots of energy and enzymes, which consist of vitamins and minerals, to digest so unless your meals are rich in such nutrients you deprive your body of essential macro-elements. Personally, today I advocate that you reduce the meat intake as much as you can and try to skip dairy products whenever you can. There is so much more you can gain from eating a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, herbs and fish. When you reflect on your day and last week, just ask yourself these questions: How has your body treated you during your life and has it not enabled you to go where you wanted to go? Now, in return, how have you treated your body and what have you done for it? When you eat, do you treat your body with the same level of service as it treats your mind? Take time to think about the nutrition your body needs today, and I promise you that it will repay you manifold :-)

 

 

Nature Is the Best Healer

 

At the end of this long reflection on the May retreat I wish to cover one of the most important topics of holistic healing - Nature. Whereas I personally teach healing by Reiki and the Holy Spirit, I realize that true healing occurs when we are one with Nature. Our happiness and whole being are inseparable with Nature, we are part of Nature and when we deny that fact or neglect it then we invariably suffer in body, mind and spirit. Take time off, leave the creations of "civilization" and spend time indulging in natures' miracles of creation instead. Embrace its creative and healing powers, immerse yourself in its energy and you will not be disappointed. Whether in solitude or in companionship, you will find solace and become re-energized if you just spend a few hours outdoors, in the wilderness. Treat yourself today with a healing from the greatest healer of all and become one with Nature again :-)

 

 

Love and light to all of you and hopefully we will get to meet one day,

Pastor Dan Sommer