Women’s Mini-retreat, San Jose, CA
Every year in spring, for more than ten years, the women of Sathya Sai Centers of Northern California and Nevada Region (Region 7) have hosted a Women’s Mini Retreat (WMR), planned exclusively by women for women. In 2016, the Region decided on a novel approach of spreading out the event over three occasions, one each in spring, fall and winter. Adopting the national theme, “Love is the Source. Love is the Path. Love is the Goal”, the intent was to delve deeper into Sai Baba's message and to provide more opportunities for the women to gather together to foster their spiritual growth.
The first event of the WMR in Spring 2016 highlighted ‘Inspiration’, provided by Dr. Hyma Reddy who described her many personal interactions with Sathya Sai Baba. She shared stories of Sai Baba's profound influence on the manner she fulfills her many roles as a practicing physician, a daughter, a wife, a daughter-in-law, a mother, a mother-in-law and a grandmother.
In Fall 2016, the concept of ‘Introspection’ was explored through two creative and uplifting sessions: (a) the Garbha, a Gujarati group dance where one could experience the sheer ecstasy of spirituality and feminine energy through dance form; (b) an interactive workshop where participants explored the virtue of practicing detachment.
In Spring 2017, the theme of ‘Influencing’ was expressed through service to the larger community. The first project involved creating beautiful and warm blankets from bundles of colorful fleece material. A second project involved creating notebooks with inspirational quotes for distribution to children in an impoverished local elementary school with an urgent need for school supplies. About 70 women came together to create these beautiful blankets and notebooks, in an atmosphere uplifted by melodious singing and sisterly bonding. The blankets were delivered to shelters all across the Bay Area. The notebooks were delivered to children in the school at Morgan Hill.
Sai Baba had extolled the importance of women when He said, “Women have a very crucial role in individual and social uplift. They are the makers of the home, the nation and the world. They are the mothers who shape the generation to come. So, they must enshrine in their hearts the spiritual urge towards Light and love, wisdom and bliss.” The region hopes to continue the annual tradition of organizing the regional women's retreat to nurture women and encourage them to live up to His ideals.