SadhanaOriental Meditation and Christian Prayer

My experience of Sadhana sessions

Heidi’s Walk in the Ocean

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 With the mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ, I had the opportunity to participate in Sadhana Retreat.  I thank you, Dear God, the living and working God. At that time I strongly wanted to experience it.  I finally reached Sadhana.
 Each time I participate, my heart lightens, loosens and fills with joy.  What is more, the retreat has become an event I yearn for.
 The long awaited retreat, which I participated this time, was about “Discovering Self.” This is the first level of Sadhana’s five levels.
 So far, I participated in Sadhana I and Sadhana II, without thinking of the order of levels, so I thought in the beginning it may not be a necessary learning for me.  However, it is not so. The order and the participants are in the hands of the Spirit and the Lord, nothing is a mistake nor unnecessary.
The priest explained that the theme was from John Ch 21 “Rowing out into the sea.” Since I am a serious minded person and not flexible, I was excited with high expectation.  This time, there weren’t many participants but the content was filled with interesting topics, at the bottom of our open hearts flow a strong agreement and deep learning continued.  
 It was in a conversation session of the ship, waves and wind.  
 As soon as I heard the guided meditation of the priest with my eyes closed, I was a barefooted girl on the sand where the waves splashed. It was a character of a TV animation program, “Heidi of the Alps.” The conversation with the waves was short, the boat with the girl slid into the ocean. The waves shone and twinkled from the reflection of the sun.
 Meanwhile, Heidi swam by the wavering seaweeds in the ocean and played along with unusual fish with bright colors.  She looked at various shells on the white sand at the bottom of the ocean, sat, swam around, rode on the back of a shark and went down into the deep dark bottom of the sea, and rode on a manta ray. When she got tired, she got on the boat to rest and played with the fish again.  At night, she sleeps in the boat illuminated softly by the moon. When the boat reaches a small island, she enjoys the delicious fruit produced there. The next day the boat slid out to the ocean.  The wind softly transported the boat. It is a boat trip that seemed to continue endlessly.
 During the session, I heard the guiding words of the priest from faraway,” How was the conversation with the boat and waves? What did you talk about in the conversation with the wind and the boat?” I had a short conversation but before knowing it, my attention was swept away watching Heidi move freely. I had so much fun.
 At the time of sharing, the priest evaluated this experience as “free” and “diverged” instead of imagining the waves as was instructed, a reactionary extreme.  “Yes! I had so much fun” I replied, I was a bit surprised that I had said that.
 There is a very dominating person in my life and I had built a habit of suppressing myself in order to avoid conflict and to keep a peaceful relationship. I acted according to what other’s said. If anyone asked me a question, I thought as a reflex what sort of response is expected, I had a habit of searching for answers that people wanted to hear.  That is why, I would normally obediently follow the priest’s instructions. However, this time, that frame blew away.  And it was unusual for me to ignore the rules and to feel that this session was so enjoyable. Sadhana made me realize things after coming home, and even after some time after.
 Heidi restrains her feelings, makes great effort, much effort, a lot of effort for Clara who is physically challenged and hurts her own feelings. Heidi was me, one who suppressed feelings. I thought that I was naturally free, but the Heidi in me shouted “No, you’re not!”  I softly embrace Heidi and hope to walk in the path toward true freedom.

                                (Tokyo, 60s, female)