SadhanaOriental Meditation and Christian Prayer

My experience of Sadhana sessions

Sadhana, my art museum

 The first Sadhana session in Okinawa was held for four days and three nights from June 4 (Fri.) to 7 (Mon.), 2010 at the convent in Yonabaru.  It was when I was still new to the books of Fr. Anthony De Mello and I was fascinated by the completely new mysterious divine nature.  I had a timely opportunity to participate in a Sadhana session.
 On the first day of the session, most participants were excited about the program like a child, thinking, “What’s Sadhana?  We don’t really know the difference between meditation and retreat.  What is going to happen?”
 Sitting in a circle and closing our eyes, we relaxed our body and paid attention to each part of it from the top of our head to the toes, patiently and carefully.  For about 20 minutes, I had a comfortable time, experiencing that something was softened slowly as I went back and forth between my body and soul.  It reminded me of the memory in my mother’s womb, and I felt as if I were held by a long-forgotten warm spirit.  My hands and feet were warm when I noticed.
 There are various kinds of meditations in Sadhana.  In the session of recalling fun memories in my youth, the workshop brought back a vivid memory of my childhood and made me happy.  In the art museum session, I had a supreme experience of meeting Jesus.
 The art museum meditation became a picture-book in my heart.  Let me show you a little bit of it.
 In the afternoon in May, early summer with gentle green, I looked for an art museum that I was visiting for the first time.  I found it at the corner of a commercial district.  The manly building was like a giant under the cloudy sky in the rainy season.  There were not so many visitors, maybe because it was a weekday.  I went inside calmly, passed through some rooms with famous works of art, and found in a small room a bronze statue which was the same size as me.  The statue of a girl on a rocking horse by a window was myself at age five or six.  The horse was a unique gift from my grandpa, who made and sent it by sea for his first grandchild.  My soul went into the bronze statue, and swayed the horse triumphantly as I did when I was a child.
 Then, Jesus came close to me.  He was in a white ruffled shirt and dark brown pants.  He was tall and his eyes were grayish blue.  He grew his soft wavy hair to his chin.  After looking at me for a while, he called my name “Midori” with a European accent.
 Because he called me like my dad did, I was very happy, and swayed the horse more.  After a while, I could not see Jesus any more.
I came out of the bronze statue, and returned to my normal self, but my heart continued to be filled with happiness.
 Through the Sadhana meditation, the other self who was left in oblivion since my birth until today vividly came back to me.  I had a very mysterious experience that the revived memory changed me in some way.  I have been influenced by many people in various ways, but I was surprised at the experience that I changed, influenced by myself.  I noticed the comfort of coming closer to my inner self from my outer self after gradually observing myself objectively through the new mental eyes.
 I realized that God lives in a calm place deep in my heart, not outside me. 
(Okinawa Prefecture, 60s, female)