Triratna News

Moving from darkness to light - being on retreat in India

On Thu, 11 October, 2012 - 08:12
Andrea@Karuna's picture
Bhaja Retreat Centre - funded by Triratna’s Karuna Trust - is located in a rural area between Pune and Mumbai. Away from the crowded slums India, Bhaja is a rural idyll located between Pune and Mumbai (in western India).

Imagine living in a one room shack, amidst hundreds if not thousands of others with corrugated roofs that trap the harsh Indian sun. There is no running water, you have to walk a mile or more to collect that, to do so, you have to pick your way across a sewage filled stream that courses down passed your home. The noise is relentless; traffic roars past feet away, and when it does grind to a halt, clouds of thick black smoke belch into your house, which is often the cause of the dry cough you – and your children – persistently seem to suffer from. When it’s a particularly bad day you bring to mind, a green idyll you once visited.

When you’re there you feel like you’ve stepped into a calm oasis, you experience yourself very differently. It may have taken some time to put down the wearisome bundle that you always carry with you, the tiredness in your hard-working body. But as the quietness envelop itself around you, you put down the roles that you hold and you find yourself amidst the quietness and community that emerges whilst on retreat.

In 2011, 1735 retreatants were able to go on retreat at Bhaja. One such person is Vinay Jogdand who describes his experience of Bhaja “As soon as I walk from Bhaja village I move from a dark place and I touch a ray of light….”.

Vinay Jogdand, aged 23, is a sincere and articulate young man. Yet his eyes betray the suffering he has already experienced in life. Despite his obvious intelligence, his higher-caste schoolteachers waged a merciless campaign of verbal and physical bullying, causing him a series of mental health problems.

Despite his traumatic past experiences, Vinay tries to feel no ill will towards those who bullied him. He credits NVC with helping him gain a broader perspective on his experience. He feels lighter away from the cramped conditions at home, and describes Bhaja as the place where his heart lives.

You can help people like Vinay to go on retreat by engaging in a unique form of spiritual practice. Help yourself, Help others by fundrasing for Karuna on a door-to-door appeal for phone fundraising campaign. You will develop new skills, learn now to connect with yourself and others more fully, live in community and take your practice much deeper.

We have built-up a network of over 7,000 regular donors all across the UK using volunteer door-knocking appeal teams; as a result we send over £1 million every year to India - click here to see an interactive map of Karuna projects and project partners in India.

To find out more about Karuna, Fundraising, Appeals and India:
Join the Karuna Fundraisers group on
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Visit our Appeals website -

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