From June 23 to 25, 2017, around 22 participants from various backgrounds attended the workshop titled ‘Sambhuti: The Secret of Conscious Maternity and Parenting in Spiritual Light’; these included young couples, people working with children, doctors, mid-wives and single people who were interested in the subject.
During the round of self-introduction, the participants were asked to choose flower cards with the Mother’s message and then proceed with introducing themselves and their aspiration.
This was followed by an introduction to the workshop by Dr. Sampadananda Mishra who spoke of how in the ancient times the belief was to bring out a conscious, divine population (janayaa divyam janam). He touched upon how the shastras differ in their concept of when the soul enters the womb (whether at the time of conception on in the latter months), but what is important is the purification and preparation of oneself at all levels. He ended his session with a word on the different sessions, being taken up by facilitators having diverse backgrounds, dealing with the various facets of prenatal education—physical, emotional and psychological.
In his session on ‘True Aim of Life’, the facilitator Shivakumar helped the participants understand the difference between one’s outer and inner aims, highlighting the importance of aligning the inner and outer aims so that there is no disharmony within one.
Dr. Alok Pandey took up a session on ‘Understanding the Spiritual Aim of Marriage and Human Relationship’. He touched upon were how the earthly life is a preparation for the divine life, that the basis of a relationship is love and respect. He spoke of how each of us is seeking for something nobler and truer but not yet finding it, and that everything that we are seeking has to be built up from inwards to outwards—this is where spirituality comes in.
Following this inspiring talk was a session facilitated by Dr. Arati Sharma on ‘Being a Mother’. She quoted Osho who said that “The moment a child is born, a mother is born. She never existed before that.’ She mentioned a lot of the quotes by the Mother who spoke on the subject of maternity and stressed upon how important it is to bring children into the world in a conscious manner.
This was followed by a group discussion (where the participants were divided into two groups and asked to discuss and present their views) on ‘Traditional Beliefs and Modern Trends’ in prenatal education.
The second day of the workshop started with Dr. Alok Pandey’s session on ‘The Spiritual Dimension of How a Child Comes into the World’. The session was followed by Paula Murphy’s talk on ‘Prenatal Care and Pregnancy—Getting Ready for a Healthy Pregnancy and Birth’.
In the session on ‘Prenatal Care and Pregnancy—Creating Physical Environment of Harmony and Beauty’ taken up by Shekhar Kshatriya, a yoga consultant, the importance of the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga in creating and outer and inner harmony was elaborated upon. Taking up the ‘Shanti Mantra’ in his session on ’Mantra Yoga’, Dr. Sampadananda Mishra elaborated upon the power of Mantra which can enable the mind to become free from all movements of the mind.
In the post-lunch session, Dr. Sumit Dutta, a psychologist from Kolkata, had an interactive discussion with the participants on ‘Prenatal Care and Pregnancy—An Overview of the Mother, Child and Significant Others’. Commenting on the ‘Role of Art in Motherhood’, Sushanto, an artist from the Ashram, spoke of how every artist wants to make his art immortal, and the greatest art is a constructive force of Nature. Furthermore, wanting to demonstrate the significance of art on an individual’s emotional being, Sushanto conducted a practical session where each participant was made to listen to a piece of music for a while and then asked to draw whatever they visualized during the listening process. For many of the participants, this was the first time they attempted art and their feedback of the process was very interesting.
In the following session, Aurelio, a musicologist based in Auroville, discussed the ‘Importance of Sound Awareness Music during Pregnancy’. There are quite a few significant sounds that an infant hears in the womb—the movement of the blood, sounds of digestion, the mother’s heartbeat and most importantly, the mother’s voice.
The last day of the workshop started with Allison’s session on ‘Birth—A Transformational Journey from Fear to Love’. She began with her own experience of giving birth to her daughter in Hawaii where she connected with dolphins. The aims of her presentation were to convey that when the Mind, Body and Spirit are all working in balance, birthing is a smooth process, that it is important to eliminate fear and our cultural programming of birth and instead choose to reconnect with love, and it is important for a woman to honour her body’s ability to give birth.
Following this session, Paula Murphy spoke on ‘Post-natal Care and Parenting—Early Newborn Care and Bonding’. She spoke in details about the process of birth, the physiological, anatomical and the morphological changes that take place in a woman’s body during pregnancy. The second session on ‘Mantra Yoga’ by Dr. Mishra saw the participants chanting the ‘Chakra Purification Mantra’. By explaining the concept of the chakras in the subtle body of a human being, the participants were guided through the meaning of the words of the mantra followed by a collective chanting of the mantra.
The last session of the workshop taken up by Shivakumar on the ‘Role of True Education and its Application in Bringing Up a Child’ brought out the different phases of growth in a child. The workshop ended with the participants sharing their feedback, what they learnt from the three days of this programme and the distribution of certificates of participation.
“The concept of the workshop is what needs the appreciation because in today’s world very few see maternity in spiritual light.”—Sushmita Chakraborty, Delhi
“All topics discussed were completing the process of life, birthing, motherhood as a whole.”—Dr. Ridhi Jindal, Chandigarh
“I appreciated most the variety of sincere presenters and participants. Good balance of participation and lectures and activities. Nice physical environment”—Paula Murphy, Auroville
“Each of us within this workshop has and will continue to expand their individual strengths and consciousness, so that our future society reflects such open education and Truth”—Louise Nairn, Australia
(Report submitted by Ms. Romila Sil)