Nurtured within the sacred framework of Puthenkalam daily family devotions, I felt a profound resonance with an inner call, compelling me to embark on a transformative journey to the Patna Mission. Amidst the intricate tapestry of life’s details, a convergence occurred, guiding me to Nazareth, India, where I became a student of Nazareth ways under the tutelage of Lawrencetta Veeneman and Patricia Mary Kelley.
Immersing myself in the art of ‘discursive’ meditation, I acquired the foundational skills of communing with the Divine. Introduced to the treasures of the Word of God by esteemed scripture scholars, my heart swelled with an ardent love for sacred teachings. The Divine, recognizing this passion, provided avenues for me to share my fervor for Scripture with SCN formees at various stages of their spiritual journey.
Persistently echoing within me was the call to “delve deeper,” prompting an earnest inquiry into how to navigate this path. With a plea for guidance, my soul sought the familiar ways in which I had been schooled. As the urgency waned, my search continued, driven by an innate understanding that this quest was the proper course of action.
In a serendipitous moment during a siesta, my restless gaze fell upon ‘A ten-day course in Vipassana Meditation’ on the shelf by my bed. Delving into its pages, I uncovered a golden opportunity: an invitation to join a group of SCN temporary professed on their journey to Kathmandu for a Vipassana retreat.
Within the Vipassana campus, devoid of religious artifacts, I surrendered all external symbols at the entrance—a profound gesture in alignment with the a-religious nature of Vipassana. Rooted in the meditation technique employed by Gautama Buddha for enlightenment, Vipassana centers around breath as a tool to explore the truth about oneself. The breath, intricately linked to one’s mental state, is observed without reaction, a process demanding personal liberation.
Vipassana, in its a-religious essence, has become my conduit for attuning myself to the Divine within. Culminating at the end of a ten-day immersion, I heard the resonant words of Jesus: “The truth will make you free.” In embracing Vipassana, I discovered a harmonious convergence of ancient meditation techniques and timeless spiritual wisdom.
In retrospect, as my journey unfolds, I am reminded that life rolled on ceaselessly, weaving together moments of triumph and tribulation. Along this winding path, my insatiable thirst to delve into the divine remained a steadfast companion, guiding me through the labyrinth of experiences. As I conclude this reflection, I carry forward the lessons learned and the wisdom gained, cherishing the essence of a journey that transcends time. Life persists, and my unwavering commitment to explore the sacred continues to be the compass guiding my steps.
Sister Rita Puthenkalam